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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil News Roundup: December 1, 2006 4:49 p.m.

Crude-oil futures extended their gains into a fifth straight session Friday, settling at a two-month high of more than $63 on New York Mercantile Exchange, partly on supportive comments from OPEC officials. Here is Friday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

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OFFSHORE DRILLING BILL MOVES: Abandoning months of opposition, House Republicans agreed to move an offshore drilling bill that would open new territory in the Gulf Coast to oil rigs, but would not ease restrictions on coastal waters elsewhere. House leaders had blocked the bill, wanting more-ambitious legislation that would allow drilling in coastal waters across the country. But with time running out on the party’s majority rule, GOP leaders will send the compromise bill to the House floor on Tuesday.

•Another OPEC Cut Likely: OPEC is likely to trim production again, the president of the oil cartel, adding that he expects a cut of at least 500,000 barrels a day.

•Pakistan Sells Stake: The Pakistani government said it sold a 10% stake in the country’s biggest oil company, Oil and Gas Development Co., to international investors for $813 million in a deal it said highlighted global confidence in the country.

•First Delivery for ONGC: India’s state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Co. took its first delivery of oil from the Sakhalin-1 field in Russia, which it co-owns with Exxon Mobil, Rosneft and a Japanese company.

•The Root of All Evil: Wherever there’s trouble in the world, you can bet oil’s not far away, Victor Davis Hanson, a senior fellow and historian at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, writes in a Chicago Tribune op-ed piece.

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