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Sector Update: Energy; Conoco, Hess Seen as Likely Winners Once Libyan Ports Resume Shipping

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Top Energy Stocks

XOM: -0.8%

CVX: -1.1%

COP: +0.1%

SLB: +1.3%

OXY: +0.1%

Energy shares are mixed in late trading, with crude oil futures settling Friday below $99 a barrel.

Light, sweet crude oil for February delivery settled at $98.83 a barrel, down 82 cents, according to preliminary CME GRoup Data. In other energy futures, heating oil settled at $2.91 a gallon, down 0.6 cents, while natural gas finished down nearly 4 cent at $2.989 per million British thermal units, slipping under $3 shortly before the floor session wrapped.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund ( USO ) is down 0.6% at $38.18. The United States Natural Gas ETF ( UNG ) is off 9 cents -- or nearly 1.4% -- at $6.48, just 53 cents off its 52-week lows set earlier today.

In other energy news, Es-Sider, Libya's largest oil port, is close to restarting loadings, one of the final remaining hurdles before normal exports can resume following the end of the Libyan civil war, the country's oil chief said Thursday. Among the firms first to likely benefit are ConocoPhilips ( COP ), Hess ( HES ) and Marathon ( MRO ), The Wall Street Journal reports.

Shares of all three firms were fractionally higher late.

Also, MarkWest Energy Partners LP (MWE) was up 3 cents at $55.01 a share after saying bank lenders agreed to a $150 million increase in its senior secured revolving credit facility, bringing total borrowing capacity to $900 million.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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