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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: September 19, 2006 5:22 p.m.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
September 19, 2006 5:22 p.m.

Crude-oil futures tumbled on the New York Mercantile Exchange, shedding more than $2 a barrel to settle at less than $62, their lowest close since late March, after an OPEC official suggested the cartel wouldn’t cut production any time soon. Here is Tuesday’s roundup of oil and energy news.

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RUSSIA RAISES HACKLES: Russia’s move to revoke an environmental permit for a $20 billion oil-and-gas project led by Royal Dutch Shell sparked protests from Europe and Japan. Meanwhile, Russia’s OAO Gazprom said talks aimed at bringing the state-controlled gas monopoly into the giant project on the Far East island of Sakhalin have made no progress since Shell announced costs would double more than a year ago.

•Idemitsu Prepares IPO: Japanese oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan Co. aims to raise at least 108 billion yen, or about $916 million, to fund energy investments in what is expected to be one of Japan’s biggest initial public offerings of stock this year.

•Bidding War For Excel: Excel Coal Ltd. of Australia received a takeover approach from a third party late last week, prompting U.S.-based Peabody Energy Corp. to raise its takeover offer for the independent coal company.

•Nigeria Working to Restore Production: Nigeria is working to soon restore oil production lost because of militant attacks on some pipelines, the country’s finance minister said.

•Wyoming Schools Flush With Cash: Thanks to natural gas, Wyoming’s schools have money to burn, the Associated Press reports.

•Coal-Based Jet Fuel: The Air Force is testing a new jet fuel blend made partly from coal.

•The Dark Side of Cheaper Oil: While the recent plunge in oil prices will provide some relief to motorists, it also reflects the country’s weakening economic outlook, economists warn.

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