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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: October 10, 2006 8:50 p.m.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
October 10, 2006 8:50 p.m.

Oil prices fell to an eight-month low today, as traders continued to look for clarity from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on whether it plans to cut production, after several days of mixed messages from officials. Here is Tuesday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

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IRAQ FUEL SHORTAGES BUOY SEPARATISTS’ STANCE: Fuel interruptions are aggravating the debate over how Iraq’s abundant oil supplies are divided among its factionalized regions, and the resolution could determine whether the country splinters. Recurrent shortages are draining Kurdish officials’ patience with the central government, which they accuse of fumbling fuel imports, and in Baghdad last week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said “oil needs to be a unifying factor.”

•Oil Rush Lures Small Investors: Millions of Americans, Europeans, Australians and others are trying to get in on the current version of the 1930s oil boom, this one driven by high prices. Most invest in big companies like Exxon Mobil Corp. or energy-focused mutual funds. But others buy stakes in actual wells through much riskier partnerships.

•Nigerian Youths Seize Oil Station: Young men armed with Kalashnikovs have seized one of Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell’s flow stations in the Niger Delta region, Nigerian police say. Sixty workers were kidnapped when the crude oil pumping installation near Nun River in Bayelsa state was stormed.

•Court Approves Peabody Purchase of Excel Coal: Coal miner Peabody Energy Corp. said it received regulatory approval in Australia to go forward with its $1.5 billion acquisition of Sydney-based Excel Coal Ltd.

•Delek Buys into Dead Sea Project: Delek Drilling Ltd. and Avner Oil Exploration Ltd. — both belonging to businessman Yitzhak Tshuva — will take a 50% stake in key Dead Sea oil drilling projects run by Ginko Oil and Gas Exploration.

•Renewable Energy Fund Proposed: The European Commission has proposed creating a global risk capital fund to mobilize private investment for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in developing countries.

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