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WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE NEWS: Oil News Roundup: January 26, 2007 5:03 p.m.

Crude-oil prices rallied all day and finished above $55 a barrel Friday as freezing temperatures across the East Coast raised the prospects of increased heating-fuel consumption.

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

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BELARUS THREATENS NEW DUTIES: President Alexander Lukashenko threatened to slap fresh duties on Russian oil sent through Belarus to Europe unless Moscow sells it oil at a cheaper price — raising the specter of a repeat of this month’s supply cutoff. Mr. Lukashenko, who was been branded “Europe’s last dictator” for his iron-fisted rule, has made a series of defiant statements in recent weeks, accusing Russia of trying crush or absorb the former Soviet republic. He has also pledged to seek less-strained ties with Europe.

•Ukraine Working on New Pipeline: Ukraine’s prime minister said he is working to complete a pipeline to carry Caspian-region oil directly to the European Union, the Daily Davos reports.

•Lukoil Gives Contract to McDermott: Russia’s biggest oil producer, OAO Lukoil, awarded a contract to a subsidiary of U.S. energy services company McDermott to build an oil pipeline under the Caspian Sea.

•India, Russia in Talks: India and Russia are in talks about giving Indian companies a greater stake in Russia’s oil reserves, in exchange for Russian companies being allowed to do more refining and retailing in India, the Islamic Republic News Agency reports.

•Halliburton Profit Down: Halliburton’s fourth-quarter net fell 40%, hurt by a provision for income taxes. KBR, which was partially spun off from Halliburton in November, saw net income decline 23%.

•Eni’s Discovery: Italian oil company Eni said it has made an important new oil discovery off the coast of Angola as it seeks to increase its production in the West African nation.

•Suncor Sets Oil-Sands Growth Plan: Suncor Energy plans to expand its Canadian oil-sands operations to double its output to more than half-a-million barrels a day, the Toronto Star reports.

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