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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's elections chief has moved to invalidate ballot proposals in three counties related to fracking.

Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO-sted) ruled Thursday on protests filed with his office that questioned the validity of county charter ballot proposals in Athens, Fulton and Medina (meh-DY'-nuh) counties.

Husted upheld the protests invalidating the proposals and said they wouldn't appear on Nov. 3 ballots. He says in a statement that each proposal attempts to circumvent state law in a way that the courts have ruled violates the Ohio Constitution.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The California agency that investigates workplace accidents has cited and fined ExxonMobil more than $560,000 for workplace safety and health violations following a probe into February's explosion at a Los Angeles-area refinery.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The California agency that investigates workplace accidents has cited and fined ExxonMobil more than $560,000 for workplace safety and health violations following a probe into February's explosion at a Los Angeles-area refinery.

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel says it has reached an agreement with developers on a regulatory framework for its natural gas reserves.

The agreement comes after months of squabbling that began last year when Israel's antitrust commissioner considered designating the American-Israeli partnership that is developing the gas a monopoly.

The deal sets a price ceiling for future sales to Israeli companies and commits the gas firms to complete the development of the country's largest gas field, known as Leviathan, by 2020.

DETROIT (AP) — Prices at the pump remain up across the Great Lakes region because of the unexpected, partial shutdown of a large Indiana oil refinery.

The BP Whiting Refinery in northern Indiana shut down the largest of three crude distillation units Saturday for what the company in a statement called "unscheduled repair work." BP says that the rest of the refinery is operating at reduced production.

The P5+1 nations agreement with Iran on nuclear-related sanctions could result in relief for United States and European Union in the form of more oil production. If the agreement, which include some oil-related sanctions, it will put additional Iranian oil supplies on a global market that has already seen oil inventories rise significantly over the past year.

The Enterprise Product Partners-operated 450,000 bpd Cushing, OK,-to-Jones Creek, TX, Seaway Twin crude pipeline remained down Wednesday after being shut on Aug. 11, following the shutdown of Enbridge Energy Partners’ 193,000 bpd Spearhead and 600,000 bpd Flanagan South pipelines.

Earlier this week, China surprisingly opted to devalue its currency, the yuan, forcing many in the oil and gas industry to ponder how the decision will affect their market.

“In recent days, we’ve seen China look to devalue the yuan in hopes of gaining some ground as the U.S. dollar continues its upward move,” said Carl Larry, director of business development with consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. “The move has caused a bit of uneasiness in the marketplace and stock markets around the world are a bit shaky.”

The price of U.S. crude oil has tumbled to its lowest level in more than six years.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.88, or 4%, to settle at $43.08 a barrel in New York on Tuesday, its lowest close since March of 2009.

The latest slide came as OPEC said its production rose to a three-year high. China also devalued its currency, suggesting economic growth there was softer and could cause lower crude demand.

U.S. crude has been declining since reaching a high this year of $61.43 on June 10.

WASHINGTON (AP) — For six and a half years, the White House has had a quick comeback to questions about its yet-to-be-announced decision on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline: Talk to the State Department.

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