SAUDI ARABIA: Aramco says committed to Yanbu refinery despite ConocoPhillips’ withdrawal

(EnergyAsia, April 27 2010, Tuesday) — Saudi oil giant Saudi Aramco said it is committed to completing its proposed export-oriented oil refinery project in Yanbu after joint venture partner ConocoPhillips of the US pulled out last week. The companies had planned to start constructing the 400,000 b/d refinery later this year for completion by late…

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INDIA: IOC unit to invest 100 billion rupees to increase refining capacity

(EnergyAsia, April 27 2010, Tuesday) — Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (CPCL), a unit of Indian Oil Corporation, said it has decided to expand its refinery base in Manali while delaying plans to build a new one in Ennore Port, located about 24 km north of Chennai Port. CPCL is allocating 100 billion rupees to replace…

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INDIA: First strategic crude oil reserves expected to be completed by October 2011

(EnergyAsia, April 27 2010, Tuesday) — India’s state-owned Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd said it expects to complete the construction of its first strategic crude oil storage terminal in the city port of Visakhapatnam by October next year. The underground rock caverns will have the capacity to store 1.33 million tonnes. Another terminal in Mangalore will…

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IRAN: More supertankers used for storing oil

(EnergyAsia, April 27 2010, Tuesday) — Under seige from trade sanctions and threat of war, Iran has chartered more supertankers to store surplus crude oil, reminiscent of a move that helped triple global freight rates in 2008. Traders said the Islamic regime has added at least seven such vessels to store oil in the Persian…

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MARKETS: US housing data spurred late gains in oil prices for week ended April 23

(EnergyAsia, April 26 2010, Monday) — This article was written by Darrell Delamaide for Oilprice.com.

After languishing most of the week, crude oil prices galloped to the finish line on April 23 Friday, tacking on 1.7% and recouping most of the previous week’s losses as positive new-housing sale data spurred most markets forward.

The decision by the Greek government on Friday to activate a bailout plan from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund eased pressure on the euro, contributing to oil price gains as the dollar slipped against the joint European currency.

The benchmark West Texas Intermediate contract gained $1.42 Friday to end the week at $85.12 a barrel, compared with the benchmark’s finish of $83.24 in the previous week.

An unexpectedly strong gain of 27% in US new housing sales in March – the strongest monthly gain in nearly five years – galvanised a market looking for any sign of a pickup in US demand for oil. Stock markets also advanced on the news, led by energy stocks.

The week started with oil prices taking a hit in the wake of Iceland’s volcano grounding most northern European flights and then bounced back on Tuesday as authorities began to ease flight restrictions. Some analysts also cited lingering concern about U.S. fraud charges against Goldman Sachs for Monday’s decline, after the announcement of the civil suit last Friday pushed most markets down.

The weekly US inventory report on Wednesday was bearish for oil prices, showing high stockpiles of crude in the Midwest, where influx of new Canadian oil and a temporary slump in demand due to refinery maintenance led to a build-up in stocks.

For much of the week, the exchange rate between the euro and the dollar tended to drive oil prices amid mixed economic data. The euro trended lower through Thursday with the uncertainty about Greece maintaining pressure on it. The formal announcement on Friday that Greece would in fact seek the funds removed some of that uncertainty.

The IMF said in its World Economic Outlook that relatively strong economic growth would keep upward pressure on most commodities prices. However, the multilateral lending agency cautioned that in the case of oil, OPEC could increase its production if it wanted to keep oil prices in the $70 to $80 trading range.

SINGAPORE: Falcon Energy expected to complete acquisition of CH Offshore Ltd this week

(EnergyAsia,April 26 2010, Monday) — Singapore-listed Falcon Energy Group Limited (FEG) will proceed to acquire CH Offshore Ltd this week, following on from last month’s approval given by shareholders to its proposal to purchase up to 205 million ordinary shares from Scomi Marine Services Pte Ltd for S$143.5 million in cash. (US$1=S$1.38). FEG had initiated…

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JAPAN: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries completes development of LNG-FPSO model

(EnergyAsia, April 26 2010, Monday) — Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHI) said it has developed its proprietary floating production, storage and offloading models for liquefied natural gas (LNG-FPSO), and obtained two kinds of approval in principle (AIP) from major international ship classification societies. With the societies’ recognition of the models’ safety and reliability, MHI…

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MARKETS: The search for a reserve currency

(EnergyAsia, April 26 2010, Monday) — This article was written by Gregory R. Copley for Oilprice.com. Currency, like all forms of abstract value, is based on trust. And trust itself is based – except among the most naïve – on experience, and the repetitive demonstration of fidelity, whether positive or negative. At present, the US…

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KYRGYZSTAN: The other players in the Kyrgyz Revolution

(EnergyAsia, April 26 2010, Monday) — This article, the second of a three-part series, was written by John CK Daly for Oilprice.com. The recent unrest in Kyrgyzstan has largely been portrayed as an epic clash between US and Russian interests. That said, interest in events in Bishkek extend far beyond Kyrgyzstan throughout the region. Neighbouring…

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QATAR: Laffan condensate refinery launched

(EnergyAsia, April 26 2010, Monday) — Qatar officially launched its Laffan refinery, one of the world’s largest condensate refineries, early this month. The refinery, which began production in September, has the capacity to process 146,000 b/d of condensate supplied by the country’s two leading gas companies, Qatargas and RasGas. The refinery can produce 63,000 b/d…

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MIDDLE EAST: UAE navy clashed with Saudi Arabian vessel

(EnergyAsia, April 26 2010, Monday) — A UAE naval boat opened fire on a small patrol vessel from Saudi Arabia last month in waters claimed by both countries and Qatar. Two Saudi sailors were reported injured. The Saudi crew surrendered and were delivered into custody in Abu Dhabi for several days before being handed over…

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ASIA: Economies of developing members to expand by 7.5% this year, 7.3% next year

(EnergyAsia, April 26 2010, Monday) — The economies of developing Asia is expected to grow by 7.5% this year and 7.3% next year as its strong recovery from the effects of the global economic crisis is likely to continue through the next two years, said the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In its Asian Development Outlook…

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INDONESIA: Mitsui & Co cancels plans for refinery with Pertamina

(EnergyAsia, April 23 2010, Friday) — Unable to resolve their disagreements stretching over a decade, Japan’s Mitsui & Co has scrapped plans to jointly build a residue-fluid catalytic cracking unit at the Cilacap refinery with Indonesia’s state-owned energy firm PT Pertamina. The move deals a major blow to the Southeast Asian nation’s efforts to reduce…

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MALAYSIA: KIC launched two floating storage terminals, to launch another 22 vessels by 2013

(EnergyAsia, April 23 2010, Friday) — KIC Oil and Gas, Malaysia’s largest private operator of oil terminals, has invested US$40 million in two new floating storage units converted from very large crude carriers, bringing its total capacity to more than 900,000 cubic metres. The company has also signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Thailand’s…

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AUSTRALIA: Riversdale Mining’s Benga coal project officially opened by Mozambique’s President

(EnergyAsia, April 23 2010, Friday) — Australia’s Riversdale Mining Limited said the President of the Republic of Mozambique, Armando Emilio Guebuza, attended the ground breaking ceremony at the Benga coal project to signify the official opening of the mine. Riversdale, the project’s operator, owns a 65% stake with India’s Tata Steel the remaining 35%. The…

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AUSTRALIA: Petrobras acquires 50% stake in Carnarvon gas project

(EnergyAsia, April 23 2010, Frisday) — Brazil’s state-owned Petrobras said its wholly-owned subsidiary, Petrobras Internacional Braspetro PIB BV, has acquired from MEO Australia Ltd a 50% participating stake in the Carnarvon Basin’s exploratory block WA-36P in Australia for $39 million. The 1.2 sq km block, in water depth of 500 metres, is situated close to…

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INDIA: NTPC, IOC consider bio-diesel and lubricants projects

(EnergyAsia, April 23 2010, Friday) — India’s largest power generation company, NTPC, and its largest oil refiner, Indian Oil Corp, are considering joint projects to produce biodiesel and lubricants. Officials said the two state-owned companies would undertake research and development on an integrated biodiesel unit using biomass. The companies have set up working groups to…

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INDONESIA: MHI secures order to build 815MW coal-fired power plant for PT Paiton Energy

(EnergyAsia, April 23 2010, Friday) — Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd (MHI) said it has received an order from independent power producer (IPP) PT Paiton Energy to build an 815 MW supercritical-pressure coal-fired power generation plant in East Javan in Indonesia. Paiton Energy, a joint venture firm established by companies in Japan, Indonesia and the…

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SAUDI ARABIA: Arabtank Terminal plans to raise oil storage capacity at Yanbu

(EnergyAsia, April 23 2010, Friday) — Saudi Arabia’s Arabtank Terminal will add 580,000 cubic meters of oil storage capacity to its terminal in the Red Sea coast port of Yanbu. Construction of the new facility to raise the terminal’s capacity to 851,200 cubic metres will begin in the fourth quarter of this year and is…

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COMPANY: Shell to focus on conventional oil and gas projects

(EnergyAsia, April 22 2010, Thursday) — Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has confirmed its decision to focus on exploring for and developing conventional oil and gas reserves to drive future growth, moving away from capital-intensive oil sands projects. Peter Voser, who took over as CEO last July, recently said the company’s expansion into Canada’s oil…

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SINGAPORE: Keppel O & M secures new building deals, acquires stake in Brazilian shipyard

(EnergyAsia, April 22 2010, Thursday) — Singapore’s Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O &M) has announced securing a stake in a Brazilian shipyard and S$140 million in new project deals. (US$1=S$1.4). Its wholly-owned Brazilian subsidiary, Navegantes Maritime Construction and Services, has agreed with Brazil’s TWB Group to acquire the Estaleiro TWB shipyard in Navegantes, Santa…

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CHINA: Non-profit organisation sells shares in four Asian energy firms

(EnergyAsia, April 22 2010, Thursday) — A non-profit organisation TIAA-CREF, which manages more than US$400 billion in assets, has sold shares in four Asian energy companies over human rights concerns in Sudan. The US-based organisation said it has sold off its holdings in PetroChina Co Ltd, CNPC Hong Kong, Sinopec and India’s Oil and Natural…

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PAKISTAN: Government approves floating LNG terminal at Port Qasim

(EnergyAsia, April 22 2010, Thursday) — The Pakistani government has given its approval for Dutch firm 4Gas to establish a floating liquefied natural gas terminal at Port Qasim in the capital city of Karachi. The terminal, called the floating re-gasification supply unit, will operate for five years earning rental of up to US$200 million per…

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CHINA: Natural gas shortfall may hasten LNG industry development

(EnergyAsia, April 22 2010, Thursday) — China will have to rely on imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) as its domestic natural gas production will fall short of demand in the coming years, said officials. China’s natural gas consumption rose last year by 11.5% to 87.45 billion cubic meters, outstripping output, which increased by 7.7% to…

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MALAYSIA: Bumi Armada IPO possibility resurfaces

(EnergyAsia, April 22 2010, Thursday) — There is renewed speculation that Bumi Armada Bhd, the oil and gas support services company of Malaysian tycoon T Ananda Krishnan, could well be floated on the local stock exchange this year. Malaysian investment bank CIMB is said to be leading a pack of firms pitching for the advisory,…

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