AUSTRALIA: AlintaGas, AMP Henderson to pay A$950 million to divide Aquila assets

SYDNEY (AFX-ASIA) – AlintaGas Ltd and fund manager AMP Henderson are expected to announce a deal as early as today, under which they will pay A$950 million to divide US-based Aquila Inc’s assets in Australia, the Australian Financial Review reported. (US$1=A$1.67). The two companies have signed a cooperation agreement. They plan to take over and…

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MALAYSIA: Petronas announces major entry into Atlantic Basin LNG market

Malaysia’s state oil and gas company Petronas has signed an agreement for the acquisition of a 50% working interest and joint operatorship of the West Delta Deep Marine (WDDM) concession, offshore Egypt and a 35% interest in the Egyptian LNG (ELNG) project from Edison S.p.A of Italy for a total consideration of approximately Euro 1,600…

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CHINA: SARS – Shell, Exxon Mobil, BASF say little impact on jv projects

BEIJING (AFX-ASIA) – Oil and petrochemical multinationals Royal Dutch/Shell Group, Exxon Mobil Corp and BASF AG said their multi-billion-dollar projects in China are running almost normally despite significant travel restrictions imposed in the wake of the spread of the SARS virus in China. All three groups have several joint venture projects that are either operational,…

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MALAYSIA: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries JV awarded 8 billion yen contract to modernise gas facilities

A joint venture between Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Malaysia’s Sumatec Corp has won an eight billion yen (US$1=120 ye) order to modernise natural gas plants in Kertih town in Malaysia’s Terengganu state. Malaysia’s state oil and gas company Petronas awarded the contracts to overhaul a gas processing plant and several liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)…

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INDONESIA: Businesses want PLN to lower electricity charges

Several business groups want Indonesia’s state electricity company PLN to lower electricity charges to help them cope with a battered economy reeling from the effects of the war in Iraq and the outbreak of the SARS epidemic in Asia. They have the backing of the chairman of the National Economic Recovery Committee (KPEN) Sofyan Wanandi…

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INDIA: Government to raise subsidies for fuel delivery to rural areas

New Delhi has allocated another 17 billion rupees to help pay for the delivery of essential fuels like gasoline, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and kerosene to remote areas of the country. (US$1=48 rupees). Petroleum Minister Ram Naik said the government already spends more than 4.5 billion rupees a year to subsidise the delivery of…

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THAILAND: Court approves dismissal of TPI’s Effective Planners

BANGKOK (AFX-ASIA) – The Central Bankruptcy Court said it has approved the dismissal of Effective Planners Ltd as restructuring plan administrator for Thai Petrochemical Industry Plc (TPI). The dismissal was made after TPI chief executive officer Prachai Leophairatana’s petition. TPI creditors — who first appointed Effective Planners — will appeal the court’s decision, according to…

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SAUDI ARABIA: ExxonMobil denies pulling out of multi-billion dollar Saudi gas deals

RIYADH (AFX) – ExxonMobil Corp denied Sunday that it had pulled out of the multi-billion-dollar Saudi gas initiative, a spokesperson said. “We continue to have discussions with the Saudi government on the natural gas initiative,” the spokesman told Agence France-Presse in a brief statement. ExxonMobil chairman and chief executive officer Lee Raymond was quoted by…

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PHILIPPINES: Regulator says implementing Meralco refund a ‘nightmare’

MANILA (AFX-ASIA) – Newly installed Energy Regulatory Commission chairman Manuel Sanchez said implementing a Supreme Court decision ordering the Manila Electric Co to refund excess collections since 1994 will be a “logistical nightmare”. In a television interview, he said the ERC will have to determine not only the number of beneficiaries of the refund order…

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IRAQ: Russia likely to lose oil contracts – top US adviser

MOSCOW (AFX) – A senior US defense adviser suggested in an interview published in Moscow that Russia was likely to lose rights to Iraqi oil contracts signed under the Saddam Hussein regime. “There is a high probability that all previous deals with Russia will be declared meaningless,” Richard Perle, counselor to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld,…

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CHINA: HSBC upgrades Huaneng Power to ‘hold’ from ‘reduce’

HONG KONG (AFX-ASIA) – HSBC said it has upgraded its rating on Huaneng Power International (902.HK) to “hold” from “reduce”, citing increases in the company’s generating capacity and improvement in plant utilisation. Analyst Ivan Lee said in a research note that Huaneng recorded a sharp 42.8% year-on-year rise in gross generation in the first quarter…

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CHINA: China Oilfield Services Limited signs new marine support services annual agreement

China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL) said it has signed a new annual marine support services contract to provide services worth a total of RMB 187 million to CNOOC China Limited of Tianjin. (US$1=RMB 8.28). The contract, from January to December 2003, will involve 15 vessels providing regular services and 18 vessels providing ad hoc services….

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MALAYSIA: Petronas ratings affirmed – S&P

KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 (AFP) – Standard and Poor’s said it has affirmed its BBB-plus foreign currency and A-plus local currency ratings with a stable outlook for Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas). The ratings agency said Petronas’ ratings reflected its exclusive ownership and control of Malaysia’s substantial hydrocarbon resources and the company’s “very strong financial profile”….

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CHINA: HK’s Shandong Intl Power rated ‘sell’ after FY results Ð Merrill

HONG KONG (AFX-ASIA) – Merrill Lynch Securities said it has a “sell” rating for Shandong International Power Development Co Ltd (1071.HK), saying the company’s earnings will stay flat through 2004. In a note to clients, Merrill Lynch said the company will face pressure on its costs and utilisation due to the high level of new…

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AUSTRALIA: Caltex Australia – Year to date refiner margins better than 2002 average

SYDNEY (AFX-ASIA) – Caltex Australia Ltd chairman Dick Warburton said the company’s year to date refiner margins have been stronger than the average experienced in 2002. Speaking to the company’s annual meeting, he said refiner margins at the oil company were very weak in January but showed significant strength in February and March. “Although they…

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MALAYSIA: Sapura Energy to step up activities in Southeast Asia

Malaysia’s Sapura Energy Sdn Bhd, an oil and gas services provider, is expanding into Myanmar and Thailand this year building on the success of its recent venture into Indonesia which yielded RM15 million worth of revenue last year. (US$1=RM3.8). President and CEO Shahril Shamsuddin said the new ventures would help the company become a major…

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JAPAN: Electricity demand up 2.1% in 2002

Japan’s power consumption rose 2.1% to 841.48 billion kilowatt-hours for the year to March 2003, said the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan. The data, based on sales by the country’s 10 main power companies, marked the first increase in Japan’s domestic electricity consumption in two years. The federation said the rise was due…

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INDIA: GAIL selects energy solutions to design and analyse its pipeline network

GAIL India Ltd has chosen Houston-based Energy Solutions to provide pipeline simulation tool to evaluate hydraulic design, develop operational plans and analyse alternative operational scenarios. Energy Solutions said its Pipeline Studio(TM) combines powerful graphics capability with top-performing, interactive pipeline simulation tools. Engineering companies and pipeline experts use Pipeline Studio’s steady state and transient simulation capabilities…

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PHILIPPINES: Meralco sees 2002 net loss on flat revenue, PPA losses

MANILA (AFX-ASIA) – Manila Electric Co president Jesus Francisco said the company will likely report a net loss for 2002 due to flat revenue and losses arising from its inability to fully collect deferred purchased power adjustment (PPA) charges. “We’ll most likely post losses for 2002, but the exact amount is still being determined,” he…

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CHINA: Aegon, CNOOC secure approval to launch life insurance JV in Shanghai

BEIJING (AFX-ASIA) – Netherlands-based Aegon Group and China National Offshore Oil Corp Ltd (CNOOC) (HK 0883; NYSE CEO) received approval from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission to launch an insurance joint venture in Shanghai, an official at Aegon’s Beijing representative office said. The official said the 50-50 joint venture, to be named Aegon-CNOOC Life Insurance…

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SRI LANKA: Lanka IOC to enter LPG, aviation fuel business

Lanka IOC Private Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation in Sri Lanka, has completed the task of taking over 100 gasoline retail outlets from the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and made an interim payment of $2 million to Colombo, pending final valuation. In an interview to Business Line in Colombo, M. Nageswaran, CEO…

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DUBAI: ENOC launched lubricants website

ENOC Lubricants, a subsidiary of Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) LLC, has launched its website with potential for online ordering and trade. The company said www.enoclubricants.com has a highly user-friendly interface and provides up-to-date product and service information. The site has details on the full ENOC Lubricants’ product range for both the automotive and industrial…

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THAILAND: Thai Petrochemical Industry Q1 sales up 34.27% year-on-year

BANGKOK (AFX-ASIA) – Thai Petrochemical Industry Plc said group consolidated sales revenue in the first quarter totalled 21.83 billion baht, up 34.27% from 16.26 billion baht a year earlier. (US$1=42 baht). The increase in sales reflected the upturn in global oil prices, especially in February and March, as a result of the war in Iraq…

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MARKETS: OPEC must deal with surplus 2 million b/d output, says al-Attiyah

MUSCAT, April 19 (AFP) – The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) must do something about the surplus two million barrels per day (b/d) that have come on to the market since the war in Iraq ended, OPEC’s president Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah said. “There is a surplus of two million bpd that we have…

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IRAN: Tehran tones down calls for cut in OPEC output; says Iraq should stay in OPEC

TEHRAN (AFX) – Iran wants a reduction in OPEC oil output from May 1 only if there is an urgent market need for one, Oil Minister Bijan Namadar Zanghaneh said Saturday in an apparent toning down of earlier calls for a second-quarter cut. “A May 1 date for a cut in OPEC production would be…

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