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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: October 18, 2006 4:26 p.m.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
October 18, 2006 4:26 p.m.

Crude-oil futures fell below $58 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after U.S. crude stockpiles rose and speculation increased that OPEC wouldn’t reach consensus on a production cut. Here is Wednesday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

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OPEC’S DILEMMA: The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries faces a double challenge when it meets Thursday night in Qatar in its latest effort to bolster sagging oil prices. Members must hammer out a tricky agreement about how to share the pain of any cut in crude-oil output that they announce at the meeting. At the same time, they must smooth over internal divisions that could threaten the cartel’s longer-term credibility as a price enforcer over the world’s oil markets.

•Lukoil Earnings Jump: Russian oil producer OAO Lukoil Holdings reported a 65% rise in second-quarter net profit due to higher oil prices and oil output, as well as increased refining margins. Lukoil also unveiled a plan to double its oil output to 4 million barrels a day by 2016.

•Occidental Earnings Fall: Occidental Petroleum posted a 33% drop in third-quarter earnings but enjoyed higher revenue due to increased oil and gas production and a strong performance in its chemicals division.

•India Seeks Refinery in Turkey: India’s top oil refiner, Indian Oil Corporation, has asked Turkish regulators for the right to build a $6 billion refinery at Ceyhan, according to TradingMarkets.com.

•Clamor for Nukes: More countries than ever want the United Nations nuclear-energy watchdog to give them the OK to have nuclear power, the Chicago Tribune reports.

•Bad Weather Shuts Norwegian Field: Bad weather forced Norway’s state-controlled Statoil ASA to shut down an offshore oil field that produces 140,000 barrels daily because of lifeboat restrictions.

•Pacific Ethanol Makes Deal: Ethanol producer Pacific Ethanol said it bought a minority interest in Colorado ethanol-plant operator Front Range Energy LLC from Eagle Energy LLC in a deal worth more than $60 million.

•Home-Heating Tips: Want to save money on your home-heating bill this winter? The Associated Press has tips.

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