Energy stocks were higher Wednesday afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index climbing 0.5% while the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) gained 0.9%. The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index and the Dow Jones US Utilities Index were both up 0.1%. Front-month West Texas Intermediate crude oil slipped $0.18 to $78.32 per barrel. Henry Hub natural gas futures were $0.14 higher at $5.11 per million BTU. In company news, Dorchester Minerals (DMLP) rose 0.8% after the owner of energy royalties said it agreed to acquire mineral and royalty interests for about 4,600 net acres across New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming from an unnamed third party in exchange for 1.58 million limited partnership units.