JAPAN: Oil companies restored 70-day stockpile on May 20

(EnergyAsia, May 31 2011, Tuesday) — Japan has reverted to its 70-day oil stockpile requirement, according to the trade ministry, as refiners that reduced throughput after the March 11 earthquake are close to operating normally again. Following the earthquake that crippled nuclear power plants in the northeastern Fukushima area, the government allowed the national oil…

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AUSTRALIA: ExxonMobil bans Woodside’s new CEO from key meetings

(EnergyAsia, May 31 2011, Tuesday) — ExxonMobil Corp has banned the new CEO of Australian upstream company Woodside from attending sensitive meetings involving any development of the giant Scarborough offshore gas field in Western Australia state. The US major deems Peter Coleman, a 27-year ExxonMobil veteran, to be a threat as he is in possession…

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CHINA: Canada seeks more time to decide on PetroChina-Encana deal

(EnergyAsia, May 31 2011, Tuesday) — Canada’s Industry Ministry said it needs more time to determine whether PetroChina’s planned C$5.4 billion acquisition of a 50% stake in a domestic natural gas venture complies with the country’s foreign investment law. (US$1=C$0.98). Christian Paradis is continuing the stance of his predecessor Tony Clement whose last statement before…

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MARKETS: France aims to completely ban fracking shale to produce natural gas

(EnergyAsia, May 31 2011, Tuesday) — France could to take the world’s most decisive and radical position in dealing with growing concerns about the health, safety and environmental impacts of extracting gas from shale through the controversial hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ method. On June 1, the Senate will vote on passing into law a crucial…

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MARKETS: IEA makes first direct appeal to Middle East producers to boost output

(EnergyAsia, May 31 2011, Tuesday) — It smacks of desperation as the International Energy Agency (IEA) made an unprecedented direct appeal to the Middle East oil producing countries to boost output to help keep prices from rising. In the appeal, the IEA said further increases in crude prices would derail global economic recovery to the…

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MARKETS: Global LNG supply tighter than initially expected, prices seen rising

(EnergyAsia, May 31 2011, Tuesday) — The world liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets is likely to tighten further this year, with prices continuing to recover owing to the nuclear crisis in Japan following the March 11 earthquake, according to Barclays Capital. For the rest of the year, global LNG production may will still meet demand,…

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MARKETS: Consultant said high energy prices could derail world economic recovery

(EnergyAsia, May 31 2011, Tuesday) — High oil prices could threaten the world’s already fragile economic recovery, said John Westwood, chairman of energy consultant Douglas-Westwood (DW).

In a hard-hitting address at the recent Breakbulk Europe conference in Belgium’s Antwerp city, Mr Westwood cited his company’s research showing that since 1973 the US had entered recession every time its crude oil expenditure exceeded 4% of GDP.

“We are not suggesting that this was the sole cause, but it often seems to have been the factor that has tipped the economic system over the edge. In March 2011, crude oil imports cost the US $27.67 billion, up from $21.13 billion – we are again living in dangerous times as the health of the US economy is essential to us all.

“High oil prices driven by the growth in oil demand, coupled with worries over supply restrictions following the ‘Arab spring’, are raising concerns over the resilience of the post-recession economic recovery”, he said.

“This time round, the situation is even more difficult. Outside the US, natural gas prices have risen in the immediate aftermath of the Japanese tsunami. LNG prices rose 12%. While the world ponders the future for nuclear power, more natural gas, oil and coal will be burnt to generate electricity, which, will help to support high energy prices.”

On the supply side, conventional oil supplies are in depletion evidenced by a major drive into the exploitation of high-cost deepwater oil reserves. The global offshore industry is again entering boom times.

Mr Westwood said: “Managing both energy supply and demand is not a short-term game. The key players China and the US both seem to be reading from different scripts. China is taking the long view making massive investments in both conventional and renewable energy to meet its burgeoning demand whilst at the same time aiming to improve energy efficiency.

“In the US, however, the greatest influencing factor seems to be the political impact of the price of gasoline. The US suffers from chronic energy obesity – it needs to use less oil and produce more – but that means opening up more federal lands and offshore areas to drilling, particularly in the arctic, which will set off a whole new round of political battles.

“The only ‘gastric band’ is price. Eventually, in order to reduce demand, the US will have to bite the bullet and start raising its gasoline prices closer to European levels – which for the present is a politically unacceptable prospect.

“It is natural gas that may offer the US the best long-term opportunity by encouraging the use of its now-vast ‘unconventional’ reserves of shale gas, to fuel road transport. Natural gas, is in DW’s view, the gamechanger: the fuel of the future.

“In power generation, gas-fired power plants cost one fifth of nuclear stations to build and a sixth that of offshore wind farms. Natural gas offers a bridge between today’s coal and oil-fired economy and tomorrow’s world of affordable renewable energy. Also in Europe, exploiting unconventional gases, both shale gas and coal-bed methane, could reduce the growing dependence on Russian gas supplies.”

COMPANIES: ExxonMobil, Total step up marketing of lubricants in Asia

(EnergyAsia, May 30 2011, Monday) — ExxonMobil and Total of France are stepping up their promotion and marketing of lubricants to industrial and marine users in Asia.

ExxonMobil showcased its Mobil SHC synthetic industrial lubricants as offering superior quality and reliability to the upstream oil and gas sector at an industry event in Indonesia on May 18-20, while Total promoted its marine lubricants to the ship owners and operators in Singapore in April.

At the 35th Indonesian Petroleum Association Annual Convention (IPA), ExxonMobil said its synthetic industrial lubricants are formulated to help oil and gas producers enhance the performance of their critical equipment and maximise productivity.

Ian Davidson, the company’s Global Industrial Marketing Manager for Mobil Industrial Lubricants, said:

“Mobil SHC lubricants support productivity, safety and environmental care by helping to reduce downtime and increase equipment reliability. An innovative, fuel efficient natural gas engine oil, Mobil SHC Pegasus delivers exceptional equipment protection and can help reduce fuel consumption by up to 1.5%, compared to standard gas engine oils.

“Our extensive research and development programs enable us to remain at the forefront of lubrication technology.  Our high-performance products, such as our comprehensive range of Mobil SHC-branded synthetic lubricants are ideal for oil and gas producers.  They are expertly formulated and deliver exceptional equipment protection even under the most demanding operating conditions.” 

With a long-standing presence in Indonesia since 1898 and investments exceeding US$19 billion, ExxonMobil has an extensive local portfolio providing high-performance products and technical services to Indonesian importers and customers.

Headquartered in Jakarta, the company has 850 employees at its affiliates in Indonesia, with nearly 90% of them Indonesian.

PT ExxonMobil Lubricants Indonesia markets the company’s lubricants under the Mobil brand through its nationwide distributor network.

Total Lubmarine

At the recent SEAS event in Singapore, Total Lubmarine, a world leading supplier of marine lubricants and greases, spoke on the growing pressure on the shipping industry to control operating costs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The North American Emissions Control Area (ECA), which comes into force next year, will impact 50% of maritime traffic, forcing ship owners and operators not typically operating in the areas to begin use of lower basicity cylinder lubricants required for lower sulphur fuels. This increasing trend is likely to create issues for ship owners and operators when leaving ECAs, as lower BN lubricants are not best suited to operation with higher sulphur fuels outside ECA boundaries.

Moreover, the use of lower basicity cylinder lubricants within ECAs runs directly counter to the lubrication requirements for slow steaming or other conditions outside ECAs, which conversely require owners and operators to run specific lubricants.

With rising bunker prices and growing charterer pressure to reduce costs, slow steaming looks set to stay. Most container vessels have cut cruising speeds from 22-25 knots to 18-20 knots, but in the case of extra slow steaming, to as low as 8-12 knots, which significantly increases stresses and strains on a two or four stroke marine engine.

Patrick Havil, Total Lubmarine’s global marketing manager, said:

“We know that ship operators are under pressure to deliver against current and impending sulphur oxide (SOx) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) regulations, reduce bunker fuel costs through slow-steaming and meet safety standards to protect both their workforce and the environment.

“At the same time they need to maintain a clear competitive advantage through reliable, consistent operations and ensuring profitability. Faced with this, the industry needs a new generation of marine lubricants that not only offer significant cost savings and better performance, but are also compatible with different levels of sulphur, and the great demand for slow steaming.”

Total Lubmarine said it has been addressing these issues for some time now and has developed the complete solution to this two-fold challenge. Talusia Universal has been tested more extensively than any other lubricant on the market today, against both high and low levels of sulphur heavy fuel oil (HFO), and has been validated by customers using distillates and slow steaming.

Mr Havil said: “We’re confident this product will effectively future-proof all vessels and is a significant step forward for the industry. Talusia Universal is the only lubricant compatible with fuel at all sulphur levels, meaning that the need to switch lubricants when moving in and out of an ECA is completely removed.

“Based on this, we are already developing the perfect lubricant for the 2015 market that will give optimal performance with the highest sulphur content HFO right down to lower sulphur content fuels.”

AUSTRALIA: Prime Minister Gillard launched construction work on A$16-billion GLNG plant

(EnergyAsia, May 30 2011, Monday) — Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard has officially launched construction works on the massive A$16-billion Santos Gladstone liquefied natural gas plant (LNG) on Curtis Island in Queensland state. (US$1=A$0.98).

Witnessing the start of a new economic boom for the region at last Friday’s ceremony were the Queensland Premier Anna Bligh and senior representatives of the project partners, Australian upstream firm Santos, Malaysian state oil and gas firm Petronas, Korea Gas (Kogas), and Fance’s Total.

When completed, GLNG will supply 11% of South Korea’s domestic gas needs and nine percent of Malaysian demand, said project operator Santos.

The start of construction culminated more than three years of planning and preparation with work now focused on the mainland sites in the Port of Gladstone as well as temporary and permanent logistics facilities.

Santos and its partners have moved quickly to advance the GLNG project since making a final investment decision in January this year. Contracts worth more than A$700 million have been let to Australian suppliers in past three months.

Plant contractor Bechtel of the US has already issued contracts worth over A$500 million, while gas transmission pipeline contractor Saipem of Italy has started mobilisation and preliminary survey work, and upstream surface facilities contractor Fluor of the US has begun detailed engineering work.

Premier Bligh said the GLNG project had already added over A$2 billion to Queensland’s economy and is set to make a substantially greater contribution.

“Over the next 25 years, the project will contribute over A$6 billion to state revenue, generate A$9 billion a year in exports and see the creation of 6,000 jobs,” she said.

Santos CEO and managing director David Knox said:

“Construction on Curtis Island heralds an economic boost for Gladstone, Queensland and Australia – and represents another significant commercial and strategic link between Australia and Asia. Over the life of the project, GLNG will pay around A$40 billion in Federal Income Tax.

“Curtis Island is the engine room for the whole project. This is where coal seam gas from Queensland’s world-class fields will be converted to LNG and exported to Asia. The growing demand for natural gas in Asia is driven by the region’s need for cleaner, secure, safe and reliable energy – and that’s what GLNG will provide.”

GLNG CEO Mark Macfarlane said: “Throughout construction, GLNG will always be considerate of the community’s needs. This project will leave a positive and lasting legacy.”

Representing the project’s partners were Petronas Executive Vice President (Gas and Power) Anuar Ahmad, KOGAS Executive Vice President Resources Development, Young Sung Park, and Mike Sangster, managing director of Total Australia.

GLNG is a joint venture between Santos (30%) and three of the world’s largest LNG companies, Petronas (27.5%), Total (27.5%) and KOGAS (15%).

GLNG includes the development of coal seam gas (CSG) resources in the Bowen and Surat Basins in south-east Queensland, construction of a 420-kilometre gas transmission pipeline from the gas fields to Gladstone, and two LNG trains with a combined nameplate capacity of 7.8 million tonnes per year on Curtis Island.

The plant is expected to begin LNG exports in 2015, with binding sales agreements with Petronas and Kogas for a total of seven million tones per year.

MARKETS: EIA examines scenarios for the future of US energy in Annual Energy Outlook 2011

(EnergyAsia, May 30 2011, Monday) — The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released its final version of Annual Energy Outlook 2011 (AEO2011) that includes 57 sensitivity cases based on different assumptions regarding market, policy and technology drivers, and their likely impact on energy production, consumption, technology, and market trends. In addition to considering alternative…

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ASIA: Canada to launch public consultations for Gateway oil pipeline project

(EnergyAsia, May 30 2011, Monday) — In response to environmental and aboriginal concerns, Canada’s federal government has created a joint panel to review the proposed construction of an Alberta-British Columbia pipeline to export crude oil to Asia, said Ed Stelmach, Premier of Alberta state. The high-level review will conducted by the National Energy Board and…

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AUSTRALIA: Investors met mid-sized energy and resources firms at Singapore event. Reporting by SURESH NAIR

(EnergyAsia, May 30 2011, Monday) — Australia’s booming economy is opening up opportunities for Asian investors to buy into their energy and resources sector.

Last week, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) held events in Hong Kong (May 24) and Singapore (May 26) for investors to meet with the executives of some of Australia’s small and mid-cap companies, and to check out why they make good long-term investments.

The latest “ASX Small to Mid Cap” conference, the 12th in a global series was held Singapore after recent successes in New York, London and Hong Kong.

The ASX is planning to step up its marketing and promotion of the series by adding Toronto to the list on September 29, said Andrew Musgrave, Regional Manager (Asia) for ASX Limited.

“We’re very encouraged by the support from the broker and investment banking communities in Hong Kong and Singapore and want to further break into other Asian major cities, who want to link with the growing Australian companies,” he said.

The companies involved in the ASX event have capitalisations generally below A$1billion but they “represent an important sector of the Australian market that does not always get the international exposure it deserves”, said Mr Musgrave.

Among the companies that presented in Singapore were Bow Energy Limited, Linc Energy Limited, Bandanna Energy Limited, Range Resources Limited.

Bow Energy (BOW) is focused on the exploration and appraisal of coal seam gas (CSG) projects and oil exploration in Queensland state. The company remains focused on finding oil and CSG, and implementing projects both for the domestic markets and export markets, said CEO John De Stefani.

It has begun developing gas projects for domestic power generation and industrial use, and the export markets via the Gladstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Queensland.

To this end, said Mr De Stefani, Bow is committed to realising several core strategic initiatives this year, including growing its gas reserves, delivering commercial gas flows, partially divesting non‐performing conventional oil assets, commissioning the 30-megawatt (MW) Blackwater power project and progressing the development of key gas infrastructure.

Linc Energy Limited is focusing on underground coal gasification (UCG) for cleaner power generation, fuel production and enhanced oil recovery (EOR), and clean coal technology, said Justyn Peters, Executive General Manager (Investor Relations).

He said Linc Energy has successfully combined UCG and gas-to-liquids (GTL) technologies in advancing the development of clean energy sources. Together these technologies have the potential to economically convert “stranded” coal from deep underground deposits into ultra-clean liquid fuels.

The company said its Chinchilla Demonstration Facility will enhance the country’s energy security by converting proven deep underground coal into synthesis gas or syngas. The facility’s GTL technology works to produce syncrude (which requires refinement to create diesel and other liquid fuel products) from UCG syngas.

“We are well-positioned to take these proven technologies to UCG-suitable locations around Australia and the world. It is actively exploring for oil, gas and coal in Alaska, South Australia and Queensland,” said Mr Peters, who has more than 25 years of experience in environmental management.

Bandanna Energy Limited said it holds 16 permits for coal exploration (EPCs) in the Bowen and Galilee basins in Queensland where more than 1,400 million tonnes of deposits have been verified according to Australia’s JORC standards.

The company also has mineral exploration licences, primarily for oil shale in Queensland, said Managing Director Ray Shaw.

Formerly known as Enterprise Energy Limited, it completed the acquisition of the issued share capital of Bandanna Coal Pty Ltd in early October 2008. It has since grown to hold the largest thermal coal inventory for an Australian exploration company.

Dr Shaw said: “The recent allocation of four million tonnes a year in Stage 1 of the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal  development will see Bandanna able to ship first coal from February 2014. This is a major milestone for the company as it moves from an explorer to a coal producer.”

Demand for Australia’s coal assets is growing as Asia is expanding its power-generating and steel-production capacities.
Range Resources Limited has described the next six to eight months represents as “a very exciting period” as it expects to participate in up to four high-impact exploration wells in Georgia and Puntland, said Executive Director Peter Landau.

The exploration and production company is working on finding and delineating hydrocarbons in Puntland in Somalia, Georgia, Texas in the US and Trinidad.

With the planned onshore exploration drilling programmes in Puntland and Georgia coupled with exploration and development work in Texas and Trinidad, Mr Landau said Range is well on its way to “establish itself as a diversified international oil and gas exploration, development and production company with significant upside potential”.

Investor interest in Australia, in particular for small and medium-sized resources companies, is growing, said Ankit Murarka, a senior investment analyst of Opvs Group.

“Spurred by its healthy political and economic position, Australia has become an attractive investment destination for global investors as well as home to many major multinational financial services providers,” he said.

The ASX Group is the brand name for ASX Limited. It was created by the merger of the Australian Stock Exchange and the Sydney Futures Exchange in July 2006 and is today one of the world’s top 10 listed exchange groups measured by market capitalisation.

CHINA: Kuwait Petroleum Corp, Sinopec to start work on joint refinery-petrochemical complex next year

(EnergyAsia, May 30 2011, Monday) — Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) and China’s Sinopec will start building their long-delayed joint-venture oil refinery and petrochemical complex in southern China in the first quarter of next year. According to Kuwait’s official news agency, KUNA, the Chinese government gave its approval last March for the US$9 billion project to…

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IRAN: Blast at Abadan oil refinery during President’s visit

(EnergyAsia, May 27 2011, Friday) — At least two people died and 20 others were injured when Iran’s largest oil refinery in the southwestern city of Abadan exploded during a scheduled visit by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last Tuesday. Officials said the explosion was caused by a gas leak but could not determine if it might…

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UAE: Azerbaijan’s SOCAR to start up Fujairah storage terminal this year

(EnergyAsia, May 27 2011, Friday) — The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) is expected to start up its oil terminal in Fujairah this year, said the UAE’s minister of the economy Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri. In May 2010, SOCAR signed an agreement with Switzerland-based trader Aurora Progress to jointly develop the project. Comprising…

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AUSTRALIA: Shell to build multi-billion-dollar giant floating LNG terminal

(EnergyAsia, May 27 2011, Friday) — In announcing its decision to build the world’s first floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) terminal, Royal Dutch Shell plc will also be laying claim to developing the biggest water-borne structure in history.

The 448-m-long ‘Prelude FLNG’ facility, to be anchored 200 km off the Australian coast, will be constructed from 260,000 tons of steel, around five times more than was used to build the Sydney Harbour Bridge. When fully equipped and with its storage tanks full, it will weigh around 600,000 tonnes, roughly six times as much as the largest aircraft carrier.

Shell said it will soon begin detailed design and construction work at a shipyard in South Korea.

Designed to withstand the severest Category 5 cyclones, the facility will produce gas from offshore fields, and liquefy it onboard by cooling.

Ocean-going LNG carriers will offload liquefied gas, chilled to minus 162 Celsius and shrunk in volume by 600 times, and other products, directly from the facility out at sea for delivery to markets worldwide. Until now, the liquefaction of offshore gas has always involved piping the gas to land-based plants.

Shell said it has accelerated work on the project, and expects to begin LNG production some 10 years after the 2007 discovery of gas reserves in the Prelude field in the Browse Basin located 475 km north-northeast of the town of Broome in Western Australia state.

Shell plans to initially pipe gas from seven subsea wells at Prelude to the FLNG facility, tapping around three trillion cubic feet equivalent of natural gas. The company also expects to produce 110,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from the field.

Shell said the FLNG facility will stay moored at the Prelude gas field for 25 years, and expects it to also produce from other fields in the area where the company has an interest.

Malcolm Brinded, Shell’s executive director (Upstream International), said:

“Our innovative FLNG technology will allow us to develop offshore gas fields that otherwise would be too costly to develop. Our decision to go ahead with this project is a true breakthrough for the LNG industry, giving it a significant boost to help meet the world’s growing demand for the cleanest-burning fossil fuel.

“FLNG technology is an exciting innovation, complementary to onshore LNG, which can help accelerate the development of gas resources.”

“Our ambition is to develop more FLNG projects globally. Our design can accommodate a range of gas fields, and our strategic partnership with Technip and Samsung should enable us to apply it progressively faster for future projects. We see opportunities around the world to work on other FLNG projects with governments, energy companies and customers.”

 Ann Pickard, chairperson of Shell in Australia, said: “This will be a game changer for the energy industry. We will be deploying this revolutionary technology first in Australian waters, where it will add another dimension to Australia’s already vibrant gas industry.”

Shell said its decision to invest in the FLNG facility culminates more than a decade of research and development. It builds on the company’s extensive know-how in offshore production, gas liquefaction, LNG shipping, and delivering major projects that integrate the gas value chain from wellhead to burner.

CHINA: Diesel prices surge, export ban implemented on surging demand

(EnergyAsia, May 27 2011, Friday) — Diesel prices in Asia may revert to the 30-month high level hit in April as China suspends export of the fuel to conserve domestic supply during the peak demand summer period. In Asia, fuel demand for air conditioning and transportation rise during the summer months. This year, Asia’s diesel…

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ASIA: LNG imports surged more than 20%, led by post-quake demand from Japan

(EnergyAsia, May 27 2011, Friday) — Led by Japan, Asia’s imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in April surged 20.4% over the same month last year, according to Waterborne, the US-based consultant monitoring and analysing global LNG markets. Its most recent edition of The Asian Waterborne Report reported that April was the 19th consecutive month…

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CHINA: Vopak and partner to build new storage terminal for crude oil and oil products on Hainan Island

(EnergyAsia, May 27 2011, Friday) — Dutch oil and chemical logistics firm Royal Vopak said it and State Development Investment Corporation (SDIC) of China have decided to jointly invest, build and operate a crude and oil products storage terminal in Yangpu on China’s Hainan Island. The 58-hectare terminal, which has been approved by the National…

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CHINA: Sinopec and Sabic to build polycarbonate plant in Tianjin

(EnergyAsia, May 27 2011, Friday) — Saudi Arabia’s petrochemical giant Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic) said it and China’s Sinopec have signed a deal to build a 260,000-ton-a-year polycarbonate plant in Tianjin city for start-up in 2015.

The new plant will be an extension to the three-million-ton-a-year petrochemical complex that the two companies jointly started up in the northern Chinese last year. Their equal joint-venture firm, Sinopec SABIC Tianjin Petrochemical Company (SSTPC), are producing a range of petrochemicals including ethylene, polyethylene, ethylene glycol, polypropylene, butadiene, phenol and butene-1.

Sabic said the new plant will leverage its world-class polycarbonate technology using the phosgene and dichloromethane free process. The performance properties of purity, transparency and continuous process will bring local polycarbonate resin capabilities to a diverse customer base in China.

Polycarbonate is an essential plastic used for producing components for automotive parts, compact discs, and a variety of consumer products as well as other industrial components.

Mohamed Al-Mady, Sabic vice chairman and CEO, said:

“This new and exciting milestone is a strong endorsement of our partnership with Sinopec. Today’s announcement will strategically position both companies as world-class producers of essential petrochemical supplies to meet increasing global demands for customers in China. Importantly, this agreement has set the stage for further growth in high-performance engineered thermoplastics.”

Wang Tianpu, Sinopec’s vice chairman and CEO, said: “Sinopec’s agreement on polycarbonate collaboration is another fruition of the deep and productive partnership with Sabic. Our partnership is a good showcase of the close trade ties between China and Saudi Arabia. This investment plays critical role in perfecting our value chain and in enhancing our competitiveness. The project will drive local economic development, satisfy growing demands for polycarbonate in Asia.”

Sabic recently launched two technology and innovation centres in China and India.

Chairman Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al-Saud, who was recently in Guangzhou city in Guangdong province as part of a nationwide tour, said:

“These new investments reflect Sabic’s dedication to expand our market in Asia, and highlights the importance we attach to our customers, partners and employees. Sabic is constantly improving assets, expanding offices across Asia, exploring other opportunities, and seeking new partnerships.”

Vice chairman and CEO Al-Mady said: “Our strong presence in Asia reflects our ambition to be the preferred petrochemical supplier in this important region. Sabic has embarked on a series of infrastructure expansions as part of our growth plans here. These include our offices, manufacturing and Technology & Innovation operations across 13 key markets, supported by 2,000 employees. Our focus remains on helping our customers create products that would improve the quality of life around the world.”

SOUTH KOREA: Sovereign wealth fund KIC takes 0.9% stake in Noble Group

(EnergyAsia, May 26 2011, Thursday) — Noble Group, a Singapore-listed global supply chain manager of agricultural and energy products, metals and minerals, said the sovereign wealth fund, Korea Investment Corporation (KIC), has acquired a “significant and strategic” stake in the company. KIC purchased 59,283,851 shares equal to about 0.9% of Noble’s outstanding shares from Noble…

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SINGAPORE: Malaysian leader calls for increased electricity efficiency to support sustainable economic growth

(EnergyAsia, May 26 2011, Thursday) — Leo Moggie, chairman of Malaysian power utility Tenaga Nasional, gave an overview of the electricity industry and its role in supporting economic development in Southeast Asia when he spoke at last month’s inaugural Distinguished Speaker Programme presented by Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA). A former energy minister in his…

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NEW ZEALAND: Refining company seeking NZ$500 million upgrade to meet rising fuels demand

(EnergyAsia, May 26 2011, Thursday) — New Zealand Refining Company (NZRC) is seeking board approval to invest NZ$500 million in upgrades to meet the country’s rising jet fuel and diesel demand, said chief executive Ken Rivers. (US$1=NZ$1.25). Having expanded its Marsden Point plant by 15% to 135,000 b/d last year, the company is eyeing another…

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MARKET: Global spot, short-term LNG trades up 40% in 2010

(EnergyAsia, May 26 2011, Thursday) — Thanks to rising prices and demand, and concerns with Middle East oil supply, global spot and short-term trades in liquefied natural gas (LNG) surged 40% to 727 cargoes in 2010 from a year earlier, according to the global association of LNG buyers GIIGNL. South Korea and Japan led the…

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MALAYSIA: Doubts abound over proposed $20 billion refinery-petrochemical complex in Johor state

(EnergyAsia, May 26 2011, Thursday) — The Malaysian government has announced plans to build a US$20 billion integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex in Johor state located just north of Singapore by 2016. In announcing the ambitious project early this month, Prime Minister Najib Razak said state-owned oil and gas firm Petronas will lead an international…

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