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Signs of the Times for Mon, 10 Jul 2006

Sat Jul 8, 2006
WASHINGTON - The G-8 summit that President Bush and seven other world leaders are attending next weekend in Russia is often billed as a gathering of the world's leading economic powers.

It is not.

Consider: China, now the world's fourth-largest economy and the nation with the most influence over renegade North Korea, is not a member.

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By Caroline Humer
Sat Jul 8, 2006
NEW YORK - A spate of oil and gas pipeline deals has boosted mergers and acquisitions for the industry by nearly 30 percent this year, but soaring prices are turning off many potential buyers.

Demand has driven up valuations for the limited supply of properties for sale, and many pipelines have become too expensive for the tax-free master limited partnerships that now dominate the field, bankers say.

Recent deals -- such as Plains All American Pipeline LLP's plan to buy Pacific Energy Partners LP, for about $2.6 billion in a deal combining two MLPs -- are an exception rather then a harbinger of more deals to come, they say.

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Sun Jul 9, 2006
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's sabotage-prone northern pipeline has been shut down for maintenance, halting crude oil exports from Kirkuk oil fields to Turkey's Ceyhan port, the oil minister said Sunday.

Hussein al-Shahristani said the flow is expected to resume in two to three days at an average of 400,000 barrels per day.

The pipeline was shut down Friday morning because there was not enough crude at Kirkuk reservoir, an oil official told Dow Jones Newswires on Saturday.

Regular insurgent bombings of the crucial northern export pipeline have idled it for all but a few brief periods since the war began.

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Sun Jul 9, 2006
CHICAGO - As tips go, Chicago limousine driver Abdul Faraj got a priceless one this week when one of his regular customers offered up a kidney, media reports said.

Faraj and Minnesota businessman Dave Baker underwent transplant surgeries at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

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