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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: October 12, 2006 4:42 p.m.

October 12, 2006 4:42 p.m.

Oil prices rebounded, partly in reaction to a surprise decline in heating-oil stocks, but still finished below $58 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Here is Thursday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

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CHINA’S RECORD CRUDE IMPORTS: China, the world’s No. 2 oil consumer after the U.S., imported a record volume of crude in September, despite Beijing’s efforts to conserve energy and curb runaway economic growth. The fast-growing appetite for oil among developing countries, particularly China, was a major factor in the recent runup in oil prices. The latest figures show that demand isn’t abating, keeping pressure on supplies even as oil prices ease.

MORE TROUBLE IN ALASKA: A power outage reduced output from Prudhoe Bay, America’s largest oil field, to about 35,000 barrels per day from about 350,000. Prudhoe operator BP blames the outage on a “highly unusual weather event,” but at least one industry analyst says it’s another indication of BP trying to operate with too few maintenance workers and facing interruptions because of it.

•Record Trade Deficit: America’s trade deficit unexpectedly jumped to a new record in August, led by another record foreign oil bill, which pushed imports up to an all-time high.

•Report Criticizes U.S. Energy Policy: The U.S. must wean itself off foreign energy supplies or continue to wrestle with the tensions arising from energy needs that undermine foreign policy, a report from the Council on Foreign Relations warned.

•Europe Faces Power Shortage: Europe faces power shortages in the near future, as the construction of new power stations has failed to keep up with demand, the Financial Times reports.

•Cairn Plans IPO: U.K. oil-exploration group Cairn Energy said it is on track to list its Indian subsidiary on the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange of India in December.

•Nigerian Hostages Freed: Nigerian militants released all 60 foreign oil workers taken hostage earlier this week.

•Oil Workers Trapped in Peru: Foreign oil workers in Peru were trapped by indigenous people protesting water pollution.

•France, Germany Seek EU Energy Policy: France and Germany pledged to work toward creating an EU-wide energy policy that would help keep prices down and ensure supplies for years to come.

•Dropping Citgo: Gas stations throughout the U.S. have stopped selling Citgo gas in protest of recent comments by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Citgo is controlled by Venezuela’s state-owned oil company. and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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