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Oil News Roundup from The Wall Street Journal

FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
Oil News Roundup
July 14, 2006 8:51 p.m.

EXTRACT: “Robert Malone, the newly appointed chief executive of BP PLC’s American businesses, has a tough job ahead of him after a series of recent safety, environmental and compliance stumbles by the company have triggered regulatory and criminal investigations.”

THE ARTICLE

Crude-oil futures rose again on the New York Mercantile Exchange as Mideast violence intensified. After crossing $78 a barrel in overnight trading, the front-month oil contract settled at more than $77, a fresh record. Here’s Friday’s roundup of oil and energy news.

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ROSNEFT ROSY: Strong demand from international oil companies and Russian investors is allowing state oil company OAO Rosneft to price its shares close to the top of its price range, in an initial public offering expected to begin trading next Wednesday. Rosneft announced its shares will be priced at $7.55, near the top of the company’s $5.85-$7.85 range, raising $10.4 billion for the state-run oil giant and making its IPO Russia’s biggest ever and among the world’s largest. The company said the pricing gives Rosneft a total value of $79.8 billion.

OUT OF CONTROL: Traders have taken control of the world’s oil market, U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman claimed, leaving oil suppliers helpless and markets subject to greater volatility, according to a Canadian Press report. “This is the first time in my professional lifetime that the suppliers of oil in the world have really lost control of the markets,” Mr. Bodman said during a two-day trip to Western Canada, where he toured the oil-sands region in northern Alberta.

•Valero Debut Flat: Valero GP Holdings didn’t get far in its stock-market debut, despite sky-high oil prices. Valero, the general partner of Valero LP, a limited partnership that specializes in oil and fuel transportation and storage, ended the day unchanged at $22 a share.

•BP Executive’s Tall Order: Robert Malone, the newly appointed chief executive of BP PLC’s American businesses, has a tough job ahead of him after a series of recent safety, environmental and compliance stumbles by the company have triggered regulatory and criminal investigations.

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