SINGAPORE: Ezra orders US$25.6 million vessel to support offshore oil and gas activities

(EnergyAsia, June 1, Friday) — Ezra Holdings Limited, a leading Singapore-based provider of integrated offshore support and marine services to the offshore oil and gas industry, is expanding its fleet to support deepwater offshore oil and gas exploration. Through wholly-owned Lewek Shipping, Ezra has awarded a US$25.6 million contract, which excludes owner furnished equipment, to...

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ASIA: APEC Energy Ministers launch the Darwin Declaration

(EnergyAsia, June 1, Friday) — After two days of meetings, the eighth APEC Energy Ministers’ Meeting in Darwin this week concluded with the release of the “Darwin Declaration”, recognising the need to deploy cleaner, more efficient and sustainable energy technologies. Key outcomes featured an agreement to improve energy efficiency through a range of measures, including...

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AUSTRALIA: Government to raise PV pogramme rebate levels for households, schools and communities

(EnergyAsia, June 1, Friday) — The Australian government has announced an increase in the rebates to be given to households, schools and community organisations applying for the new A$150 million solar power programme. (US$1=A$1.2). Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Malcolm Turnbull, said the photovoltaic rebate, which was doubled in this year’s national budget,...

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CHINA: Financial, economic reforms needed to address energy problems, say US scholars

(EnergyAsia, June 1, Friday) — China cannot reduce its heavy dependence on energy resources and address energy-related environmental problems unless it implements financial market reforms, said the US State Department. The single most important factor driving up Chinese energy consumption is its skewed financial system, which not only allows state-owned companies to keep much of...

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MARKETS: Dubai, Omani governments to use local exchange to price crude exports

(EnergyAsia, June 1, Friday) — The battlelines for crude oil pricing in the crucial Middle East market are being re-drawn with the launch of new contracts by rivals Dubai Mercantile Exchange Limited (DME) and the Atlanta-based InterContinental Exchange (ICE). The Dubai and Omani governments will replace the historical Platts-based system with the futures prices of...

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DUBAI: Oman government buys 30% stake in Dubai Mercantile Exchange

(EnergyAsia, June 1, Friday) — The Dubai Mercantile Exchange Limited (DME), initially a joint venture between Dubai Holding’s Tatweer, and the New York Mercantile Exchange Inc, (NYMEX), said it has agreed to sell a 30% equity stake to the state-owned Oman Investment Fund (OIF). This transaction follows the announcement by Oman’s Ministry of Oil &...

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KOREA: PowerLight completes 2.2 megawatt project in Mungyeong

(EnergyAsia, June 1, Friday) — PowerLight Corp, a SunPower Corp subsidiary, said it has completed construction of Mungyeong SP Solar Mountain, a 2.2-megawatt solar electric power plant in the Korean city of Mungyeong, Korea. The plant consists of 10,500 panels, covering an area of approximately 43,000 square meters. PowerLight worked as a subcontractor to LG...

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MARKETS: ICE says its Platts-linked Middle East Sour crude futures contract off to a ‘strong start’

(EnergyAsia, June 1, Friday) —- NYSE-listed IntercontinentalExchange (ICE), the leading electronic energy marketplace and soft commodity exchange, said its new Middle East Sour crude futures contract is “off to a strong start”. Launched at ICE Futures, its UK-regulated futures subsidiary, on May 21, the contract reached trading volume of 3,868 on its third trading day....

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NEW ZEALAND: Austria’s OMV awarded new exploration permit off North Island

(EnergyAsia, June 1, Friday) — OMV Aktiengesellschaft, Central Europe’s leading oil and gas group, is boosting its New Zealand portfolio with a new offshore exploration permit on the west coast of North Island. OMV New Zealand, a wholly owned subsidiary of OMV, has been awarded the entire offshore exploration Block PEP 381200 by the New...

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PHILIPPINES: Biofuels law being implemented

(EnergyAsia, June 1, Friday) — The Philippines has implemented a new biofuels law from May 6 mandating diesel fuel to contain a 1% coco methyl ester biodiesel mix. That mix could be increased to 2% by 2009. The Biofuels Act also mandates fuel to contain a 5% bioethanol blend within two years, eventually rising to...

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AUSTRALIA: State grants A$7 million for development of solar energy storage system

(EnergyAsa, May 28, Monday) — The first large scale working demonstration of a solar energy storage system based on research undertaken at The Australian National University will be developed thanks to a $7 million grant from the Australian government.   The system uses ammonia-based thermochemical solar energy storage and is intended for use with   ‘Big...

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VIETNAM: Industry minister keeping close eye on Dung Quat refinery construction

(EnergyAsia, May 28, Monday) — The Vietnamese government is struggling to build the country’s first oil refinery in the central province of Dung Quat.   In its latest attempt to step up work rate at the troubled project, the industry ministry is implementing weekly video conferences with PetroVietnam and the Dung Quat Oil Refinery’s (DOR)...

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KUWAIT: Cost of new refinery balloons to US$12 billion

(EnergyAsia, May 28, Monday) — The rising costs of materials, labour and construction has forced Kuwait to raise the budget for its proposed fourth refinery to US$12 billion, nearly double earlier cost estimates.   Kuwait National Petroleum Co (KNPC) initially had planned to spend only about US$6.3 billion on the 615,000 b/d refinery, but that...

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INDIA: Essar Oil to borrow $100 million for refinery upgrade

(EnergyAsia, May 28, Monday) — India’s Essar Oil plans to raise US$100 million from external borrowings to fund the expansion and upgrade of its 10.5 million tonnes/year oil refinery in Khambalia in Gujarat state. India’s ICICI Bank is the principal facilitator for the fund-raising exercise.   Essar Oil is hoping to boost the refinery’s capacity...

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CHINA: CNOOC, ConocoPhillips building offshore oil storage facility

(EnergyAsia, May 28, Monday) — China National Offshore Oil Co Ltd said it and ConocoPhillips China Inc are building the country’s largest floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit for use in the Bohai Sea.   Due for completion in late 2008, the FPSO will be deployed to support the development of the offshore Penglai...

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KUWAIT: Oil management faces shake-up amid growing discontent

(EnergyAsia, May 28, Monday) — Kuwait’s cosy oil industry is facing its biggest upheaval in years as Oil Minister Sheikh Ali Jarrah al-Sabah is threatening a major shake-up of the bureaucracy amid charges of corruption and poor management as well as declining crude reserves.   Mr al-Sabah, himself a target of critics, said he plans...

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MIDDLE EAST: Gulf states may build pipelines to bypass Hormuz threat

(Energy Asia, May 28, Monday) — Middle East oil producers are looking at building pipelines to deliver their crude supplies to avoid the narrow Strait of Hormuz in the event of a conflict between the US and Iran. Around 20% of the world’s crude supplies sail through the strait.   The Paris-based International Energy Agency...

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UAE: Vitol to take over 82,000 b/d state-owned oil refinery

(EnergyAsia, May 28, Monday) — Swiss-based oil trader Vitol has bought the majority stake in a mothballed 82,000 b/d oil refinery from the UAE’s Fujairah government. Vitol is expected to restart the Fujairah Refinery Co plant which has been idled since March 2003.   The agreement for the refinery, once owned by bankrupt Metro Oil...

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AUSTRALIA: Shell chairman casts doubt over future of local refiners

(EnergyAsia, May 28, Monday) — Shell Australia has cast doubt over the future of its refining operations after chairman Russell Caplan said it might be more viable to import rather than produce gasoline, jet fuel and diesel in the country.   After years of neglect and lack of investment, Australia’s total refining capacity is barely...

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ASIA: APEC energy ministers to focus on energy security and sustainability

(EnergyAsia, May 28, Monday) — The eighth meeting of APEC Energy Ministers, being held in Darwin, Australia this week, will be an important opportunity for the regions’ economies to focus on the key challenges of energy security and sustainability, said AustraliaÕs Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, who is chairing the meeting.   The meeting will run...

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AUSTRALIA: Producers extend Cooper Basin ethane supply contract with Qenos

(EnergyAsia, May 25, Friday) — The South Australian Cooper Basin consortium led by Santos has extended its contract to supply ethane to Qenos.   Under the contract extension, the producers will supply a total of up to 56 additional petajoules of ethane to Qenos’ Botany plant in Sydney from late 2007 until early 2013.  ...

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CHINA: PetroChina to build oil terminals in Guangzi province by mid-2008

(EnergyAsia, May 25, Friday) — State-owned PetroChina aims to complete the construction of two 100,000-tonne oil terminals in an unspecified location in southwestern China a year from now. The facilities will serve a new 200,000 b/d oil refinery that will be built to serve the fast-growing markets of Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi.   Qinzhou port...

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CHINA: Two CNOOC firms awarded licences to operate oil storage business

(EnergyAsia, May 25, Friday) — China’s Ministry of Commerce said it has awarded Sichuan Ludi Oil Sales Co Ltd and Wuhu Erhuan Oil Co Ltd licences to operate oil product storage business. The two CNOOC subsidiaries will also be allowed to trade oil products on the domestic wholesale market.   In a statement, the ministry...

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MARKETS: Uranium price to reach US$160 per pound by end-2008 as nuclear energy sees rebirth in North

(EnergyAsia, May 25, Friday) — Concerns over greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired electricity plants will see a rebirth of nuclear energy in North America and continue to drive the price of uranium to record highs, said Canada’s CIBC World Markets.   In a recent report, CIBC said that environmental opposition has already forced TXU, the...

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US: Lack of refining capacity blamed for record pump prices

(EnergyAsia, May 25, Friday) — The lack of refining capacity in the US is the main reason for higher pump prices, said industry experts.   Testifying before a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee recently, the experts told lawmakers that oil companies had not been investing enough in refining facilities leaving the nation with no...

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