Among miners, that is. Rio Tinto says it is now a possibility – just a fortnight after ruling it out unless economic conditions deteriorated.

Xstrata, who confirmed they will raise $5.9bn in  a heavily-discounted two-for-one rights offer.  Two questions:

a) why are they paying underwriters’ fees despite the heavy discount? (see Markets Live)

b) $2bn will be spend buying a Colombian coal business from Glencore, which owns 35% of Xstrata – but because they “failed to reach full agreement on an appropriate valuation”, Glencore has the opportunity to buy it back for $2.25bn “if they are able to marshal the finances” (both quotes from Mick Davis, Xstrata CEO). Does Glencore need more cash? wonders Sam Jones

WTI lower than Brent: With all the storage available at Cushing, WTI more accurately reflects what is going on in the world of crude (The Barrel/Platts)

Stimulus: The new administration neglects public transport at its peril (Gregor)

Stimulus: Several key Democratic senators are calling for more energy spending in the stimulus bill – mostly on oil security grounds (Platts)

Bush administration preparing a directive to ‘better clarify’ its claim to Arctic territory. (WSJ). Ironically, notes Environmental Capital, melting ice makes access to the region easier

- Oil companies’ shares rise after Fed lowers rates to near zero (AP/Forbes)

- Russia may cut oil production by 400,000 barrels a day: Kuwait’s oil minister (Bloomberg)

- Tom Vilsack, tipped to be the next US agriculture secretary, need to act quickly on bills related to farm subsidies and lower crop prices, commodities analysts said (Bloomberg)

- Ken Salazar, set to head the US interior department, can expect to face big drilling issues (WSJ)

- Ecuador’s prosecutor general removed himself from a case against two Chevron attorneys (CNN)

- Australian court blocks Xstrata mine expansion (Reuters)

- Saudi Arabia called for the biggest production cut in the history of the Opec oil cartel in an effort to counter collapsing oil prices

- General Electric delivered a sober outlook for 2009, leaving little doubt profits would fall

- Obama’s appointment of Steven Chu as US energy secretary has been welcomed by scientists and climate change campaigners

- Italian police arrested three Total employees in a corruption probe involving an oil concession

- Heat rises in Russia-Ukraine gas talks for the fourth consecutive year

- Buffett could bow out of the battle for Constellation Energy after his utility group said it would not try to outbid EDF

- Iraq signs $3bn power deal with GE to more than double its electricity generation capacity

- Falling oil price threatens bid to diversify Gulf economies

- Aluminium prices sank to a five-year low amid falling demand fear

- UK business ‘woefully served’ by power groups

President-elect Obama focuses on alternative energy with pick for energy secretary

Electricite de France said to be close to buying half of Constellation, trumping Buffett reports Bloomberg

UK: Nick Butler of Cambridge Judge Business School writes in the Comment pages of today’s FT that the low price of oil should force energy ministers to consider new rules that would stabilise the market

UK: ExxonMobil will invest $1bn to expand capacity of three of its refineries

UK: Oil companies storing at least 50m barrels of oil in supertankers

UK: Hunting on lookout for more acquisitions after disposing of Gibson oilsands project

UK: RWE’s UK renewables arm reviews wind power plans amid rising costs

Germany: Renewable energy companies and bankers to meet

Australia: to reduce carbon emissions to 15% below 2000 levels by 2020; ‘Rudd blinks’ to business demands

UK: Hunting completes sale of Gibson

UK: Coastal Energy chairman resigns

Russia: Lukoil to postpone launch of ‘large international projects’

China: Implied oil demand for November down 3.5% year-on-year