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The Wall Street Journal: Oil News Roundup: October 13, 2006 4:49 p.m.

October 13, 2006 4:49 p.m.

Oil prices surged again, settling at $58.57 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on news of a production shutdown in Norway and OPEC plans to cut production. Here is Friday’s roundup of oil and energy news:

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ANGOLA’S OIL BOOM: Chevron’s $2.3 billion Benguela Belize oil platform, dwarfing the Statue of Liberty at 1,680 feet, is a testament to Africa’s growing importance in an energy-hungry world fearful of dependence on the explosive Middle East and to Angola’s growing importance within Africa. Angola is the latest example of the growth of oil in Africa – and of its potential to both help and hurt, the Associated Press reports.

PIPELINE BLAST VICTIMS FOUND: Searchers found the body of a fourth victim near the site of a natural-gas explosion off the Louisiana coast as they braved choppy waters and the danger of a second blast in attempt to locate two people still missing. The blast occurred when a tugboat pushing two barges hit the pipeline Thursday in West Cote Blanche Bay, about two miles from shore and 100 miles southwest of New Orleans, the Coast Guard said.

•ConocoPhillips to Pay Fine: ConocoPhillips will pay $540,000 to Washington state for a 1,000-gallon oil spill that marred 21 miles of Puget Sound shorelines in 2004.

•Cleaning up Diesel’s Image: Diesel engines mainly power trucks, buses and construction equipment in the U.S. and have long been scorned by environmentalists. That dirty image is changing, however, and could spark renewed interest in diesel-powered passenger vehicles.

•Bad News for Emerging Markets: If oil and other commodity prices sink further, it will be bad news for emerging markets and the investors who have poured billions of dollars into them over the past three years, the AP’s Ellen Simon writes.

•Bad News for Investment Bankers: Tumbling prices could also cool merger activity in the energy sector, Reuters reports.

•Groups Assert Nuke Terror Risk: Environmental groups opposed to expanding a nuclear power plant accused federal regulators of failing to publicly address whether the project would increase the risk of terrorism.

•Bolivia, Argentina in Natural-Gas Accord: Bolivia plans to sell Argentina natural gas worth more than $16 billion over the next 20 years.

•Ethical Issues for Oil Companies: Major oil companies are revisiting their ethics guidelines as they increasingly do business with unsavory governments around the world, MarketWatch reports.

•Mountains May Lose Caps: Africa’s two highest mountains — Mounts Kilimanjaro and Kenya — will lose their ice cover within 25 to 50 years if deforestation and industrial pollution are not stopped, environmentalists warned Thursday. and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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