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Oil News Roundup from The Wall Street Journal

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
July 13, 2006 7:42 p.m.

Crude-oil futures rocketed to nearly $77 a barrel, an all-time nominal high, on the New York Mercantile Exchange after violence in the Middle East intensified, raising concerns that oil supplies in the region could be disrupted. In electronic trading after hours, oil prices rose to more than $78 a barrel. The surge in oil prices raised concerns about economic growth and hurt U.S. stock prices, triggering the second straight day of triple-digit losses for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Here’s Thursday’s roundup of oil and energy news.

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VIOLENCE IN NIGERIA: Though overshadowed by developments in the Mideast, violence in Nigeria also contributed to oil’s rise. Twin explosions hit oil installations belonging to an Italy’s Agip in Nigeria’s volatile southeastern delta region. There was no word on who was responsible for the attacks. Militant assaults on oil installations this year in the main oil-producing Niger Delta have cut more than 20% of Nigeria’s daily oil exports of 2.5 million barrels and helped drive up world oil prices.

•Caspian Pipeline: The presidents of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia formally opened a $3.9-billion pipeline designed to bypass Russia and bring Caspian oil to Europe, a route that President Bush said would bolster global energy security.

•Yukos vs. Rosneft: Yukos filed for an injunction against Rosneft’s $11 billion IPO on the London stock exchange, the Moscow Times reports.

•Oil-for-Food Conviction: South Korean businessman Tongsun Park, 71, accused of being an Iraqi agent and trying to influence the United Nations’ oil-for-food program, was found guilty of conspiracy.

•Nuclear Vulnerability: Despite progress on security, tons of nuclear material are “dangerously vulnerable” to theft by terrorists across the globe, a private group called the Nuclear Threat Initiative contended in two reports commissioned by the Managing the Atom Project at Harvard and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

•Antarctic Oil: Ali Samsam Bakhtiari, oil researcher at the University of Tehran, told a conference of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research in Hobart, Australia, that oil exploration in Antarctica is inevitable.

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