The head of Iraq's South Oil Company also insists that current developments have not affected and will not affect oil operations in the south.» Read More
European Union antitrust regulators approved the takeover of Spain's largest utility Endesa by Acciona and Italian utility Enel on Thursday.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy will host a meeting on Thursday that could help settle the fate of a planned 90 billion euro ($123 billion) merger between the country's utilities Gaz de France and Suez.
U.S. oil rose above $69 on Tuesday due to a planned strike in Nigeria that could further hobble output in the world's eighth-biggest crude oil exporter. The planned protest over fuel price increases is due to start on Wednesday and comes after more violence flared in the oil-producing Niger Delta at the weekend.
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said in an interview published Friday that decisions on the future of state-owned Gaz de France -- including whether to go ahead with its merger with Suez -- will be made "in the coming weeks."
Italy's Enel, which is poised to take over Spain's biggest utility, will expand its presence in Russia after it beat rivals to buy a one-quarter stake in the Russian wholesale generation company OAO OGK-5 for about $1.52 billion.
Norway's Statoil posted weaker-than-expected first-quarter profit due to lower oil and gas prices on Wednesday, but said it was poised to grow after resolving production problems at several North Sea fields.
Eni, the Italian oil and gas company, said that its adjusted net profit fell in the first quarter to 2.68 billion euros ($3.61 billion) from 2.954 billion euros as it suffered from a decline in production and the weakening of the dollar against the euro.
Italian power company Enel, which is involved in a takeover battle for Spanish peer Endesa, posted a 22% drop in 2006 net profit on Wednesday, as the prior year was helped by one-off items.
Spanish market regulator CNMV said it had taken note of Enel and Acciona's joint takeover plan for Endesa and reiterated no bid could be made for six months.