AUSTRALIA: Firefighters battling major blaze after fuel tank explosion

SYDNEY (AFX-ASIA) – A fuel tank explosion triggered a fire and forced large-scale evacuations at an industrial complex in Port Kembla, south of Sydney, with firefighters struggling to contain the blaze, officials said. Firefighters said the tank at Port Kembla, containing seven million liters of ethanol, exploded Tuesday morning with a blast that was heard...

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QATAR: Qatar Petroleum and Korea’s LG Engineering & Construction Corporation sign US$235 million EPC

Qatar Petroleum and Korea’s LG Engineering & Construction Corporation have signed an Engineering Procurement & Construction contract for Qatar’s linear alkyl benzene project. The project’s main features include: á An n-paraffin plant of 80,000-t/y capacity, a 100,000-t/y linear alkyl benzene plant and benzene units capable of producing 36,000 t/y of the product. á an export...

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MALAYSIA: BIG Industries rated ‘buy’ with RM6 target Ð OSK

KUALA LUMPUR (AFX-ASIA) – OSK Research said it has initiated coverage on BIG Industries Bhd with a “buy” call and a 12-month price target of RM6 based on a forward FY2004 price-to-earnings ratio (PER) of 27.8 times. (US$1=RM3.8). In a research notes, OSK said the fair value of RM6 a share, based on the PER...

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MALAYSIA: Tenaga Nasional Q1 goes into the red due to forex loss

KUALA LUMPUR (AFX-ASIA) – Tenaga Nasional Bhd said its first quarter to November results turned to a net loss of RM26.4 million from a net profit of RM663.2 million a year earlier after accounting for a foreign exchange loss as well as recognising deferred tax on a provision basis. (US$1=RM3.8). Both items do not affect...

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CHINA: Hong Kong-listed Sinopec wins Saudi natural gas exploration contract

RIYADH (AFX-ASIA) – Sinopec Corp (386.HK), or China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, was awarded a contract this week for the exploration and production of natural gas in a 40,000 square-kilometer area in the Rubi al-Khali or Empty Quarter desert, according to the official Saudi news agency SPA. “The envelopes containing bids for the exploration and...

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PHILIPPINES: Meralco expects 2004 sales to grow 5% year-on-year

MANILA (AFX-ASIA) – Manila Electric Co, the country’s largest power distributor, expects its electricity sales to grow 5% in 2004 on the back of the economy’s much-anticipated recovery, its president Jesus Francisco said. This follows last year’s projected year-on-year growth of at least 4%. “Normally, our sales go up or down depending on the country’s...

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PEOPLE: Timothy H. Ling, Unocal president and COO, dies unexpectedly

US independent energy company Unocal Corporation (NYSE: UCL) said Timothy H. Ling, 46, president and chief operating officer, “died suddenly” Jan 28 in El Segundo, California. The company did not give any details of Mr Ling’s death. Charles R. Williamson, Unocal chairman and CEO, is expected to take over on an interim basis, effective immediately....

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QATAR: Speech by Energy MinisterAbdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah at the recent EPC contracts ceremony f

This is a significant milestone in a very special project that further strengthens the ties between the state of Qatar and the UAE, and highlights the vision of the leaders of the two countries, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani and His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, for further enhancing our bi-lateral ties...

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COMPANIES: Total signs long-term charters for new Stena P-Max tankers

French energy major Total has signed a five year charter of the first two Stena P-MAX (Product-Max) tankers currently under construction. The new class of tankers are medium-sized, short and wide-bodied with reduced draft. They have an intermediate loading capacity of 65,000 ton, between the standard 45,000 ton vessels and the 70 to 80,000 ton...

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COMPANIES: Oil Search, Halliburton sign MoU on strategic alliance

Papua New Guinea-based Oil Search Limited has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with US engineering firm Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) to develop a strategic alliance. Oil Search has described the alliance as “a unique arrangement between an independent operator and a major oil and gas contractor.” Halliburton subsidiaries Halliburton Overseas Ltd, Kellogg Brown & Root...

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PHILIPPINES: Petron setting up unit to operate company-owned service stations

MANILA (AFX-ASIA) – Oil refiner Petron Corp said it is preparing to establish a subsidiary that would allow it to operate company-owned and company-operated (COCO) service stations nationwide. Incorporation papers of the new unit will be submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission soon, the company said in a statement. “Our COCO stations will not...

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CHINA: Shanghai Electric Group, China Power International prepare for IPO

HONG KONG (AFX-ASIA) – Shanghai Electric Group, China’s largest power and industrial equipment maker, has appointed CSFB and Guotai Junan Securities to prepare it for a Hong Kong listing, the South China Morning Post reported, citing unnamed market sources. The sources said CSFB and Guotai Junan will advise on the restructuring of Shanghai Electric, which...

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Analysts affirm long-term value of PetroChina, Sinopec despite Chongqing gas explosion, BP’s exit

The stocks of Chinese majors PetroChina and China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) fell significantly last month from their late December peaks. The causes: A deadly explosion at a gas facility owned by PetroChina parent China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), resurgence of SARS and the chicken flu and BP’s decision to sell off its 2%...

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CHINA: Struggling power grid suffers large-scale shortages in 2003 Ð Xinhua

BEIJING (AFX-ASIA) – China suffered large-scale power shortages in 2003 as the country struggled with a lack of electrical generators and the demands of its power-hungry economy, Xinhua reported. Over the past 17 months, China’s electric power supply was far short of demand, the agency said. A report released by the State Development and Reform...

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JAPAN: Cosmo Oil to sell CO2 emission rights to public via internet

TOKYO (AFX-ASIA) – Cosmo Oil Co Ltd, a leading domestic oil refiner and distributor, will begin sales to ordinary consumers via the Internet of carbon dioxide emission rights as early as March, the Nikkei Business Daily reported, without citing sources. To date, the company has carried out limited sales of such rights at environmental-related conferences...

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PHILIPPINES: PNOC unit, Singapore-based Pearl to join Ragay project

MANILA (AFX-ASIA) – PNOC Exploration Corp and Singapore-based Pacific East Asia Resources Ltd (Pearl) will buy into the newly-signed service contract of Premier Oil Philippines BV, which covers exploration of the Ragay Gulf for petroleum reserves, PNOC officials said. Publicly-listed PNOC Exploration, a unit of state-owned Philippine National Oil Co, is expected to take a...

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MALAYSIA: Petronas signs offshore exploration agreement in Morroco

Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas has entered into a petroleum agreement and association contract with Morocco’s national oil company Office National de Recherches et d’Explorations Pétrolires (ONAREP). Petronas said the deal covering the offshore deepwater Rabat-Sale Haute Mer area was signed through its wholly-owned subsidiary Petronas Carigali Overseas Sdn Bhd (PCOSB), The agreement and the contract were...

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PEOPLE: Matthew Rose joins consultant Global Change Associates

New York-based Global Change Associates (GCA) has announced that Matthew Rose has joined the energy consultant as a principal. He will assist GCA in strengthening its position as a leader in energy and environmental consulting and brings focused expertise in industry areas of technology assessment, demand response management, risk management and retail markets. As a...

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SINGAPORE: Keppel FELS signs rig agreement with Norwegian company

Singapore’s Keppel FELS Limited (KFELS) has signed an agreement with a wholly owned subsidiary of the Skeie Group AS of Norway to build a rig for US$126 million. Keppel said financing for the construction of the rig must be completed by February 16. Construction is expected to take around 26 months. The rig is described...

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MARKETS: OECD Nov oil stocks 2.527 billion barrels, down 22 million vs Oct – IEA

PARIS (AFX) – Oil stocks in the OECD countries were 2.527 billion barrels at end-November, corresponding to 51 days of consumption, down 22 million barrels from end-October and down 12 million barrels from a year earlier, the International Energy Agency said in its monthly report. Oil inventories were down 95 million barrels on their five-year...

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PHILIPPINES: Mirant clarifies remarks on potential IPO

Atlanta, US-based power company Mirant (MIRKQ) has issued a statement clarifying remarks concerning the potential IPO of a small portion of its Philippine operations. The company said the initial public offering (IPO) of part of the business is not a new development and has been the subject of previous public comment in both the Philippines...

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CHINA: Hong Kong-listed Chinese power firms have strong financial profiles -Moody’s

HONG KONG (AFX-ASIA) – Moody’s Investors Service said Hong Kong-listed Huaneng Power International, Beijing Datang Power and Huadian Power International continue to exhibit strong financial profiles, as strong growth in China’s electricity demand helps to mitigate uncertainties arising from sector reforms and tariff restructuring. Gary Lau, vice president and senior credit officer at Moody’s, said...

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CHINA: China is world’s 2nd biggest oil consumer in 2003, overtakes Japan

SHANGHAI (AFX-ASIA) – China has overtaken Japan to become the world’s second largest consumer of crude oil after the US, the Financial Times reported. The report cited International Energy Agency estimates showing that China consumed 5.46 million barrels a day last year, compared with Japan’s 5.43 million, and that China was the main driver behind...

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BANGLADESH: W’rtsil’ to supply gas power plant

Finalnad’s W’rtsil’ Corporation said it has been awarded a contract by Surma Energy Ltd, a company of Larfarge Surma Cement Ltd, to deliver a 30 MW power plant for a new cement plant of Lafarge Surma at Chhatak in Bangladesh. The power plant will be designed and constructed by W’rtsil’ under an Engineering, Procurement and...

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AUSTRALIA: Bounty Oil outlines ‘busy’ schedule for 2004

Australian upstream company Bounty Oil said it has outlined a ‘busy’ schedule of exploration and production activities in Africa, Australia and New Zealand for this year. It recently drilled the Nyuni-1 well in offshore Tanzania, West Africa to a depth of 3,355 metres. The field has an estimated 260 million barrels of oil reserves and...

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