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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE: Oil News Roundup: January 5, 2007 5:22 p.m.

Crude-oil futures mounted a late rally and ended above $56 a barrel Friday after dipping below $55, partially reversing the worst two-day selloff since December 2004.

Here is Friday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

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PUSH FOR PERMANENT DRILLING BAN: Opponents of oil drilling in an Alaskan wildlife refuge are going on offense after playing defense for a quarter of a century. They want the new Democratic Congress to make an oft-challenged drilling ban permanent. Legislation introduced in the House would make the oil-rich 1.2 million-acre coastal strip of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge a permanently protected wilderness and end repeated efforts to open the area east of the Prudhoe oil field to energy companies.

•Oil’s Slide a Boon to Drivers: U.S. drivers could start seeing lower prices at the pump as early as this weekend, thanks to the cascading price of crude oil and a seasonal dip in gasoline, the Associated Press reports.

•Enel to Build Wind Farms: Enel, Italy’s largest utility, said it will build two wind farms in the United States and Canada with a combined capacity of 277 megawatts as part of a $5.2 billion investment in renewable energy.

•Brussels to Continue Energy Crackdown: European Commission competition commissioner Neelie Kroes plans to intensify her crackdown on Europe’s energy sector, alleging collusion and other misdeeds, the Financial Times reports (subscription required).

•Belarus Talks Possible: Belarusian Prime Minister Sergei Sidorsky plans to hold talks in Moscow next week to defuse a dispute with Russia over oil supplies and transit of the commodity across Belarus.

•Pipeline Leak Energizes Foes: A pipeline rupture that leaked thousands of gallons of crude oil across a frozen field caused little environmental damage, yet it re-energized a group that already has gone to court trying to block a new pipeline planned for the same route through Wisconsin.

•Worries About Corn: A boom in ethanol production facilities is raising worries that there won’t be enough corn left in the U.S. for eating, the New York Times reports. and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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