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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: October 9, 2006 8:14 p.m.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
October 9, 2006 8:14 p.m.

After rising more than a dollar in early trading, crude futures finished up 20 cents at $59.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Reports that OPEC members agreed to cut output by one million barrels a day, and that North Korea completed a nuclear test, propped up prices. Here is Monday’s roundup of oil and energy news.

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GAUGING OPEC: The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, looking to stem the erosion in the price of crude oil, has been urged to apply its anticipated 1 million barrel-a-day cut to real production, rather than its theoretical ceiling, Reuters reported. OPEC’s president, Edmund Daukoru, who is also Nigeria’s oil minister, wants responses by Oct. 10 to his plan to make the cut from group output. OPEC is concerned prices could go into freefall if members keep pumping at will.

•ETF Woes: Some small investors who were clamoring to get in on the energy-spike action, are seeing the other side of the coin lately as energy exchange-traded funds have suffered, the Associated Press reports. For example, “the largest energy-oriented ETF, Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund, with about $4.6 billion in assets, has dropped 9% from mid-July.”

•Cold Patriotism: Native Alaskan villagers, who have begun to feel the chill of winter seep into their lightly insulated abodes, are facing some of the highest heating-oil prices in the nation. But apparently some aren’t cold enough to accept free heating oil from Venezuela, writes Jeannette Lee of the Washington Post, “on the patriotic principle that no foreigner has the right to call their president ‘the devil.'”

•Stag Party: Gazprom said it will develop the huge Shtokman gas field on its own without foreign partners, in a fresh setback to Western oil companies looking to develop Russia’s vast hydrocarbon riches.

•African Oil: Angola has replaced Saudi Arabia as China’s main oil supplier, and now gets more than 30% of its oil from Africa, reports Forbes.com.

•Uganda Strike: Oil has been found in western Uganda after years of exploration, the African nation’s president announced. Production is set to begin in 2009, with initial output of between 6,000 and 10,000 barrels a day.

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