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XOM -1.34%

CVX -1.91%

COP -3.21%

SLB -3.53%

OXY -2.57%

Energy stocks were sharply lower Friday, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index falling 2.5% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were down about 2.3% as a group. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for May delivery was slipping $1.47 to $58.51 per barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange while the global benchmark Brent crude May contract was declining $1.45 to $66.41 per barrel. April natural gas futures were 6 cents lower at $2.76 per 1 million BTU. Among energy-related ETFs, the United States Oil fund was falling 2% while the United States Natural Gas fund was dropping 2%. The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index was sinking 4.6%.

Among energy stocks moving on news:

(-) VAALCO Energy ( EGY ) fell 5% after Friday saying Phil Patman was stepping down as chief financial officer at the oil and natural gas producer to pursue other interests and will be replaced by chief accounting officer Elizabeth Prochnow as CFO, effective April 1.

In other sector news:

(-) Penn Virginia Corp ( PVAC ) was slipping in recent trading, sliding 4% after the oil and natural gas company and Denbury Resources ( DNR ) late Thursday said they were mutually scrapping their proposed merger, citing "difficult" market conditions and opposition by Penn Virginia shareholders to the deal.

(-) Enerplus Corp ( ERF ) dropped 3.8% on Friday. The Canadian oil and natural gas company late Thursday was approved to begin a normal course issuer bid to buy back and retire up to nearly 16.7 million shares of its common stock, equal to 7% of its public float.

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