(EnergyAsia, November 30 2011, Wednesday) — Japanese demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) could grow by more than 25% to over 100 million tonnes next year after surging by over 15% this year to a record of more than 80 million tonnes in 2011, said a senior executive from the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals…
(EnergyAsia, November 30 2011, Wednesday) — Oil, not the financial markets, is the key driver of current account fluctuations and global economic dislocations, and is leading the world down an unsustainable path of development, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Oil will likely account for 96% of the US trade deficit this year and…
(EnergyAsia, November 30 2011, Wednesday) — Air Liquide said it has secured a contract to supply China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation or Sinopec 200,000 normal cubic metre per hour (Nm3/h) of gaseous oxygen and nitrogen for use at its existing MPCC oil refinery in Maoming in China’s Guangdong province as well as an upcoming coal-to-hydrogen project.
Sinopec is expanding and upgrading the refinery to meet the country’s growing demand for cleaner fuels. Upon completion, the MPCC complex will become one of China’s biggest and most modern refineries with an annual capacity to process more than 20 million tons of crude oil.
Air Liquide said it will begin supplying 3,000 tonnes of oxygen per day when it starts up its new air separation plant in southern China in the first half of 2013. The plant will also produce nitrogen and argon.
Yu Xizhi, MPCC’s general manager, said:
“We have chosen Air Liquide as our partner to benefit from its state-of-the-art technology and excellence in operational management, to ensure a safe, efficient and reliable gas supply.”
Jean-Marc de Royere, Air Liquide’s senior vice-president for the Asia Pacific and a member of the company’s executive committee, said:
“This is a new step in our relationship with Sinopec and another milestone for Air Liquide in China’s refining industry. Air Liquide remains committed to the Chinese market in offering comprehensive solutions with leading-edge technologies.”
In 2007, Air Liquide said it and a subsidiary of Sinopec, Asia’s largest petroleum and petrochemical group, established an equal joint venture in Tianjin to supply oxygen and nitrogen to the Chinese firm’s new one- million-ton per year ethylene cracker and downstream units.
(EnergyAsia, November 30 2011, Wednesday) — A Japanese consortium of upstream company Inpex and engineering firm JGC has agreed to pay C$700 million for a 40% stake in a shale gas prospect in Canada’s British Columbia province.
Calgary, Alberta-based Nexen Inc retains a 60% stake and will continue to operate the project to extract and produce gas from its holdings in the Horn River, Cordova and Liard basins. Inpex Gas British Columbia Ltd will pay half the sum upfront and the rest as capital carry, with closing expected in the first quarter of 2012, at which time C$600 million would be due to Nexen. (US$1=C$1.03).
Nexen said the joint venture lands contain as much as 15 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of recoverable resource in the Horn River and Cordova basins and as much as 23 tcf in the Liard basin.
Upon closing of the agreement, the partners said they will appraise and develop the resource, subject to economic conditions, and investigate the feasibility of a downstream project that includes exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Nexen said it expects to complete drilling an 18-well pad in the acreages by the fourth quarter of 2012, increasing gross production volumes to peak rates of approximately 155 million cubic feet a day (mmcf/d) in early 2013.
Inpex said it expects venture’s holdings in the Horn River and Cordova basins to produce up to 1,250 million standard cubic feet per day of shale gas or 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d).
Proclaiming the sale both as an advancement of its shale gas strategy and a profitable deal, Marvin Romanow, Nexen’s President and CEO, said:
“The transaction provides us with world-class partners that have significant upstream and LNG expertise. It also recognises the outstanding team we have put in place and the execution excellence they have consistently demonstrated.”
Inpex’s entry into Canada represents growing international recognition of Canada’s hydrocarbon resources as the company is already involved in 71 oil and gas projects in 26 countries. As Japan’s largest exploration and production (E&P) company, it holds the country’s largest hydrocarbon reserves, and produces more than 400,000 boe/d from its global assets mostly to meet the needs of the domestic market.
Inpex brings significant LNG expertise and market access to the partnership, vital for Canada to achieve its declared goal to become an oil and gas exporter to Asia, and to reduce dependence on the US markets. Inpex owns interests in LNG projects, and oil and gas reserves in Indonesia and Australia, and is building a regasification terminal in Japan.
The company operates as well as hold a 76% working interest in the Ichthys project off the coast of Australia that is expected to produce 8.4 million tonnes of LNG per year. Inpex also operates and owns a 60% working interest in the Abadi LNG project off the coast of eastern Indonesia that is expected to produce 2.5 million tonnes of LNG per year.
Combined, these two projects will meet the equivalent of 15% or more of Japan’s current LNG annual import volumes.
Japan has been stepping up its import of oil, gas and coal to make up for the loss of the bulk of its significant nuclear power capacity following the March 11 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck the country’s north-eastern corridor.
Despite the urgent need to develop new energy supply sources, Japan has been surprisingly slow in coming to Canada, a stable First World country with one of the world’s largest proven oil reserves. Japan’s most recent major hydrocarbon investment in Canada was made last year, a C$850 million bid by trader Mitsubishi to acquire a share of Penn West Exploration’s shale gas project in northeastern British Columbia.
(EnergyAsia, November 29 2011, Tuesday) — CNOOC Ltd, China’s leading offshore oil company, said it has completed its C$2.1 billion acquisition of Opti Canada Ltd, a financially stricken oilsands producer in Alberta province.
The acquisition gives CNOOC a 35% stake in the Nexen-operated C$6.1-billion Long Lake oil sands project, which is producing below its 72,000 b/d.
Dragged down by losses at Long Lake, Opti was forced to seek protection from creditors in July, turning to the Chinese state-owned giant which already has a 14% stake in another Alberta oilsands producer, MEG Energy Corp.
CNOOC Limited said the acquisition was effected by wholly-owned subsidiary CNOOC Luxembourg Sarl, which will seek to delist Opti from the Toronto-based TSX Venture Exchange by December 1.
Li Fanrong, who became CNOOC Limited’s CEO last week, said the acquisition has enabled the company to deepen its reach into the oil sands business, making it “one of the most important assets” in its global portfolio.
“Through partnership with Nexen, CNOOC Limited expects to fully exploit the growth potential of the Long Lake project and their three other jointly owned oil sands leases.”
(EnergyAsia, November 29 2011, Tuesday) — In response to growing environmental pressures, one of Australia’s main local oil and gas companies said it is pulling out of a controversial gas pipeline project while warning that any attempts to delay or halt coal seam developments would hurt the industry and the economy. Addressing a Parliamentary inquiry,…
(EnergyAsia, November 29 2011, Tuesday) — Global oil demand is expected to rise by 900,000 b/d to 87.8 million b/d this year, and by 1.2 million b/d to 89 million b/d next year, according to the latest monthly forecast issued by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).In keeping unchanged its forecast for global oil…
(EnergyAsia, November 29 2011, Tuesday) — The Australian government said it will apply increased research and scientific investigations into the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, method of gas production amid growing complaints in the country and around the world that it is causing water contamination and earthquakes.Prime Minister Julia Gillard said her government will provide A$150…
(EnergyAsia, November 29 2011, Tuesday) — Global oil demand is expected to rise by around 900,000 b/d to 89.2 million b/d this year and by 1.3 million b/d to 90.5 million b/d next year, according to the latest monthly forecast issued by the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The latest forecast represents a slight decline from last month’s numbers due largely to expectations for weaker economic growth in the West.
The IEA said it has revised down its global oil demand forecast by 70,000 b/d for 2011 and by 20,000 b/d for 2012.
As for supply, the agency said rising production in non-OPEC countries boosted global output by one million b/d to 89.3 million b/d in October from September.
OPEC supply also rose, by 95,000 b/d, to 30.01 million b/d in October, thanks largely to higher output from Libya, Saudi Arabia and Angola which helped offset lower output from other members.
(EnergyAsia, November 28 2011, Monday) — Liquid Niugini Gas Ltd, a company jointly owned by InterOil Corp and Pacific LNG Operations Ltd, has signed a heads of agreement (HOA) to supply Gunvor Singapore Pte Ltd one million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) a year for 15 years from 2015.
The LNG will be sourced from the Elk and Antelope gas fields in Papua New Guinea, said InterOil at last week’s signing ceremony in Port Moresby witnessed by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, the region’s Gulf Governor Havila Kavo, and the country’s cabinet Ministers.
Liquid Niugini Gas Ltd is developing liquefaction and associated facilities in the country’s Gulf Province with contractors FLEX LNG and South Korea’s engineering giant Samsung.
While the agreement is not binding, NYSE-listed InterOil said it provides the basis to negotiate and document terms for the eventual execution of a binding sales and purchase agreement (SPA) with the Russian company’s Singapore office by the second quarter of 2012.
InterOil CEO Phil Mulacek said:
“InterOil is proud to work with Gunvor, one of the largest energy commodity movers in the world. With 2.3 million tonnes/year now committed under HOAs, InterOil has preliminary LNG off-take arrangements for more than 50% of its start-up LNG volumes. We expect the HOAs to facilitate remaining infrastructure financing arrangements with binding SPA, driving robust debt coverage for the Gulf LNG project.”
Liquid Niugini Gas Vice President Conrad Kerr said: “Gunvor has become an established player in the LNG industry through its success in acquiring, and moving large amounts of short-term LNG cargoes in the last few years. We are interested in value optimisation for our LNG, and a long-term relationship with Gunvor enhances this strategy.”
InterOil Corporation is developing a vertically integrated energy business with primary focus on Papua New Guinea and the surrounding region.
The company’s assets consist of petroleum licences covering about 3.9 million acres, an oil refinery, and retail and commercial distribution facilities in Papua New Guinea.
Through its global offices in Geneva, Singapore and Nassau, Bahamas Gunvor Group is the world’s third largest independent oil trading company by turnover. The company also trades a broad range of other energy commodities including coal, gas, LNG, and emissions.
Pacific LNG is an affiliate of Clarion Finanz AG, a private company specialised in energy and mining investments. Pacific LNG owns an economic interest of approximately 20% in the Elk Antelope fields, 47.5 % of Liquid Niugini Gas and is a large shareholder of InterOil.
(EnergyAsia, November 28 2011, Monday) — Oil and gas pipelines and transportation infrastructure are among projects being considered by Central Asian governments and senior representatives of development agencies who met in Baku in Azerbaijan last week to work out a new 10-year strategy for the region.
An oil transportation system and a natural gas pipeline network serving the nations of Central Asia and the Caspian are likely to be included in the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) programme to promote economic development.
Azerbaijan is pushing for the construction of a Caspian oil transportation system as an extension to deliver at least 25 million tons of Kazakh oil a year from Kazakhstan to Azerbaijan through the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline (BTC) pipeline.
The 1,768-km BTC pipeline, which started up in May 2005, delivers crude oil from the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field in the Caspian Sea through Baku, Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and the Turkish port of Ceyhan in the south-eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
The proposed underwater Trans-Caspian Gas (TGC) pipeline links Türkmenbaşy in Turkmenistan, and Baku, but its route remains debated as some proposals have called for the construction of side connections linking it to the Tengiz field in Kazakhstan. The project is aimed at delivering natural gas from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to central Europe while bypassing Russia and Iran.
Established in 2001, CAREC brings together Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to promote regional projects in energy, transport and trade facilitation.
CAREX has the support of six multilateral institutions including the Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Monetary Fund, Islamic Development Bank, UN Development Programme and World Bank.
ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said: “ADB has allocated US$4.7 billion over the next three years to support CAREC 2020’s goals of trade expansion and improved competitiveness. We stand ready to assist in accelerating the development of physical infrastructure connectivity, the development of economic corridors, and the improvement of the knowledge base needed to support CAREC’s priorities.”
President Kuroda made the announcement at the Development Partners’ Forum on the third day of the 10th CAREC Ministerial Conference. The forum was chaired by ADB Vice President Xiaoyu Zhao.
Senior representatives of bilateral agencies from France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US were at the forum to support CAREC 2020.
To date, member governments and the development agencies have approved over 100 projects worth a total of US$17 billion to support CAREC’s growth. These projects include six land transport corridors including 3,600 km of roads and 2,000 km of railway to link the regional countries with Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
(EnergyAsia, November 28 2011, Monday) — State-owned natural gas company GAIL said its subsidiary, GAIL Global (Singapore) Pte Ltd, has started trading and procuring liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply for the Indian market. The company expects to import its first cargo in coming months with India’s domestic natural gas demand expected to rise to 189…
(EnergyAsia, November 28 2011, Monday) — India will boost its oil refining capacity by over 60% to more than 310 million tonnes over the course of the current five-year plan to March 31 2017, predicts Oil Minister S. Jaipal Reddy.The completion of new world-scale refineries in Orissa and Punjab states will substantially expand the country’s…
(EnergyAsia, November 28 2011, Monday) — China’s apparent oil demand for October edged up by 1.4% year-over-year to 38.42 million metric tons (mt) or 9.08 million b/d, the highest in five months, according to Platts’ analysis of recently released government statistics.Last month’s demand was the strongest since May’s 9.31 million b/d, and was also 1.4%…
(EnergyAsia, November 25 2011, Friday) — Two international energy companies separately have predicted that China’s demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) will rise by six times by the end of this decade.Europe’s GDF Suez SA expects China’s annual LNG consumption to surge to 44 million tonnes while Australia’s Woodside Petroleum believes demand from both China…
(EnergyAsia, November 25 2011, Friday) — Two years after the launch of a major pipeline linking the two countries, Turkmenistan will soon meet more than half of China’s natural gas demand.On Wednesday, November 23, China signed a new agreement to raise its annual gas purchase volume from the Central Asian producer from 40 billion cubic…
(EnergyAsia, November 25 2011, Friday) — Brazil has banned Chevron Corp from further offshore drilling despite the US oil major accepting full responsibility for an oil spill and pledging to counter the damage.
State regulator Agencia Nacional do Petroleo (ANP) demanded that Chevron, which operates the US$3.6 billion Frade offshore field, improve its safety practices, while announcing the indefinite ban until investigations are complete into how oil leaked from an appraisal well on November 7.
Brazil is courting foreign investments to find and produce hydrocarbons off its coast, but is also worried about possible environmental and health damages in the wake of last year’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The ANP’s decision came shortly after Chevron had announced that its subsidiary, Chevron Brasil Upstream Frade Ltda, had voluntarily and indefinitely suspended its current and future drilling operations even though it had not been told to do so.
The voluntary suspension includes the company’s permitted pre-salt wells in the Frade field with the exception of current plug and abandonment activities.
Chevron said the suspension will not impact operations at the Frade field from which a Chevron-led consortium is producing 79,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Its top executive in Brazil, George Buck, said the company had underestimated the amount of pressure at a reservoir at the Frade project about 370 kilometers northeast of Rio de Janeiro. The pressure caused a fissure in the ocean floor, releasing oil from the well.
(EnergyAsia, November 25 2011, Friday) — US engineering firm Black & Veatch said it has hired Kaushik Mukherjee as its India regional general manager for sales to work with local clients on energy infrastructure.
Based in Black & Veatch’s Mumbai office, Mr Mukherjee has 18 years of extensive planning and engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) expertise, having developed and supported the execution of multiple major power generation projects.
Arthur Close, Energy Sales Director for Black & Veatch’s Middle East, India, Europe and Africa operation, said:
“Energy is central to India’s continued growth, prosperity and quality of life. Talented professionals like Kaushik, combined with our quality local and global staff, ensure the planning and smooth execution of local projects. India is a growth market because of its energy, telecommunications and water needs.
Black & Veatch provided project management and conceptual design services for the Sasan and Krishnapatnam power projects, which are among the largest multi-unit coal plants in the world.
The company is currently providing design services for the 2,400 MW Samalkot power plant. When completed in 2012, it will be the largest natural gas-fuelled plant in India. Black & Veatch also provided sulphur processing solutions for the Jamnagar refining complex, the largest refinery in the world.
(EnergyAsia, November 24 2011, Thursday) — CNOOC Limited, China’s largest offshore oil and gas producer, has appointed Li Fanrong as its new CEO with immediate effect, succeeding Yang Hua.
Mr Li has served in a variety of operating, engineering and management positions in the Chinese offshore oil and gas industry for over 27 years, including 20 years in CNOOC Limited.
The company’s board also announced that Mr Yang will remain as its vice chairman to focus on strategic issues and President of subsidiary China National Offshore Oil Corporation. He has been re-designated a non-executive director of CNOOC Limited.
Wang Yilin, CNOOC Limited’s chairman, said:
“On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to welcome Mr Li on his appointment as new CEO of the company. I would also like to express our appreciation and gratitude to Mr Yang for his outstanding contribution.”
Mr Yang said: “I am very proud to be able to personally experience the remarkable growth of CNOOC Limited. In the future, I will be more focused on the company’s strategy.”
Born in 1963, Mr Li obtained a B.S. degree majoring in oil production from Jiang Han Petroleum Institute in China in 1984, and an MBA degree from the Business School of Cardiff University in the UK in July 2003.
He started his career as a petroleum engineer in Nanhai East Oil Corporation, a China National Offshore Oil Corporation subsidiary, in 1984.
From January 2009 to April 2010, he served as an Assistant President of CNOOC, and was promoted to Vice President in May 2010.
Four months later, Mr Li was promoted to President and to the board as a director of CNOOC China Limited and CNOOC International Limited, and chairman and director of CNOOC Southeast Asia Limited and CNOOC Deepwater Development Limited.
(EnergyAsia, November 24 2011, Thursday) — Australia Pacific LNG Pty Limited said it has signed an agreement for the annual supply of one million tonnes of liquefied natural gas to Japan’s Kansai Electric Power Company for 20 years.
The Australian firm will supply the LNG from its planned export terminal on Curtis Island in Queensland from mid-2016.
The agreement is conditional on Australia Pacific LNG making a final investment decision on the second train, expected for early 2012.
The Australia Pacific LNG project was sanctioned in July 2011 for an initial 4.5 million tonnes per annum LNG production train and infrastructure to support a second train of the same size.
The company, an incorporated joint venture between Origin Energy (42.5%), ConocoPhillips (42.5%) and China’s Sinopec (15%), is constructing the LNG train, with production to start in 2015.
Australia Pacific LNG chairman, Grant King, who is also Origin Energy managing director, said:
“This binding heads of agreement is another significant milestone for the Australia Pacific LNG project. The signing of a long-term supply agreement demonstrates further momentum towards a two train development, with detailed negotiations continuing with sufficient customers to support a second train final investment decision.”
ConocoPhillips’ senior vice president for exploration and production, Ryan Lance said:
“Kansai Electric is an experienced LNG buyer, and we look forward to supplying LNG to help support Japan’s energy requirements.”
Separately, US engineering giant Honeywell said it has been selected by Bechtel International Inc to design and implement automation and safety solutions for the LNG terminal.
Bechtel selected Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) to provide vital integrated control and safety systems (ICSS) at the new facility to convert coal seam gas (CSG) in the Surat and Bowen basins to LNG for export to Asia and to meet domestic demand in Queensland.
Frank Whitsura, vice president of Honeywell’s HPS Projects and Automation Solutions, said:
“Honeywell solutions will provide Australia Pacific LNG with a safe and reliable system from day one. We design our systems to integrate seamlessly with other Honeywell and third party products and solutions, which increases efficiency and reduces risk on a project so that it is completed on time and on-budget the best possible outcome for all.”
(EnergyAsia, November 24 2011, Thursday) — Singapore’s move to consider importing electricity from its Southeast Asian neighbours appears to be borne more out of weakness and desperation rather than planned strategy. Dependent on Indonesia and Malaysia for natural gas supplies to generate 80% of its electricity, Singapore has been working hard to diversify its energy…
(EnergyAsia, November 24 2011, Thursday) — The following is an edited version of an interview by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) with Ana Lucia Coronel, its Mission Chief for Kazakhstan, and Narayanan Raman, an economist in the fund’s Strategy, Policy, and Review Department. With nearly 40 billion barrels in reserves and 2% of global production,…
(EnergyAsia, November 24 2011, Thursday) — As spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices surged from US$7 to US$18-19 per million British thermal unit (BTU) over the course of 2011, Singapore bolstered its position as Asia’s leading energy trading centre. With oil already in the bag, it has been quietly building up its leadership in coal…
(EnergyAsia, November 23 2011, Wednesday) — With at least 15 projects being planned, Australia’s natural gas production is expected to triple to over 6,000 petajoules or 5,700 billion cubic feet (bcf) over the next decade, said energy economics group EnergyQuest.Of the 15 projects, eight projects will be under construction by the end of 2011, paving…
(EnergyAsia, November 23 2011, Wednesday) — Indian Oil Corp, the country’s largest refiner, said it is targeting to boost its annual refining capacity by 87% to 123 million tonnes or 2.46 million b/d by March 2021.Indian Oil and its subsidiary Chennai Petroleum Corp, which now control 10 refineries with a total capacity of 65 million…