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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: November 1, 2006 4:53 p.m.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
November 1, 2006 4:53 p.m.

Crude-oil futures ended the day nearly unchanged at just less than $59 a barrel after a volatile trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Here’s Wednesday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

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SKEPTICAL SUPREMES: Several Supreme Court justices reacted skeptically to a Clinton-era clean-air plan that is costing the electric power industry billions of dollars for installation of pollution control equipment at aging coal-fired plants. The government reluctantly joined environmental groups in the fight against Duke Energy over the interpretation of 26-year-old federal rules that the Bush administration has proposed relaxing. The outcome of the case wasn’t clear, however, with the nine-member court appearing to be sharply divided on how to rule.

•Dominion to Divest: Dominion Resources disclosed a plan to divest most of its oil and gas production assets and shift the company’s focus to electricity generation and energy distribution, storage and its retail business.

•Favorable Ruling for Frontier: A Los Angeles court ruled to protect Frontier Oil from lawsuits against it and its Wainoco subsidiary claiming that emissions from oil production facilities located on the Beverly Hills High School campus caused cancer and other health problems in students, employees and area residents. Wainoco will remain a defendant in the suits.

•Halliburton Agrees to SEC Extension: Halliburton has said it will agree to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s request for more time to investigate possible bribery and corruption in connection with the company’s natural gas operations in Nigeria.

•Toxic Spill in China: Water supplies to 28,000 people in northern China have been cut after an overturned truck spilled 33 tons of toxic oil into a river, the latest mishap involving the country’s already polluted waterways.

•Venezuela at Risk: Venezuela may not be prepared to handle falling oil prices, a Citigroup research report warned today, Bloomberg reports.

•’A Compelling Case’: The recent report from the U.K. government arguing for quick action to fight global warming makes ‘a compelling case,’ Martin Wolf argues in the Financial Times (subscription required).

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