CHINA: Longwei Petroleum said it expects to benefit from 4.5% fuel price increase

(EnergyAsia, March 31 2011, Thursday) — Chinese fuel storage and distribution firm Longwei Petroleum Investment Holding Ltd said it expects to benefit from the 4.5% increase in gasoline and diesel prices enacted last February 21 by the powerful National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

New York Stock Exchange-listed Longwei said the increase, which translates to US$53.20 per ton, is the second such adjustment in the past two months based on a mechanism that allows the NDRC to adjust fuel prices when the cost of crude oil changes by more than 4% over a period of 22 working days.

China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, reported an overseas oil dependence ratio of 55% in 2010. Figures from the National Bureau of Statistics show that the country imported 239 million metric tons of crude oil last year, up 17% from the previous year.

With such large percentages, “the impact of international crude price changes on the Chinese market carries increasing significance,” an official with the NDRC said.

Oil has been trading at two-year highs of over US$100 per barrel since late January amid growing concerns of unrest in the Middle East.

Cai Yongjun, Longwei president and CEO, said:

“The NDRC’s decision will allow us to raise prices of our fuel products, which we anticipate will have a positive effect on our revenues and profits going forward. We also expect to experience a slight gross margin improvement, as our inventory on-hand is recorded on a weighted average basis and will be sold at higher market prices.

“Given the increase in demand for fuel and oil products as well as the fuel price increase, we are confident in our ability to meet our guidance of US$500 million in revenues and US$70 million in net income, or US$0.62 EPS, for fiscal 2011.”

Headquartered in Taiyuan City in China’s Shanxi Province, Longwei Petroleum stores and distributes finished petroleum products, supplying coal mining operations, power supply customers, and large-scale as well as small, independent gas stations.

The company’s storage tanks in Taiyuan (50,000 metric tons) and Gujiao (70,000 metric tons) have the largest storage capacity of any non-government operated entity in Shanxi.

Longwei Petroleum also earns revenue under an agency fee by acting as a purchasing agent for other intermediaries in Shanxi, and through limited sales of diesel and gasoline at two retail gas stations, each located at the company’s facilities.

JAPAN: Saudi deal to store oil could be affected by radiation fears from damaged nuclear facility

(EnergyAsia, March 31 2011, Thursday) — Barely two months after signing off on two long-term deals to store crude oil in Japan, Saudi Aramco is watching with concern at the worsening nuclear power plant disaster in Fukushima.In February, Saudi Aramco announced that it had agreed to lease tanks from Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National…

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MARKETS: Oil prices well supported, predictions for US$200 a barrel on continued MidEast unrest

(EnergyAsia, March 31 2011, Thursday) — Oil prices could reach US$200 a barrel in the short term as a result of the political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and the deadly earthquake in Japan on March 11, said Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin.However, he has made clear that his forecast is…

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JAPAN: Refineries to suffer long-term damage from earthquake and tsunami

(EnergyAsia, March 31 2011, Thursday) — Japan may have to increase oil product imports in coming years to overcome the long-term loss of several refineries from the effects of the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck the northeastern part of the country on March 11.Up to a third of the country’s 4.5 million b/d refining…

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JAPAN: LNG producers offer to increase supplies

(EnergyAsia, March 31 2011, Thursday) — Russia, Qatar, Malaysia and Indonesia have offered to sell additional liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes to Japan to help it overcome the loss of energy supply from several nuclear power plants and refineries damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has proposed to divert…

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ASIA: Increased imports from Japan, China and India set to boost global LNG demand and prices

(EnergyAsia, March 31 2011, Thursday) — World demand and prices for liquefied natural gas (LNG) are set to spike this year on account of higher imports from Japan, China and India.The massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11 caused the shutdown of several refineries and nuclear power plants, forcing the world’s third-largest…

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JAPAN: ExxonMobil resumes operations at Shiogama terminal to facilitate disaster relief

(EnergyAsia, March 30 2011, Wednesday) — ExxonMobil Japan Group said it has resumed operations at its Shiogama terminal allowing for an increase in the delivery of fuel supplies into northeastern Japan, which was struck by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

More than 26,000 people died or are missing after a 9-richter scale quake struck off the coast of northern Japan, setting of a tsunami that wiped out several coastal towns and villages.

The US major said the terminal received its first shipment of one million litres of gasoline and one million litres of kerosene, to be used for heating fuel, from the TonenGeneral Kawasaki refinery on March 22.

The company has made its terminal available for use by other shippers with ready fuel supplies for the country’s disaster-hit areas.

ExxonMobil recently fully restored operation at all four of its Japanese refineries, with each unit operating above normal to meet the country’s high demand for fuel.

Philippe Ducom, president of TonenGeneral Sekiyu KK, an ExxonMobil affiliate, said:

“The safe reopening of the Shiogama terminal restores the most critical link to the Tohoku area. The government has asked fuel suppliers to support its relief efforts in the earthquake impacted areas. We are answering that call. We are working as an industry to deliver any fuel as quickly as possible to the affected areas in need of fuel for relief efforts.

“ExxonMobil continues to maximise production of products that are urgently needed in the most impacted areas. Our 2,900 employees are working around the clock and in cooperation with the government to do everything we can to help with the response and recovery efforts.”

ExxonMobil said it has mobilised disaster assistance on other fronts:

TonenGeneral’s Kawasaki refinery cogeneration unit is maximising electrical generation to provide 33 megawatts of power to the under-supplied electricity grid, enough for about 10,000 Japanese households.

The TonenGeneral refinery in Wakayama has begun filling and shipping 1,000 drums of diesel and kerosene, normally supplied in tank trucks or rail cars, to be used by emergency vehicles, shelters and hospitals in stricken areas.

ExxonMobil said it has also donated US$1 million to the Japanese Red Cross Society to provide disaster relief assistance, and implemented a worldwide match of employee, retiree, dealer and distributor contributions, up to an additional US$2 million.

INDIA: Shell Global Solutions awarded contract to work with three local refineries

(EnergyAsia, March 30 2011, Wednesday) — Shell Global Solutions said it has signed an agreement with the Centre for High Technology, India (CHT) to improve operational efficiency and business performance of three Indian refineries with a combined capacity of 32 million metric tons a year.

The Refinery Performance Improvement Program (RPIP) contract will be implemented over three years at the Mumbai refineries of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd, and at Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd’s Mangalore plant.

Shell said it will aim to help the three coastal refineries achieve margin improvements of 25 US cents a barrel.

Secured via an open global tender initiated by CHT, Shell Global Solutions said its programme will focus on process optimisation, energy and loss management, plant availability and reliability including maintenance and inspection best practices, and refinery margin improvements.

“We are pleased to continue working closely with CHT in the execution of the RPIP programme for these three refineries. We believe Shell Global Solutions’ owner and operator experience makes us well-placed to support the implementation of practical technology solutions to suit refiners’ short, medium and long term priorities,” said Bart van de Ven, Head of Business Development for Shell Global Solutions in India.

“We invest in technology and innovation to develop more efficient ways to improve and maximise the performance of Indian refineries. Shell Global Solutions has wide operational experience, an established reputation for technological excellence and highly skilled specialists. We look forward to a continued and productive exchange of business and technological expertise,” said B D Ghosh, Executive Director of CHT.

Shell Global Solutions has worked with CHT in successfully implementing the Integrated Refineries Business Improvement Program at Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd’s Manali refinery, Bharat Petroleum’s Kochi refinery, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd’s Mathura refinery and Hindustan Petroleum’s Visakhapatnam refinery.

Shell Global Solutions is a network of independent technology companies in the Shell Group which provide technical consultancy and licensed technologies for the Shell Group and third party customers within the energy industry.

COMPANY: VTTI CEO sticking to plan for 10 million cubic metres of storage capacity in five years

(EnergyAsia, March 30 2011, Wednesday) — Despite the political upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and the global financial headwinds, Dutch storage terminal owner and operator VTTI remains confident of nearly doubling its global oil storage capacity over the next five years. While the troubled MENA region remains a key target, CEO…

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SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi Aramco and Sinopec signed MOU for 400,000 b/d refinery in Yanbu

(EnergyAsia, March 30 2011, Wednesday) — Saudi Aramco and China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop a 400,000 b/d full-conversion refinery in Yanbu city on the west coast of Saudi Arabia by 2014. Saudi Aramco will have a 62.5% stake in the Red Sea Refining Company (RSRC) while Sinopec…

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MALAYSIA: Shell starts construction of diesel processing unit at refinery

(EnergyAsia, March 30 2011, Wednesday) — Shell Malaysia said it has begun building a RM810-million diesel processing unit at its refinery in Port Dickson on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia. (US$1=RM3). The company said the new unit will enable the refinery to vary its feedstock options, increase diesel production and improve its profit margin….

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JAPAN: ExxonMobil raised fuel supply to area devastated by earthquake

(EnergyAsia, March 30 2011, Wednesday) — ExxonMobil Group Japan said it has increased fuel supply into its Tohoku region dealer service station network by 140% above levels before March 11 when a 9-richter scale earthquake struck off the northeastern coast of the country. More than 26,000 people died or are missing when the quake struck,…

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CHINA: CNOOC scores record oil and gas production, and net profit for 2010

(EnergyAsia, March 29 2011, Tuesday) — China National Offshore Oil Corp Ltd (CNOOC) said it achieved record oil and gas production as well as net profit for the year ended December 31 2010.Its net production increased 44.4% year-on-year to reach 328.8 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE), while its net profit grew 84.5% to RMB54.41…

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CHINA: February oil demand of 9.58 million b/d was second highest on record, says Platts

(EnergyAsia, March 29 2011, Tuesday) — China’s apparent oil demand in February rose 10.1% year-over-year to 36.65 million metric tons (mt), or an average 9.58 million b/d, to record the second strongest demand level, according to leading energy information provider Platts.Based on recent figures released by the Chinese government, the company’s analysis showed oil demand…

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AUSTRALIA: Natural gas production, LNG export earnings reached record in 2010

(EnergyAsia, March 29 2011, Tuesday) — Australian natural gas production increased 5.1% from 1,902 petajoules (PJ) in 2009 to a record 1,999 petajoules in 2010 due to rising global demand for the country’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) as well as growth in domestic gas-fired power generation, said analyst EnergyQuest.

In a study, the Australian firm said the value of the country’s LNG exports also set a record of A$9.462 billion, up 24% from A$7.631 billion the previous year. LNG production rose 6.2% last year from 18.6 million tonnes per year (t/y) in 2009 to 19.8 million t/y, due to production from the “fifth train” of the North West shelf. (US$1=A$0.98).

EnergyQuest said domestic gas production increased 2.7% in 2010 to a record 1,060 PJ compared with 1,032 PJ the previous year, and natural gas production rose 4.4% to a new high at 687 PJ on the country’s east coast, where coal seam gas production rose 43 PJ to a record 222 PJ.

Gas consumption in eastern Australia increased 8.8% to a record 713 PJ in 2010 (higher than production due to run-down of storage), with gas use for power generation growing 28 PJ for the year to 209 PJ. Total Queensland state gas consumption is estimated to have been 213 PJ, with growth of gas use for power generation rising by 35 PJ.

Graeme Bethune, EnergyQuest chief executive officer, said:

”The LNG momentum looks set to continue in 2011. So far this year we have already seen another Gladstone LNG project, GLNG, in central Queensland, reaching sanction and the ConocoPhillips/Origin Energy APLNG project, also situated at Gladstone, reaching major milestones. Altogether there are seven Australasian LNG projects aiming for final investment decisions in 2011, with combined capacity of around 40 million t/y.

“In contrast to LNG, there is no line-up of gas-fired electricity generation projects rushing towards sanction. There are many plans and approved sites but not much action, partly due to low electricity prices and ongoing and heightened uncertainty about carbon pricing.

“The Federal government has now announced it is pressing ahead with a carbon pricing scheme from 2012, but with many qualifications and not many details. The issues here are whether there will be sufficient progress with climate policy this year to provide the certainty investors need to go ahead, and if not, what the consequences might be of continuing stalled development.”

Mr Bethune added that one of the welcome developments during 2010 was the turnaround in Australian oil production.

“After slumping to a 40-year low of 99 million barrels (MMbbls) in 2009, production grew to 16.2% to 116 MMbbls in 2010. This was due to production from the Pyrenees, Van Gogh and Vincent oil fields, all situated off the north-west Western Australian coast.

Reflecting the contribution made by these fields, Apache Energy and Inpex moved up to third and fifth places respectively in the league table of Australian oil producers.”

Other highlights of the EnergyQuest study include:

Australian petroleum production increased by 6.3% in 2010 to a record 520 million barrels of oil equivalent (Mmboe), from 489 Mmboe in 2009.

Oil production grew by 16.2% off the back of the worst annual production level in 40 years (99 MMbbls) in 2009.

Oil and natural gas liquids reserves (2P) were essentially flat, as were conventional gas reserves (although conventional gas reserves grew strongly in 2009 with the sanctioning of the offshore Western Australia Gorgon project). However 2P coal seam gas reserves grew by just over 9,000 PJ to reach 35,246 PJ as LNG proponents built up their 2P reserves.

Adelaide, South Australia-headquartered EnergyQuest’s oil and gas production and reserves estimates are compiled from a comprehensive database of company reports and are published in the company’s EnergyQuarterly.

CHINA: Vopak adds ICBC to its syndicate of international relationship banks

(EnergyAsia, March 29 2011, Tuesday) — Dutch logistic and storage operator Royal Vopak said it has included Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) as mandated lead arranger under the five-year 1.2-billion-euro senior unsecured multicurrency revolving credit facility (RCF), which was recently closed and announced on February 3 2011. (US$1=0.72 euro).

The total amount and all other terms and conditions of the RCF remain unchanged, with the syndicate now consisting of 15 international relationship banks.

ICBC will be a participant in project financings for a number of Vopak’s joint ventures in China.

Rotterdam-based Vopak is the world’s largest independent tank storage service provider, specialising in the storage and handling of bulk liquid chemicals, gases and oil products.

With a storage capacity of 25.3 million cubic meters, the company’s 80 terminals are spread across 30 countries and strategically located along the major shipping routes.

COMPANY: Gazprom unit appoints Nigel Kuzemko as global director of LNG development

(EnergyAsia, March 29 2011, Tuesday) — UK-based Gazprom Global LNG (GGLNG), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gazprom Marketing & Trading (GM&T), said it has appointed Nigel Kuzemko as global director of liquefied natural gas (LNG) development.

Mr Kuzemko will be based in Singapore and report directly to Frederic Barnaud, managing director of Gazprom Global LNG, at the company’s London headquarters.

With a masters degree in geophysics from the University of London and another in business from Henley Management College, Mr Kuzemko has accumulated over 20 years of commercial and senior executive experience in the energy sector. He has worked extensively on commercial arrangements in the natural gas industry from upstream exploration through the value chain to retail energy.

Mr Kuzemko joins GGLNG from New Zealand-based Frontera, where he spent the last three years as director strategy and commercial, having previously worked for Qatargas since 2006 as head of global LNG marketing and played a role in the development of Qatargas markets in the UK, US, Japan and Thailand.

He worked on European gas for LASMO, ARCO and TXU Europe until he joined Shell in 2000 where, after an initial period as chief executive officer of a downstream power and gas company, Pulse Energy in Melbourne, he helped develop the LNG trading business.

Mr Kuzemko then left to join Santos in 2004 where he developed a company LNG strategy involving PNG and Gladstone LNG.

As global director of LNG development, he will lead the expansion of the portfolio and orchestrate both origination and business development at the global level. He will enhance relationships with key LNG producers to grow the supply portfolio, evaluate new supply opportunities, facilitate expansion in new technologies (such as floating liquefaction) as well as new markets accessible through traditional or small scale LNG developments.

His priority will remain the development of full-value commercial chains for the Russian LNG projects of Gazprom, in particular Sakhalin and Shtokman.

Mr Barnaud said: “We are delighted that Nigel is joining the team at this time. He brings with him a wealth of experience and capability to support the next phase of our growth – the further expansion of our portfolio in the Asia-Pacific region, one of the major global hubs in commodities trading.

“Nigel’s expertise in marketing and trading LNG across multiple geographies as well as his vast network of contacts in the industry make him invaluable for such a dynamically growing business as ours.”

Mr Kuzemko added: “Working with the global GM&T team will be a tremendous challenge as we deliver our vision through innovative energy products for customers and increased opportunities for Gazprom and partners on LNG.”

GGLNG has extensively developed its commercial activities and portfolio across the world, and in particular in Asia through its Singapore-based affiliate, Gazprom Marketing & Trading Singapore Pte Ltd. GGLNG now ranks among the most active LNG traders and charterers in the region.

GM&T is a UK-registered wholly-owned subsidiary of the Gazprom Group, the world’s largest gas company by asset base, accounting for 17% of the world’s total natural gas reserves and for about 70% of natural gas reserves in Russia. Headquartered in London,

GM&T was established in 1999 to manage Gazprom’s marketing and trading activities in the liberalised markets of Europe.

GM&T optimises Gazprom’s energy commodity assets and downstream expansion through its marketing and trading network. With subsidiaries in Houston, Singapore, Paris, Berlin and Manchester, the company trades energy commodities including gas, power, oil and oil products, carbon, LNG and FX.

COMPANY: KPI Bridge Oil expands bunker trading team in Singapore, appoints leader for London team

(EnergyAsia, March 29 2011, Tuesday) — UK-based KPI Bridge Oil, a leading global bunker broker and trader has hired four traders for its wholly-owned Singapore subsidiary and a new team leader for its London office’s fourth trading team.

Raj Kumar, Thomas Lee, Amy Choo and Carmen Poh have joined KPI Bridge Oil Singapore, boosting its bunker trading team to 12.

A Singaporean, Mr Kumar, 25, has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Nanyang Technological University.

Originally from Hong Kong where he had previously worked for a Middle East-based international company, Mr Lee, 30, has a bachelor of commerce (finance) degree from the University of Melbourne.

A Malaysian national with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the UK’s Anglia Ruskin University, Ms Choo, 25, has three years professional experience in research analysis for various multinational companies across Asia.

An accountant by training, Ms Poh, 30, spent six years with PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP as a senior associate working on various assignments across Asia.

Kelvin Yeo, KPI Bridge Oil Singapore managing director, said:

“Amy’s local knowledge of Malaysia and ability to communicate in several languages enhances our services in Southeast Asia. Raj was selected from our recent competitive recruitment drive designed to bring fresh talent to our industry.”

Separately, KPI Bridge Oil London has promoted Anette Mantell, who has been with the company for five years, as the leader of its fourth team. The company said Ms Mantell, who hails from Norway, has built “excellent relations with a wide range of business partners worldwide.”

Jan Obel, KPI Bridge Oil group chief executive officer, said:

“The growth and strength of our group worldwide has enabled us to expand the London office by creating our fourth trading team there. Anette has been a very positive influence in the coaching of our junior traders and the London team in general. I am very pleased that Anette has accepted this new challenge and I am confident that her new team will further strengthen the London office’s position in ARA and Scandinavia as well as being a valuable addition to the wider KPI Bridge Oil group with the added expertise and capacity.”

Founded in 1971, the KPI Bridge Oil group coordinates its offices in Istanbul, New York, Seattle, Singapore and Valparaiso from its headquarters in London.

With a dedicated global team of more than 75 experienced professionals worldwide, including more than 55 brokers and traders, KPI Bridge Oil fulfills bunker and lube oil requirements in more than 2,800 harbours worldwide for the international shipping industry, covering all major time zones 24 hours a day.

UPSTREAM: Douglas-Westwood sees 79% rise in US$206 billion deepwater expenditure

(EnergyAsia, March 28 2011, Monday) — UK-based energy consultant Douglas-Westwood has forecast a massive 79% growth in the deepwater sector’s capital expenditure to US$206 billion for the 2011-2015 period compared to the previous five years.

In announcing the launch of its new deepwater service, the company said drilling and completion expenditure is expected to be more than double the previous five-year period, with subsea equipment expected to see 70% rises over the same period.

Subsea construction, umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF) and floating production sectors are also expected to see increased levels of expenditure as operators require complex and highly-engineered production solutions to tap their deepwater prospects, the company said.

Floating production, the principal form of development of deepwater reserves, is expecting 80 units to be installed over the 2011-2015 period, the majority of which will be floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels.

Douglas-Westwood said the overall outlook for the business is one of significant long-term opportunity. Political intervention and uncertainty is not a new challenge for the oil industry but it does threaten to over-shadow the technical progress in recent years that has resulted in remarkable feats of engineering and the ability to explore for oil in water depths of up to 3,000 metres.

The company said international oilfield service and equipment vendors could benefit substantially while exploration and production (E&P) companies will face economic challenges from working on increasingly capital-intensive deepwater projects.

Steve Robertson, Douglas-Westwood director and head of oil and gas, said:

“We expect African and Latin American developments to drive the forecast growth. African developments are largely concentrated on Angola and Nigeria. Latin America is likely to experience substantial growth, exceeding Africa’s deepwater expenditure towards the end of the forecast period, driven by Petrobras’ development of its Campos and Santos (pre-salt) fields off Brazil. There are some interesting prospects in North Africa but these may be hampered in the short-term by the present political uncertainties.

“A large cloud of political uncertainty also continues to sit stubbornly over the US Gulf of Mexico (GoM) following the Macondo spill in 2010. Recovery is expected in the US Gulf over the next five years but at present activity levels are depressed and contractors continue to report that the region is difficult. The outlook for 2012 is poor with recovery expected from 2013 onwards. There is a risk that the present administration could limit deepwater activity in favour of development of unconventional onshore reserves instead.”

Steve Kopits, managing director of Douglas-Westwood LLC in New York, said in a presentation to the US House of Representatives Energy Subcommittee:

“US GoM oil production has fallen significantly since Macondo and within two years of the accident it will be 35% lower – that represents a fall in overall US production of 11%. Meanwhile, unconventional plays such as those in the Bakken area have potential to add up to one million b/d or more.”

Douglas-Westwood said its new deepwater service presents country-by-country and component-led analysis based on proprietary data, including historic and forecast expenditure for previous and next five years, discussion of development projects within each region, review of market drivers and an explanation of trends and themes in the market.

With the option of quarterly updates and dedicated real time support, the company said the research service is aimed at strategy departments, senior management, mergers and acquisition (M&A) teams and business acquisition executives within the deepwater sector.

JAPAN: Greenpeace voices concerns over growing nuclear radiation from Fukushima reactors

(EnergyAsia, March 28 2011, Monday) — Greenpeace International has expressed grave concern over reports of the growing leak and spread of radioactive materials including the isotope Cesium-137 from Japan’s Fukushima power plant damaged by the earthquake and tsunami on March 11.

More than 21,000 people are dead and reported missing after the 9-richter scale quake struck off the coast of north-eastern Japan. Several reactors in a nuclear power plant complex have been damaged and are leaking radioactive material despite efforts to contain the damage.

Jan Beranek, head of Greenpeace International Nuclear Campaign, said:

“Our thoughts continue to be with the Japanese people as they face the threat of a nuclear disaster, following already devastating earthquake and tsunami. The authorities must focus on keeping people safe, and avoiding any further releases of radioactivity.

“The evolving situation at Fukushima remains far from clear, but what we do know is that contamination from the release of Cesium-137 poses a significant health risk to anyone exposed. Cesium-137 has been one if the isotopes causing the greatest health impacts following the Chernobyl disaster, because it can remain in the environment and food chain for 300 years.

“Fukushima remains under threat of a serious reactor meltdown; this would potentially create an iodine cloud, which could spread high radiation levels to both the environment and population over many tens of kilometres. By simply communicating to local populations the importance of staying indoors, the government could limit potential radiation doses from this cloud by a factor two to five.

According to Greenpeace, Japan has a total of 54 rectors in 18 power plants, with 47,000 megawatts (MW) installed capacity which generated 29% of the country’s electricity in 2010.

The NGO said four nuclear power plants located on the eastern coast close to the epicenter were affected:

Onagawa (three reactors), Fukushima-Daiichi (six reactors), Fukushima-Daini (four reactors) and Tokai (one reactor). The next nearest nuclear power plant is Kashiwazaki-Kariwa (seven reactors) that sits on the opposite site of the island, on its western coast.

Mr Beranek added: “How many more warnings do we (require) before we finally grasp that nuclear reactors are inherently hazardous? The nuclear industry always tells us that situation like this cannot happen with modern reactors, yet Japan is currently in the middle of a potentially devastating nuclear crisis.

“Once again, we are reminded of the inherent risks of nuclear power, which will always be vulnerable to the potentially deadly combination of human error, design failure and natural disaster.

“Greenpeace is calling for the phase out of existing reactors, and no construction of new commercial nuclear reactors. Governments should invest in renewable energy resources that are not only environmentally sound but also affordable and reliable”.

JAPAN: IATA said jet fuel infrastructure damaged, supplies running low

(EnergyAsia, March 28 2011, Monday) — The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said jet fuel supplies are running low in Japan after key jet fuel infrastructure facilities were damaged by the earthquake and tsunami that struck the country on March 11.More than 20,000 people are dead or missing after a 9-richter scale earthquake struck off…

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AUSTRALIA: Hancock Coal’s mines attract Indian bidders

(EnergyAsia, March 28 2011, Monday) — Three Indian firms, Essar Group, GVK and Lanco Infratech, are interested to acquire Australian energy and resources company Hancock Coal’s two flagship mines.The mines, Alpha Coal Project and Kevin’s Corner, are located in the key Galilee basin with the capacity to produce up to 30 million tonnes of coal…

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CHINA: NDRC official says strategic oil stockpile equal to one month of imports

(EnergyAsia, March 28 2011, Monday) — The Chinese government’s oil reserves are sufficient to cover just one month’s worth of imports, according to an official with the powerful National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).Crude oil accounted for about 75% of the state’s strategic reserves while oil products accounted for the remainder, said Wang Qingyun, head…

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CHINA: PetroChina expects to raise oil, natural gas output this year

(EnergyAsia, March 28 2011, Monday) — PetroChina Co Ltd expects to raise its crude oil production by two million tonnes and natural gas output by 5%-10% this year, said chairman Jiang Jiemin.On the other hand, China’s second-biggest refiner said its refining business has been suffering losses since the start of the year as a result…

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SINGAPORE: Sembcorp awards Jurong Island cogeneration plant contract to Alstom Power

(EnergyAsia, March 25 2011, Friday) — Singapore Exchange-listed Sembcorp Industries said it has awarded a S$900 million engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to Alstom Power Singapore and Alstom Switzerland for the development of the company’s second cogeneration plant on Jurong Island. (US$1=S$1.27).Work on the combined-cycle gas turbine cogeneration facility is due to begin later…

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