AFX NEWS BRIEFING:
Oil and utilities highlights to 15:45 BST
2006-09-29 15:28:52 Kazmunaigaz IPO price set towards top of range, values group at 6.2 bln usd will be floated at the upper end of the indicated range, valuing the Kazakh gas and oil firm at about 6.2 bln usd, the company said.
2006-09-29 15:28:04 Marathon Oil to drill up to 300 new wells
BISMARCK, N.D. (AFX) - Marathon Oil Corp.'s plans to drill as many as 300 new wells in western North Dakota within five years haven't been affected by a recent oil price slump, a top executive says.
2006-09-29 15:23:55 Avista files gas cost adjustments
SPOKANE, Wash. (AFX) - Energy company Avista Corp. said Friday it filed revised purchased gas cost adjustments with the Idaho and Washington state utility commissions that would result in a price decrease of 2 percent in Idaho, and a price increase of 2.5 percent in Washington.
2006-09-29 15:03:59 Suez plans employee bonus payments linked to share price performance
PARIS (AFX) - Suez SA said it has proposed the creation of employee bonus payments, the amount of which would be linked in part to the performance of the company's share price.
2006-09-29 14:59:11 FOCUS Statoil output cuts to hit EPS; market sees limited share price fallout
OSLO (AFX) - Statoil ASA's cut in production forecasts today will result in lower earnings per share (EPS) estimates for 2006 and 2007, analysts warned, but said the impact on the stock should be limited by strong long-term fundamentals and the fact that the news had been largely expected.
2006-09-29 14:54:28 CEZ assigned A2 rating, stable outlook - Moody's
LONDON (AFX) - Moody's Investors Service said it has assigned an A2 rating to the proposed euro-denominated fixed rate notes of Czech utility CEZ a.s.
2006-09-29 14:16:07 UK water cos miss required spending on service upgrade - Ofwat
LONDON (AFX) - Water companies were nearly 1 bln stg short of the investments on service improvements required by the UK's industry regulator Ofwat.
2006-09-29 14:13:09 Belarus says Gazprom must lessen gas price rise or it will cut ties with Russia
MINSK (AFX) - Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has threatened to cut ties with the Russian government if Gazprom does not agree to a smaller rise in gas prices for 2007 than Gazprom wants.
2006-09-29 13:38:20 Lansdowne Oil posts interim net loss of 166,000 stg, in line
LONDON (AFX) - Lansdowne Oil & Gas PLC posted an interim net loss of 166,000 stg, in line with expectations.
2006-09-29 13:26:13 Communisis wins 7-year service contract with Centrica worth 28 mln stg a yr
LONDON (AFX) - Communisis said it has won a 7-year outsourcing contract from Centrica PLC worth 28 mln stg a year, as a result of which it will also acquire Centrica's UK transactional print and mail operations for 4.2 mln stg.
2006-09-29 12:59:10 Norsk Hydro in talks with Angolan authorities about producing aluminium
OSLO (AFX) - Norsk Hydro ASA said it is in talks with authorities in Angola about the possibility of producing aluminium in the country, as part of a strategy to position itself in countries with favourable conditions for future energy supply.
2006-09-29 11:55:45 Aker Kvaerner wins 8 bln nkr platform contract from Statoil
OSLO (AFX) - Aker Kvaerner ASA said it has been awarded a semi-submersible platform contract by Statoil ASA, worth approximately 8 bln nkr.
2006-09-29 11:24:03 OPEC says no 'informal agreement' on output cut
PARIS (AFX) - OPEC has not reached any agreement, either formal or informal, to reduce its production, and only Nigeria has taken a decision in this direction, a spokesman for the oil exporters organisation said today, denying press reports about an accord.
2006-09-29 10:50:53 RTE, Elia in 12 mln eur France-Belgium electricity transfer project
BRUSSELS (AFX) - Power transmission systems operators RTE SA and Elia SA said today that they have sent proposals to the French and Belgian energy regulators to increase electricity transfer capacity between France and Belgium through a 12 mln eur project.
2006-09-29 10:50:30 Oil prices lower in London trade
LONDON (AFX) - Oil prices declined after breaching 64 usd in New York the previous day on concerns over OPEC output and the Iranian nuclear crisis, dealers said.
2006-09-29 10:44:44 Gazprom obtains direct access to Austrian gas market
MOSCOW (AFX) - Gazprom said it has signed agreements granting direct access to the Austrian gas market to two of its units for the first time.
2006-09-29 10:43:45 Rusal to build 3.5 bln usd power, aluminium plants in Australia - report
MOSCOW (AFX) - Russian aluminium giant Rusal is planning to build an electric power station and aluminium plant in Queensland, Australia at an estimated price of 3.5 bln usd, Russian daily Gazeta reported.
2006-09-29 10:09:32 Iran says gas pipeline to Turkey 'possibly sabotaged'
TEHRAN (AFX) - National Iranian Gas Co said an explosion at a pipeline exporting gas to Turkey was possibly the result of sabotage, the semi-official news agency Mehr reported today.
2006-09-29 10:08:24 Hong Kong-listed CNOOC says lower oil prices will not affect H2 earnings
HONG KONG (XFN-ASIA) - CNOOC Ltd said its earnings for the second half of the year will not be adversely affected by falling crude oil prices.
2006-09-29 09:43:15 Bangladesh limits power supply to businesses amid shortages
DHAKA (XFN-ASIA) - Bangladesh is to limit the amount of electricity that businesses can draw off the national grid amid shortages which have led to riots in the country,