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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE: Oil News Roundup: January 12, 2007 5:26 p.m.

Crude-oil futures rose from a 19-month low Friday, boosted by OPEC talk of an emergency meeting to discuss further production cuts.

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

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BP TAPS NEW LEADERSHIP: John Brown, the oil titan’s chief executive, has said he will step down 18 months earlier than planned. His successor is to be Tony Hayward, who lead’s the company’s exploration and production division. BP hopes the move can help bury a string of political slip-ups in the U.S., such as a deadly refinery explosion in 2005 and an Alaskan oil spill last year.

•Pumping Profits: OAO Lukoil, Russia’s biggest oil firm by volume, said its third-quarter net income rose 10% to $2.43 billion on the back of higher average crude-oil prices. The figure was 3.8% above a consensus forecast of $2.34 billion according to a Dow Jones Newswires survey of nine analysts. The company’s American depositary shares, however, fell 1.3%.

•Hostages Free: Nigerian gunmen freed nine South Korean oil workers unharmed on Friday after they spent three days in captivity, Nigerian officials said. Gunmen traveling in several boats on Wednesday set off an explosion in an office building in Bayelsa state and seized the nine men.

•Dems’ Energy Push: Democrats in the House will recommend a conservation fee on oil and natural gas taken from the Gulf if prices remain high. Oil firms would also be prohibited from future lease sales unless they agree to renegotiate leases that have allowed them to avoid federal royalty payments.

•Oil Duties: Russia will slash duties on oil exports to Belarus by 70% and Belarus will share with Moscow profits from refined products sold to Europe, according to Russian news agencies.

•Gas Guzzling: CNN/Money takes a stab at why gasoline prices rocket higher when oil goes up, but crawl lower when oil falls. It’s simple economics, when folks buy the same amount of gas.

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