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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE: Oil News Roundup: January 16, 2007 4:44 p.m.

Crude-oil futures tumbled more than 3% to $51.21 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said major oil producers need not cut production further, disappointing hopes that OPEC would intervene to prop up prices.

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

BP’S DILEMMA: BP is scrambling to minimize the damage from a critical independent safety review of its U.S. operations, promising to embrace a number of sweeping changes at its American oil refineries, including engaging an independent body to monitor safety practices at the company. An 11-member panel led by former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III sharply criticized practices at BP’s American refineries, saying the company lacked strong leadership on safety. The panel said it found significant problems at BP’s five U.S. refineries, which BP commissioned the panel to assess after an explosion at its plant in Texas City, Texas, killed 15 workers in March 2005.

•Saudi Denies Using Oil as Weapon: A Saudi official dismissed talk that his nation was trying to drive oil prices lower as a way to punish Iran, Washington Wire reports.

•Shell Staff Flees Nigerian Violence: Royal Dutch Shell evacuated staff from two oil installations in southern Nigeria and the military boosted troop levels in the volatile area after a dozen village elders were killed in a riverboat attack, officials said.

•Warning on ‘Carbon Capture’ Technology: Analysts warn that carbon-capture technology, which pulls polluting carbon emissions from coal-burning power stations, may not be the answer to global warming, the Financial Times reports.

•East Asia Looks to Biofuels: Leaders of east Asian nations agreed to rely more on biofuels in their quest for energy alternatives, a boost to the sector, the FT reports. and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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