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This Week’s Market Buzz

•    U.S. crude futures jumped $2.33, or 4.2%, to settle at $58.43 a barrel at press time after a data report showed a much bigger-than-expected drawdown in oil inventories, ending several consecutive weeks of builds. The federal government’s EIA report revealed that crude inventories fell by 4.9 million barrels, compared to the 700,000 barrels decrease that energy analysts had expected. Heavy refining activity and lower imports were responsible for the large stockpile draw with the world's biggest oil consumer. This puts the total domestic stocks at 447.1 million barrels – 0.9% above the year-ago figure and 3% higher than the five-year average.

•    Halliburton plans to close an office just west of Oklahoma City where more than 800 employees are losing their jobs. The El Reno field camp was home to a dispatch command center and several hydraulic fracturing crews. Out of the 808 employees expected to be laid off, a company filing shows that more than a third worked with acids used in the hydraulic fracturing process and nearly a tenth performed cementing work for oil wells.

•    According to Oil & Gas People, Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. and RPC Inc. are retiring truck-mounted pumping units and other equipment used to shatter oil-soaked shale rock. Whereas in previous market slumps, frackers parked unused equipment to await a revival in demand, this time it’s different: Gear is being stripped down for parts or sold for scrap.