SINGAPORE: Indonesia gives notice to reduce natural gas exports

(EnergyAsia, July 27 2010, Tuesday) — Indonesia may reduce its gas exports to Singapore to meet surging domestic demand, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Darwin Zahedy Saleh said.   The government is planning to renegotiate an existing contract for the export of natural gas from South Sumatra and Natuna to Singapore with the aim of…

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MARKETS: More warnings from research groups on the arrival and threat of peak oil

(EnergyAsia, July 27 2010, Tuesday) — A deluge of reports and summit meetings in recent months suggests that some governments and researchers are starting to take the peak oil theory seriously. The theory does not state that the world will run out of oil supplies, but that it will face a rapid decline in easily…

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ASIA: Russia’s rising oil exports taking market share from Middle East in Japan and South Korea

(EnergyAsia, July 27 2010, Tuesday)— Russia’s record oil shipments to Asia are eating into the Middle East’s share into this increasingly important region. South Korea and Japan are leading the way in buying and consuming oil from their northern neighbour, helping to make it the world’s largest oil exporter. Competition between the Middle East and…

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SOUTH KOREA: KNOC plans to import 3.4 million barrels of crude oil this year

(EnergyAsia, July 27 2010, Tuesday) — Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) plans to stockpile another two million barrels of crude oil this year to add to the 1.4 million barrels already purchased. The state-owned company also plans to invest about 2.4 trillion won to develop new terminals with the capacity to store 36.9 million barrels,…

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AFGHANISTAN: Drugs and the strategic ramifications of a US-led withdrawal

(EnergyAsia, July 27 2010, Tuesday) — By Yossef Bodansky for OilPrice.com. The US and the NATO allies are preparing to disengage from Afghanistan with even the most vocal advocates of ‘long-term commitment’ not expecting more than five years of active US and NATO involvement. The local key players in Kabul, Islamabad, and countless tribal and…

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SINGAPORE: Government forecast for 2010 economy more bullish than IMF’s

(EnergyAsia, July 27 2010, Tuesday) — The Singapore government has issued a forecast for the economy to grow by 13% to 15% this year, much faster than the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s expectations for a near 10% expansion. The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said it raised its forecast from an earlier call for…

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SOUTH KOREA: SK Energy to acquire 10% stake of Vitol’s Rotterdam storage terminal

(EnergyAsia, July 27 2010, Tuesday) — Vitol Tank Terminals International (VTTI), a subsidiary of the Swiss trading company, said it has sold a 10% stake in its Euro Tank Terminal BV (ETT) in Rotterdam, the Netherlands to Singapore-based SK Energy International, a fully-owned subsidiary of South Korea’s SK Energy. The companies did not disclose the…

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MARKETS: Oil prices show little momentum for breaking through $80 barrier

(EnergyAsia, July 26 2010, Monday) — Oil market summary for week of July 19 to 23, by Darrell Delamaide for OilPrice.com.

Prices of crude oil futures slumped below $79 a barrel on Friday July 23 despite a stock market rally and the rise of Tropical Storm Bonnie in the Gulf of Mexico.

The downward turn followed a sharp gain Thursday amid positive corporate earnings reports that some saw as a signal of economic recovery and the brewing tropical storm.

Technical analysts noted that oil prices have encountered resistance as they approach the $80 a barrel threshold. There appears to be little momentum for breaking through that barrier, they said. Other analysts said that market fundamentals were failing to provide any “guidance” for prices.

The reaction of markets Friday to the report from European regulators that only seven out of 91 banks subjected to a “stress test” would need to add capital, and only a modest amount slightly under $5 billion, was mixed. Some participants expressed relief that the exercise was over while others were skeptical that the tests had been stressful enough to be meaningful.

The euro regained ground against the dollar after a slight dip when the stress test results came out.

The benchmark West Texas Intermediate contract settled at $78.98 a barrel on Friday, after surging to $79.30 on Thursday. It finished last week at $76.01 a barrel.

Oil prices had been tracking the stock market fairly consistently the past few weeks, so analysts were surprised that oil futures parted ways with stocks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 102 points Friday, at 10,424.62 points, gaining 3.2% on the week.

The threat of disruption of production in the Gulf of Mexico from the advent of a new tropical storm, which should have been bullish for oil prices, also failed to halt the decline on Friday. Weather forecasters predicted Bonnie would not reach hurricane force before making landfall on Sunday.

Earlier in the week, an unexpected increase in oil inventories and a gloomy economic forecast from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke cut short an incipient rally, with prices surging above $78 a barrel on Wednesday before closing below $77.

“The economic outlook remains unusually uncertain,” Bernanke said in congressional testimony. The Fed is ready to jump either way, he indicated, depending on whether the economy shows signs of a more robust recovery or a renewed slide into negative growth.

SINGAPORE: Uncertainty remains over reliability of natural gas supplies from Indonesia and Malaysia

(EnergyAsia, July 26 2010, Monday) — Singapore has made clear it no longer regards Indonesia and Malaysia as reliable suppliers of natural gas on which the island state depends to generate 80% of its electricity. Last month, founding father Lee Kuan Yew openly complained that its two closest neighbours want to raise the price of…

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RUSSIA: Gazprom on its plans for expanding in the Asia Pacific markets

(EnergyAsia, July 26 2010, Monday) — Russian gas giant Gazprom was recently named the world’s most profitable company by Fortune magazine after reporting profits of US$24.6 billion in 2009. That would be the equivalent of 10% of Russia’s GDP and possibly up to 20% of its federal budget. From its newly opened commercial office in…

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MARKETS: IEA estimates 4.5m barrels of oil may have leaked into Gulf, output cut by 30,000 b/d

(EnergyAsia, July 26 2010, Monday) — BP’s ruptured Macondo well may have leaked as much as 4.5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and helped slice off at least 30,000 b/d from US crude production for 2010 and 2011, said the International Energy Agency (IEA). Further production cuts in the Gulf…

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MALAYSIA: Petronas Gas studying to build LNG import terminal

(EnergyAsia, July 26 2010, Monday) — Petronas Gas Bhd, a subsidiary of Malaysia’s state oil and gas company, said it expects to soon complete a study to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) regasification plant in Peninsular Malaysia. Malaysia is experiencing depletion of its oil and gas reserves, and is making plans to import LNG…

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INDONESIA: Korea Electric to pay 4.6 trillion rupiah for 20% stake in coal producer Bayan Resources

(EnergyAsia, July 26 2010, Monday) — As part of South Korea’s long-term plan to bolster its energy security, state Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) said it has agreed to pay 4.6 trillion rupiah for a 20% stake in Indonesian coal producer PT Bayan Resources. (US$1=9,000 rupiah). South Korea’s largest power company said the investment will…

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CLIMATE CHANGE: World carbon dioxide emissions to rise by more than 13% from 2007 to 2020

(EnergyAsia, July 26 2010) — The world’s carbon emission levels are expected to rise by more than 13% from 29.7 billion metric tons in 2007 to 33.8 billion metric tons in 2020, said the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). In its International Energy Outlook 2010, the EIA said developing countries will play an increasing role…

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AUSTRALIA: Centennial expected to accept US$2billion takeover by Thailand’s Banpu

(EnergyAsia, July 26 2010, Monday) — Shareholders of Australia’s Centennial Coal Co Ltd are expected to accept its board’s recommendation for a proposed all-cash US$2 billion takeover offer by Thailand’s largest coal mining company Banpu Public Co Ltd. Early this month, the Thai company’s wholly owned subsidiary Banpu Minerals (Singapore) Pte Ltd offered to pay…

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CHINA: Huaneng to invest RMB100 billion to develop coal, gas and power projects in Xinjiang

(EnergyAsia, July 23 2010, Friday) — Chinese power generation company Huaneng has announced plans to invest more than RMB100 billion in developing coal, natural gas and power projects in the Muslim-dominated western region of Xinjiang. (US$1=RMB6.77). Last month, the company signed an agreement with the Xinjiang government to develop energy hubs in the Junggar Basin,…

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CHINA: PetroChina, Yangshan start up oil storage facilities

(EnergyAsia, July 23 2010, Friday)—PetroChina and Yangshan Shengang International Petroleum Logistics Co have started up their respective oil storage terminals in eastern China. PetroChina has developed a 7.6-million-barrel crude oil facility in Changqing district in Shandong province, while Yangshan Shengang’s terminal has the capacity to store 590,000 cubic metres of gasoline, diesel, fuel oil and…

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MARKETS: BP’s deepwater oil output falling behind expectations

(EnergyAsia, July 23 2010, Friday) — BP’s failings in its deepwater ventures in the Gulf of Mexico extend beyond the disastrous oil leak from the ruptured Macondo well. Production at its much-hyped multi-billion dollar Thunder Horse oil platform off New Orleans has fallen way below the projected 250,000 b/d rate. Production began in May 2008,…

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CHINA: DNV shows significant savings for offshore projects through better risk management

(EnergyAsia, July 23 2010, Friday) — Det Norske Veritas (DNV), a leading global provider of risk management services for the oil and gas industry, said there are prospects for considerable savings for major rig and floating production and storage operations (FPSO) projects. At a recent energy summit between Chinese and Norwegian representatives from government and…

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MARKETS: IEA sees world demand rise 1.6% to record 87.8 million b/d next year

(EnergyAsia, July 23 2010, Friday) — Despite the possibility that the world economy could sink into recession again this or next year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) is forecasting global oil demand to rise 1.6% to a record 87.8 million b/d in 2011. The Paris-based oil watchdog for the developed economies said its latest forecast…

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UAE: Fujairah expects to start up new oil terminal this year

(EnergyAsia, July 23 2010, Friday) — Fujairah port authorities expect to start up its second oil terminal facility later this year, and are already assessing the possibility of building a third facility. The 1.5-km terminal can accommodate fully-loaded 180,000 deadweight tonnes tankers and partially-loaded very large crude carriers. The port has an existing 840-meter oil…

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CHINA: CNOOC investing in deepwater capabilities

(EnergyAsia, July 23 2010, Friday) — State-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) has invested more than 15 billion yuan in developing vessels and facilities to support its ventures into exploring for oil and gas reserves in deepwater areas, according to company president Fu Chengyu. (US$1=6.78 yuan).  He said CNOOC will shift from exploring in…

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SINGAPORE: A*STAR to build Southeast Asia’s first experimental smart grid research facility

(EnergyAsia, July 22 2010, Thursday) — Rolls Royce, Vestas, SP PowerGrid and CEI Contract Manufacturing have signed strategic partnership agreements with Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) to develop smart grid and distributed energy solutions. This was announced at last week’s groundbreaking ceremony of A*STAR’s smart grid research facility of the Experimental Power…

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JAPAN: Marubeni to increase trade ties with China’s Winsway Coking Coal Holdings

(EnergyAsia, July 22 2010, Thursday) — Japanese trading house Marubeni Corporation said it is looking to expand trade ties with Winsway Coking Coal Holdings Limited, one of China’s leading importers of high-quality coking coal from Australia and Canada as well as the main buyer of Mongolian coking coal. Marubeni, which formalised a strategic cooperation agreement…

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THAILAND: Thai PTT eyes coal mines in Indonesia, Australia

(EnergyAsia, July 22 2010, Thursday)— PTT PCL, Thailand’s biggest energy firm, said it is looking to expand its coal portfolio by acquiring stakes in at least two foreign coal mines this year. PTT wants to buy at least a 20% stake in coal mines in Indonesia and Australia, each with a capacity of at least…

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