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Energy News: Conflict in Gaza Pushes Up Oil Prices

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Plus, Exxon and Shell face delays on Kashagan output boost.

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This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on energy from around the Web.

Oil & Gas Journal
Link: MARKET WATCH: Escalating Conflict in Gaza Pushes Up Oil Prices
"Crude oil prices climbed November 16 as conflict continued between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip while the price of natural gas jumped 8% to a 12-month high in the New York market on expectations of a colder winter despite a bearish inventory report earlier.

"The Energy Information Administration reported the withdrawal of 18 bcf of natural gas from US underground storage last week. That reduced working gas in storage to 3.911 tcf. However, stocks are still 71 bcf higher than a year ago and 209 bcf above the 5-year average."

Bloomberg News
Link: Exxon, Shell Said to Face Delay on Kashagan Output Boost
"Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE:XOM), Royal Dutch Shell Plc (NYSE:RDS.A) and their partners in Kazakhstan's Kashagan oil field face a delay of at least two years on a plan to boost output 20 percent, reducing the time they have to recoup costs in the $46 billion project that's already running eight years late, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

"Kazakhstan has told the partners to put the $5 billion step-up plan, taking output to as much as 450,000 from 370,000 barrels day, on hold until they study how the start of production next year affects the deposit, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private."

PV Insider
Link: Thin Film Intelligence Brief 7
"EDF Energies Nouvelles has commissioned a solar power plant in Toul-Rosières in the Lorraine region of eastern France, with an installed capacity of 115 MWp. The project involved decontamination and conversion of a former military base.

"The large-scale plant is equipped with around 1.4 million thin-film photovoltaic panels manufactured by First Solar (NYSE:FSLR). The power generated at this plant will be equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of some 55,000 people and eliminate around 4,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, according to EDF EN."

Basics Media
Link: BP Pays Another $ 4.5 Billion Over 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill – PFE, APC
"BP PLC (NYSE:BP) finally settled its criminal liability under governmental claims yesterday after it agreed to pay highest ever criminal penalty of $ 4.5 billion an amount that clearly surpassed the record highest liability of $ 1.195 billion paid by Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) in 2009. The settlement did not cover the claims from lenders and private plaintiff, Federal government, Louisiana Alabama. State officials remain divided on governing laws and level of authority over funds received."

CNBC
Link: Carl Icahn Takes Bigger Slice of Chesapeake Energy
"Activist investor Carl Icahn bumped up his stake in Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK), a company where he has already pushed for sweeping changes in governance.

"Shares rose 1.6% Tuesday before the opening bell.

"A regulatory filing shows Icahn now owns 8.98%, compared with a 7.6% stake in the Oklahoma City company he held this summer. Icahn first invested in Chesapeake Energy Corp. in May."
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