US: Aggressive ethanol target affirmed despite infrastructure concern

(EnergyAsia, February 29, Friday) — The US government is pushing ahead with its proposed target to achieve nine billion gallons of ethanol in its gasoline pool this year despite industry concerns about the availability of infrastructure and transport to get the fuels to the retail pump. Last year, the target was seven billion gallons. Some (more…)

MARKETS: CEO of US oil firm warns of oil crisis within a decade

(EnergyAsia, February 29, Friday) — The world is heading for a major oil crisis within 10 years as oil producers are not investing to boost production capacities, said John Hess, the chief executive of US oil firm Hess Corp. Oil prices will spike sharply higher. “An oil crisis is coming, and sooner than most people (more…)

RUSSIA: Gazprom, Total, StatoilHydro creates company to develop first phase of gas field project

(EnergyAsia, February 29, Friday) — Russia’s Gazprom, France’s Total and Norway’s StatoilHydro have agreed to jointly form Shtokman Development AG to develop the first phase of the Shtokman gasfield in the Barents Sea. The field is thought to hold 3.8 trillion cubic meters of gas and 37 million tons of gas condensates. Gazprom will lead (more…)

SRI LANKA: IOC set to expand bunkering, storage operations

(EnergyAsia, February 29, Friday) — Lanka IOC, the Sri-Lanka based affiliate of Indian Oil Corp (IOC), is planning to bulk up its bunker fuel business in the country. The company started bunkering operations in the eastern port of Trincomalee last year. When new pipelines are in place to connect its joint venture Ceylon Petroleum Storage (more…)

MARKETS: Venezuela says will not cut oil supplies to US

(EnergyAsia, February 29, Friday) — Venezuela will not cut off its oil supplies to the US despite rising tensions between the two countries, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said. Venezuela had appeared ready to cut supplies to the US but pulled backed at the brink. Mr Chavez amended his threat by stating that a supply cut (more…)

NEW ZEALAND: Contact Energy invests in sustainable long-term growth

(EnergyAsia, February 29, Friday) — New Zealand’s Contact Energy said its earnings before net interest expense, income taxation, depreciation, amortisation and financial instruments (EBITDAF), edged up to NZ$281.9 million for the second half of 2007, compared with NZ$275.4 million for the same period in 2006. (US$1=NZ$1.3). After adjusting the reported profit of NZ$117.4 million for (more…)

SINGAPORE: LANXESS to build 400-million euro butyl rubber plant on Jurong Island

(EnergyAsia, February 29, Friday) — Leverkusen, Germany-based specialty chemicals group LANXESS will build a 100,000 metric tonne per year butyl rubber production plant on Singapore’s Jurong Island. The 400-million-euro plant is due to be commissioned in 2011, said Axel C. Heitmann, LANXESS chairman at a press conference in Singapore. The plant, the company’s largest, will (more…)

MARKETS: Rising oil prices, biofuels may bring famines in the next few years

(EnergyAsia, February 29, Friday) — Rising energy prices, in particular for oil, are driving up global food costs and causing food shortages in many poor countries around the world. For the first time in decades, the shortages will be severe enough to cause famines in the regions that are not prepared to deal with the (more…)

MARKETS: Supply disruptions help coal price spike

(EnergyAsia, February 29, Friday) — Supply disruptions in key coal producing parts of Australia, South Africa and China are adding to demand pressures and causing price spikes on the world markets. In South Africa, power shortages have crimped its industrial sector including its core mining, coal and metal industries. China has imposed curbs on coal (more…)

CHINA: Japan’s MHI to supply steam turbine generators to nuclear power plant

(EnergyAsia, February 29, Friday) — Japan’s  Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHI) said it has received an order from Shandong Nuclear Power Co Ltd to supply two packages of a steam turbine generator for use in the Haiyang Nuclear Power Plant to be built in Haiyang in China’s Shandong province. The STG packages, jointly proposed by (more…)

AUSTRALIA: Noble Group names two top executives to lead coal strategy

(EnergyAsia, February 28, Thursday) — Noble Group Limited, a global supply chain manager of agricultural, industrial and energy products, said it has appointed Gavin May, Gloucester Coal’s former CEO, and former CFO Barry Tudor, to lead Noble’s coal asset strategy in Australia. The company’s Australian coal assets include coking and thermal coal mines in the (more…)

CHINA: Higher diesel output to help counter power shortages, but supply fears remain

to ensure the economy will not be tripped up by energy shortages. CNPC and Sinopec, the country’s two largest oil and gas producers, recently ordered their refineries to produce more diesel for electricity generation to counter widespread power shortages caused by the severe winter weather that hit several provinces most of the last two months. (more…)

MARKETS: IEA predicts world oil demand to grow 1.9% to 87.6 million b/d this year

rise by 1.9% to 87.6 million b/d. This is about 200,000 b/d or 0.4 percentage points below its earlier forecast after taking into account the latest signs that the US economy has weakened further. The world economy is growing at its weakest pace since 2003 this year on the spreading impact of the US credit (more…)

MARKETS: US, China to continue stockpiling despite oil at US$100 a barrel

with their oil stockpiling programmes despite crude oil prices reaching US$100 a barrel this week. The US Department of Energy (DOE) told Congress it will not stop its programme to add 70,000 b/d of crude to the national emergency stockpile. By end-March, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will hold a record of more than 700 million (more…)

AUSTRALIA: Santos Ltd reports fall in fourth quarter output

fall in fourth-quarter production due largely to a shutdown at its key Mutineer-Exeter field. The Adelaide-based company did not provide an update on its 2008 production outlook. Its fourth-quarter production fell to 14 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), bringing the full-year production to 59.1 million boe. While it was within the forecast range of (more…)

IRAN: State agency says products storage capacity to rise 33% by 2010

storage capacity will rise by a third to 12 billion litres by March 2010. The National Iranian Oil Derivatives’ Distribution Company said it has signed deals for setting up 81 storage tanks in 34 out of 82 warehouses. New warehouse facilities are being built at 11 cities across the country. The agency said Iran now (more…)

MARKETS: OPEC may abandon US dollar within 10 years

has admitted it may sideline the US dollar and switch to the Euro to price its oil in response to the weakening greenback. In a first admission by the oil cartel, secretary-general Abdullah al-Badri said the move could happen within 10 years. The US currency has fallen by 50% against the Euro since 2000. Iran, (more…)

PAKISTAN: Energy shortages crimp economy

rates of recent years as worsening power shortages and political instability are taking an increasing toll on daily life. In recent weeks, the country’s industrial electricity deficit fell to some 3,600 megawatts (MW), the result of low water levels at hydro-power damns and supply disruptions after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto last December. Water levels (more…)

SINGAPORE: Chemoil clinches key storage deal with Brazil’s Petrobras

448,000 cubic-metre Helios oil storage terminal on Singapore’s Jurong Island to Brazil’s state oil major Petrobras. The terminal, which started up last month, will be officially opened today. Petrobras has been in the Singapore bunker fuel market since 2004, offering mainly low-sulphur fuel oil. The long-term lease with Chemoil will enable the Brazilian firm to (more…)

ASIA: Environment Ministers seek new funds to combat climate change

(EnergyAsia, February 28, Thursday) — Environment ministers from the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) are asking their development partners for additional financial and technical assistance to improve their environmental and natural resource management. In a joint statement issued after the second GMS Environment Ministers Meeting in Vientiane, Laos last month, the ministers called for the need (more…)

PHILIPPINES: World Bank’s IFC partners with BPI to expand access to sustainable energy finance

(EnergyAsia, February 27, Wednesday) — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, said it has agreed to help the Bank of the Philippine Islands build a sustainable energy financing loan portfolio. IFC will help BPI expand its financial products, focusing on micro, small, and medium enterprises in manufacturing. The bank will also focus on (more…)

VIETNAM: New LPG storage depot in Haiphong port

(EnergyAsia, February 27, Wednesday) — The Northern Liquefied Petroleum Gas Trading Joint Stock Company has started building a depot in the northern Vietnamese port city of Haiphong to store and handle LPG. Located in the Dinh Vu Industrial Park, the 388-billion-dong depot will store up to 7,500 tonnes when fully completed. (US$1=16,000 dong). Its first (more…)

SAUDI ARABIA: Far from peaking, crude production capacity seen reaching 12 million b/d by end-2009

(EnergyAsia, February 27, Wednesday) — Saudi Arabia will raise its crude production capacity to 12 million b/d by end 2009, said the CEO of the kingdom’s state oil and gas company, Aramco. Abdallah Jum’ah dismissed fears that Saudi oilfields including the giant Ghawar wells are at or near their reserves peak, and could soon begin (more…)

AUSTRALIA: State government to develop strategy to reduce Queensland’s oil demand

(EnergyAsia, February 27, Wednesday) — Australia’s Queensland state is looking to reduce its oil consumption as part of the government’s strategy to help its people reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. A subscriber to the ‘peak oil’ theory, Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation, Andrew McNamara, said the future availability of fossil fuel and (more…)

CHINA: Oil output and consumption reach record levels in 2007

(EnergyAsia, February 27, Wednesday) — China’s crude oil production and oil consumption reached record levels last year, said the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Association (CPIA). Its crude oil output rose 1.6% to a new high of 186.7 million tons, while its net import surged 14.7% to 159.28 million tons. Domestic consumption of crude oil (more…)