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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: September 5, 2006 4:18 p.m.

September 5, 2006 4:18 p.m.

Crude-oil prices tumbled to less than $69 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as worries about hurricane season and tensions with Iran ebbed and Chevron announced a potentially significant new deepwater source of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Here is Tuesday’s roundup of oil and energy news.

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EXPLORATION DEAL: As the oil-exploration industry absorbed Chevron’s news, it also reacted to news that French oil and gas field surveyor Compagnie Generale de Geophysique agreed to buy U.S. rival Veritas DGC Inc. for $3.1 billion in cash and stock. The deal establishes a major new global player in the booming oil-exploration industry.

•Repercussions of Russian Deal: Resolution of a price dispute between Russia and Turkmenistan will likely bolster the reliability of natural-gas supplies to Europe this winter, according to analysts, though the $16 billion deal further tightens Moscow’s grip on energy supplies from Central Asia.

•Russia Sues to Stop Project: Russia’s environmental regulator filed suit seeking to revoke approval for a $20 billion international oil project led by Royal Dutch Shell on the Pacific island of Sakhalin.

•Talisman to Auction Oil-Sands Properties: Talisman Energy Inc. plans to auction off some of its oil-sands assets to raise cash for share buybacks.

•Premier Denies Shell Approach: The U.K.’s Premier Oil denied a Dow Jones Newswires report it had received a takeover bid from Royal Dutch Shell.

•Indian Oil Workers Call Off Strike: Workers at 13 state-owned Indian oil companies delayed a planned strike for three weeks after the government promised to consider their demands.

•Japan Still Worried About Iran Sanctions: Though U.S. oil traders have lately grown less worried about tensions between Iran and the West, Nippon Oil Chairman Fumiaki Watari warned sanctions appear inevitable against Iran, where Japan buys nearly 15% of its oil, the Voice of America reports.

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