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Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE:BHI) reports that the United States’ natural gas rig count continues to deline, as another 21 rigs were shed last week to 452, which is off dramatically from 892 in 2011. The oil rig count also slumped, down by 10 to 1,409, but sizably up from 1,057 a year ago. The total for Canada’s oil and gas rigs increased in the past week but is down sharply year-over-year.
Hess Corporation (NYSE:HES) is still divesting assets, agreeing to sell its 2.72 percent interest in the Chirag, Azeri, and Guneshli Fields in Azerbaijan along with its 2.36 percent interest in the associated BTC pipeline to ONGC Videsh Ltd. for $1 billion. The transaction should close in the first quarter of next year, and is subject to Indian and other governmental regulatory approvals.
Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is said to want to boost its investment in Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDSB) to 7 percent in order to reinforce its ties with the firm and to further invest its wealth in western assets. Such an increase would raise Qatar’s stake from below 3 percent and make it Shell’s number one shareholder, above Blackrock Inc.’s (NYSE:BLK) 5 percent stake.
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