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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: September 26, 2006 4:41 p.m.

September 26, 2006 4:41 p.m.

Crude-oil futures continued their recent volatile trade, falling to close at nearly $61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after rising nearly $1 on Monday. Here is Tuesday’s roundup of oil and energy news.

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ALASKA LEASE SALE HALTED: A federal judge late Monday halted the sale of federal oil leases on a portion of Alaska’s North Slope that environmentalists have pinpointed as a haven for migratory birds and calving caribou. The decision blocks the sale of about 1.7 million acres that the Bureau of Land Management had planned for Wednesday. The sale would have included the Teshekpuk Lake area, which sits above 2 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

•Lawmakers Demand Royalties: U.S. lawmakers demanded the Interior Department find ways to recover the $1 billion in unpaid oil royalties owed by energy companies due to a government mistake in the late 1990s.

•Latest Twist in Endesa Saga: In the latest twist in a year-long struggle for control of Spanish power utility Endesa SA, construction and infrastructure-services company Acciona SA said it had acquired a 10% stake in Endesa for about 3.4 billion euros, or about $4.3 billion.

•Russia Sends Fuel to Iran: Russia will ship fuel to a controversial atomic power plant it is building in Iran by March under an agreement signed today — a deal that should allay Iranian suspicions Moscow is dragging its feet and add to Western fears over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

•Russia Making Foreign Investors Nervous: Russia’s mixed signals about how it will handle its natural resources could keep foreign companies from investing in the country, the Financial Times reports.

•Iranians Frustrated: Iranians are increasingly frustrated about not sharing in the nation’s oil wealth, the Financial Times reports.

•Hard Out There for Big Oil: No matter what you might think, this is not an easy time to be an oil major, Abigail Townsend argues in the Belfast Telegraph.

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