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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil News Roundup: December 13, 2006 4:20 p.m.

Crude-oil futures rose to more than $61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after the federal Energy Information Administration reported across-the-board draws in U.S. petroleum stocks, including a surprisingly large decline in crude inventories. Here is Wednesday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

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OPEC MAY HOLD STEADY: OPEC may keep production steady, the organization’s president suggested, despite renewed calls by some oil ministers for new cuts to shore up prices. Until recently, OPEC President Edmund Daukoru had been a firm backer of cuts. But on Wednesday he said OPEC first had to “look at the facts” before making a decision. And Saudi Arabia has also indicated there was less sentiment to cut than just a few days ago. The International Energy Agency urged OPEC not to cut production.

•Sakhalin Group May Miss Drilling Target: International energy consortium Sakhalin Energy, 55% owned by Royal Dutch Shell, said it will probably miss a January target to start drilling for natural gas at the Lunskoye gas field offshore Russia. The delay comes because the Russian state environmental regulatory agency hasn’t given its approval. Earlier this week, Shell offered to bow out of the troubled, $20 billion project.

•Coal IPO Hot: China Coal Energy Co., China’s second-largest coal producer by revenue, raised $1.7 billion from its Hong Kong initial public offering after pricing the shares at 4.05 Hong Kong dollars (52 U.S. cents) each, the top end of the indicative range.

•Iraq Oil-Law Talks Stall: Talks among Iraq’s competing political factions about the best way to handle foreign investment in Iraq’s oil industry have stalled.

•Kinder Morgan, Energy Transfer Team Up: Energy companies Kinder Morgan Energy Partners and Energy Transfer Partners said they will jointly develop a $1.25 billion, 500-mile pipeline.

•Exxon Dismisses ‘Peak Oil’ Talk: An Exxon Mobil executive on Tuesday dismissed worries that the world’s oil production has peaked or will peak soon, saying there is plenty of oil to meet demand until at least 2030. and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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