COMPANY: Royal Dutch/Shell ratings cut to Aa1 FROM Aaa by Moody’s, Fitch

LONDON (AFX) – Moody’s Investors Service said it downgraded the long-term debt ratings of the guaranteed subsidiaries of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group to Aa1 from Aaa, citing the group’s diminished prospects and positioning and its corporate governance problems following a series of reserve writedowns. Moody’s said it acted on a rating review initiated on Jan...

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JAPAN: Cosmo Oil lower after reported customer data leak

TOKYO (AFX-ASIA) – Cosmo Oil Co Ltd shares have been place under pressure after a news report that personal data on the company’s card holders may have been leaked. Cosmo Oil said that although the scale of the data leakage is still unknown, it may involve all 2.2 million cardholders. Cosmo’s card allows holders to...

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THAILAND: Energy utility EGAT halts privatisation plan – union leader

BANGKOK (AFX-ASIA) – The board of Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), the country’s largest energy utility, has decided to halt the company’s privatisation plan, union leader Sirichai Mai-ngarm said. He said the new chairman of EGAT’s board, Chai-anan Samudavanija, signed a pact last week with him to halt the privatisation of the state enterprise....

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CHINA: CNOOC confirms oil finds in Bohai Bay

China’s CNOOC Limited (CNOOC Ltd: NYSE CEO, SEHK 883) said it has confirmed oil finds in two appraisal wells, BZ 34-1-6 and BZ 34-1-7, in the Bohai Bay area. It said the wells were drilled successfully on the BZ 34-1 structure. “Both BZ34-1-6 and BZ 34-1-7 are located in 21 metres of water depth, Southern...

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CHINA: China Construction Bank boasts sound quality in power sector loans

BEIJING (AFX-ASIA) – State-owned China Construction Bank (CCB) said more than 10% of its outstanding loans as at end-2003 were to the power sector, lending to which has grown at a double-digit rate since 1998. In a statement, CCB said its loans to the power sector have “the best asset quality and lowest risks” of...

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AUSTRALIA: BHP Billiton updates 1Q report on exploration and development activities

Australia’s resources company BHP Billiton has given an update of its upstream activities for the first quarter. In February, it completed capital allocation for its Atlantis oil and gas project in the Gulf of Mexico, the US. Its share of total project expenditure is US$1.1 billion. The facility is designed to produce at a daily...

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ASIA: Spain’s Cepsa mulls installing petrochemical plant in Far East as gateway to China

MADRID (AFX) – Cia Espanola de Petroleos SA is studying the possibility of building a petrochemical plant in Taiwan, Korea or Singapore, as a gateway to the Chinese market, chairman Carlos Perez de Bricio said. Speaking to reporters, Mr de Bricio said the project, which would be in collaboration with local partners, “is fairly advanced,”...

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JAPAN: Kashima oil refinery blaze put out after more than two days – fire service

TOKYO (AFX-ASIA) – A fire at an oil refinery east of Tokyo died out last Friday after burning for more than two days, a fire service spokesman said. “The fire burned itself out at 10.10 am (0010 GMT),” said the spokesman in Kashima, about 100 kilometers east of Tokyo. Firemen contained the blaze at the...

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INDONESIA: Apexindo’s income down 17.3% to 52.7 billion rupiah

Indonesia’s listed oil drilling contractor, PT Apexindo Pratama Duta, has reported a 17.3% drop in income to 52.7 billion rupiah despite a 47.9% rise in revenue to 823.2 billion rupiah. (US$1=8,500 rupiah). At its recent annual general meeting, the Apexindo board approved a dividend payment of12.2 billion rupiah or 23.2 % of the company’s total...

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INDONESIA: Government says no fuel, electricity hikes in 2005

The Indonesian government said it has decided not to raise fuel prices or electricity rates next year as it continues to subsidise the two commodities, according to a Jakarta Post report. The proposal is contained in the draft of the 2005 state budget, which will be submitted to the House of Representatives for deliberation on...

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CHINA: Xinao Gas to invest 296 million yuan in 4 gas supply projects

BEIJING (AFX-ASIA) – Xinao Gas Holdings (2688 HK) will invest 296 million yuan in four piped-gas supply projects, the South China Morning Post reported. (US$1=8.27 yuan). The Hong Kong-based newspaper quoted Wang Yusuo, chairman, as saying the projects, to be located at Guilin in Guangxi, Tongliao in Inner Mongolia and two in Shangdong province, will...

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AUSTRALIA: BHP Billiton reports mixed 1Q performance for oil and gas output

Australia’s resources company BHP Billiton said its production of refined oil products and natural gas rose in the first quarter, while its crude oil output fell. Its oil products output rose 5% year-on-year to 29.8 million barrels, but this was offset by a 6% decline in its oil and condensate production to 14.3 million barrels....

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THAILAND: Government may strip Egat of most assets before listing

The Thai government will likely strip off the bulk of Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand’s assets (Egat) before listing it on the local stock exchange, according to Business Day quoting the Thai energy minister Prommin Lertsuridej. Egat will only be left with its power generation facilities while its other assets will be transferred to a...

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UAE: Dolphin Energy awards contract to Italy’s Saipem install offshore production sealines

Dolphin Energy Limited said it has awarded Italy’s engineering group Saipem a US$115 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) sealines contract. The award covers the engineering, procurement and installation of two 36-inch diameter concrete-coated sealines offshore north east Qatar, for the forthcoming Dolphin natural gas project. Saipem was also recently awarded the EPC contract for...

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AUSTRALIA: Woodside Petroleum Q1 sales revenue down almost 15%

SYDNEY (AFX-ASIA) – Woodside Petroleum Ltd, majority owned by Royal Dutch/Shell, said its first quarter to March sales revenue fell around 14.8% year-on-year to A$528.8 million, reflecting lower earnings from its North West Shelf, Laminaria and Legendre projects. (US$1=A$1.36). In its quarterly production report, the oil and gas group said total production for the quarter...

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CHINA Local airline officials welcome trade in fuel oil futures

BEIJING (AFX-ASIA) – China’s airline officials responded positively to the government’s decision to launch fuel oil futures in Shanghai, as the move signifies that jet fuel futures trading will be permitted soon, the Securities Times reported. Citing airline officials, the newspaper said the expected lifting of the ban on jet fuel futures trading could allow...

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CHINA: CNOOC says CNOOC Finance deposits no breach of listing rules; HKSE launches investigation

HONG KONG (AFX-ASIA) – Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEx, 388.HK) has launched an investigation into transactions between CNOOC and a finance company controlled by its parent, China National Offshore Oil Corp, the South China Morning Post said quoting a spokesman. The spokesman said HKEX has been following up on the developments in CNOOC...

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PEOPLE: Esso Australia chairman to head ExxonMobil International

Bob Olsen, Esso Australia’s chairman, has been named to head ExxonMobil International. He will move to London. Mr Olsen has been chairman of ExxonMobil in Australia since the giant oil companies’ merger in 1999 after coming to Australia a year earlier to head Esso Australia, according to the Herald News. He has been a prominent...

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CHINA: CNPC wants to build second pipeline to link gas field and Beijing

China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the country’s leading oil and gas producer, has asked Beijing for permission to build China’s second pipeline linking the Xinjiang gas field to Beijing by end 2005. According to Xinhua News Agency, the pipeline will have an annual capacity of 12 billion cubic meters. It will be connected with China’s...

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UAE: Dolphin Energy to supply natural gas to Oman

Dolphin Energy Limited said it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Oman Oil Company, with a view to supply natural gas to the Sultanate of Oman. The MOU provides for the creation of a Joint Steering Committee and Working Group to immediately negotiate Heads of Agreement (HOA) and then a Gas Sales and...

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IRAQ: Baghdad sells more oil than expected to Exxon; oil prices stay firm

BAGHDAD (AFX) – Iraq sold higher-than-expected levels of oil pumped from its northern fields to ExxonMobil Corp, Repsol YPF and three other foreign firms who were successful at an auction last week, an official at the country’s oil ministry said. “Quantities sold in mid-April to five international oil firms through tender reached 7.6 million barrels...

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INDONESIA: Sunov, Medco contest heats up over bid for Australia’s Novus

The bidding process for Australia’s oil and gas producer Novus Petroleum is heating up, as Australian-based Sunov Petroleum Pty said it would raise its bid for the company to counter a takeover bid by Indonesia’s PT Medco Energi Internasional, according to a Jakarta Post report. In a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), Sunov...

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CHINA: Huaneng Power higher in Hong Kong on asset purchase plans; Morgan Stanley ups target price

HONG KONG (AFX-ASIA) – Huaneng Power International Inc (902.HK) shares have moved higher over the past week after the company announced plans to buy assets and interests in five power plants in China for 4.575 billion yuan, dealers said. (US$1=8.27 yuan). Huaneng Power said the acquisitions will increase its equity-based generation capacity by 3,096 megawatts...

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PHILIPPINES: First power-generating wind farm in Southeast Asia

MANILA (AFX-ASIA)- The Philippines is building Southeast Asia’s first power-generating wind farm, which should start operations in December, the head of the company behind the project said. Northwind Power Development Corp president Niels Jacobsen said construction began last week on the US$38 million power plant, which will use 15 wind turbines to generate power. The...

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THAILAND: Domestic oil prices to rise

The Thai government has warned that retail oil prices, which have been fixed at a subsidised rate for more than 100 days now, may rise in the near future. Energy Minister Prommin Lertsuridej told the Nation newspaper that world oil prices had continued to rise. Crude oil prices have risen to US$38/barrel in recent weeks,...

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