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The WALL STREET JOURNAL: Oil News Roundup: Saturday June 10, 2006

Oil prices resumed their climb, gaining more than $1 to settle at nearly $72 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Worries about Nigerian production egged prices higher, as did the kidnapping of an Iraqi oil official. Here is Friday’s roundup of oil and energy news.

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NIGERIAN DISRUPTION: Tony Chukwueke, director of Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resources, sent ripples through global oil markets when he said militants had shut down about 800,000 barrels a day of his country’s oil production. Previous estimates had pegged the loss at just 500,000 barrels. Mr. Chukwueke quickly retracted his higher estimate and said the 500,000 figure was more accurate, but emphasized that his government was worried that interminable hostage-taking by militants could lead to greater losses.

KIDNAPPING IN IRAQ: Gunmen kidnapped Muthanna al-Badria, director general of Iraq’s state company for oil projects, or SCOP, in Baghdad. The incident was evidence the death of Iraqi insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi will likely have no immediate impact on Iraq’s oil supply.

•Crude Trade: High oil prices helped widen the U.S. trade deficit with the rest of the world in April, breaking a rare, unexpected, two-month streak during which the gap shrank.

•G-8 Worries: Finance ministers of the Group of Eight industrialised nations will focus on rising oil prices and energy security at its meeting this weekend in St. Petersburg, the Financial Times reports.

•Ethanol by the Numbers: In case you missed it, Carl Bialik’s Numbers Guy column investigates the claims made for and against ethanol production.

•Green With Envy: Some U.S. colleges have refreshed old rivalries by competing to advance green technology, the Associated Press reports.

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