SPEECH: By Malcolm Brinded, Managing Director of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies

at reception before the naming of Shell’s new LNG Ship, the GALLINA, at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) shipyard in Nagasaki, Japan on 20 December 2002 Good morning, everyone. I would like to extend a very warm welcome to you all. Especially to Mr and Mrs Namba, from our partners Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. Mr Namba’s...

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THAILAND: Decision on Bangchak Petroleum expected on January 10

Thailand’s State Enterprise Policy Committee’s panel is expected to make a decision on the fate of troubled Bangchak Petroleum at its meeting on January 10, Deputy Prime Minister Prommin Lertsuridej, who is also chairman of the committee, said this week. According to Business Day, Bangchak’s board and its financial advisers, who have been working on...

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MARKETS: Talks Of Oil Pricing Reform In Asia Revived

One of the strangest aspects of the oil trade in Asia is under scrutiny again as a result of unexpected twists to the Californian energy crisis of more than two years ago. Last month, a Californian government official alleged that the state’s energy crisis of 2000 and 2001 was partly caused by manipulation of power...

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AUSTRALIA: Harriet JV finalises 25-Year, 600 bcf gas contract in Western Australia

The Harriet Joint Venture has finalised a contract to supply more than 600 billion cubic feet of natural gas over 25 years to the Burrup Fertilisers plant to be built in Western Australia. US independent Apache Corporation, the Harriet field’s operator, said the new plant, which will have a capacity of 2,200 tons of liquid...

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PHILIPPINES: IMF says Meralco must be kept viable to guard against risks to economy

MANILA (AFX-ASIA) – The government must ensure the Manila Electric Co’s business remains viable to protect the banking system and the economy from risks associated with the company’s financial difficulties, the International Monetary Fund said. The IMF has concluded a review of the Philippine economy, in which it emphasised the government must focus on reform...

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JAPAN: Government-linked firm in US$1.5 b oil deal with Russia’s Lukoil

TOKYO (AFX-ASIA) Ð Japan’s government-linked Inpex Corp has agreed with Lukoil, Russia’s largest oil firm, to buy a 15% interest in the concession rights to a field in the Caspian Sea, the Nihon Keizai newspaper reported. The oil project, worth around US$1.5 billion, will be one of the largest ever undertaken by a Japanese firm,...

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IRAQ: US oil companies turn eye to Iraq as opposition groups mull oil sector reforms

WASHINGTON (AFX) – Iraqi opposition groups and US oil companies are quietly assessing how Iraq’s “sea of oil” could be utilised in the next couple of years under the assumption that Saddam Hussein will be removed, at some point, from Iraqi political life. Iraqi opposition figures here, with the help of the Bush administration, said...

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COMPANY: Halliburton settles asbestos claims for about US$4 billion in cash, stock

HOUSTON (AFX) – US oil services company Halliburton Co said it has reached an agreement in principle to settle all present and future asbestos claims under which it would pay up to 2.77 billion dollars in cash, 59.5 million shares valued at more than 1 billion dollars and notes worth about 100 million dollars. Several...

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AUSTRALIA: Caltex gives quality assurance on gasoline and ethanol

Caltex Australia has told its customers that it does not supply ethanol blends to any Caltex or Ampol branded sites and does not authorise the use of ethanol in these sites. Caltex sells ethanol/petrol blends (to a maximum of 10% ethanol) under the Bogas brand at over 40 sites in New South Wales state, through...

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CHINA: Wah Sang Gas to invest 52 million yuan in Tianjin Airport Industrial Port

HONG KONG (AFX-ASIA) – Wah Sang Gas Holdings Ltd chairman Charlie Shum said the company will invest a total 52 million yuan in the Tianjin Airport Industrial Port project. (US$1=8.28 yuan) “We are going to invest 52 million yuan in total for the project,” Mr Shum told reporters. The investment will be applied to the...

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KOREA: KEPCO Baa2 senior debt rating on review for possible upgrade – Moody’s

SEOUL (AFX-ASIA) – Moody’s Investors Service said it has placed Korea Electric Power Corp’s (KEPCO) Baa2 senior unsecured debt rating on review for possible upgrade. “The rating action is prompted by the improved operating performance of KEPCO, backed by the continuing electricity demand growth in Korea and the stable fuel cost,” it said. In addition,...

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CHINA: CNPC gets 25% stake in petrochemical co in equity transfer with parent

HONG KONG (AFX-ASIA) – CNPC (Hong Kong) Ltd said it will take a 25% stake in the registered share capital of petrochemical producer Qingdao Qingxin Plastic Ltd Liability Co from its parent’s unit Daqing De Venezuela CA in an equity transfer. In a statement, it said there was no consideration for the transfer. Qingdao Qingxin...

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PHILIPPINES: Lopez group not considering sale of Meralco stake now, but not ruling it out

MANILA (AFX-ASIA) – The Lopez family is not considering selling its stake in Manila Electric Co now, but is also not ruling out such an option in the future, the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted Benpres Holdings Corp chairman Oscar Lopez as saying. The paper said the Lopez family’s shareholdings in Meralco are estimated to be...

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CHINA: Hong Kong & China Gas may drop bonus; to invest 250 million yuan in Changzhou JV

HONG KONG (AFX-ASIA) – Hong Kong & China Gas may not make any bonus issue this year as the company is likely to post a lower profit for the year ending March, the South China Morning Post reported, citing the company’s managing director Alfred Chan. Mr Chan said the company is expected to post a...

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PEOPLE & COMPANIES

John Venn, vice president of liquefied petroleum gas marketing at ChevronTexaco, has been appointed president of the Paris-based World Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association. He succeeds James Ferrell, chairman and CEO of US-based Ferrellgas, who has stepped down after four years. Mr Venn, who is based in Singapore, was endorsed by the WLPGA membership at its...

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PHILIPPINES: Dubai’s ENOC to buy 20% stake in Petronas Energy Philippines

Dubai’s Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc) recently signed an agreement to buy a 20% stake in Petronas Energy Philippines. The company is involved in the natural gas business in southern Philippines. The agreement for the US$3.5 million deal was concluded in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysia’s state oil and gas company Petronas owns 60% of Petronas...

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MARKETS: ESAI says Venezuelan strike now more bullish than Iraq

The Venezuelan strike is beginning to have a more bullish effect on the market than potential war with Iraq, says ESAI in the latest issue of Atlantic Basin Stockwatch. While there are temporary options to replace the Venezuelan crude barrels, most of them will lead to higher prices. According to the report, the situation may...

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INDIA: Australia’s Clough secures A$100 million Indian gas project

Australia’s engineering group Clough Limited said that its offshore division has been awarded a contract in excess of A$100 million for the Hazira gas project in the Bay of Cambay on India’s west coast. The contract was awarded by operator Niko Resources of Canada and India’s Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd (GSPC). “The Hazira project...

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CHINA: Hongkong’s CLP to offer HK$910 million rebate in 2003; equivalent to 3.7% tariff cut

HONG KONG (AFX-ASIA) – CLP Holdings Ltd unit CLP Power’s managing director Betty Yuen said the company will offer a rebate programme amounting to a total of HK$910 million to its customers in 2003. (US$1=HK7.78). “We are able to offer the rebate arrangement because of strong electricity sale to the China market and due to...

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BRUNEI: Sultanate to consider signing Kyoto Protocol

Brunei is considering signing the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. The country’s Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation is looking to produce a national inventory on emissions of greenhouse gases by sources. The department will also tally up the financial and technical resources needed for the country to reduce...

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INDONESIA: Medco Energi sees lower 2003 oil output, higher gas sales

JAKARTA (AFX-ASIA) – PT Medco Energi said it expects its oil output next year to fall year-on-year due to a drop in production at its Kaji station in the Rimau oil block, although it expects an increase in gas sales to make up for a decline in oil to maintain its total energy sales at...

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CHINA: CSOL wins 6 contracts from CNOOC worth 200 million yuan

HONG KONG (AFX-ASIA) – China Oilfield Services Ltd said it has been awarded six contracts worth a total of 200 million yuan to provide drilling and well services for an independent oilfild operated by CNOOC Ltd in the western South China Sea. (US$1=8.28 yuan). In a statement, COSL said it will commence operations in the...

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MALAYSIA: Caltex, Murphy announce downstream, upstream investments

KUALA LUMPUR (AFX-ASIA) – Caltex Oil Malaysia Ltd will spend some RM42 million by the end of next year to open seven new petrol stations in northern Peninsular Malaysia, Bernama news agency quoted the company’s retail manager for the Northern and Eastern division Wan Mohd Fauzi Wan Kamaruddin as saying. (US$1=RM3.8). Mr Fauzi said three...

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IRAQ: Baghdad stresses cooperation with Russia; LUKoil to consider legal action over scrapped contra

BAGHDAD (AFX-ASIA) – Iraqi Vice-President Taha Yassin Ramadan has stressed Baghdad’s willingness to cooperate with Russia, amid an oil row between the two traditionally close nations, newspapers reported. Mr Ramadan earlier held talks with Russian ambassador Vladimir Titorentko, the first high-level meeting since Baghdad broke a US$3.7 billion oil contract with Russia’s giant LUKoil, the...

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INDIA: Enron’s stalled power project likely to be restarted Ð minister

NEW DELHI (AFX-ASIA) Ð India’s stalled US$2.9 billion power project built by Enron Corp is likely to restart after an agreement was reached over pricing, Power Minister Anant Geete told parliament in a statement. The electricity board in the western Indian state of Maharashtra is waiting clearance from the regulatory authorities to buy power from...

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