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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE: Oil News Roundup: January 9, 2007 4:56 p.m.

Crude-oil futures fell, but recovered some lost ground by the end of the trading session, as U.S. weather forecasts predicted more winter-like weather in the coming days.

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

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MORE RUSSIAN FALLOUT: German Chancellor Andrea Merkel blasted Russia for cutting off a key oil-supply line through Belarus, the Washington Post reports. Russia claims Belarus forced it to shut the pipeline down, the BBC reports. Russia’s decision has put Europe in a quandary, the Financial Times reports (subscription required), as European leaders have love for neither the Kremlin nor Belarus’s government. Analyst Robin Shepherd writes in the FT that Europe must make a “strong, concerted response” to the Kremlin, though he doesn’t suggest what, exactly, it should do.

•Critics: EU Energy Proposal ‘Lacks Bite’: The EU will unveil a new energy and environmental policy tomorrow, details of which have already been widely reported. Critics say the proposal “lacks bite,” Reuters reports.

•Bush Lifts Alaskan Ban: President Bush lifted the drilling ban for Alaska’s Bristol Bay, clearing the way for the Interior Department to open the fish-rich waters to oil and natural gas development. Alaska officials as well as local communities had asked for the ban to be lifted, but environmentalists have warned against drilling in the bay, which is also a major fishing area for salmon, crab and cod.

•Heavy Price for Energy Demand: The developing world is paying a heavy price in pollution and inefficiency by relying on cheap diesel generators to satisfy its energy demand, the New York Times reports.

•U.S. Warns China: The U.S. has urged China to reconsider its reported $16 billion natural gas deal with Iran out of regard for international efforts to sanction Tehran over its nuclear program, a U.S. Embassy spokeswoman said.

•Cnooc Going Green: China National Offshore Oil Corp. underlined its ambition to become a leader in the fast-growing green-energy industry, saying it plans to invest in a $5.5 billion Indonesian biofuels project with two partners. The move would represent Cnooc’s first foray into the overseas biofuels sector.

•BP Output Steadies: BP expects to report near-flat production in the fourth quarter of 2006, stemming a five-period decline in output, but indicating it will likely miss its production target for the year.

•Cairn Shares Fall: Shares of Cairn India Ltd., a subsidiary of Cairn Energy PLC of the U.K., closed 14% below their IPO price in their debut, amid concerns about the quality of the company’s crude oil and falling global oil prices.

•SK Hopes to Revive IPO: SK Corp., South Korea’s largest oil refiner by capacity, is looking to revive a stalled IPO of SK Incheon Oil Refinery, according to people familiar with the plan, even as refiners’ profit margins have been narrowing.

•AGL Considers Spinoff: AGL Energy Ltd. said it will consider spinning off a separately listed retail operation if its $10.92 billion proposed merger with Origin Energy Ltd. goes ahead.

•Alinta Gets Buyout Offer: Australian gas and electricity distributor Alinta Ltd. has received a management buyout proposal that may also involve Macquarie Bank, signaling that corporate activity in Australia’s energy and infrastructure sector is continuing in 2007.

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