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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: August 15, 2006 6:07 p.m.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE

Crude-oil futures fell again on the New York Mercantile Exchange, ending the day at $73.05 a barrel, as traders avoided taking positions ahead of tomorrow’s government inventory report. Here is Tuesday’s roundup of energy-related news:

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INDIA, CHINA TEAM UP: India’s state-owned Oil & Natural Gas Corp. teamed up with China’s Sinopec Group to buy half of Omimex de Colombia, a Colombian firm owned by U.S.-based Omimex Resources Inc. The agreement marked the second time the world’s two biggest emerging economies have put aside their longstanding energy rivalry to work together. The Financial Times reported the deal was worth $800 million. The FT notes that, despite the recent cooperation between China and India, analysts are still skeptical that China will give India access to major oil projects in the future. (FT subscription required for both FT stories.)

•’Calamity’ in Philippines: The central Philippine island province of Guimaras has declared a “state of calamity” following what authorities have called the country’s worst oil spill, which happened Friday off the southern coast of Guimaras, about 312 miles southeast of Manila.

•Another Massive Spill: A Japanese tanker spilled about 4,500 tons (5.3 million liters, or 1.4 million gallons) of crude oil in the eastern Indian Ocean near the Nicobar islands following a collision with a cargo ship. The spill may be the largest ever involving Japanese-operated tankers.

•Aussie Subsidies: In an effort to cut reliance on foreign oil sources, Australia is offering all motorists a subsidy of $2000 Australian dollars (about $794) to convert their cars to run on liquefied petroleum gas, the FT reports. It is also offering gas stations an even bigger subsidy of $20,000 Aussie dollars to offer an ethanol blend at a discount rate.

•Indonesia Invites Bids: Indonesia, the largest oil producer in Southeast Asia, said it had invited companies to bid for exploration rights at several sites, in an effort to bolster its dwindling reserves and production, the International Herald Tribune reports.

•CPC Takes the Fall: Taiwan’s state-owned oil company Chinese Petroleum is bearing the brunt of the government’s decision to shield consumers from high gasoline prices, the FT reports. (Subscription required.)

•CLP’s Profit Rises: CLP Holdings Ltd., Hong Kong’s biggest power suppliers by revenue, said net profit rose 7.9% in the first half, helped by earnings in Australia.

•Four Workers Released: Nigerian militants released four foreign oil workers — two Norwegians and two Ukrainians — they had held captive for the past week, part of a steady stream of kidnappings and sabotage that has disrupted Nigerian oil production.

•This Little Piggie: The Associated Press has everything you ever wanted to know about oil-pipe pigging, but were too afraid to ask.

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