MARKETS: Japan demand tightens global LNG supply

(EnergyAsia, May 26 2011, Thursday) — Importers around the world are scrambling for liquefied natural gas (LNG) cargoes as a result of rising demand from Japan which lost a significant part of its nuclear power capacity following the March 11 earthquake-tsunami disaster. Traders say global LNG supply has tightened as more shipments head to Japan….

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COMPANY: Former Vopak chairman Broeders passes away at 47

(EnergyAsia, May 26 2011, Thursday) — Dutch oil and chemical storage and logistics firm Royal Vopak said its most recent former chairman John Paul Broeders has died of cancer at the age of 47.

In a statement, Vopak described Mr Broeders, who died on May 15, as a sportsman and businessman in heart and soul with an inspiring ambition of wanting to win.

“He sadly lost his courageous but unfair battle against the unexpectedly aggressive form of cancer prematurely at the young age of 47. Our warm thoughts and support are with his wife and their two beloved children,” the company said.

Mr Broeders joined the company’s predecessor, Van Ommeren, in 1990, and held various positions in Asia as well as served as vice president for marketing and sales for the chemicals logistics for Europe and Africa. From 2000 to May 2004, he was President of Vopak Asia.

On January 1 2006, he was promoted from vice-chairman to chairman, succeeding Carel van den Driest.

Last August, Vopak announced that Mr Broeders was leaving the company to become chairman of SHV Holdings. He was succeeded by Eelco Hoekstra on March 1 2011.

INDIA: BORL plans to boost Bina refinery capacity

(EnergyAsia, May 25 2011, Wednesday) — Bharat Oman Refineries Ltd (BORL) said it plans to boost the capacity of its newly-commissioned six-million-tonnes-a-year Bina refinery to nine million tonnes a year by 2015 in the first-phase expansion.A joint venture between India’s Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) and Oman Oil Co, BORL has invested nearly 114 billion rupees…

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INDIA: Oman, BPCL launched Bharat Oman Refinery Ltd

(EnergyAsia, May 25 2011, Wednesday) — Oman Oil Company (OOC) and India’s Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd last week officially inaugurated Bharat‎Oman Refinery Ltd (BORL) under the patronage of India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.The event was also attended by Humaid al-Maani, Oman’s Ambassador to India, board members of the two companies, and other business and political…

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CHINA: April oil demand up 8.3% to third highest level since 2005, says Platts

(EnergyAsia, May 25 2011, Wednesday) — China’s apparent oil demand in April rose 8.3% to 38.36 million metric ton (mt) or 9.37 million b/d, from year-ago levels due to increased consumption during the spring sowing season, said US energy media Platts.In an analysis of recent figures published by the Chinese government, Platts found that China’s…

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AUSTRALIA: BG faces delay building LNG plant at Gladstone

(EnergyAsia, May 25 2011, Wednesday) — UK’s BG Group said it faces delay meeting its deadline to expand its A$18 billion Queensland Curtis LNG plant at Gladstone as a result of the record rainfall and bad weather to hit Australia’s Queensland state between late 2010 and early this year. (US$1=A$1.05).The company said it has been…

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CHINA: Vopak and partner to expand storage terminal in Tianjin

EnergyAsia, May 25 2011, Wednesday) — Dutch oil and chemical logistics firm Royal Vopak said it and equal joint-venture partner Tianjin Bohai Chemical Industry Group will develop the 240,000-cubic metre second phase of their terminal in China’s Tianjin city to store liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

The project includes three low-temperature tanks of 80,000 cbm each to be commissioned in the second quarter of 2013, and a new pipeline connection to the plant of Tianjin Bohua Petrochemical Co Ltd in the fast-developing 80-sq km Lingang Industry Park.

Last June, the partners announced the construction of the 95,300-cubic metre first phase of the Tianjin Lingang storage terminal to store chemicals. The terminal is expected to be commissioned in the third quarter.

Serving as the main logistics gateway to Beijing less than 150 kilometers away, Tianjin is also a leading petrochemical distribution centre in northeastern China.

With these projects in Tianjin along with other investments in China, Vopak expects to increase its storage capacity in the country from 1.2 million cbm now to 1.7 million cbm in 2013.

Vopak, the world’s largest independent tank storage service provider, specialises in the storage and handling of bulk liquid chemicals, gasses and oil products. The company operates 79 terminals with a storage capacity of more than 25 million cubic metres in 30 countries.

With more than 50,000 employees and more than 60 chemical production and logistic facilities, Tianjin Bohai Chemical Industrial Group is one of the largest state-owned chemical enterprises in China.

SINGAPORE: Keppel secures rig orders worth US$1.34 billion in May, year-to-date exceed S$6.5 billion

(EnergyAsia, May 25 2011, Wednesday) — Keppel FELS Limited, a subsidiary of Singapore’s Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited, said it has secured orders to build oil rigs worth a total of US$1.345 billion from various international clients in May, boosting the value of its year-to-date contracts to more than S$6.5 billion. (US$1=S$1.25).

Its biggest order of US$772 million for four KFELS B Class jackup drilling rigs came from Oslo, Norway-listed S.D. Standard Drilling Plc that was followed by a US$180 million contract for the same rig model for Dynamic Offshore Drilling Limited. Earlier in the month,

Keppel FELS secured a US$393 million order for two high-specification KFELS B Class Bigfoot jackup rigs from Qatar’s Gulf Drilling International Ltd (GDI).

Standard Drilling

The Singapore firm said it will deliver the four rigs to Standard Drilling between the second half of 2013 and the first half of 2014.

Standard Drilling ordered its first jackup rig from Keppel FELS in November 2010 with two options. It also acquired two jackups under construction and another two option rigs from Clearwater Capital Partners LLC which involved Clearwater becoming the largest shareholder of Standard Drilling. Standard Drilling now has a combined fleet of seven KFELS B Class rigs, all being built exclusively at Keppel FELS.

Wong Kok Seng, Keppel FELS’s managing director, said:

“With a strong operating track record in various parts of the world, the KFELS B Class has become the industry’s benchmark solution and features strongly in the fleets of today’s leading offshore drillers.

“In a span of less than six months, we have secured new orders for 19 KFELS B Class series rigs, including these latest contracts. In ordering four repeat rigs at once, Standard Drilling has demonstrated its industry foresight, as well as reaffirmed the market’s confidence in our proprietary design and quality execution.”

Rob Petty, managing partner of Clearwater Capital Partners and director of Standard Drilling, said:

“We are proud to announce this exciting transaction that combines the Clearwater rigs into Standard Drilling and creates a pure play jackup company with seven KFELS B Class rigs.

“Clearwater is committed to Standard Drilling, where the board has come together to form the largest single portfolio of newly built jack up rigs so vital to the burgeoning market demand for new rigs with high specifications. With our fellow directors and shareholders we are focused on establishing Standard Drilling as a best-in-class operator and building a top tier management team to complement the premium assets we are creating at Keppel FELS.

“We see a unique opportunity to grow an Asian centric industrial drilling operator given the high levels of drilling activity in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and West Africa which continues to anchor and build strong demand for premium jackup rigs.”

Espen Lundaas, Standard Drilling’s CFO, said:

“The newbuild activity that we see in today’s market is driven by a need for a global fleet renewal, which is expected to increase in the future. As long as there are rigs available in the market, the high-end units will be preferred over the older and second rated ones.

“This provides strong impetus for us to fast track fleet expansion, in catering to higher levels of drilling activity in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Southeast Asia and West Africa.

Keppel FELS and its offshore yards have delivered 33 KFELS B Class series rigs for operations in various parts of the world to date.

Developed by Keppel’s technology arm, Offshore Technology Development, the KFELS B Class jackup is designed to provide maximum uptime with reduced emissions and discharges.

For its environmental-friendly features, the KFELS B Class design was bestowed the Prestigious Engineering Achievement Award from Institution of Engineers Singapore in 2009, said Keppel Corp. Readily upgradable to higher performance capabilities, the rig incorporates advanced and fully-automated high capacity rack and pinion elevating system, and a self-positioning fixation system.

When completed, Standard Drilling’s rigs will be able to operate in water depths of 400 feet, drilling depth of 30,000 feet and accommodate 120 men.

Dynamic Offshore Drilling

Separately, Keppel FELS will be delivering a KFELS B Class jackup drilling rig to Vision Drilling Pte Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dynamic Offshore Drilling Limited, in the first quarter of 2013. The rig will be able to operate in water depths of 350 feet with a drilling depth of 30,000 feet and accommodate 120 men.

Dynamic Offshore Drilling has the option to build an additional rig to be exercised before the third quarter of 2011.

With 33 such units delivered worldwide, the KFELS B Class design continues to be the preferred jackup choice for drilling operators.
Naresh Kumar, chairman of Dynamic Offshore Drilling, said:

“While this is Dynamic Offshore’s first collaboration with Keppel FELS, we are no strangers to its excellent project execution and dedication to safe, on-time and within-budget deliveries. My team and I have previously worked very closely with the Keppel FELS team on two KFELS B Class jackup rigs which have been deployed under long term contracts with strong day rates with a Fortune 500 National Oil Company.

“After the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, oil companies around the world prefer newbuild premium rigs with enhanced safety features and equipment reliability. With over 60% of the current Jack up fleet over 25 years old, it is an impetus for us as experienced drilling contractors to invest in premium high quality jackups with the world’s leading shipyard.”

John Gellert, President of Seacor Marine LLC and a board member of Dynamic Offshore Drilling, said:

“Seacor is pleased to be a part of the project as an investor and joint venture partner in Dynamic Offshore Drilling. With the long term rising demand for premium jackups, we are looking forward to the development of Dynamic Offshore Drilling.”

The rig is equipped with enhanced features to expand the operational coverage of the rig. Provisions have been made for the rig to work in high pressure high temperature environments and have Offline Stand Building capabilities.

Based in Cyprus, Dynamic Offshore Drilling, a member of the Jaguar Group, operates in India, Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and South America. It operates in the offshore drilling business through wholly-owned subsidiary Deepwater Drilling & Services Pvt Ltd.

Gulf Drilling International

Earlier, Keppel FELS said it will be building two high-specification KFELS B Class Bigfoot jackup rigs for Qatar’s Gulf Drilling International (GDI) Ltd by the third quarter of 2014. The two rigs will increase GDI’s jackup fleet count to seven units.

Customised to GDI’s requirements, the rigs will be designed to operate in the higher ambient temperature of the Middle East. The KFELS B Class Bigfoot is equipped with larger spud cans for reduced bearing pressure and expands its operational coverage in more places, especially areas where soft soil is predominant.

GDI’s new rigs also feature an enhanced leg design for added robustness. Each rig will have a full 15,000 psi BOP system, 75-feet cantilever outreach and be able to accommodate 150 persons.

Tong Chong Heong, Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd’s CEO, said:

“We are pleased to work with GDI again, having successfully delivered two KFELS B Class jackup rigs to them previously. On top of its newbuilding contracts with Keppel FELS, GDI is also upgrading and repairing its rigs at Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine, our joint venture shipyard with Qatar Gas Transport Company. We look forward to supporting GDI as they expand their offshore fleet and presence in the Middle East.”

Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, GDI chairman, said:

“The two new hi-tech premium jackup rigs will … serve as the cornerstone of an expansion plan that is geared to increasing GDI’s share of the Qatar drilling market. GDI is driven to become a key provider of drilling rig services and to be the drilling contractor of choice in Qatar.”
Ibrahim J. Al-Othman, GDI’s CEO, said:

“GDI has become the leader of Qatar’s drilling market in a matter of just six years. The decision to select Keppel FELS was carefully considered after taking into account factors such as rig design, rig equipment, experience in building jackup rigs, reliability, timing, cost and post construction support. We believe they produce a technically superior rig.”

Keppel FELS said it had already delivered two KFELS B Class jackup rigs, Al-Khor and Al-Zubarah, ahead of schedule, within budget and safely to GDI.

A joint venture between Qatar Petroleum (QP 60%), Qatar’s state oil company, and Japan Drilling Co Ltd (JDC 40%), GDI was established as the first oil and gas drilling company in Qatar on May 18 2004.

Keppel FELS is a subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd, a wholly-owned company of Keppel Corporation Limited.

THAILAND: Foster Wheeler awarded contract to revamp residue fluidised catalytic cracking refinery unit

(EnergyAsia, May 25 2011, Wednesday) — Switzerland-based Foster Wheeler AG said a subsidiary in its Global Engineering and Construction Group has been awarded a contract to provide front-end engineering design (FEED) for a refinery in Thailand.
The Star Petroleum Refining Company Limited (SPRC) awarded the contract for work on its residue fluidised catalytic cracking unit (RFCCU) at its Map Ta Phut refinery with the aim of improving on-stream reliability and environmental performance.

Foster Wheeler said it will help select the technology licence provider, and work with SPRC to evaluate the existing RFCCU maintenance and reliability practices.  The FEED is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2012.

Foster Wheeler, which did not reveal the terms of the award, said it has included the contract value in its first-quarter 2011 bookings.

Umberto della Sala, interim CEO of Foster Wheeler AG, said:

“This award reflects the winning combination of the in-depth technical expertise of our RFCCU consultants, our extensive portfolio of refinery turnarounds and revamp successes, and the local service delivery of our Sriracha operation.”

IRAN: Chamber of Commerce expects Chinese investments to top US$1 billion

(EnergyAsia, May 24 2011, Tuesday) — China’s investments in Iran are expected to soon exceed US$1 billion, roughly double last year’s US$570 million, according to the Iran-China Joint Chamber of Commerce.Chairman Assadollah Asgaroladi said China is expected to invest another US$320 million in his country in the current financial year to March 2012. Iran, for…

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CHINA: IMF predicts economy to overtake US to be world’s largest by 2016

(EnergyAsia, May 24 2011, Tuesday) — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has made a startling prediction that China is likely to overtake the US to become the world’s largest economy by 2016.The agency said the Chinese economy will expand to US$19 trillion to eclipse the US, which is projected to grow to US$18.8 trillion in…

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MIDDLE EAST: Gulf states aim to expand China trade to US$1 trillion by 2021

(EnergyAsia, May 24 2011, Tuesday) — The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have set a goal to expand trade with China by 10 times to US$1 trillion by 2021, according to a United Arab Emirates foreign minister.Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan said trade between China and the GCC states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar,…

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THAILAND: PTT to invest 33 billion baht to expand LPG terminal

(EnergyAsia, May 24 2011, Tuesday) — In response to rising domestic energy demand, Thai state oil and gas company PTT Plc said it is investing 33 billion baht to expand the capacity of its liquefied petroleum gas terminal. (US$1=30 baht).Executive vice president Nattachart Jaruchinda said PTT will expand an existing terminal in the eastern province…

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MARKETS: IEA lowers forecast for 2011 world oil demand growth, pleads for higher OPEC output

(EnergyAsia, May 24 2011, Tuesday) — At the same time that it has expressed alarm at declining OPEC production, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has reduced its global oil demand growth forecast for 2011 by 100,000 b/d to 1.3 million b/d.Citing persistent high oil prices and poor prospects for the developed economies, the Paris-based agency…

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MARKETS: Ernst & Young warns new oil price shock could threaten economic growth

(EnergyAsia, May 24 2011, Tuesday) — High oil prices brought on by a combination of political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, and increased demand from post-March 11 quake Japan could threaten global economic growth, said Ernst & Young in a briefing last week.

Releasing its latest quarterly global oil and gas forecast, the consulting firm said that despite the fact that short-term oil and gas supply and demand remains relatively balanced, prices have gone up in anticipation of supply shocks.

As a result, Dale Nijoka, Ernst & Young’s global oil & gas leader, said the world’s economic growth projections are being reduced and are dropping to around 4% for 2011.

“We are dealing with a new kind of ‘oil shock’. Past oil shocks have been caused by embargoes, war or demand growth, this pricing shock is being driven by broader geopolitical factors across a larger geographic area. More simply put, markets are proactively reacting to a potential supply problem, not necessarily real-time fundamentals,” he said.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices hovered in the US$70 to $80 per barrel range for most of last year, and began rising in the last quarter as the world economy grew, said Ernst & Young.

The WTI price broke through the US$100 barrel mark in early March 2011 as Libyan supplies were cut off. While a disconnect has emerged between WTI prices and the more globally-traded crude oils, continued political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa will prolong upward pressures on oil prices.

Mr Nijoka said a combination of factors has created a more positive outlook for natural gas.

The crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and the loss of Libyan gas supply have established a “floor” for natural gas prices.

He said that in the short-term, additional liquefied natural gas (LNG) will be needed to replace the damaged nuclear generation, but the nuclear power generation risks brought to light in Japan could also renew a push for greater long-term use of natural gas for electricity generation in the US and other countries.

MARKETS: OPEC holds forecast for 2011 world oil demand growth at 1.4 million b/d

(EnergyAsia, May 24 2011, Tuesday) — OPEC expects world oil demand to grow by 1.4 million b/d in 2011, broadly unchanged from the previous report, following an increase of 2.1 million b/d last year.

It said post-quake Japan and “economic uncertainty” in the US will offset continued demand growth in China, balancing the outlook for global oil demand growth.

In its latest monthly report, the cartel said:

“The world economic growth forecast for 2011 remains unchanged at 3.9%, although there have been some offsetting revisions. The US economy has shown some slowdown recently and, while it is expected to regain momentum, the forecast has been reduced to 2.6% from 2.9%.

“Euro-zone growth has been increased to 1.7% from 1.5%, backed by continued expansion in the manufacturing sector and improving domestic demand. Japan’s economy is still forecast to decline by 0.1% following the recent tragic events.

“Developing Asia is expected to contribute the most to global growth in 2011, with China growing by 9% and India by 8.1%. Risks still appear to be skewed downward due to sovereign debt concerns, rising inflation across the globe leading to higher interest rates and potential overheating in developing Asia.”

OPEC kept unchanged its forecast for world demand for its crude at 29.9 million b/d, about 400,000 b/d higher than last year. The world consumed about 29.5 million b/d of OPEC crude last year.

The cartel expects non-OPEC oil supply to increase by 600,000 b/d in 2011 to follow on growth of 1.1 million b/d in 2010. This represents an upward revision of 65,000 b/d over the previous report.

OPEC said its April crude oil production was estimated to average 28.99 million b/d, an increase of 70,000 b/d over the previous month.

Citing political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, the world’s improved economic outlook and a weaker US dollar, OPEC said its reference basket price rose in April to average $118.09 a barrel, up $8.25 from the previous month and $35.76 from a year earlier.

PHILIPPINES: Subic cargo facility to be expanded and upgraded

(EnergyAsia, May 23 2011, Monday) — The Philippines is expanding and upgrading the fuel depots at Subic Freeport to store and handle nearly four million barrels in response to rising demand.The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is working to promote Subic as a one-stop logistics centre for all types of vessels and maritime cargo.It is…

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QATAR: Construction of second condensate refinery underway

(EnergyAsia, May 23 2011, Monday) — Qatar is developing a second 150,000 b/d condensate refinery at Ras Laffan to meet rising demand for transportation fuels.The new plant will double Qatar’s refining capacity to 300,000 b/d when completed by 2015, said Minister of Energy and Industry Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada.The project will also pave the…

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CHINA: Consultant warns US Congress on growing competition for oil and gas supply

(EnergyAsia, May 23 2011, Monday) — A US consultant recently delivered to the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Power what he has described as “dire warnings about the likely development of China’s future energy demand.”At the April 4 hearing on the ‘The American Energy Initiative’, Douglas-Westwood LLP’s managing director, Steve Kopits, said…

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CHINA: Fuel oil imports to decline with shutdown of small refineries

(EnergyAsia, May 23 2011, Monday) — China’s fuel oil imports could decline sharply if the government succeeds in its plan to shut down small refineries known as “teapots,” which account for 10%-15% of the country’s total refining capacity.Up to 90% of China’s small refineries, defined as those under 40,000 b/d in capacity, are being targeted…

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CHINA: New taxes on domestic sales of crude oil, natural gas being considered

(EnergyAsia, May 23 2011, Monday) — As part of a tax reform programme, China is looking to introduce a new tax of 5%-10% on the domestic sales of crude oil and natural gas. The tax would be based on sales volume instead of value.For every tonne of crude oil sold, companies may have to pay…

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CHINA: Economy, central regions face looming threat of power shortages

(EnergyAsia, May 23 2011, Monday) — China’s slowing economy faces a new threat crisis from spreading power supply shortages in its central regions caused by a shortage in coal supply and drought-induced drop in hydropower capacity.Hubei province is the latest to join neighbouring provinces in rationing power supply as China faces its worst power supply…

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SINGAPORE: Engineering firm PEC Ltd reports net profit of S$28.6 million for nine-month period

(EnergyAsia, May 23 2011, Monday) — Singapore Exchange-listed engineering firm PEC Ltd has reported a 19% drop in net attributable profit to S$28.6 million on revenue of S$305.4 million for the nine months ended March 31. (US$1=S$1.25).

Group revenue was 11% lower than the corresponding period for FY2010 due to the decrease in revenue from project works as a result of the lagged effect of fewer projects secured in FY2009.

Robert Dompeling, PEC’s group CEO, said: “The global financial crisis in 2008 caused major oil and petrochemical companies to delay and reduce their investments. This resulted in fewer projects secured by the group in FY2009/2010 and the effect of this is being felt currently.

“However, we are cautiously optimistic on our medium term prospects, especially in Singapore, Asia and the Middle East which are benefiting from the shift in investments by the major oil and petrochemical companies after the financial crisis.

“PEC is well-placed to become a significant provider of EPC and maintenance services in Asia and the Middle East. Our healthy balance sheet with a net cash of S$168.5 million as at end March 2011 helps when we bid for larger projects and allows us to seize good opportunities to expand our capabilities and product range.

PEC recently secured from Emirates National Oil Company Ltd (ENOC) LLC a contract to build a US$82.5 million storage terminal project in Dubai.

MALAYSIA: Construction of Johor oil terminal expected to start soon

(EnergyAsia, May 20 2011, Friday) — Malaysia’s terminal operator Dialog and Netherland’s Vopak are expected to soon begin construction of their proposed terminal project in the Malaysian state of Johor north of Singapore.Located in the Pengerang region, the new terminal will have the capacity to hold five million cubic metres of oil, with the first…

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MALAYSIA: Petronas to spend RM50-55 billion a year in capex over five years

(EnergyAsia, May 20 2011, Friday) — Malaysian state oil and gas company Petronas has set aside RM50 billion to 55 billion a year over the next five years in capital expenditure to replace aging oil and gas-producing assets, said company president and CEO Shamsul Azhar Abbas. (US$1=RM3).The planned capital spending for the coming years is…

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