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Sector Update: Energy Shares Plunge as Crude Falls More than 6% By the Close; Occidental, Schlumberger Both Down Over 7%

NYMEX Benchmark Crude September: (-6.4%) to $81.31

Top Energy Stocks

XOM: -4.3%

CVX: -5.6%

COP: -6.5%

SLB: -7.8%

OXY: -7.1%

Energy shares are firmly lower in late trading as crude futures plunge on global economic fears in the wake of Standard & Poor's downgrade of U.S. debt.

Light, sweet crude oil for September delivery finished down 6.4% to $81.31 a barrel. In other energy futures, heating oil was up 1.19% to $2.92 a gallon while natural gas was up 0.05% to $3.94 per million British thermal units.

In energy ETFs, the United States Oil Fund ( USO ) is down 6.6% to $31.71. The United States Natural Gas ETF ( UNG ) is up 0.3% at $9.99.

In late-session energy news, Occidental Petroleum ( OXY ) and Schlumberger ( SLB ) are among the biggest decliners for the day as each fell over 7%.

Oil majors also fell as Chevron ( CVX ) and Exxon (XOM) were each down over 4% on worries that the drop in crude prices and economic worries would hamper profits.

Earlier, Statoil (STO) today announced it has made a significant oil discovery in the North Sea.

The oil and gas company said a 65-meter oil column was found on the Aldous Major South prospect and data confirms the reservoir is of excellent quality.

ADRs of the company are down 7.9% to $20.29, as part of a broader-market downwards shift.

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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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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