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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE: Oil News Roundup: January 17, 2007 4:05 p.m.

Crude-oil futures staged a late rally and climbed above $52 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after dropping to a new 20-month low but finding support just above $50 a barrel.

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

•CHINA DEAL MAY CALM MARKETS: The International Energy Agency is close to an agreement with China that would increase the transparency of the country’s plans for its strategic petroleum reserves, the IEA’s chief said, a development that could ease volatility in global oil prices.

•Nigerians Negotiate for Hostage Release: A Nigerian militant group holding three Italian oil workers hostage said it was negotiating for their release with a state government in the restive southern region.

•Anadarko Sells Assets: In the latest of a number of deals to reduce debt, oil and gas producer Anadarko Petroleum said it agreed to sell its interests in Wyoming’s Elk Basin and Gooseberry oil fields to Encore Acquisition for $400 million in cash.

•Talisman Finds Oil Off Vietnam Coast: Talisman Energy, one day after shedding assets in the North Sea, has reported “significant oil rates” at the Hai Su Trang exploration well off Vietnam.

•Crude’s Fall Makes a Splash: MarketBeat sorts out the implications of crude’s recent swoon for the economy, markets and energy stocks.

•Gazprom Seeks Makeover: Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned oil giant, cast as the villain in a series of energy controversies pitting the Kremlin against former Soviet republics, is talking to public-relations firms about ways to bolster its image, the Financial Times reports. and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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