(EnergyAsia, August 31 2011, Wednesday) — Malaysian state oil and gas company Petronas said it and its partners will jointly invest RM15 billion to boost the country’s natural gas supply by developing a cluster of nine fields located some 300km off the coast of north-eastern Terengganu state. (US$1=RM3). Petronas said it and its partners which…
(EnergyAsia, August 31 2011, Wednesday) — The International Energy Agency (IEA) has trimmed its latest forecast for world oil demand growth for 2011 by 100,000 b/d to 1.2 million b/d on account of high prices and slowing economic growth. The Paris-based agency still expects the world to consume a record 89.5 million b/d this year,…
(EnergyAsia, August 31 2011, Wednesday) — Making up for lost time from years of delayed start-up, Jurong Aromatics Corporation (JAC) said it has sold off the entire production from its world-scale Jurong Island complex for the first seven years. Based on today’s prices, the company said the sales would bring in revenue of around US$2.2…
(EnergyAsia, August 31 2011, Wednesday) — State-owned downstream company Vietnam National Petroleum Corp or Petrolimex said it plans to start up its 505,000-cubic-metre bonded oil terminal at Van Phong port next year. According to subsidiary Petrolimex Singapore Ltd, the 29-tank terminal in southern Khanh Hoa province will have the capacity to store 230,000 cubic metres…
(EnergyAsia, August 31 2011, Wednesday) — Asia, the Middle East and Africa will account for more than 80% of the world’s planned oil refining capacity addition by 2016, said UK-based consulting group GlobalData.
In its study, “Planned Oil Refineries – Global Market Analysis, Competitive Landscape and Capacity Forecasts to 2016”, the company forecasts that the world will add 609.6 million tonnes or 13.2% to its current 4,614 million tonnes of refining capacity by 2016. The industry has announced plans to build 66 refineries in 37 countries over the five-year period to 2016.
“The Middle East and Africa will contribute 45.6% to the planned global oil refining capacity addition of 609.6 million tonnes by 2016, whereas Asia Pacific will contribute 34.5%. Together, these two regions will account for 80.1% of global planned oil refinery capacity by 2016,” said GlobalData.
Asia today has more than 1,437 million tonnes of refining capacity, according to the study.
“China will lead the (expansion) in … oil refinery capacity addition for the period 2011 to 2016,” said GlobalData which has forecast that Petrochina Company Ltd. and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation will lead the nation’s 70-million tonne increase by 2016.
The study noted that China plans to construct six refineries over that period with two to start up in 2012, two in 2013 and one each in 2014 and 2015. All the planned refineries are complex refineries, four consisting of hydro-skimming units and two consisting of coking units.
(EnergyAsia, August 31 2011, Wednesday) — Oil prices and world demand should continue to rise in the third quarter of 2011 but the supply outlook remains unclear, according to Ernst & Young’s latest oil and gas survey.
Despite an uncertain economic recovery, deficit-reduction initiatives in the US and the debt crisis in Europe, the company expects oil prices to be driven higher by modest demand growth and uncertain supply.
“Barring a strong economic shock, continued strong oil prices seem to be in order over the next three to five years,” said Sanjeev Gupta, Ernst & Young’s Asia-Pacific Oil & Gas Leader.
In the first quarter of this year, with expectations for continued economic improvement and as a result of the supply disruptions from the Middle East, oil prices rose to over US$100 a barrel. But after peaking in the second quarter, crude prices fell back slightly, with the announced stock release by the International Energy Agency (IEA), and as the economic recovery lost some steam.
Mr Gupta said: “In 2011, many economies have technically moved out of recession and are predicted to grow, albeit modestly, over the next several years. Nevertheless, the recoveries remain fragile and uneven and there are a number of uncertainties weighing on the global oil markets. Chief among these uncertainties is the impact higher and more volatile oil prices may have on oil demand growth.”
He expects new production from the Gulf of Mexico amid reports of increasing activity in the second quarter. While overall production remains below pre-2010 levels, the application and permitting process is improving, and increasing production will continue to create jobs and increase US domestic energy supplies at a time of expected strong demand growth.
He said the “big unknowns” for oil producers are the short-term effects of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) release of 60 million barrels from emergency supplies and OPEC members’ disagreement over supply increases.
The IEA’s announcement briefly brought prices down as traders expected the release to help fill the loss of Libyan supplies.
However, as the market moves into the high-demand season, Mr Gupta said the IEA barrels will not meet that increased demand, and the market will need more supply from OPEC at a time when its spare capacity is at its lowest level in more than 20 years.
Beyond the short-term, over the next three to five years, he expects OPEC to face increasing pressures to raise substantially capacity and production.
Elsewhere, he said US natural gas production continues to grow, with the latest production figures reaching the highest point in almost 40 years.
Shale gas is driving the growth and is now approaching about 30% of US total gas production, even as gas-directed drilling has slowed and issues surrounding the economic feasibility and potential environmental impacts of the resource are raised.
China’s latest five-year plan expects the doubling of natural gas demand by 2015 which is likely to spur increasing competition for supplies from Central Asia, Russia and Australia.
(EnergyAsia, August 29 2011, Monday) — Last Friday’s deadly bomb attack in its capital city of Abuja and the on-going sabotage of its oilfields and infrastructure are a powerful reminder of the obstacles blocking Nigeria’s attempts to raise oil production beyond the West African state’s recent peak of over 2.5 million b/d.Islamic radicals linked to…
(EnergyAsia, August 29 2011, Monday) — Companies have found that not all of their recent offshore natural gas discoveries can be commercially developed as they require high capital expenditure (capex) for the required infrastructure to produce and transport the gas to shore. In most cases, natural gas from such areas is either flared off or…
(EnergyAsia, August 29 2011, Monday) — The following is an edited version of the speech by Jurong Aromatics Corp’s CEO Mehdi Adib at the plant’s groundbreaking ceremony on Jurong Island last Friday.
The event was attended by Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry, Oh Joon, the South Korean Ambassador to Singapore, and more than 200 government and business officials, and members of the media.
“Jurong Aromatics is truly an international company, which is unique in its structure. Despite being one of the largest aromatics projects in the world, there are no oil majors among our shareholders.
Instead, our shareholders include international feedstock suppliers and petrochemical products offtakers. This gives our business a coat of insurance even before it’s up and running.
“It has also made it easy for JAC to secure debt financing, the bulk of which has been guaranteed by the Export-Import Bank of Korea and Korea Trade Insurance Corp.
“This project was the vision of two creative businessmen and entrepreneurs, M.Y. Ling of ChemOne Holdings Pte Ltd and his partner, Vijay Goradia, of Vinmar. ChemOne’s tireless efforts at developing and executing a viable business strategy have helped JAC earn the support of the international feedstock suppliers and offtakers as well as the global financial institutions.
“(This) groundbreaking ceremony would not have been possible if they had not persevered and stayed the course while trying to get a world-scale project off the ground amid a very tough economic and financial environment.
“I also must thank our shareholders, staff, business associates, and especially the Economic Development Board (EDB) and EDBI as well as Jurong Town Corporation. All of them held an unmoving belief in the viability of our business despite the challenging economic environment of the last few years.
“You may look around you at this currently barren land and wonder why we chose to locate here. The development team of ChemOne Holdings had scoured various other locations in the region before deciding to locate the multi-billion dollar investment on Jurong Island in Singapore. I can tell you from my 40 years’ of global experience working in the petrochemical industry that Singapore’s Jurong Island was unbeatable on so many levels.
“Jurong Island, a world-class chemical hub, not only had the space for our complex – the island itself is a marvel, being totally made of reclaimed land. The Singapore government understood our business and was attuned to our needs especially when we were arranging the financing for this project.
“Importantly, Singapore has first-rate infrastructure, excellent connectivity and a solid base of industry players and customers. These were major factors that attracted our shareholders to locate their plant here.
“I’m pleased to announce that Jurong Aromatics has secured US$2.2 billion worth of (annual) offtake contracts for its products from five of our stakeholders namely South Korea’s SK Energy, Switzerland’s Glencore, China’s Jiangsu Sanfangxiang Group, BP and US-based Vinmar owned.
“This is an unqualified success and a tremendous vote of confidence for our project.”
“JAC will further strengthen Singapore’s competitiveness as a major petrochemicals hub in Asia, boosts exports of petrochemical products from Singapore and support the vibrant petrochemical ecosystem that already exists on Jurong Island.”
(EnergyAsia, August 29 2011, Monday) — The following is an edited version of the speech by ChemOne Holdings’ vice chairman M.Y. Ling at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Jurong Aromatics plant on Jurong Island last Friday.
The event was attended by Lim Hng Kiang, Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry, Oh Joon, the South Korean Ambassador to Singapore, and more than 200 government and business officials, and members of the media.
“My long time business partner, Vijay Goradia, chairman of Vinmar Group who worked with me and the ChemOne team to realise this dream, cannot be here due to other commitments.
When we conceived Jurong Aromatics Corporation (JAC) in 2005, we wanted to create a plant that would be back integrated to feedstocks, in view of increasing condensate availability and tight naphtha supply. That initial concept led to the birth of our idea to combine a condensate splitter and an aromatics complex. We believed the combination offers an optimal way to extract greater returns from aromatics.
“With the technical concept figured out, our next hurdle was to scout for a suitable location. We looked at several places in Asia, and Singapore was the unanimous choice. Singapore’s robust infrastructure, reliable third-party services, strong support from the Singapore government, especially from the EDB, low country risk, and project financing environment, were all decisive factors.
“While we were still in the early stages of putting the project together, we were hit by the global financial crisis end 2007. The crisis led to a credit crunch, which affected our bankers’ ability to commit funding for the project. It didn’t seem like the best of times to be embarking on anything world-scale.
“However, Vijay and I, with our ChemOne team tenaciously explored various alternatives to complete the project. We were undaunted, went back to the drawing board and restructured the financing deal which included reducing the capex substantially in favour of outsourcing, – roping in two Korean export credit agencies as guarantors, with one of them being a direct lender as well, and putting together a subordinate debt programme that reduced the outlay equity parties had to put on the table.
“We hit the road with the new deal in 2010, and the restructured project found favour with many investors and bankers. They include international big names like the SK Group, BP and Glencore.
“It would be difficult to find a similar project elsewhere in the world so well-packaged, attractive and so well-positioned for growth and stability.
“All of JAC supply and offtake volumes have been contracted out on long-term agreements.
“These contracts were signed with a diverse portfolio of creditworthy counterparties, and the majority of suppliers and offtakers, including the SK Group, Vinmar, Sanfangxiang, Glencore and BP have a stake in JAC.
“This enhances the alignment of interests between the parties and ensures the plant’s long-term viability.
“The SK Group, The Export-Import Bank of Korea and Korea Trade Insurance Corp, deserve special mention, because their involvement was central to the successful restructuring of the project in turbulent financial market conditions.
“Ultimately, getting JAC off the ground during one of the worst periods in international commerce and finance taught us one lesson. It’s all about getting your business model and strategy right and having a strong team of good people to help you execute and align stakeholders’ and shareholders’ interests.
“So as a proud founding shareholder of the project, I’m pleased that everything is now in place, and the future of JAC is well secured and it’s in good hands.
“Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the government agencies: MTI, EDB, EDBI and JTC, as well as all sponsors, bankers, stakeholders and other parties who have supported us throughout this project.”
(EnergyAsia, August 29 2011, Monday) — Côte d’Ivoire’s new government must ensure that the compensation paid out by oil trader Trafigura reaches the thousands of victims affected by a toxic waste dumping in 2006, Amnesty International said, on the fifth anniversary of the disaster.
Trafigura has paid US$260 million in a number of payouts but much of the money remains unaccounted for and thousands of victims have not received anything.
Benedetta Lacey, Amnesty International’s special advisor on corporate accountability, said:
“It is unacceptable that so many people who were affected by the dumping have not received the compensation money they are entitled to.
“These payouts have been dogged by repeated delays and a lack of transparency. President Ouattara’s government must act decisively to show that corruption and misappropriation of funds will not be tolerated.”
On August 19 2006, toxic waste was brought to Abidjan on board the ship Probo Koala, which had been chartered by oil-trading corporate group, Trafigura. This waste was then dumped in various locations around the city of Abidjan.
More than 100,000 people sought medical attention for a range of health problems and there were 15 reported deaths.
In February 2007, Trafigura settled with the government of Côte d’Ivoire, agreeing to pay US$195 million for compensation and clean up costs.
The government drew up a list of over 95,000 victims to compensate, but Amnesty said the compensation process was never completed and questions remain over how much of the US$195 million the victims actually received.
In April 2008, Trafigura made a second payment of US$20 million to the government under the settlement agreement and also agreed to pay for additional clean up costs.
The company made the settlements without any admission of liability.
In July 2010, a Dutch court found the oil trading company guilty of illegally exporting toxic waste from Amsterdam and concealing the nature of the cargo. The firm was fined one million euros after its ship, the Probo Koala, transited Amsterdam with its cargo which then went on to be unloaded in Ivory Coast. (US$1=0.7 euro).
In September 2009, Trafigura made a separate payment of US$45 million in an out-of-court settlement reached in the UK with nearly 30,000 Ivorians who had brought a lawsuit seeking damages for personal injury in relation to the dumping.
However, Amnesty said the distribution of that money was subsequently derailed by a group falsely claiming to represent the victims. The group calling itself the National Coordination of Toxic Waste Victims of Côte d’Ivoire (CNVDT-CI) obtained an Ivorian court order for the money to be transferred to its bank account for distribution to the claimants.
Following this court order, the UK law firm declared that it felt that it had “no alternative” but to agree to a joint distribution process with CNVDT-CI.
The UK law firm recently reported that at least 6,000 of its clients are still waiting for their compensation from CNVDT-CI. The head of CNVDT-CI is now reported to have disappeared and there is no further indication as to when the remaining compensation will be paid out.
Amnesty International said it has repeatedly expressed serious concern about the role of CNVDT-CI, whose claim to represent all 30,000 claimants involved in the UK settlement is patently untrue.
Ms Lacey said: “More than 6,000 people are owed the equivalent of a year’s wages after a hard won settlement with Trafigura. The government of Côte d’Ivoire must ensure that CNVDT-CI pays out the millions it owes to the claimants.”
Geneviève Diallo, representative of a victims’ group next to Akouedo dumpsite, said:
“On the 5th anniversary, we must think about the victims. There are 300 people in my area who have not yet received their compensation. Those who have misappropriated the money must be brought to justice. Justice must be done.”
Amnesty International has called on the government of Côte d’Ivoire to locate the missing funds and ensure full payment to the thousands who, five years after the dumping, are still waiting for compensation.
(EnergyAsia, August 26 2011, Friday) — Amnesty International has demanded that Shell “totally overhaul their procedures” for cleaning up oil spills in Nigeria following the release of a long-awaited UN report confirming the company’s extensive role in polluting the Niger Delta region.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report said Shell’s oil spill clean-up procedures in the region’s Ogoniland area are inadequate, confirming what Amnesty International has repeatedly pointed out.
“The findings of the UN report add further weight to what Amnesty International and others have been saying for years regarding Shell in the Niger Delta”, said Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International’s Global Issues Director.
“That a UN team found that supposedly “clean” oil spill sites were in some cases indistinguishable from contaminated ones, is deeply shocking, but also symptomatic of Shell’s lack of consideration for the human impact of oil pollution. Shell must immediately follow through on the UN’s recommendations and carry out a thorough review of their clean-up procedures in the Delta,” she said.
When examining several recent spills, UNEP found there was always a delay between the time the spillage was observed and dealt with. In the worst situations, oil left on the ground posed an imminent safety risk and ongoing environmental hazard.
Many areas of the Niger Delta remain polluted because of failure by companies to clean up pollution and rehabilitate the soil and water.
Shell has sought to blame most of its oil spills on theft, vandalism or sabotage by militant groups, which Amnesty said is widely disputed as there is no independent assessment of the causes.
Amnesty International and Friends of the Earth have filed an official complaint against Shell over misleading statements the company has made about sabotage.
“People in Ogoniland have been exposed to widespread and severe oil contamination for decades, according to the UN report, which also exposes the serious failure of the Nigerian government to regulate and control companies like Shell,” said Amnesty.
UNEP noted that Nigeria’s regulators are weak and that the national oil spill investigation agency is often totally reliant on the oil companies to do its work. The report also found that there are other, relatively new but worrying sources of pollution in Ogoniland such as illegal refining but it is clear that Shell’s poor practice stretching back decades is a major factor in the contamination of the area.
Despite regulations being in place stating that oil companies must clean up all oil spills regardless of their causes, the Nigerian government rarely enforces them, said Amnesty.
In an open letter, the managing director of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC) said the company accepted responsibility for two spills in the Bodo area in 2008, and that it would pay compensation when spills occur as a result of operational failure.
However, Mr Mutiu Sunmonu also criticized “inaccurate reporting” for creating the impression that SPDC in particular and oil companies in general are responsible for all oil spills in Nigeria.
He said: “The two spills at issue here resulted in around 4,000 barrels of oil being spilt. It is regrettable that any oil is spilt anywhere, but it is wildly inaccurate to suggest that those two spills represent anything like the scale which some reports refer to. Equally, speculation by the plaintiffs’ lawyers as to the level of compensation which may be payable is misguided and massively in excess of the true position.”
He called for the Nigerian government, which owns a majority interest in the assets operated by SPDC under a joint operating agreement with the Nigerian state oil company, NNPC, to make concerted effort to working with the oil industry to “end the blight of illegal refining and oil theft in the Niger Delta, both of which perpetuate poverty.”
(EnergyAsia, August 26 2011, Friday) — A United Nations agency said the environmental restoration of Nigeria’s Ogoniland could prove to be the world’s most wide-ranging and long term oil clean-up exercise ever undertaken if contaminated drinking water, land, creeks and important ecosystems such as mangroves are to be brought back to full, productive health.In an…
(EnergyAsia, August 26 2011, Friday) — Two engineering and procurement companies from India and the UAE have formed a consortium to build a diesel storage terminal near Port Mckay in Australia’s Queensland state.The consortium of India’s Shriram EPC and UAE’s Chemie-Tech said it plans to complete the 75-million-litre terminal by late next year. It did…
(EnergyAsia, August 26 2011, Friday) — Australia’s largest oil refiner is wondering if it should stick it out in an increasingly cut-throat business hurt by competition from cheaper imported fuel from Asia, a strong Australian dollar and high crude oil prices.After reporting that its two refineries and downstream operations had suffered a 24.2% decline in…
(EnergyAsia, August 26 2011, Friday) — The Bangladeshi government is looking to build 12 new tanks with a total capacity to store 120,000 tonnes of diesel and fuel oil in different parts of the country to support the operations of oil-based power plants. The Energy Ministry is aiming to complete the tanks by next year…
(EnergyAsia, August 25 2011, Friday) — SOCAR Trading, a subsidiary of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan, is aiming to triple its oil trading volume over the next five years after securing a deal to store a total of 5.3 million barrels of crude and products in South Korea.SOCAR Trading said the agreement with the…
(EnergyAsia, August 25 2011, Thursday) — India’s consumption of natural gas has taken off thanks in large part to a 50% increase in domestic production in recent year, said US consultant ESAI.
While impediments to supply growth remain, ESAI expects Indian consumption will continue to grow and reach 85 billion cubic metres in the next five years. As natural gas use grows and displaces other fuel, ESAI expects it to eliminate some 100,000 b/d, or about one-third of the country’s naphtha demand.
For supply and consumption to expand more rapidly, the Boston-based firm said India needs to shift to market pricing to encourage domestic output, extend pipeline infrastructure to the southern part of the sub-continent, and build more LNG terminals. Progress is being made in all three areas, but it is unrealistic to expect demand to increase to more than 85 bcm by 2015.
Vivek Mathur, who heads ESAI’s coverage of the petrochemicals market, said:
“The threat to naphtha consumption is in the fertilizer and power industries. Though natural gas will have the greatest impact on coal use, it will also compete with petroleum-based fuels in two sectors. For example, in the last two years there has already been a decline in naphtha use for auxiliary power generation. ESAI estimates 15% of India’s nitrogenous fertiliser production is from naphtha.
“The government is strongly encouraging the complete switch from naphtha to natural gas in this sector. Our analysis indicates that natural gas will displace roughly 75-80,000 b/d of naphtha in the fertiliser sector.” AI 401 Edgewater Place, Suite 640 Wakefield, MA 01880 T: 781.245.2036 F: 781.245.8706 www.esai.com
(EnergyAsia, August 25 2011, Thursday) — Vietnam could face further energy supply shortages as coal miners and power companies are struggling to complete projects in the face of financing difficulties and rising interest rates at around 20%.Banks are unable or unwilling to provide loans to the country’s domestic coal and electricity companies, said the Vietnam…
(EnergyAsia, August 25 2011, Thursday) — Singapore’s Tiong Woon Corporation (TWC) Holding Ltd said its 51%-owned subsidiary, Tiong Woon Oasis Marine & Engineering Pte Ltd (TWOME), has won a contract to help develop the first phase of the super shipyard being built in Singapore’s western Tuas area.The contract was awarded by Zhen Hua (Singapore) Engineering…
(EnergyAsia, August 25 2011, Thursday) — Bowing to the reality of the country’s inadequate war-torn infrastructure and political instability, Iraq has abandoned its original plan to boost production to 12 million b/d by 2017.The government has been forced to set a new target of producing 6.5 to 7 million b/d, still a significant achievement as…
(EnergyAsia, August 24 2011, Wednesday)— Iran said it will continue to supply crude oil to India after receiving the first instalments of some five billion euro owed for cargoes shipped to several Indian refiners since last December. (US$1=0.70 euro). The two countries had been locked in a heated argument over India’s failure to pay for an…
(EnergyAsia, August 24 2011, Wednesday) — Indonesia’s PT Krakatau Daya Listrik (KDL), a subsidiary of PT. Krakatau Steel Group (PTKS Group), has selected Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) to implement energy management and monitoring solutions to realise long-term cost savings through greater energy efficiency.
KDL will implement the selected HPS solutions at PTKS Group’s facilities, said US automation and engineering giant Honeywell.
KDL is the primary supplier of electricity to state-owned PTKS Group, the largest steel maker in Indonesia with a production capacity of 2.45 million tons per year, and Southeast Asia’s largest integrated steel producer.
Honeywell said that PKTS, as a large user of electricity, natural gas and industrial gases, has chosen HPS’ Energy Management Service to enable KDL to effectively monitor, manage and control its energy consumption without affecting productivity at PTKS’ facilities.
Wisnu Kuncoro, KDL’s President, said:
“Providing energy for such a large-scale production is not an easy task, as we often run into high costs. By implementing HPS’ proven solutions, we will be able to control and monitor energy usage, which ultimately helps us reduce those costs significantly in the long run. We chose Honeywell Process Solutions because of their previous experience in handling energy management projects and their in-depth knowledge of the steel manufacturing industry.”
Tony Cosgrove, Honeywell Process Solutions,’s Asia Pacific vice president for sales, said:
“Often, energy expenses are considered a fixed cost due to their substantial share of operating expenditures. With our Energy Management Service, KDL will now be able to gain a competitive edge as they are able to fully control their energy supply chain and achieve energy savings. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with the Krakatau Steel Group and work on even greater projects in the future.”
(EnergyAsia, August 24 2011, Wednesday) — Australia’s Queensland state will be producing more liquefied natural gas (LNG) than the nation’s current production rate within nine years, according to consultant EnergyQuest.In a new report, “Australian Coal Seam Gas 2011: From Well to Wharf,” EnergyQuest said the state’s LNG capacity is set to exceed 25 million tonnes…
(EnergyAsia, August 24 2011, Wednesday) — Iraq is working with China and South Korea to develop its oil and gas production.Despite the challenges of operating in a war-torn economy, Iran has raised its total crude oil output to more than 2.8 million b/d and expects to earn more than US$80 billion in export revenues this…