SOUTH KOREA: KEPCO ratings outlook changed to stable from positive Ð Fitch

SEOUL (AFX-ASIA) – Fitch Ratings said it has changed the outlook on Korea Electric Power Corporation’s (KEPCO) senior unsecured foreign currency rating to “stable” from “positive” due to uncertainty about its plan to sell its power generating units. The rating agency has affirmed the “A-” rating. Fitch said the change in outlook reflects continued delays…

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CHINA: Government mum on progress of Sino-Russian oil pipeline negotiations

BEIJING (AFX-ASIA) – China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the state-owned oil giant negotiating with Russia on an oil pipeline between the two countries, would not comment on the status of the project following reports that a rival pipeline had already been decided upon. “We are not speaking to the media about this,” a CNPC spokeswoman…

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INDONESIA: Plans to tender 10 new oil, gas blocks in October

JAKARTA (AFX-ASIA) – The government is planning to tender ten new oil and gas blocks in October and has delayed the completion of another tender of 10 blocks. slated for earlier this year pending possible changes in taxation rules, reports said Bisnis Indonesia quoted Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources’ Director General for Oil and…

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AUSTRALIA: Bounty Oil & Gas reports 93% subscription rate for its share offer

Australian upstream company Bounty Oil & Gas NL (Bounty) has announced a 93% take-up of its recent share purchase plan. The plan was underwritten by Burdett Buckeridge Young Limited who will take the shortfall at 14.5 Australian cents per share, helping Bounty to raise $1,993,750. (US$1=A$1.3). Based on the allotment price of 14.5 cents per…

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MALAYSIA: Tenaga Nasional higher on talk of tariff increase

KUALA LUMPUR (AFX-ASIA) – Tenaga Nasional Bhd shares have been boosted by recent talks that the company may be lobbying more aggressively for a long-overdue tariff hike following the general election, dealers said. “Some investors are accumulating Tenaga shares in the hope that it will get its overdue tariff hike after the general election,” a…

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MARKETS: US crude inventories up for week ending March 19

Latest data showed that US commercial crude oil inventories climbed by 7.5 million barrels for the week ending March 19, said the US Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). While most analysts and traders were expecting an increase in crude oil stocks, it said that no one imagined the increase would be so large….

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JAPAN: Electricity, gas firms compete for slice of energy market

Amid stagnant growth in household energy consumption caused by the prolonged recession, the electricity and gas industries are locked in fierce competition for sale of safe, cheap energy to homes, according to a Japan Times report. The power industry is selling what it calls a “totally electrified housing concept” in which electricity is used for…

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JAPAN: Nippon Oil, Idemitsu to jointly operate ships to cut costs Ð report

TOKYO (AFX-ASIA) – Nippon Oil Corp, the nation’s largest oil refiner and distributor, and Idemitsu Kosan Co will start jointly operating vessels that carry gasoline and other oil products along Japanese coasts in order to reduce transportation costs, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported, citing unnamed sources. The newspaper reported over the weekend that shipping schedules,…

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KOREA: Car use could be restricted to protect oil reserves Ð Yonhap

SEOUL (AFX-ASIA) – The government plans to restrict the use of passenger cars next month if oil prices rise further, in a bid to maintain reserves, reports said. The plan calls for car owners to leave their vehicles at home one in every 10 days, Yonhap news agency reported. Restrictions may follow a meeting by…

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CHINA: Petrochina reports record net profit of RMB69.614 billion

PetroChina Company Limited (SEHK stock code 0857; NYSE: PTR) has announced a net profit of RMB69.614 billion for the year ending December 31, 2003, up 48.4% from the previous year. (US$1=8.27 yuan). Describing it as its best performance since it became a listed company, PetroChina said it achieved full profitability in all four business segments….

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JAPAN: Oil distributors to sell ultralow-sulphur gasoline next year

TOKYO (AFX-ASIA) – In a bid to gain a head start on stricter sulphur regulations to take effect in a few years, major Japanese oil distributors, such as Nippon Oil Corp and Japan Energy Corp, will start shipping ultralow-sulfur gasoline and gas oil in January 2005, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported, without citing sources. The…

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CHINA: State Grid 2004 fixed-asset investment to rise 19% to 81.5 billion yuan

BEIJING (AFX-ASIA) – China’s State Grid Corp, one of the country’s two state-owned electricity supply firms, said its fixed-asset investment will rise 19% to 81.5 billion yuan this year, according to a statement issued on the company’s website. (US$1=8.27 yuan). It said 47.6 billion yuan will be invested in major power infrastructure projects, 30.7 billion…

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QATAR: QP, Sasol Chevron announce US$6 billion blueprint to boost GTL

Qatar Petroleum (QP) and Sasol Chevron have unveiled a US$6 billion plan to evaluate the expansion of ORYX GTL from 34,000 bbl/day to 100,000 barrels/day. QP and Sasol Chevron have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the ORYX GTL Expansion project and have discussed the technical and business principles that will support the planned…

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SHARES: Resources sector earnings, China to offset US concerns Ð Goldman

SYDNEY (AFX-ASIA) – Major resources stocks are likely to see some volatility over coming months as concerns about the quality of the US economic recovery weigh on investors’ minds, Goldman Sachs JBWere said. But in the longer term, earnings momentum and solid demand out of China should ensure the sector remains strong, it said. In…

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SINGAPORE: China Aviation Oil, Dubai’s ENOC sign MOUs on oil-related projects in Middle East, Singap

Singapore Exchange-listed China Aviation Oil (Singapore) Corporation Ltd (CAO) has signed two Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with Dubai’s Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) LLC Group that includes: 1.&nbsp&nbsp&nbspthe acquisition by CAO of up to a 20% stake in an ENOC terminal subsidiary, Horizon Terminals Limited (HTL); 2.&nbsp&nbsp&nbspa joint venture to build a US$135 million terminal…

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MARKETS: A year after the US invasion of Iraq, economic confidence fragile

WASHINGTON (AFX) — The US economy has grown briskly in the year since the military took its first steps to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, led by rallies in both the U.S. stock and bond markets. But the American people are still deeply troubled about both the economy and terrorism. Saddam is behind…

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OMAN: Oil retailer Al Maha in strategic tie-up with Enoc-Eppco

Oman’s leading petroleum retailer Al Maha has entered into a strategic tie-up with UAE’s oil company Enoc-Eppco resulting in a ‘cross acceptance agreement’ between the two, said the Khaleej Times. According to the report, Al Maha customers will now have the convenience of using their Smart fuel cards and e-rial cards at any of the…

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QATAR: Qatar Petroleum, Japan Drilling Co establish Gulf Drilling International

Qatar Petroleum and Japan Drilling Company (JDC) this week signed an agreement to establish the first national drilling company in Qatar named Gulf Drilling International (GDI). Qatar Petroleum owns 60% of the company while JDC holds the other 40%. Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Qatar’s second Deputy Premier Minister of Energy and Industry, signed on behalf…

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RUSSIA: Yukos, Lukoil, BP, TNK demand right to build private oil pipeline in Russia

MOSCOW (AFX) – The Union of Oil Exporters, which includes Yukos, Lukoil, BP PLC and its partner TNK, said it has written to the government to demand the right to build a partly privately-owned pipeline, breaking the state’s monopoly on oil export routes. “The network of Russian pipelines does not meet the needs of oil…

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INDONESIA: Government plans to sell KPC stake via open tender Ð minister

JAKARTA (AFX-ASIA) – The government is planning to sell a 32.4% stake in PT Kaltim Prima Coal via an open tender, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said. The stake on offer is part of the 51% stake that must be sold by PT Bumi Resources to local investors to comply with the coal…

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CHINA: Shipping companies to benefit from oil imports; capacity a constraint

BEIJING (AFX-ASIA) – China’s shipping companies, such as China Shipping Development Co Ltd (SHA 600026; HK 1138), will benefit from the country’s surging crude oil imports in the coming years, though capacity will be a constraint for undertaking large shipment orders, analysts said. They said China’s increasing crude oil imports are an unprecedented opportunity for…

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IRAQ: Oil flows, but U.S. oil companies wait

DALLAS (AFX) — Critics of the Iraq War said U.S. oil companies would invade Iraq right behind the troops, but a year later the Iraqis are still extracting and selling their own oil. Oil-service giant Halliburton, with a multibillion-dollar contract to restore the country’s oil flow, has cashed in while American oil-producing companies like Exxon…

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SINGAPORE: Keppel FELS adds another rig to its order book

Singapore’s Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) said it has secured a US$114 million contract from Odfjell Drilling to build a KFELS B class jackup rig. The contract includes an option for another two units, with price adjustment for increase in steel prices and currency fluctuations. The design of the jackup rig is proprietary to Keppel…

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MALAYSIA: Petra Perdana to buy vessel

KUALA LUMPUR (AFX-ASIA) – Oil and gas company Petra Perdana Bhd said unit Petra Resources Sdn Bhd has agreed to buy a shipping vessel for RM13.95 million from France’s Group Bourbon. (US$1=RM3.8) In a statement, the company said the move is in line with its plans to expand its core businesses in providing engineering, operations,…

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QATAR: Gas exporters target Asia as market with greatest potential

Algerian Minister of Energy and Mines Chakib Khelil said Asia holds great potential for development of the liquefied natural gas market, according to the Gulf Times. Asia’s gas consumption is expected to increase threefold to 623 billion cubic metres (bcm) by 2025, Dr Khelil said in his keynote address at the LNG14 gathering in Qatar….

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