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This Week’s Market Buzz

• Oil prices rose after government data showed a large decline in U.S. inventories of crude oil and an increase in demand for gasoline even as the summer driving season prepares to slow down. Light sweet crude for September delivery rose 78 cents, or 1.1 percent higher at $69.30 a barrel. Brent crude rose 0.7 percent to $73.93 a barrel.

• Rich Budinger, vice president of operations for U.S. Silica, passed away unexpectedly. Budinger played a crucial role in the startup of the Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association (WISA) organization. He was the first president of WISA, and a practical spokesperson on behalf of the sand mining industry in Wisconsin. He will be deeply missed, as a leader, mentor and friend.

• Haliburton’s Completion & Production division grew operating income by 34 percent, primarily driven by the strength of U.S. land. Despite pricing levels that have yet to fully rebound from the recent down cycle, the company said it is achieving outstanding margins. “North America had a strong performance this quarter,” the company stated. “This is the largest and fastest growing energy market in the world. On a year-to-date basis, we have grown revenues 47 percent year over year, while the U.S. land rig count has increased 16 percent. U.S. land achieved margins that are closing in on what we achieved during the previous peak in 2014.”