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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: September 27, 2006 5:56 p.m.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
September 27, 2006 5:56 p.m.

After falling in early trading, crude-oil futures soared nearly $2 a barrel to settle at about $63 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, in what may have been a technical bounce. Here is Wednesday’s roundup of oil and energy news.

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7-ELEVEN DROPS CITGO: 7-Eleven is dropping Venezuela-backed Citgo as its gasoline supplier after more than 20 years, as part of a previously announced plan by the convenience store operator to launch its own brand of fuel. And 7-Eleven is worried that anti-American comments made by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez might prompt motorists to fill-up elsewhere. Mr. Chavez has called President Bush the devil and an alcoholic. The U.S. government has warned that Mr. Chavez is a destabilizing force in Latin America.

•California Greenhouse-Gas Bill: California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a sweeping global warming initiative that imposes the nation’s first cap on greenhouse-gas emissions, saying the effort kicks off “a bold new era of environmental protection.”

•China’s New Pipeline: China’s economic planners have approved the construction of a natural-gas pipeline from the country’s northwest to its south to transport gas imported from Turkmenistan.

•China’s Oil Search: China’s “insatiable thirst” for oil is leading it to search far-flung corners of the globe — and into relationships troubling to the U.S., Bloomberg reports.

•Iraq, China Talk Oil Deal: China could land lucrative business developing Iraqi oil resources, possibly by reviving Saddam-era contracts, Reuters reports.

•Western Oil’s Iraq Foray backed: Though many shareholders of Canada’s Western Oil Sands Inc. object, at least one believes the company’s plans to spend millions in Iraq is a good idea.

•Vietnam’s New Pipeline: State-owned Vietnam Oil & Gas Corp., known as PetroVietnam, signed a contract with Malaysia-based Nacap Asia Pacific to build a 40-kilometer natural-gas pipeline in southern Vietnam.

•Pump Politics: The decline in gasoline prices as the election approaches is a coincidence, not a conspiracy, the Houston Chronicle editorial board argues.

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