MALAYSIA: Philippines Petron approved to acquire Exxon’s Port Dickson refinery

(EnergyAsia, January 31 2012, Tuesday) — Philippines oil company Petron said its board has approved its acquisition of a 65% stake in a Malaysian refinery owned by the local Exxon Mobil subsidiary.Petron, a San Miguel subsidiary which owns and operates the Philippines largest refinery, will pay US$610 million for Esso Malaysia’s downstream assets which include…

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MARKETS: OPEC maintains forecast for 2012 world oil demand growth at 1.1 million b/d

(EnergyAsia, January 31 2012, Tuesday) — The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has kept its forecast for world oil demand to grow by 1.1 million b/d in 2012, unchanged from its previous forecast issued last month. OPEC expects world oil demand to reach 88.9 million b/d in 2012 after rising by 900,000 b/d in 2011…

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CHINA: Four strategic stockpile bases fully operational

(EnergyAsia, January 31 2012, Tuesday) — China’s four national bases for stockpiling its strategic oil reserve are now full operational, storing a combined 24.4 million metric tons of crude oil or nearly 180 million barrels, according to Chinese media reports.In the first phase of its strategic stockpiling programme, China stockpiled more than 14 million metric…

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AUSTRALIA: Another gas find boosts Chevron’s LNG plan

(EnergyAsia, January 31 2012, Tuesday) — Chevron Corp has made another natural gas discovery in Western Australia, boosting its plans to become a leading global liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer.

The US major said its Australian subsidiary found natural gas in the Exmouth Plateau area of the Carnarvon Basin, its 13th offshore discovery in the country since 2009.

The company encountered gas 74 meters in the Satyr-3 well located 182 km north of Exmouth in the WA-374-P permit area after drilling to a depth of 4,075 metres in over 1.12 km of water.

George Kirkland, Chevron’s vice chairman, said Satyr-3 reinforces the quality and value of its exploration lease holdings in the Carnarvon Basin.

Melody Meyer, president of Chevron Asia Pacific Exploration and Production Company, said:

“The Satyr-3 discovery adds to our Australian resource base, further supporting our long-term plans to position Chevron as one of the world’s leading LNG suppliers.”

Chevron’s Australian subsidiary is the operator of the WA-374-P permit area and holds a 50% interest, with Exxon Mobil and Shell each holding 25%.

SINGAPORE: Swire Oilfield Services opens Asia Pacific regional hub as part of long-term expansion

(EnergyAsia, January 31 2012, Tuesday) — UK’s Swire Oilfield Services has opened its regional headquarters in Singapore to meet rising demand for oil and gas support services in the Asia Pacific region.

Located in the Loyang supply base, the new headquarters will act as a hub for all operations while providing existing and prospective customers with a full suite of services including cargo carrying units, aviation services and modular systems across the region including Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, India, Middle East, Sakhalin, Australia and New Zealand.  

The hub will house the company’s management, financial, engineering, design and operational teams, and is expected to take on a major role designing and procuring the next generation of its equipment.

As a leading global provider of offshore cargo carrying units, modular systems and associated services, the company said it is planning to invest £20 million in the region after having spent £5 million over the past 12 months.

For the year ahead, Swire Oilfield Services plans to invest a total of £100 million in new equipment and infrastructure around the world to support its long-term expansion. (US$1=£0.63).

The company expects to add 100 staff to its current head count of 75 people in the region and over 650 worldwide.

In officially opening the hub, Raymond Lim Siang Keat, a member of the Singapore Parliament, said:

“The opening of Swire Oilfield Services’ regional office again demonstrates the importance of Singapore as an oil and gas hub.

Singapore will provide the perfect spring board for Swire Oilfield Services’ impressive growth plans in the region.”

Rupert Bray, chief operating officer for Swire Oilfield Services, said:

“The wider Swire group has a long association with Singapore and the surrounding region. The opening of the regional office and significant investment we are making highlights the global importance of Singapore as an oil and gas hub.”

Troy Brice, the company’s Asia Pacific general manager, said:

“From humble beginnings in 2010, we now have over 5,000 rental units in the region, making us the largest operator. Along with the establishment in Singapore of Swire Modular Systems and our Offshore Aviation Services division, we are looking to double turnover in the region in the next two years.”

IRAN: IMF says oil prices could rise as much as 30% on export stoppage, higher with threat to Strait of Hormuz

(EnergyAsia, January 30 2012, Monday) — World crude prices could rise by as much as 30% from current levels of US$100-$110 a barrel if Iran halted its oil exports and by a “much larger” rate if the cornered Islamic regime blocked the strategic Strait of Hormuz in response to further tightening of US and EU…

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IRAN: Sanctions weakened as Indonesia considers oil imports, China and India to continue buying as EU struggles

(EnergyAsia, January 30 2012, Monday) — Iran may have little difficulty disposing of the 600,000 b/d of crude oil that the European Union (EU) is proposing to stop buying from July 1 as part of a tightening trade sanctions by the West against the Islamic regime.Indonesia’s Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo hinted his government may consider…

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KUWAIT: Plans for third oil refinery investment in Asia

(EnergyAsia, January 30 2012, Monday) — Kuwait National Petroleum Co (KNPC) is interested to build a third oil refinery in a yet-to-be-identified location in Asia to add to its plans for projects in China and Vietnam.The company will partner Sinopec and possibly France’s Total to build a US$9-billion integrated refinery-petrochemical complex in China’s Guangdong province,…

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JAPAN: ExxonMobil to restructure holdings, sell business to partner for US$3.9 billion

(EnergyAsia, January 30 2012, Monday) — US major ExxonMobil said it is restructuring its business in Japan that includes selling off its downstream business to partner TonenGeneral Sekiyu KK for US$3.9 billion.

As part of the takeover due for completion by mid-year, TonenGeneral will combined its manufacturing and refining operations with ExxonMobil Yugen Kaisha’s marketing operations to create a single, integrated downstream business better positioned to meet Japan’s energy needs.

The US major will retain a 22% stake in the Tokyo-based TonenGeneral which will end up owning 99% of ExxonMobil Yugen Kaisha.

ExxonMobil said it will remain TonenGeneral Sekiyu’s largest shareholder and anticipates continued participation on its board, subject to shareholder approval of its nominees. TonenGeneral Sekiyu will have exclusive, long-term use of ExxonMobil’s existing brands for the sale of the US major’s products in Japan.

ExxonMobil said it will continue to supply crude, feedstock, fuels services including international marine coverage services as well as provide technology support, including technical assistance from its research and engineering company.

The US major added that it will maintain its presence in Japan through businesses and partnerships excluded from the restructuring including its butyl, specialty elastomers, polyolefin, synthetics and catalyst businesses that includes its ownership in Japan Butyl Company.

With more than a century’s business presence in Japan, ExxonMobil said it will remain active in the country’s marine lubricants business, LNG marketing and sales, collaborations and partnerships with local companies in the upstream sector.

The ExxonMobil Japan Group comprises ExxonMobil Yugen Kaisha and its related companies and subsidiaries including TonenGeneral Sekiyu K.K. and Tonen Chemical Corp., and is a major manufacturer and marketer in Japan of petroleum fuels, lubricants and petrochemicals. ExxonMobil Yugen Kaisha is a 100% indirect subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation.

MARKETS: World oil demand fell 300,000 b/d in 4Q 2011 as recession grips tighter

(EnergyAsia, January 30 2012, Monday) — The global economy is decelerating as shown by the 300,000 b/d decline in oil demand in the fourth quarter of 2011 that could spill over into this year, said the International Energy Agency (IEA).

This is the first quarterly decline in world oil use since the start of the global financial crisis in 2008.

As a consequence, the IEA said it has trimmed its forecast for this year’s global oil demand growth to 1.07 million b/d compared with 1.26 million b/d in its previous forecast last month.

The London-based Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES) affirmed the IEA’s reading that this could be “a sign of things to come” largely because a quarterly decline has been recorded only nine times over the last 10 years.

“We believe that the effect of weak economic growth and high oil prices on oil demand in 2012 is likely to be more pronounced than either the IEA or OPEC contends.

Since July 2011 our forecasts of incremental global oil demand have been consistently lower than the predictions of both organisations,” it said.

CHINA: Qatar, Shell, CNPC advance plans for 80-billion-yuan refinery-petrochemical project

(EnergyAsia, January 27 2012, Friday) — China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) said it, Qatar Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell have agreed to advance their plans to jointly develop a 80-billion-yuan integrated oil refinery-petrochemical complex in eastern China. (US$1=6.3 yuan). The complex which includes a 400,000-b/d refinery and a 1.2-million-tonne/year ethylene plant will be built in…

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CHINA: Import of piped gas from Central Asian exceeded 20 bcm in January, set to breach 30 bcm this year

(Energy Asia, January 27 2012, Friday) — China’s import of piped natural gas from Central Asia reached 20 billion cubic meters (bcm) in early January and is on course to exceed 30 bcm by the end of the year, said China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC). As operator of the Central Asia-China pipeline, CNPC announced that…

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CHINA: Oil demand grew by 6.1% in 2011, down from 11.3% in 2010, says Platts

(EnergyAsia, January 27 2012, Wednesday) — China’s oil demand growth slowed to 6.1% last year compared with 11.3% in 2010, said McGraw Hill’s energy media unit Platts.

Despite signs of an economic slowdown in the second half of the year, Platts said China’s apparent oil demand for 2011 reached a record 460.65 million metric tons, or 9.25 million b/d, the first time that it has breached the nine million b/d level.

According to Platts’ analysis of official data, Chinese oil consumption grew by just 0.7% year-on-year in December, the second time in 2011 that the growth rate fell below 1%.

For the quarter, oil demand was up by just 1.6%, making it the lowest of the four quarters for the year.

“But even with that relatively slow rate of growth at the end of the year, the actual demand for December was the highest daily rate the country’s oil demand has ever reached,” said Calvin Lee, Platts Senior Writer for China. A nationwide scramble for diesel supply drove December’s apparent oil demand to just over 41 million mt or 9.68 million b/d.

“High crude throughput and strong net refined product imports continue to lift the apparent oil demand, outweighing the slower growth rates and the recent drop-offs in gasoline and diesel consumption,” said Mr Lee.

In December, Chinese refineries processed 39.23 million mt of crude oil, or 9.28 million b/d, with throughput hitting an all-time high for the second consecutive month. This fiure was 1.3% higher compared with a year ago, and 0.3% more than the previous record high of 9.25 million b/d achieved in November.

Platts said state-owned refiners have been ramping up production since re-starting their plants in October from weeks of scheduled maintenance turnarounds to replenish refined product inventories, particularly for diesel.

Sinopec and PetroChina have been operating their plants at capacity since October amid earlier signs of tightening supply of diesel in certain parts of the country.

To help ease fuel shortages, traders raised their refined products imports by 2% year-on-year to 4.04 million mt in December, the highest volume in nearly 30 months. December’s imports, which matched the July 2009 volume, were also 20.6% more than the previous month.

Despite the domestic fuel shortages, Chinese refiners boosted oil product exports by 19.1% in December to 2.25 million mt, said Platts. At the same time, net product imports reached their highest levels in a year to 1.79 million mt, which Platts described as “surprising” considering that growth in gasoline and diesel consumption has waned in recent months according to earlier released official data.

COMPANY: APICORP reports record profit of US$57.5 million in 4Q 2011

(EnergyAsia, January 27 2012, Friday) — The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP), a multilateral bank owned by the 10 member states of the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC), has announced record profits for the fourth quarter of 2011.

The bank, in which the Qatar government has a 10% stake, said profits surged 86% to over US$57.5 million from year-ago levels.

Its total assets rose 7.4% year-on year to exceed US$4.63 billion at the end of December 2011 while total equity rose by more than 6.6% to US$1.2 billion.

Ahmad Bin Hamad Al-Nuaimi, APICORP’s CEO and general manager, said:

“The achievements made in the fourth quarter will help further bolster the net worth of APICORP and serve to reinforce its fiscal stability in what we expect will continue to be a challenging economic environment in 2012.”

US ratings agency Moody’s affirmed the bank’s A1 position for its long-term debt and Prime 1 for short-term debt with a stable outlook.

Mr Al Nuaimi said: “The rating affirmation, with a stable outlook, is a strong testament to APICORP’s robust capitalisation, liquidity, and our commitment to strong banking fundamentals.”

Since its founding in 1975, APICORP has played a vital role in fostering the development of the Arab energy industry, including investing in 14 joint ventures in the oil and gas industry. It has also participated in direct and syndicated energy transactions worth an estimated $127 billion.

APICORP‘s aggregate commitments in these transactions, both equity and debt, are valued in excess of US$12 billion.

Headquartered in in Al-Khobar in Saudi Arabia, APICORP is owned by the governments of the UAE (17%), Bahrain (3%), Algeria (5%), Saudi Arabia (17%), Syria (3%), Iraq (10%), Qatar (10%), Kuwait (17%), Libya (15%), and Egypt (3%).

SINGAPORE: Abu Dhabi’s Masdar to hold Asia Future Energy Forum on October 22 to 25

(EnergyAsia, January 27 2012, Friday) — Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, and Reed Exhibitions said they will jointly hold the ‘Asia Future Energy Forum & Exhibition’ (AFEF) in Singapore from October 22 to 25 2012.

AFEF 2012, “Powering Sustainable Innovation in Asia”, will discuss the region’s energy issues, challenges and opportunities. It will be held before the annual Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) event organised by the Energy Market Authority (EMA) of Singapore in early November.

AFEF 2012’s organisers are targeting to make the event into the marketplace for the clean and alternative energy suppliers and buyers in Asia. It will also be an opportunity to showcase Masdar’s multi-faceted approach in developing and implementing renewable energy and clean technologies.

Building on its track record in hosting global platforms such as the World Future Energy Summit, Masdar will support and participate in AFEF to drive debate, promote knowledge sharing and strengthen collaborations.

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Masdar’s CEO, said:

“Asia has emerged as a major player in the renewable energy sector. This is also signified by the strong Asian presence at the ongoing World Future Energy Summit this year.”

Over the past three years, Masdar has been organising the European Future Energy Forum in Spain, UK and Switzerland. With the emergence of Asia, the organisation has decided to focus on the region in 2012.

Dr Al Jaber said: “The decision to hold the event in Singapore, one of the UAE’s most valued partners in Asia, is a great source of pride.

“We are honoured with these partnerships and will always continue looking for opportunities across Asia, as part of the UAE’s initiative to build bridges and find the energy solutions of tomorrow.”

Chee Hong Tat, EMA’s chief executive, said: “Asia’s energy demand is expected to double over the next 20 years, and renewable energy sources will play a bigger role in the overall energy mix of many Asian countries.”

According to the International Energy Outlook 2011 report, renewable energy use will rise from 10% in 2008 to 15% in 2035. Asia is expected to play a major role in achieving these targets.
Singapore has demonstrated a strong commitment to the renewable energy sector. The Singapore Economic Development Board reported that by 2015, the clean energy industry is expected to contribute US$1.3 billion to Singapore’s gross domestic product and create 7,000 jobs across a broad range of areas, including solar power, fuel cells, wind power, energy efficiency and carbon services.

In 2007, the Singapore government announced a total package of US$271 million for the clean energy industry, designed to intensify innovative research and development, and capability development for this industry.

In addition, the UAE and Singapore have strong partnerships and are already members of the Green Group, a ministerial-level group which focuses on water and energy security along with other like-minded nations such as Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Iceland, New Zealand and Slovenia.

Masdar’s partnerships in Asia extend beyond Singapore. A transformational player in Asia’s clean energy space is China, which recently became the world’s top energy producer, and is expected to use 68% more energy than the US by 2035.

While renewable energy is projected to be the fastest growing source of primary energy over the next 25 years, fossil fuels are expected to maintain their grip as the dominant source of energy.

China has set a target to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by 17% by 2015 (per unit GDP). Under its 12th Five Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development, the government said China will generate 11.4% of energy from non-fossil fuels by 2015, and 15% by 2020, up from 8.3% in 2010.

To reach this ambitious goal, China has introduced a range of regulatory and financial incentives, including feed-in tariffs, subsidies, China Development Bank loans, and US$200 billion in stimulus funding for cleantech, carbon emission reductions and energy pricing reserves.

China is expected to spend US$473.1 billion on clean energy investments in the next five years and will add 370 GW of renewable energy generation capacity by 2020.

Masdar Capital is involved in the Chinese clean tech market and has already invested $15 million into UPCC, a major Chinese wind developer. About half the panels in Masdar City’s 10MW solar plant are provided by Chinese manufacturer Suntech. 

Another significant player in Asia is Japan, which recently passed a bill to promote investment in solar and other renewable energy sources and is already discussing easing rules on building geothermal, wind and hydraulic power plants to renewable energy use, according to the Nikkei Business Daily.

Japan has the potential to generate nearly 40% of its electricity requirements from solar, wind and geothermal energy, according to estimates prepared for the government’s Energy and Environment Council.

Masdar has forged strong partnerships with Japan, another major player in the renewable energy market. Masdar Institute partnered with Japan’s Cosmo Oil Company and the Tokyo Institute of Technology on the Beam Down Project – a joint pilot project in Masdar City to test the conventional Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) design.

Frederic Theux, President of Reed Exhibitions Middle East, said:

“As one of the leading lights of clean and sustainable development in the Middle East, Masdar has played a significant role in transforming the World Future Energy Summit into one of the world’s leading platforms dedicated to the global renewable energy community in less than five years.”

Ms Michelle Lim, managing director of Reed Exhibitions in Singapore, said:

“Asia’s growing economies will continue to face increasing demands for energy. It is widely regarded that only relying on traditional fossil energy to fuel economic development is highly unsustainable. There is therefore a compelling need for an event like AFEF as a marketplace for alternative, clean energy solutions.”

IRAN: EU statement on targeting sources of finance to halt nuclear programme

(EnergyAsia, January 26 2012, Thursday) — Following the meeting of the foreign ministers of its members in Brussels on Monday, the European Union has decided to launch new sanctions against Iran for continuing with its nuclear energy programme. In a statement, the 27-member EU said it has decided to broaden measures by targeting the sources of…

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IRAN: Wood Mackenzie on implications for oil and gas supply to Western sanctions, Strait of Hormuz traffic

(EnergyAsia, January 26 2012, Thursday) — UK consultant Wood Mackenzie has made an initial assessment of potential implications for 2012 of the growing Iran-related tensions on the oil and gas markets following on further US and EU sanctions against Iran and its threat to close the Strait of Hormuz to shipping traffic.With further US and…

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AUSTRALIA: LNG Ltd awards US$760 million EPC contract to China Huanqiu for Gladstone terminal

(EnergyAsia, January 26 2012, Thursday) — Australia’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Ltd has awarded an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services contract to China Huanqiu Contracting & Engineering Corporation for its Fisherman’s Landing liquefied natural gas project in Queensland state.
The companies signed the US$760 million contract for the first train, including the tank and support infrastructure for the eventual three-million-tonne a year project in the Port of Gladstone.

LNG Ltd said it awarded the contract after consultant HQC completed the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) study for the train with a design production capacity of 1.9 million t/y and guaranteed capacity of 1.5 million t/y.

“Based on the estimated EPC contract price, the total estimated cost including marine works and other development and financing costs remains at US$1.1 billion for one train,” said the Perth, Western Australia-based firm.

LNG Ltd said it and HQC will proceed to complete the detailed engineering design and agree a fixed lump sum EPC contract price and bankable EPC contract by June 30.

The objective is to have the definitive and legally binding fixed price EPC contract agreed and ready for signing on the project to secure gas supply before progressing to the Final Investment Decision (FID) stage.

Based on the FEED and other work undertaken by HQC to date, LNG Ltd said the construction schedule remains unchanged at 30 months from FID to production start-up. 

LNG Ltd’s managing director, Maurice Brand, said the company’s primary focus remains on securing gas supply and ensuring the project progresses to the FID and construction stages.

China Huanqiu, a subsidiary of state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), is LNG Ltd’s largest shareholder with a 19.9% stake.

COMPANY: DNV to map the future of LNG bunkering in Belgium

(EnergyAsia, January 26 2012, Thursday) — Norway’s DNV said it has been commissioned by the Flemish government to undertake a feasibility study for the provision of liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering facilities at the ports of Antwerp, Zeebrugge and Ghent in Belgium.

The work will consist of a market survey, a risk and safety analysis, and modelling of the logistics, legal and regulatory requirements needed to establish LNG bunkering infrastructure at the ports.

Hazard identification and quantitative risk analysis are key components of DNV’s service and this scope of work covers not only people at the port but the wider community and natural environment.

“The Flemish ports authorities are optimistic about the potential for safe and efficient LNG bunkering operations and DNV’s multi-disciplinary analysis will help them move forward confidently,” said Mohamed Houari, DNV head of solutions for Central Europe.

Burning LNG as fuel reduces sulphur SOx and particulate emissions by 100%, NOx emissions by approximately 90% and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by approximately 20% compared to heavy fuel oil use.

“Shipowners are working hard to meet the increasingly strict emissions requirements of the Baltic and North Seas and ports are now responding as the popularity of LNG is becoming apparent,” said Torgeir Sterri, DNV regional manager for Central Europe.

DNV said there are now 22 LNG-fuelled ships in operation around the world and that it has classed them all.

DNV said it has secured another 18 signed newbuilding contracts and three ships scheduled for conversion to use LNG fuel.

By 2020, the company expects the majority of new ships to use LNG as fuel, especially short-sea ships operating in Emission Control Areas such as the waters of Belgium.

Signs of recognition of this growing market have been seen right across Northern Europe. Norway has led the charge, and by last October, contracts were signed in Brunsbüttel in Germany too offering LNG as a bunker fuel in the Elbehafen.

The latest contract with Belgium’s Flemish government represents an important step towards promoting LNG as an environmental friendly and readily available fuel for ships.

DNV said it has been involved in several projects for LNG import terminals in Europe including Rotterdam’s GATE terminal and has also contributed to ‘A feasibility study for an LNG filling station infrastructure and test of recommendations’ published in October 2011 by the Danish Maritime Authority.

A prerequisite for the widespread use of LNG in shipping globally is a functional and standardised bunkering infrastructure and DNV heads the ISO working group tasked with the development of internationally agreed guidelines.

PHILIPPINES: Foster Wheeler awarded contract for Petron refinery upgrade

(EnergyAsia, January 26 2012, Thursday) — Engineering giant Foster Wheeler said a subsidiary of its Global Engineering and Construction Group has been awarded a contract by Petron Corporation to upgrade its oil refinery in Bataan in the Philippines.
Foster Wheeler said it will execute detailed engineering and procurement services for the delayed coker unit (DCU), including the engineering and material supply of two double-fired Terrace WallTM coker heaters as part of the company’s Master Plan-2 Project for the refinery.

The DCU will have a design capacity of 37,500 barrels per stream day and is a key part of this significant refinery upgrade. Foster Wheeler said that earlier, it was awarded the process design package and technology licence for the DCU.

Umberto della Sala, chief operating officer of Foster Wheeler AG, said:

“Coker units are complex, and we always recommend Foster Wheeler detailed engineering and critical procurement to realise the full operational benefits of our well-designed, well-constructed delayed coking unit.

“We believe that this award reflects Petron’s confidence in the added value that we will bring to this project and in our fast-track, cost-effective execution plan.”

Foster Wheeler said its SYDEC process is a thermal conversion process used by refiners worldwide to upgrade heavy residue feed and process it into high value transport fuels. The SYDEC process can be designed to maximise clean liquid yields while minimizing fuel coke yields from high sulphur residues.

By installing a SYDEC unit, a refinery owner is able to process heavier crudes, which sell at a discount to the benchmark light, sweet crudes, thereby allowing the owner to receive the benefit of increased refining margins.


MARKETS: Economic and social turmoil reversing the gains of globalisation, says World Economic Forum

(EnergyAsia, January 25 2012, Wednesday) — The world’s vulnerability to further economic shocks and social upheavals is undermining the past gains of globalisation, said the World Economic Forum (WEF) in its Global Risks 2012 report, the seventh edition.

It marked chronic fiscal imbalances and severe income disparity as the most prevalent risks over the next decade. Together, these risks drive nationalism, populism and protectionism just as the world grows more vulnerable to systemic financial shocks along with possible food and water crises.

The WEF revealed these findings from its latest survey of 469 experts and industry leaders, indicating a shift of concern from environmental risks to socioeconomic risks compared to a year ago.

“For the first time in generations, many people no longer believe that their children will grow up to enjoy a higher standard of living than theirs,” said Lee Howell, the WEF’s managing director responsible for the report.

“This new malaise is particularly acute in the industrialised countries that historically have been a source of great confidence and bold ideas.”

Global Risks 2012 cited the three biggest risks facing the world.

1.    Seeds of Dystopia

Bulging populations of young people with few prospects, growing numbers of retirees depending on debt-saddled states (stoking fiscal imbalances) and the expanding gap between rich and poor are all fuelling resentment worldwide. Collectively, these trends risk undoing the progress that globalization has brought.

John Drzik, CEO of Oliver Wyman Group (Marsh & McLennan Companies), said:

“Individuals are increasingly being asked to bear risks previously assumed by governments and companies to obtain a secure retirement and access to quality healthcare. This report is a wake-up call to both the public and private sectors to come up with constructive ways to realign the expectations of an increasingly anxious global community.”

2.    Unsafe Safeguards
Policies, norms and institutions from the 20th century may no longer protect us in a more complex and interdependent world. The weakness of existing safeguards is exposed by risks related to emerging technologies, financial interdependence, resource depletion and climate change, leaving society vulnerable.

David Cole, Chief Risk Officer at Swiss Re, said:

“We’ve seen examples of over-regulation, like the response to the Icelandic volcanic eruptions, or under-regulation, such as the subprime or Eurozone crises.

We need to get the balance right with regulations and, to that end, our safeguards must be anticipatory rather than reactive. It’s equally important that regulations be made more flexible to effectively respond to change.”

3.    The Dark Side of Connectivity

Our daily lives are almost entirely dependent on connected online systems, making us susceptible to malicious individuals, institutions and nations that increasingly have the ability to unleash devastating cyberattacks remotely and anonymously.

Steve Wilson, Chief Risk Officer for General Insurance at Zurich, said:

“The Arab Spring demonstrated the power of interconnected communications services to drive personal freedom, yet the same technology facilitated riots in London. Governments, societies and businesses need to better understand the interconnectivity of risk in today’s technologies if we are truly to reap the benefits they offer.”

Natural disasters are reminders of the devastating power of nature and the limits of technology, as witnessed by last year’s Great East Japan Earthquake and subsequent crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

In a special chapter on key lessons to be gleaned from the disaster, the report said organisations are far more resilient to major shocks if they have clear lines of communication and employees across the organization are empowered to take decisions.

The report describes 50 global risks and groups them into economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological categories. Within each category, the most significant systemic risk is singled out.

The report also highlights “X Factors” – emerging concerns with still unknown consequences that warrant more research. These include a volcanic winter, cyber neotribalism and epigenetics.

Published in cooperation with Marsh & McLennan Companies, Swiss Re, The Wharton Center for Risk Management and Zurich, Global Risks 2012 is the flagship initiative of the World Economic Forum’s Risk Response Network.

CHINA: China Aviation Oil acquires jet fuel companies in Hong Kong and US

(EnergyAsia, January 25 2012, Wednesday) — China Aviation Oil Singapore Corporation Ltd (CAO), the largest physical jet fuel trader in Asia, said it will pay a total of US$16 million to acquire two jet fuel companies from its parent company, China National Aviation Fuel Group Corporation (CNAF).

CAO will pay HK$91 million or US$12 million for China Aviation Oil (Hong Kong) Company Limited (CAOHK), which trades and supplies jet fuel at airports in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and London, and US$4 million for North American Fuel Corporation (NAFCO), an agent and wholesaler of jet fuel in the US.

CAOHK was established in May 1998 while NAFCO started operations in 2010. Both companies are wholly-owned subsidiaries of CNAF.

Wang Kai Yuen, CAO’s deputy chairman and lead independent director, said:

“In view of the globalised trading flow of oil products, a strategic focus of CAO is to establish a global trading network by 2014. The acquisitions of CAOHK and NAFCO are in line with this strategy.

“Not only are these acquisitions earnings accretive, CAOHK and NAFCO are synergetic assets that can create additional value to our trading activities. CAO intends to integrate these businesses with the CAO group to expand its geographical reach, extend its business chain and enhance its competitiveness.”

Sun Li, chairman of CNAF and CAO, said:

“CAOHK and NAFCO are established businesses with good growth potentials. This transaction is a significant step for CNAF in consolidating its overseas operations into CAO. CNAF believes this will help accelerate the pace of CAO establishing a global business network.

“CNAF will be using CAO as the platform to grow and expand its international businesses in Hong Kong, North America and other markets. As CAO is the core entity for CNAF’s internalisation strategy, CNAF will continue to support CAO’s growth initiatives.”

Meng Fanqiu, CEO of CAO said, “CAOHK and NAFCO are highly synergetic to CAO’s core business of jet fuel supply and trading and will expand the geographical footprint of CAO’s business to new markets, including term contracts to supply jet fuel to airlines at airports at Shenzhen and other China domestic airports, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Los Angeles and Anchorage in the US. This will enable CAO to accelerate its pace of building the global network.

“The integration of the businesses of CAOHK and NAFCO into the CAO group will enable CAO to consolidate its trading business and strengthen CAO’s position and competitiveness as the largest physical jet fuel trader in the Asia Pacific region. In addition to potential synergies, CAO will be able to realise benefits such as an increase in revenue from the cross-selling of products and savings in storage and freight costs.”

CAO, the leading supplier of imported jet fuel to the Chinese civil aviation industry, also trades jet fuel and other oil products.

The Singapore-listed company also owns investments in in the Shanghai Pudong International Airport Aviation Fuel Supply Company Ltd and China National Aviation Fuel TSN-PEK Pipeline Transportation Corporation Ltd.

INDONESIA: Pertamina may need to import more than 15 million kilolitres of gasoline and diesel a year

(EnergyAsia, January 25 2012, Wednesday) — Indonesia’s state oil and gas company Pertamina said it expects to raise its annual import of gasoline to more than 12 million kilolitres and diesel to over three million kilolitres from this year.With the nation’s fuel demand forecast to rise by more than four percent a year from 56…

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INDONESIA: Pertamina to build new fuel storage terminal in Riau

(EnergyAsia, January 25 2012, Wednesday) — Indonesia’s state oil and gas firm Pertamina said its Pertamina Energy Services (PES) has started building a US$50 million fuel terminal on Sambu island in Riau with the capacity to store 300,000 kilolitres of fuel.Due for completion next year, the terminal will include three docks to each handle vessels…

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BANGLADESH: Government ends state’s monopoly on fuel oil import for power generation

(EnergyAsia, January 25 2012, Wednesday) — Bangladesh has partially ended the state’s monopoly over fuel oil import by allowing independent power producers to procure supplies for their power plants. Faced with worsening power shortages, the government took this drastic decision after state-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Corp admitted that it would be unable to guarantee fuel supply…

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