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There are faint signs of recovery in the U.S. petroleum industry. U.S. drilling permits surged by 21.8% to 2,259 in July for the 29 states Salomon Bros. tracks, nearly matching the year ago level. Texas and Wyoming provided the biggest increases, 267 and 79, respectively. Salomon Bros. says the July increase, following 3 months of relatively flat activity, represents the first sign in its index that U.S. drilling rig activity could be improving in earnest. It thinks the recent spurt of permit

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