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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil News Roundup: December 4, 2006 6:08 p.m.

Crude-oil prices fell below $63 a barrel, while natural-gas futures dropped more than 7% with traders concerned about the potential for U.S. energy supplies to outpace demand. Here is Monday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

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CHINA AND OPEC: China wants to negotiate directly with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to secure oil supply and an equitable share of the oil market, according to the Associated Press. “Only through this can we maintain security and stability of our oil imports,” Zhai Jun, China’s assistant minister of foreign affairs, said in a speech to the Arab Strategy Forum in Dubai. Soaring demand for oil in rapidly industrializing China has been blamed as one of the chief causes for oil prices that have spiraled higher over the past two years.

• Norway Warning: Norway should step up exploration if it is to continue as a significant oil exporter, according to national oil industry association report. “We have no time to lose,” it said. “Exploration activity must be intensified and its results must be improved.”

• Oil Curse: A World Bank economist said Angola needs to use more of its oil revenues in much-needed infrastructure or it could end up cursed by its natural resources.

• Alaskan Drilling: President Bush is deciding whether to lift a 17-year moratorium on drilling in southwest Alaskan waters. The area has vast deposits of natural gas and could greatly expand domestic supplied of fossil fuel.

Iraq Instability: A former top U.N. adviser warned that a sectarian split in Iraq would create an unstable oil industry and harm the sector.

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