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        Sector Update: Energy Stocks Tumble Thursday

        Energy stocks pared a portion of prior slide Thursday afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index falling 2.1% in late trade and the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund ( $Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund(XLE.US)$ ) down 2.2%. The Philadelphia Oil-Service Sector index was sinking 2.9% and the Dow Jones US Utilities Index was slipping 1%.
        Crude oil turned lower with Thursday's equities market, with West Texas Intermediate crude settling $0.80 lower at $77.49 per barrel, while North Sea Brent crude was falling $0.73 to $81.47 per barrel, with the global benchmark giving back an earlier advance.
        Henry Hub natural-gas futures declined $0.33 to $4.99 per 1 million BTU after the Energy Information Administration Thursday said commercial inventories fell by 87 billion cubic feet during the seven days ended Dec. 16, below market expectations for a drop of 92 billion cubic feet last week.
        In company news, Shell plc ( $Shell PLC(SHEL.US)$ ) dropped 1.4% after the energy major reportedly suspended production at its Prelude floating liquefied natural gas facility offshore Australia following a "small fire" Wednesday afternoon.
        Chart Industries ( $Chart Industries(GTLS.US)$ ) dropped 2.3%. The energy services company Thursday disclosed plans to collaborate with renewable fuel producer Raven SR on storage and other supply-chain processes of hydrogen and pure carbon dioxide.
        NuScale Power ( $NuScale Power(SMR.US)$ ) slid 2.1% on Thursday. The company said it has completed a generic power plant design that will serve as a starting point for deploying site-specific plans. The Standard Plant Design project also includes detailed material estimates, equipment lists and architectural and construction drawings.
        Sempra ( $Sempra Energy(SRE.US)$ ) turned 0.2% higher just before Thursday's close, with the gas utility company saying the US Department of Energy has authorized its Vista Pacifico liquefied natural-gas facility now under construction in Mexico to re-export LNG originally sourced in the US to countries not part of any non-free trade agreement with the US.
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