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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE: Oil News Roundup: December 14, 2006 5:02 p.m.

Crude-oil futures rose more than $1 a barrel to close at $62.51 after OPEC announced plans to cut production in February. Here is Thursday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

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OPEC AGREES TO CUT: In a strong signal it will try to prevent oil prices from sliding further, OPEC said it plans to slice its output by an additional 1.9% starting Feb. 1. The cartel also accepted Angola, whose oil output is climbing sharply, as its 12th member — the first new entrant since 1973. The West African country will join March 1, the Qatari oil minister told The Wall Street Journal. The real impact of the cartel’s latest output move on oil markets remains unclear. The big unknown is whether OPEC members will actually implement the decision, which calls for a cut of 500,000 barrels a day.

•Sudan’s Oil Boom: Sudan is enjoying an oil-fueled economic boom even as its war-torn Darfur region suffers through brutal violence. Some here call the boom a hopeful sign that this famine-prone African country is pulling itself together. Others, however, fear the new affluence could give Sudan’s government powerful leeway to brush off the threat of sanctions from the West.

•Avoiding Iraq: Violence, uncertainty about oilfield control and rampant corruption have conspired to keep foreign investors away from Iraq’s oil industry, CNN/Money reports.

•Iran Oil, Gas Revenue Up: Revenue from Iran’s oil and gas exports rose 15% between March and November, the AFP reports.

•Big Energy Users to Meet in China: China, blamed by some for high oil prices, plans to host a meeting of top energy users in an effort to play a bigger role in keeping prices down.

•Uranium in Them Thar Hills: Metal mining claims on federal lands in the West have increased almost 50% in the past four years, in large part because a resurgence in nuclear power has led to a renewed interest in uranium exploration.

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