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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil News Roundup: November 27, 2006 5:10 p.m.

Crude-oil futures rallied more than $1 to close at more than $60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on forecasts of a cold front moving into the Northeast and the prospects of further production cuts by OPEC. Here is Monday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

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ATTACKS IN IRAQ, SUDAN: A mortar attack ignited a huge fire at an oil facility in northern Iraq, shutting the flow of crude oil to a major refinery. The fire was burning out of control and could take hours or longer to extinguish, and the flow of oil from all of Kirkuk’s rich fields has been shut down to the massive Beiji refinery to the southwest. Another pipeline south of Baghdad was also attacked, though damage was minimal. Meanwhile, Sudan’s Darfur rebels attacked an oil field in Southern Kordofan, making a rare extension of their campaign eastwards toward Khartoum.

MASSIVE DAM CONSTRUCTION IN CHINA: Construction has begun on a $3.7 billion hydroelectric dam in southwestern China that will displace from 88,000 to about 150,000 people, the Associated Press reports. China plans to build another 12 hydropower stations along the upper reaches of the Yangtze, known as the Jinsha river, to help meet soaring demand from booming industries. Hydroelectric power is viewed as a relatively clean alternative to the heavily polluting coal-fired plants that are the country’s main source of energy. But some critics have questioned the environmental and social impacts of so many huge projects.

•Kazakh Field More Productive: Kazakhstan’s Kashagan oil field, considered to be the world’s biggest oil discovery in 30 years, will be 25% more productive than expected, the Financial Times reports.

•Oil-for-Food Inquiry: Top officials from Australia’s monopoly wheat exporter deceived the United Nations and likely broke Australian law by paying more than $200 million to the Saddam Hussein regime under the U.N.’s Iraqi oil-for-food program, a government inquiry reported.

•BP Faces Fines in Indiana: Indiana workplace-safety regulators have proposed fining BP about $384,000 for a series of violations at the company’s Whiting, Ind., refinery, the latest safety setback for the British oil giant at its U.S. facilities.

•Kuwaitis Fight Over Oil Take: Kuwaiti lawmakers have often directed their tiny emirate’s booming oil revenues to pay off the private debts of the country’s one million citizens. Now the country’s ruling emir and his ministers are pushing back, insisting that recent oil windfalls believed to be in the billions be invested instead, the Associated Press reports.

•Big Oil Squeezing Supply?: An Associated Press analysis, based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, suggests that big oil companies have been crimping supplies in subtler ways across the country for years. And tighter supplies tend to drive up prices.

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