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Energy stocks were lower Friday afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index falling almost 1.2% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were down slightly less than 0.7% as a group. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for November delivery was ahead $0.13 to $74.46 per barrel at the New York Mercantile Exchange while the global benchmark Brent crude December contract was up $0.12 to $84.70 per barrel. November natural gas futures were 2 cents lower at $3.14 per 1 million BTU. Among energy-related ETFs, United States Oil was rising more than 0.2% in recent trading while United States Natural Gas was dropping about 1.1%. The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index also was down more nearly 0.7% today.

In industry news:

Oilfield-services company Baker Hughes ( BHGE ) released its rig count for the week ending Oct., with US oil drillers puling two rigs out of the field. There were 861 oil rigs working in the U.S., up from 748 at the same time last year. Baker Hughes earlier Friday said drilling activity increased through the United States during September, with the national count climbing to 1,053 oil and natural gas rigs in use compared with 940 rigs last year.

Among energy stocks moving on news:

(+) DCP Midstream LP ( DCP ) climbed 3.2% Friday, after late Thursday saying it received about $96.1 million in net proceeds from the sale of 4 million 7.95% Series C fixed-to-floating rate cumulative redeemable perpetual preferred stock units at $25 apiece.

In other sector news

(+) Patterson-UTI Energy ( PTEN ) rose almost 3% at one point on Friday only to give back almost all of that gain by midday. Bernstein started coverage of the contract driller with an outperform rating and a $21 price target.

(-) Primoris Services Corp ( PRIM ) dropped over 2%, after saying it will promote corporate controller Ken Dodgen to chief financial officer of the oilfield-construction company, replacing CFO Peter Moerbeek, who plans to retire next month.

(-) Precision Drilling ( PDS ) dropped 1.7% Friday after it announced plans to acquire rival Trinidad Drilling in a deal valued at CAD1.03 billion ($797 million), including the assumption of debt.

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