INDIA: Major oilfield find has 48 million tonnes of crude/natural gas reserves

NEW DELHI (AFX) – State-owned exploration firm, Oil and Natural Gas Corp said it has discovered a major offshore oilfield with a reserve of 48 million tonnes of crude oil and natural gas, marking its second petroleum find in 10 days. It said the latest discovery, off the coast of Bombay was in the periphery...

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INDIA: PM says government must stop 240 billion rupees/year electricity distribution losses

BANGALORE (AFX-ASIA) – Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee ordered electricity officials to plug 240 billion rupees in annual losses from power transmission and distribution. (US$1=48 rupees). “According to one estimate, 240 billion rupees disappears due to loss in distribution and transmission (of power) in a year,” he said at the inauguration of a power project...

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CHINA: Guangdong registers surge in trade with the Mideast

Trade between China’s Guangdong province and the Middle East climbed to US$614 million in January, up 66.4% from the same period last year, said the Ministry of Foreign Trade. According to local customs officials, Guangdong’s exports to the Middle East totalled US$240 million for the month, up 42.6%, while its imports from the Middle East...

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THAILAND: BP expands lubricant plant capacity

BP said the expansion of a major lubricants plant in Thailand will give it a 20% share of the local 450 million litres/year market. AsPac Oil Thailand Co, which is 60% owned by BP and 40% by Loxley Group, last week celebrated the US$2.3 million expansion of the plant at the Samut Sakhon Industrial Estate....

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JAPAN: Showa Shell profits up sharply

Japan’s Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K. reported a sharply higher net profit of 18.67 billion yen for year ended December 2002 from the previous year’s 2.61 billion yen. (US$1=120 yen). The company attributed the improved performance to “favourable changes in its product lineup and better inventory management.” The results were achieved despite Japan’s weak oil demand,...

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AUSTRALIA: Gas purchase “a positive sign” for Northern Territory

Australia’s Northern Territory has welcomed the announcement that Woodside Energy has increased its commitment to develop the Blacktip gas field – situated about 90km offshore in the Timor Sea – by acquiring the stakeholding of giant Royal/Dutch Shell. Woodside has increased its share in the field, which was discovered in September 2001, to nearly 70%...

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VIETNAM: Soco dives on Vietnam well disappointment, broker remains upbeat

LONDON (AFX) – Shares in Soco International PLC fell last week after the oil exploration group announced that its final well in Vietnam is not commercial, although brokers remained upbeat on the company’s prospects, dealers said. Soco International said it has completed the final well in the initial four well exploration drilling programme in Vietnam,...

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INDONESIA: Pertamina/Toyo Engineering in US$153 million deal to produce unleaded gasoline

JAKARTA (AFX-ASIA) – State run oil and gas company Pertamina and Toyo Engineering Corp have signed an engineering procurement and construction contract worth US$153 million to produce unleaded gasoline at the Balongan refinery. Toyo Engineering, in a joint venture with PT Rekayasa Engineering, has won the bid to develop the so-called “blue sky” project, a...

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KOREA: Kepco, PLN sign MoU to build 500 MW coal-fired power plant

JAKARTA (AFX-ASIA) – State-run electricity company PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) has signed an MoU with Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) to build a 500 megawatt coal-fired power plant, Bisnis Indonesia reported. The report quoted PLN corporate secretary Muljo Adji as saying the project may cost US500 million. Mr Adji said the MoU was signed...

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CHINA: Wah Sang Gas forecasts lifted after 9 months results

HONG KONG (AFX-ASIA) – Tai Fook Securities said it has lifted its year to March 2003 and 2004 net profit forecasts for Wah Sang Gas Holdings Ltd by 10% and 18% to HK$230 million and HK293 million, respectively after the company’s strong nine months to December results. (US$1=HK$7.78). In the nine months to December, Wah...

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AUSTRALIA: Woodside FY net profit pre-ex down 10.8%; posts bottom line loss

SYDNEY (AFX-ASIA) – Woodside Petroleum Ltd said 2002 net profit before one-offs fell 10.8% to A$729 million, though within the A$668-773 million range of analyst estimates, as lower oil prices cut sales revenue and the company felt the full impact of the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax. (US$1=A$1.7). One-off charges including A$715 million related to its...

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MECO crude price poised to break US$30/barrel (SGX Column)

Oil prices are set to hit new highs this week as the US continues to work the diplomatic ground to justify war against Iraq amid a host of market-supporting news. The US and Britain are due to submit a new resolution to the Security Council today to pressure Iraq to surrender any weapons of mass...

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MARKETS: US Senate energy head says oil prices not high enough to spark recession

WASHINGTON (AFX) – The new head of the Senate Energy Committee, Republican Senator Pete Domenici, said that he does not believe the recent rise in crude oil prices will go high enough to tip the world’s largest economy back into a fresh recession. Mr Domenici said oil price spikes still have the ability to shock...

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MARKETS: IEA says Jan global oil output 77.58 million b/d; up 1.19 million vs Dec

PARIS (AFX) – Global oil output rose 1.19 million barrels per day to 77.58 million barrels in January from December, the International Energy Agency said. The agency raised its forecast for global demand growth by 80,000 barrels to 1.12 million, meaning it now sees average daily demand in 2003 at 78.01 million bpd. The hike...

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COMPANY: ConocoPhillips upgraded to ‘overweight’ vs ‘equal weight’ Ð Lehmans

NEW YORK (AFX) – Lehman Brothers said it has upgraded ConocoPhillips Inc to ‘overweight’ from ‘equal weight’ previously as it believes the company is undervalued after its strong fourth-quarter results and the possibility of a strong first quarter. “After falling more than 19% since year-end 2001, versus nearly 28% decline in the S&P 500, we...

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CHINA: Plans to increase crude oil imports from Russia

BEIJING (XFN) – China plans to increase imports of crude oil from Russia, which is China’s biggest petroleum supplier outside of OPEC member states, sources from the China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) said. The Guangzhou-based New Express quoted the sources as saying the move is aimed at increasing China’s oil reserves as a war...

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CHINA: Guangdong to adopt floating electricity prices for large industrial firms

BEIJING (XFN) – Guangdong province in southern China will adopt floating electricity charges for large industrial companies with transformer capacity above 315 kVA each, effective April 1, the Securities Times said. The newspaper said Guangdong will divide the entire day’s electricity usage into three periods – peak period at 0700-1200 and 1900-2200, normal period at...

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JAPAN: Nippon Oil to invest 3 billion yen to set up LCD film plant in China

TOKYO (AFX-ASIA) – Nippon Oil Corp is set to invest 3 billion yen to build an LCD film plant in the Chinese city of Suzhou, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported, without citing sources. (US$1=120 yen). The plant, whose construction will begin in May and start operations by summer next year, will supply film mainly to...

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AUSTRALIA: Santos reports financial performance

Australia’s upstream company Santos Limited last week reported a net profit after tax and exploration write-offs of A$322.1 million, or 51.2 cents per share, for the year ended 31 December 2002. (US$1=A$1.7). The company said its underlying operating profit came to A$392.3 million before A$70.2 million of after-tax exploration write-offs ($449.7 million operating profit before...

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SRI LANKA: Oil terminal workers called off strike against IOC facility

Workers at Sri Lanka’s Trincomalee oil terminal called off their strike last week after arriving at a compromise with management over work conditions and allowances. The 400 striking workers called off their five-day strike after their representatives settled terms with the terminal’s management comprising members from the Indian Oil Corp and the Ceylon Petroleum Corp....

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MARKETS: EIA says crude inventories up, but product down for week ending Feb 14

The US oil markets continue to be driven by reports of low inventories. Oil product inventories have fallen further for the week ending February 14, the latest available, and that’s what traders are focusing on rather than the 3.1 million barrels rise in crude stockpiles. Although refinery throughput rose to 14.3 million b/d, it wasn’t...

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JAPAN: Fossil fuels tax to begin from 2005

Japan’s businesses have been officially told they will be hit with a new fossil fuels tax aimed at reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Earlier this week, Environment Minister Shunichi Suzuki told a delegation from the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) led by chairman Hiroshi Okuda of its plans to introduce the tax from 2005....

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CHINA: Police make arrest for alleged fraud in Shell’s Huizhou project

Police have arrested more than a dozen people including low-level officials in Huizhou in Guangdong province for allegedly embezzling compensation money meant for villagers affected by a US$4.35 billion petrochemical project. The group allegedly tried to cheat the government of more than US$1 million from a compensation fund set aside for farmers displaced by the...

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KAZAKHSTAN: KazMunaigas, LUKoil to develop Caspian block

ALMATY (AFX) – LUKoil and Kazakhstan’s state oil company KazMunaigas have agreed to explore an oil block in Kazakhstan’s sector of the Caspian Sea, officials said. The block to be explored is located in the central part of Kazakhstan’s sector of the Caspian Sea and according to preliminary information, could hold recoverable reserves of 100...

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COMPANY: BP plc AA+ long-term corp credit rating on CreditWatch Negative – S&P

NEW YORK (AFX) – Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services said it placed the ‘AA+’ long-term corporate credit rating of BP plc on its CreditWatch list with negative implications, and said it was unlikely that a review of the situation would produce a debt rating downgrade of more than one notch. At the same time, it...

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