MARKETS: IMF says rising petroleum subsidies could reach $742 billion by year-end

(EnergyAsia, May 25 2010, Tuesday) — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed concern with rising petroleum subsidies around the world as they are costly, inequitable and harm national budgets and the environment. In a special paper, it projects that petroleum subsidies, which will benefit higher income households, could reach almost $742 billion by year-end….

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SAUDI ARABIA: Government preparing for world oil demand to level off

(EnergyAsia, May 25 2010, Tuesday) — Saudi Arabia does not think world oil production will soon peak, but instead is preparing for a possible decline in demand in the next decade by diversifying its economic base. The oil-rich nation’s lead climate change negotiator Mohammed al-Sabban said it is striving to remain a top energy exporter…

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INDONESIA: Energy subsidies to be raised this year

(EnergyAsia, May 25 2010, Tuesday)—The Indonesian government said it will increase energy subsidies beyond what it had budgeted earlier this year with a smaller-than-expected rise in power tariffs. The electricity subsidy could rise by 2.4 trillion rupiah to 56.9 trillion rupiah this year, said chief economic minister Hatta Rajasa. (US$1=9,250 rupiah). The subsidy was originally…

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CHINA: Changfeng building LNG storage terminal in Haitang Bay

(EnergyAsia, May 25 2010, Tuesday) — Changfeng Energy Inc, a China-based natural gas distributor listed in Canada, has started building a liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage facility in Haitang Bay on China’s Hainan Island. The Toronto Stock Exchange-listed company is installing four tanks with a total capacity to store 200 cubic metres of LNG. The…

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MARKETS: Crude oil prices remain under pressure after dipping below $70 a barrel in week ending May

(EnergyAsia, May 24 2010, Monday) — By Darrell Delamaide for Oilprice.com.

Crude oil prices ended just above $70 a barrel on Friday May 21 after dipping below that threshold earlier in the week ending May 21. The benchmark June contract for West Texas Intermediate settled at $68.01 before it expired on Thursday, after falling below $65 a barrel in intraday trading.

The decline from more than $87 a barrel reached earlier in the month is more than 20%, fitting some analysts’ definition of a bear market. Continued weakness below $70 a barrel could send prices tumbling further, into the $50 range, some analysts said.

Passage of financial regulatory reform legislation in the Senate Thursday evening ended most of the uncertainty about how severe measures might be, giving a lift to financial stocks on Friday, and other markets along with them.

The benchmark July contract settled at $70.04 a barrel on Friday, down from its $70.80 close on Thursday, compared with the benchmark price of $71.61 a barrel a week ago.

A continued slide of the euro against the dollar and persistent worries about the fiscal situation of Greece and other European countries continued to roil markets during the week.

Concern about the impact of the euro crisis on global economic growth exacerbated the situation for stocks, leading to a loss of 3% in US stocks on Thursday alone. An unexpected surge in the weekly US jobless claims figures – claims were up 25,000 to 471,000 when experts had forecast a decline – further spooked the equities markets.

In a global flight to safety, investors sought refuge in US debt securities, pushing down Treasury yields in spite of debate about the US deficit. In late Friday trading, 10-year notes were yielding about 3.2% and 30-year bonds 4.1% — both at their lowest levels since last October. The 30-year bond yield actually dipped below 4% at one point.

Oil inventories continued to rise, according to the weekly report from the US Energy Information Administration, though less than forecast.

But the inexorable rise of stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma depot where Nymex oil is delivered continued to weigh on the benchmark contract. Stocks at Cushing rose another 917,000 barrels in the week, to a new record of 38 million barrels – which may be nearing full capacity according to some estimates.

QATAR: Qatar Petroleum, Shell and Petrochina sign new upstream agreement

(EnergyAsia, May 24 2010, Monday) — State-owned Qatar Petroleum (QP) has signed a new agreement with Royal Dutch Shell plc and PetroChina Company Limited to explore and produce natural gas in Qatar’s Block D. The partners will jointly explore in an onshore and offshore area of 8,089 sq km located close to the Ras Laffan…

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SINGAPORE: Jason Marine launches into South Korea through new joint venture

(EnergyAsia, May 24 2010, Monday) — Jason Marine Group Ltd (JMG), a Singapore-based leader in marine electronics systems integration, has ventured into South Korea through a partnership with that country’s e-MLX Co Ltd (e-MLX) and businessman Sang Hun Jin. JMG’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Jason Venture Pte Ltd (JVP), owns the majority 51% stake in the newly…

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US: BP gets pass to potentially pollute Lake Michigan

(EnergyAsia, May 24 2010, Monday) — By Wayne Madsen for Oilprice.com. The Obama administration, already charged with providing political cover for BP in the Gulf of Mexico mega-oil disaster, is also charged with allowing BP to renege on agreements between the firm, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the state of Indiana to prevent…

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IRAQ: Wartsila secured operations and maintenance agreement for floating power plants

(EnergyAsia, May 24 2010, Monday) — Wartsila, the Finland-based global supplier of decentralised power plant solutions, said it has been awarded two operations and maintenance (O&M) contracts for two floating power plants that will be used to boost Iraq’s electricity supply. Wartsila said it will have full responsibility for ensuring the efficient running and servicing…

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MARKETS: US energy traders warn futures commission against speculation curb

(EnergyAsia, May 24 2010, Monday) —Leading key energy players in the US have warned the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that its proposal to curb speculation could drive investors to offshore or unregulated markets. CFTC is pushing for a plan that will limit investment positions of big traders to prevent them from having significant influence…

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CHINA: Panama Canal widening to expand trade with Americas, reduce shipping costs

(EnergyAsia, May 24 2010, Monday) — China’s trade with the Americas will be boosted by the US$5.25 billion project to widen and deepen the Panama Canal which will significantly reduce travelling time and transportation costs. The shipment costs of finished goods from China to the US east coast will be cut by an estimated 30%…

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AUSTRALIA: LNG boom to generate A$17 billion in annual income for government by 2017

(EnergyAsia, May 24 2010, Monday) — The liquefied natural gas (LNG) boom in Australia is expected to generate A$17 billion a year in revenues for the government by 2017, up from A$4.4 billion in 2009, according to a recent report by Goldman Sachs JBWere. (US$1=A$1.13). An estimated A$83 billion worth of LNG projects are scheduled…

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INDIA: Essar Oil plans expansion of Vadinar refinery

(EnergyAsia, May 21 2010, Friday) — Essar Oil, India’s second largest private oil refiner, plans to expand the capacity of its 10.5-million-tonne Vadinar refinery in Gujarat state to 18 million tonnes instead of 16 million.   Essar Oil CEO Naresh Navyar said the company plans to undertake minor modifications to convert a secondary unit into…

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INDIA: Reliance, Essar boost trading infrastructure

(EnergyAsia, May 21 2010, Friday) — India’s two leading private oil trading and refining companies, Reliance Industries and Essar Oil, have expanded their trading infrastructure to beef up their international trading capability.   Reliance Industries, one of the world’s largest refiners, has leased space at the Borco oil terminal in the Caribbean to store and…

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THAILAND: Unresolved court dispute, political upheaval delaying PTT projects, restructuring

(EnergyAsia, May 21 2010, Friday) — An unresolved court dispute in Thailand over health and environmental compliance of energy companies is adding to delays in projects and the restructuring of national energy company PTT Plc. Already, the company has put on hold plans for expansion as a result of the on-going political upheaval and violent…

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MARKETS: White House covering up extent of Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster, says WMR

(EnergyAsia, May 21 2010, Friday) — By the Wayne Madsen Report (WMR) for Oilprice.com.   The growth of dead zones around vital fishing grounds in the Gulf of Mexico soaked by oil spewing out from a ruptured well has led to a severe shortage of shrimp and marine food supplies in the US.    According…

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SINGAPORE: Golden Agri unit affirms sustainability commitment in reply to Greenpeace

(EnergyAsia, May 21 2010, Friday) — Sinar Mas Agro Resources Technology (SMART), a unit of the world’s second-biggest palm oil producer, Singapore-listed Golden Agri-Resources, has reiterated its commitment to achieving sustainable palm oil production amid fresh allegations by Greenpeace that the subsidiary has been felling rainforests in Indonesia. “Within the last few days we have…

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DUBAI: ENOC starts work to upgrade Jebel Ali refinery

(EnergyAsia, May 21 2010, Friday) — Emirates National Oil Co has begun work on upgrading its Jebel Ali refinery, the company’s chief executive said.   The Dubai state-owned company recently added a reformer and a hydrotreater to the 120,000 b/d refinery, the smallest of the UAE’s four.   The US$850 million upgrade would also allow…

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SINGAPORE: Taylor Francis’s IES journal examines nuclear power potential

(EnergyAsia, May 21 2010, Friday) — Publisher Taylor & Francis together with the Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES) recently discussed the potential of nuclear power in Singapore in their latest issue of The ‘IES Journal Part A: Civil & Structural Engineering’  (Volume 3, Number 1, 2010).

Written by Andrew Palmer, Seeram Ramakrishna and Hassan Muzaffar Cheema from the Department of Civil Engineering, National University of Singapore, the article, Nuclear Power in Singapore, examines the possibility and challenges of building and operating a nuclear power plant in Singapore.

Mr Palmer said: “Singapore has no fossil fuels of its own, and is an unfavourable site for renewable energy. At some point, the possibility of a nuclear power station in Singapore will need to be examined.”

The article also examines the constraints of having a nuclear power station and how these can be resolved in the light of successful nuclear developments elsewhere. It also considers the possibility of building underground and offshore plants.

The IES Journal Part A: Civil & Structural Engineering is an international peer-reviewed journal that provides a forum for the publication and rapid dissemination of original research and developments in civil and structural engineering.

Its papers cover a wide range of issues including structural, geotechnical, water resources, environmental, and infrastructure engineering. The journal includes mathematical formulations, novel methods and solutions in construction techniques, experimental investigations and practical applications. It maintains an international outlook whilst having a strong focus on primary research and development works from Asia.

The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES) was established in July 1966 as the national society of engineers in Singapore. 

Taylor & Francis is part of Informa, one of the world’s leading publishers of academic journals. It is dedicated to the dissemination of scholarly information, drawing on expertise developed since first publishing learned journals in 1798.

SINGAPORE: Temasek Holdings investing in US natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corp

(EnergyAsia, May 20 2010, Thursday) — US-based natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corp said it has agreed to a private placement of convertible preferred stock to two Asian companies for a total of US$600 million. The buyers are Maju Investments (Mauritius) Pte Ltd, an affiliate of Singapore’s Temasek Holdings (Private) Limited, and Hampton Asset Holding…

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MARKETS: ICE reports record coal futures volume of 146 million tonnes in April

(EnergyAsia, May 20 2010, Thursday) — ICE, the energy futures exchange, said it cleared a record 146 million tonnes of coal through 146,445 coal futures contracts traded in April. The company said the contracts, cleared via ICE Clear Europe, exceeded the previous record of 108,730 lots in January. ICE added that its Rotterdam contract traded…

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SINGAPORE: Sembcorp’s first quarter net profit up 19% to S$158.8 million

(EnergyAsia, May 20 2010, Thursday) — Singapore-listed Sembcorp Industries said its first quarter net profit rose 19% to S$158.8 million from S$133.6 million for the same period last year. (US$1=S$1.4). Its turnover rose 12% to S$2.4 billion while return-on-equity was a robust 17.5%, and cash and cash equivalents remained strong at S$3 billion. The marine…

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INDIA: Mumbai port to double handling capacity

(EnergyAsia, May 20 2010, Thursday) — India’s Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) has announced plans to double its cargo handling capacity to more than 90 million tonnes by mid-2013, with emphasis on serving the country’s growing oil, coal and chemicals trade. Chairman Rahul Asthana said the port, which has begun deepening the common channel, has opened…

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CANADA: Gas prospects improve on higher prices, shale drilling

(EnergyAsia, May 20 2010, Thursday) — Higher natural gas prices and the increasing popularity of shale drilling have improved the prospects for Canada’s gas production. The National Energy Board has reversed its tune and now predict that new shale supplies would more than offset the decline in conventional gas output, meet domestic demand and spur…

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MARKETS: Iceland’s volcanic eruptions cut global jet fuel demand by at least one million b/d

(EnergyAsia, May 20 2010, Thursday)— Global jet fuel demand fell by at least one million barrels per day in April as the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland disrupted air travel in Europe and connecting flights around the world. By the second half of April, around 70% of all flights in Europe had been grounded, resulting…

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