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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
July 19, 2006 6:59 p.m.

Crude-oil futures tumbled for the third consecutive day, falling nearly $1 a barrel to settle at less than $73 after U.S. government data showed continuing gains in oil and gasoline supplies. Oil prices have lost nearly 6% in the three trading days since settling at a record high of more than $77 a barrel. Here’s Wednesday’s roundup of oil and energy news.

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INDIA UNVEILS RESERVE PLANS: India will start building its first strategic crude-oil storage facility in January at Vizag in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, a government official told The Wall Street Journal. The facility will have a capacity of one million tons, or 7.33 million barrels, of crude oil, and will be ready in January 2010. Two more crude-storage facilities, with even bigger capacities, will also be built. The reserves reflect India’s growing demand for energy supplies and could help keep a floor under global oil prices.

•BP Shuts Down Wells: BP PLC is closing 12 oil wells on Alaska’s North Slope as a precaution after whistleblowers alleged more than 50 were leaking. The action came after workers told the Financial Times about the leaks (subscription required).

•Plan for CAFE Standards: A bipartisan group of senators is trying a new tack in the long-standing effort to raise fuel economy standards: Require an increase unless the Transportation Department can show it’s a bad idea, Washington Wire reports.

•Energy Blameless in CPI Gain: The U.S. consumer price index, a key measure of consumer price inflation rose in June despite the first decline in energy prices since February.

•Hydro Power: With gasoline prices hovering around $3 a gallon, a select group of government workers, academics and individuals are testing hydrogen-powered vehicles in demonstration projects across the U.S., the Associated Press reports.

•Turning Down the Juice: At the request of New York City power-grid operators, big electricity customers used less juice, helping ease the strain on the system even as temperatures soared.

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