NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - The broad equity markets and crude oil were rallying on Wednesday, a trend matched by the oil sector stocks hit hard by the BP ( BP) oil spill.

BP shares have been rallying since last week -- and since an oil spill low share price on June 25 at $27. However, for once, all the oil sector stocks that are tied up in the oil spill with BP are rallying on Wednesday as a group, and outpacing the gains made by BP.

Notably, Anadarko Petroleum ( APC), which is locked in a legal battle with BP over its share of oil spill liability, is up close to 7% on Wednesday afternoon, and leading returns among U.S. oil stocks. At several times during the oil spill crisis, Anadarko's daily losses have exceeded the loss in BP shares. Investors fear that 25% of the oil spill liability -- to which Anadarko could be subject -- would have a crippling effect on Anadarko's balance sheet.

Transocean ( RIG), the operator of the exploded rig at the heart of the oil spill, is up by more than 6% also.

Halliburton ( HAL), which was the deep-sea engineer contracted by BP for underwater cementing of the Macondo well, and Cameron International ( CAM), manufacturer of the failed BP well blowout preventer, were both up 5% on Wednesday afternoon.

Halliburton and Cameron shares may in the end be less directly tied to liabilities from the oil spill, though Cameron shares have lost 30% of their market value since trading at a 52-week high share price shortly after the BP oil spill crisis began.

Transocean and Anadarko market value has decreased between 40% and 50% during the BP oil spill. Transocean was trading near a 52-week high level of $94 on the day that its rig exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico. After its $3 gain on Wednesday afternoon, Anadarko shares were above $51.

BP shares, meanwhile, were up about 2%, matching returns in the energy sector. The PHLX Oil Services Sector index was up 3.5% on Wednesday afternoon.

BP has added more than $5 to its share price since last week, and it received another lift on Wednesday morning with reports that BP CEO Tony Hayward was offering up a 10% equity stake in the company to Abu Dhabi as a way to raise cash for its oil spill liabilities.

All oil stocks received a lift from the broad market rally on Wednesday, as the price of crude surged ahead of big inventory reports on Wednesday and Thursday. The surge in the oil spill stocks was not a high point for each in share price since the spill began.

Anadarko had reached a share price above $45 on June 16, before going steadily down, and was back above $41 on Wednesday afternoon.

Transocean had climbed above $55 on June 21, and was back above the $51 mark with its 6% rise on Wednesday.


Yet even with the general equities surge and energy sector buoyed by oil trading higher, the BP oil spill stocks were outpacing the market.

-- Written by Eric Rosenbaum from New York.

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