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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: November 24, 2006 1:33 p.m.

November 24, 2006 1:33 p.m.

Crude-oil futures rose Friday, joining a broader rally in commodities markets as a major rout of the dollar and deadly car bomb attacks in Iraq combined to create a safe-haven bid. Crude for January delivery was up 54 cents to $59.78 a barrel in electronic trading. The New York Mercantile Exchange was closed Friday for an extended Thanksgiving holiday, so the contract could only trade electronically. Here is Friday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

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FORCE MAJEURE: Italian oil titan Eni has declared a force majeure on 60,000 barrels a day of crude oil produced at the Okono/Okpoho oilfield by its Nigerian Agip SpA subsidiary, MarketWatch reports. A force majeure removes contract liability in the case of an unforeseen event. Militants attacked the offshore facility earlier this week, taking seven expatriates as hostages. One foreign oil worker was later killed in a rescue attempt led by government forces.

• Premier Deal? Britain’s Premier oil, long the subject of takeover rumors, is said to be a target of ONGC-Mittal, a joint venture between Indian explorer Oil & Natural Gas Corp and Mittal Steel. The report from Guardian Unlimited said other possible suitors named recently have been India’s Reliance Industries, a bidder from the United Arab Emirates and even Royal Dutch Shell.

• Thinking Twice: Lower oil prices may start to scare away suitors of Alberta’s vast oil-sands deposits, reports the Globe & Mail. One example emerged Wednesday, when two Chinese companies said they have lost interest in an EnCana project because of the fall-off in crude.

• Family’s Strike: A husband-and-wife team’s dream of striking oil has come true in Europe, the BBC reports, and they are now working on a partnership with Petro-Canada to develop the find.

• Techip in Play: Technip shares soared Friday on a report that Italian oil company Eni SpA is planning a bid for the French oil services and engineering company.

• Energy IPO: China Merchants Energy Shipping, primarily involved in oceangoing oil transportation, said Thursday it finalized the price of its initial public offering of Class A shares, raising 4.45 billion yuan, or $565.5 million.

• Pipeline Agreement: Russia’s state pipeline operator Transneft agreed with Ukrainian’s Ukrtransnafta to raise the volume of oil pumped through Ukraine in 2007. and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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