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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: September 11, 2006 4:25 p.m.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
September 11, 2006 4:25 p.m.

Crude-oil futures fell for the sixth straight session, briefly trading below $65 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, before recovering a bit to settle 64 cents down at $65.61 — their lowest close since late March. Here is Monday’s roundup of oil and energy news.

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OPEC LEAVES OUTPUT ALONE: As expected, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided to stick with its official oil-production target of 28 million barrels a day. But the cartel’s output in recent months has fallen by as much as half a million barrels below that figure. And OPEC ministers will now watch the market carefully for signs that the recent decline in crude prices may be turning into a rout. If so, then OPEC members could decide to let their output slip further before the next cartel meeting.

•China Seeks U.S. Cooperation: A senior Chinese official for energy policy said China and the U.S. should jointly develop oil fields to protect against the risks of supply disruptions and the rising costs of production both countries face.

•China’s Water Problem: More than 130 water-pollution accidents have contaminated China’s water supplies in the 11 months since a massive benzene spill contaminated the Songhua River and shut off water to millions.

•Russia to Supply More Oil to Asia: Russia wants to increase its oil and gas exports to Asia tenfold, the Financial Times reports (subscription necessary), raising worries in Europe — one of Russia’s top energy customers — about whether Russia will be able to meet future demand there.

•New Emissions Targets: European and Asian leaders pledged to set new carbon-dioxide emissions targets that go beyond those set by the Kyoto Protocol.

•Iraq Seeks to Bolster Oil Security: Iraq said it will bolster its military presence in the oil-rich north of the country, where saboteurs and insurgents repeatedly have targeted workers, pipelines and facilities.

•Nigerian Strike on Track: Nigerian oil workers showed little sign of swaying from plans for a strike, scheduled to begin on Wednesday, to protest the rampant violence that has shut down a sizeable portion of the country’s oil production.

•Poking at Peak Oilers: Mark Nolan, chairman of Exxon Mobil’s Australian unit, dismissed peak-oil theory, insisting the world has abundant supplies of oil and other fossil fuels.

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