QATAR: State buying into Western majors

(EnergyAsia, May 31 2012, Thursday) — The world’s leading liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter, Qatar, is using its rapidly accumulating wealth to acquire stakes in leading natural resource companies around the world including the Western majors.The Middle East powerhouse is making its investments through sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which has more than…

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INDIA: Piped natural gas from Turkmenistan to cost US$13 per million BTU

(EnergyAsia, May 31 2012, Thursday) — India will pay an average US$13 per million BTU its natural gas imported from Turkmenistan through the US-supported TAPI pipeline due to start up in 2017.The 1,700km line, named after the four countries that it links up, will tap the gas reserves of Turkmenistan for export to Afghanistan, Pakistan…

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THAILAND: PTT approved to go after UK’s Cove Energy

(EnergyAsia, May 31 2012, Thursday) — Shares of UK-listed Cove Energy, which owns a stake in a Mozambique gas field, rose to a record high of 259.75 pence after the African country approved its takeover by Thailand’s state-owned PTTEP.

The Mozambique government’s approval opens up a bidding war between PTTEP and Royal Dutch Shell for Cove which owns an 8.5% stake in the offshore Rovuma Area 1 thought to hold as much as 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves.

Earlier, the Thai upstream firm had submitted a bid for 240 pence, exceeding Shell’s 220 pence offer.
 
In a statement, Tevin Vongvanich, PTTEP’s President and CEO, said its wholly owned subsidiary, PTTEP Africa Investment Limited, had received “written consent” for its bid from Mozambique’s Minister of Mineral Resources.

BAHRAIN: King launched US$2.1 billion al Dur power and water project

(EnergyAsia, May 31 2012, Thursday) — Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa recently launched the country’s largest independent power generation and water desalination plant.
 
According to owner Al-Dur Power & Water Company, the US$2.1 billion plant, which started operating in February, produces up to 1,234 MW of electricity and 218,000 cubic metres per day of the highest quality water in the Middle East.

Holding approximately a third of both Bahrain’s installed power capacity and water requirements, the new plant has the potential to transform the kingdom from being an importer of power during peak periods to an exporter of power to its neighbours.

The Bahraini Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) is the sole off-taker of the plant output under a 25-year power and water purchase agreement signed with Al-Dur, which built the plant to help meet the kingdom’s growing demand for clean, reliable and competitively-priced power and water.

The contractors who constructed and developed Al-Dur included International Power-GDF SUEZ, a world leader in independent power and water generation, and Gulf Investment Corporation, the largest financial investor in power and water projects in the Middle East.

GIC’s shareholders include Bahraini institutions Social Insurance Organization, Bahrain Islamic Bank, Capital Management House, First Energy Bank and Instrata Capital.

Abdulhussain bin Ali Mirza, Bahrain’s Minister of Electricity of the Kingdom of Bahrain, said:

“EWA is working hand-in-hand with the private sector to support government efforts to expand the kingdom’s infrastructure. The launch of Al Dur and its partnership with EWA will ensure the stable and secure supply of power and water to support growth and diversification of the economy.”

The inauguration ceremony on May 1 was attended by Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa and more than 600 local, regional and international dignitaries and business leaders and shareholders and partners of Al-Dur.

Hisham Al-Razzuqi, GIC’s CEO, said:

“As Bahrain’s single largest independent producer of power and water, Al Dur is a critical part of the kingdom’s economic infrastructure.

With the launch of commercial operations at the plant, the Kingdom’s power and water supply has been secured well into this decade.

Reliable access to power and water is essential to fuelling growth and we are proud to play an important part in the Kingdom’s further economic development for the benefits of all citizens.”

 

INDIA: Mayhem, protests and fuel shortages continue one week after pump prices rise 10%

(EnergyAsia, May 30 2012, Wednesday) — Fuel shortages and hoarding continue to grip many Indian cities sparking angry protests and demands that the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh scrap its six-day-old gasoline price hike.

Chennai in the east coast state of Tamil Nadu has been the worst hit after retailers serving the city of five million people reported their pumps had dried up on May 27, three days after the government had raised gasoline prices by a record 10% to 11% to an average Rs77 per litre across the country. (US$1=Rs55).

The capital city of Delhi was the first to capitulate in the face of populist anger after Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit announced on May 28 that it would waive the Rs1.26 per litre value-added tax on gasoline that would cost her government Rs1.4 billion a year.

Indian Oil Corp (IOC), the country’s largest downstream company, is also expected to offer slightly reduce prices although it maintains that the oil refining and marketing companies continue to lose money by selling fuel to domestic consumers at heavily subsidised prices.

Pressured by the country’s rising trade and budget deficits, and the need to contain inflation, the government is facing a no-win situation.It needs to raise fuel prices to reduce the country’s trade and budget deficits but higher gasoline prices will feed inflation that will hurt the country’s largely rural population and urban poor. The Indian rupee sank to an all-time low of Rs56.4 to the US dollar on the country’s mounting financial problems.

Business and normal activities have been disrupted in most cities as long queue lines continue to wait at the pumps while companies have started to cut down on staff’s travel while telling some to work from home. Street protests against the government have broken out demanding the fuel increases be rescinded.

In April, the Prime Minister had hinted that the government was planning to increase fuel prices, but few took him seriously as past attempts had failed. The government may yet take on its biggest battle by moving to raise the prices of diesel and kerosene, the country’s two most politically sensitive fuels.

DUBAI: Horizon Terminal starts construction of Jebel Ali fuel storage facility

(EnergyAsia, May 30 2012, Wednesday) — Horizon Terminals Ltd (HTL), Emirates National Oil Company’s (ENOC) wholly-owned storage terminalling operator, has started work on its US$142 million bulk liquid facility in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone.

Equipped to receive jet fuel from marine tankers and from the nearby ENOC refinery, the 141,000 cubic metre fully automated terminal will supply jet fuel directly to the Dubai International Airporwith through dedicated 58 km pipeline when it starts up in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The terminal will also have tanker truck loading facilities connected to oil tanker berths and associated abilities to ensure seamless supply lines to other airports in the UAE.
HTL said the pipeline network includes a branch connection to the Al Maktoum International Airport.

Having recorded more than 51 million passenger arrivals, the Dubai International Airport expects to welcome 98 million passengers by 2020 to become the world’s third busiest airport.
Speaking at the terminal’s groundbreaking ceremony this week, Saeed Abdullah Khoory, ENOC’s CEO, said:

“The construction of the bulk liquid petroleum terminal underlines Enoc’s commitment to partner in the ambitious and visionary growth of Dubai and support its economic diversification initiatives.

“The terminal adds great value to Dubai’s aviation industry, one of the fastest growing economic sectors of the Emirate.

“This is further bolstered by the growth of Dubai-owned Emirates Airline and the increasing number of annual aircraft movements, set to clock over 560,000 by year 2020. This tremendous growth in the aviation and airline industry needs to be sustained with a timely and reliable supply of jet fuel, which is the primary goal of this new terminal,”

Also present at the event were Yusr Sultan, ENOC’s managing director (terminals), Fahad Askar, HTL’s deputy director of operations, and other senior executives from the two companies.
Established in 1993 as a wholly-owned company of the Dubai government, ENOC invests in the full chain of the oil and gas industry.

COMPANY: ExxonMobil launched ‘next generation’ SHC industrial lubricants

(EnergyAsia, May 30 2012, Wednesday) — ExxonMobil Lubricants and Petroleum Specialties Company, a division of Exxon Mobil Corporation, has introduced three next generation high-performance industrial lubricants, expanding its line of energy-efficient industrial lubricants.

These next generation Mobil SHC high-performance lubricants include the SHC 600, SHC Gear and SHC Gear OH.

Mobil SHC 600 is the enhanced formulation upgraded to improve viscosity and low-temperature properties as it delivers outstanding performance across a wide range of circulating and gear applications, said ExxonMobil.

Mobil SHC Gear is a supreme gear oil re-engineered to deliver optimum equipment protection and oil life in gearboxes operating even under extreme conditions with enhanced resistance to micropitting and significant reduction in energy consumption.

Mobil SHC Gear OH is the company’s customised formulation for mining off-highway vehicle (OHV) electric wheel motor drives delivers superb wear protection and supreme performance in severe duty cycles and extreme climates.

“With the exceptional performance and additional energy efficiency benefits that
Mobil SHC Gear and Mobil SHC 600 deliver, we can help our customers across a broad range of industries maximise their productivity and bring them closer to achieving their own sustainability goals,” said Yan Côté, Global Business Development Advisor for ExxonMobil Lubricants and Petroleum Specialties Company.

Developed through extensive research and testing with leading OEMs, ExxonMobil said the SHC Gear Series and SHC 600 lubricants are expertly formulated to optimise the performance of equipment operating in extreme conditions and deliver significant energy efficiency benefits.

In laboratory testing using industrial gearboxes, these new Mobil SHC lubricants delivered energy savings of up to 3.6% compared with conventional oils.

Based on these exceptional results, the new SHC oils have earned ExxonMobil’s official designation for energy efficient industrial lubricants. They will now feature the company’s proprietary “Energy Efficiency” logo on product packaging.

ExxonMobil said its other industrial lubricants that have earned the “Energy Efficient” designation include Mobil SHC Pegasus and the Mobil DTE 10 Excel, a series of energy- efficient, high-viscosity-index, shear-stable, anti-wear oils for hydraulic systems.

The Pegasus is one of the world’s first energy-efficient gas engine oils capable of offering a fuel efficiency increase of up to 1.5% while helping to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as well.

Apart from the energy efficiency benefits, ExxonMobil said these next generation lubricants offer a service life up to as much as six times longer than competitive mineral oil based gear lubricants.

The company said Mobil SHC-branded synthetic lubricants have exclusive or preferential endorsements from leading original equipment manufacturers for more than 2,200 applications and are approved for use in more than 10,000 applications, spanning a wide range of industries.

For more information about Mobil SHC lubricants, products and services, please visit www.mobilindustrial.com.

AUSTRALIA: Majors may still want to keep refining business

(EnergyAsia, May 30 2012, Wednesday) — ExxonMobil and Caltex said they are still looking to maintain their loss-making oil refining business in Australia, and would appreciate some support from the government. ExxonMobil will likely report a loss for 2011, but expects to turn in a profit this year on improving margins for producing fuels and…

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MARKETS: OPEC sees US, Japan helping 2012 world oil demand to grow by 900,000 b/d to 88.67 million b/d

(EnergyAsia, May 29 2012, Tuesday) — US and Japan will join the emerging economies in boosting global oil demand by 900,000 b/d to 88.67 million b/d this year, said the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).In its latest monthly report, the cartel said that world oil demand growth has stopped declining as the US economy…

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KUWAIT: Refining capacity to exceed 1.5 million b/d with KNPC’s new 615,000 b/d plant

(EnergyAsia, May 29 2012, Tuesday) — Kuwait will lift its oil refining capacity to 1.5 million b/d later this decade with the planned construction of a 615,000 plant.Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) said it will launch a tender in June to begin work on the delayed refinery at Al-Zour which could be ready by 2017….

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MARKETS: IMF study says world coped well with past decade of sharp oil price hikes, but doubts abound

(EnergyAsia, May 29 2012, Tuesday) —  Despite a four-fold increase in oil prices over the past decade, the world has coped well by becoming more energy efficient, holding back wage increases, diversifying to other energy sources and using macroeconomic policy to mitigate oil’s inflationary effects, said a study by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

World benchmark crude Brent surged from around US$25-$30 a barrel in 2002 to US$105-$120 in recent months. It climbed to a record high of over US$145 in July 2008, triggering a short bout of global economic recession that was quickly overcome by two rounds of money printing by the world’s central banks.

Importantly, the IMF study said the sharp oil price increases have not triggered the economic devastation of the extent of the 1970s and 1980s. It attributed the difference to a combination of improved central bank policies and coordination, greater recycling of oil profits by producing countries, increased energy efficiency and use of technology, and reduced reliance on oil as countries diverisified their energy mix.

Ironically, the study also found that rising demand from emerging economies, often blamed for the oil price surge, played a part as it stimulated fresh supply from existing and new sources around the world, helping the world avoid a repeat of the two past oil shocks that were largely caused by severe supply disruptions.

The IMF findings could yet prove premature and even debatable amid the on-going crisis in the Euro-zone economies, the uncertainty of recovery in the US together with the prolonged high rates of unemployment, under-employment and wage stagnations in many developed countries that some economists have argued were partly caused by the arrival of US$100 oil in 2008.

The IMF’s praise for the central banks for being “adept at dealing with price shocks” could be countered by criticisms that in the first place, the banks caused, rather than mitigated, the price inflation of oil and other commodities through their abetment of financial speculation, reckless lending and subsequent quantitative easing policies. The end game from unleashing trillions of dollars in the electronic printing press is still being played out.

The study noted that in the 1970s and 1980s, oil price rises triggered fears of inflation, and workers would try to protect themselves by demanding higher nominal wage increases. This had the effect of setting off wage-price spirals, which doesn’t exist today.

“Now, greater awareness of the impact of high wage increases, including lost employment and reforms to labour markets, have led to more job-friendly wage setting. Central banks have become more adept at convincing workers that oil price increases will not feed through into inflation,” said the IMF.

It could be argued that increasingly powerless workers, rather than the overall economy, are the ones suffering long-term economic depression through permanent job losses and wage cuts, along with indications that the middle class in developed countries is also being decimated. If anything, the working and middle classes in the developed countries could be suffering far worse consequences from high oil prices now than they did in in the 1970s and 1980s.

High oil prices have clearly brought benefits to many developing producing countries in Central Asia, West Africa, Asia and Latin America, and boosted living standards in established producers in the Middle East and elsewhere.

The IMF notes: “The strong growth of emerging markets has benefited both them and the global economy: raising living standards and increasing their demand for products made abroad,” said the study.

“A side-effect of this may have been an increase in oil prices, but this has not derailed the benefits of increased growth.”

But even this piece of positive news could be qualified as high oil prices have encouraged many of the world’s developing oil producing nations to become more autocratic and corrupt, to increase their military and security spendings, and slow down attempts to increase economic diversification as they became more dependent on resource earnings.

In the Middle East, high oil prices raised the stakes, triggering  the events of the Arab Spring from 2010 that are still playing out with no sign of certainity or stability returning.

The IMF highlighted the role of increased efficiency and improved technology in blunting the impact of what otherwise might have been an oil shock.

“Oil price shocks do not have the same impact as in the past because economies have become more efficient in the use of energy. The amount of energy it takes to produce a dollar of income has been steadily declining for 40 years. This decline in energy intensity is expected to continue,” it said.

Just as important, the study reported that major emerging markets are also becoming more efficient in their energy use. By 2030, it expects the world’s major consumers including the US, China, and India to have the same energy intensity.

The study does not separate the components of the GDP to show up the size of wealth generated from the financial markets linked to quantitatve easing and other acts of monetary easing over the last decade.

Source for Charts 2 and 3: IMF
markets imf study says world coped well with past decade of sharp oil price hikes but doubts abound

source for charts 2 and 3 imf

AUSTRALIA: Australia Pacific LNG project secures US$8.5 billion loan

(EnergyAsia, May 29 2012, Tuesday) — A consortium of international banks and export credit agencies has agreed to lend a total of US$8.5 billion for the construction of the Australia Pacific LNG joint (APLNG) venture in Queensland state.

The consortium was led by the Export-Import Bank of the US (US EXIM) and The Export-Import Bank of China (China EXIM).
 
The other lenders include Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Bank of China, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Hong Kong Branch, Bank of Scotland International (Australia), The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, DBS Bank, DNB Bank ASA Singapore Branch, Export Development Canada, HSBC Bank USA, National Association, Mizuho Corporate Bank, National Australia Bank, Societe Generale, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Westpac Banking Corporation.

APLNG’s owners Australia’s Origin Energy, US giant ConocoPhillips and China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec) are building a massive plant on Curtis Island near Gladstone to convert coal seam gas to liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export to Asia.

The finance agreement is subject to a final investment decision on the second stage of the project.

APLNG chairman Grant King, who is also Origin Energy managing director, said:

“Australia Pacific LNG’s ability to secure US$8.5 billion in project finance from Australian and international lenders evidences the strength and quality of the project.

“Substantial progress continues to be made by APLNG across all areas of the CSG-to-LNG project and we remain on track to take a final investment decision on the second phase of the project by mid-2012.

“Given the timing of APLNG’s phase one FID, we believe our project schedules and budgets were based on a solid understanding of current regulatory requirements and the cost environment. We remain confident that the project remains on schedule and budget to deliver first gas in 2015, as expected.”

 

MARKETS: IEA expects 2012 world oil demand to grow 0.9% to 90 million b/d

(EnergyAsia, May 28 2012 Monday) — Driven by the emerging economies, global oil demand will rise by 0.9% to 90 million b/d this year, said the International Energy Agency (IEA). “Global oil consumption is set to rise by 0.8 million b/d in 2012, to 90 mbd, with gains in the non-OECD more than offsetting declining OECD…

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SAUDI ARABIA: Aramco launches into oil trading, including paper and derivatives

(EnergyAsia, May 28 2012, Monday) — Saudi Arabia has made a major policy shift with its decision to venture into oil trading including paper trading and derivatives as this could violate conservative Islamic rules that prohibits speculation and gambling.The world’s largest oil exporter and producer has long held out against trading, citing the potential for…

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MARKETS: EIA says OPEC’s Q1 spare capacity at lowest level since 2008

markets eia says opecs q1 spare capacity at lowest level since 2008

(EnergyAsia, May 28 2012, Monday) — The world’s Q1 spare oil production capacity, held mostly by OPEC members, has fallen to about 2.4 million b/d, the lowest level since 2008, said the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
 
It has also fallen to less than 3% of total world crude oil consumption, the lowest proportion since the fourth quarter of 2008, which sets the stage for increased volatility or sharp price increases in the event of a severe disruption to global supplies.

Crude oil prices touched an all-time nominal high of more than US$147 a barrel in July 2008 partly in response to the world’s spare capacity falling below two million b/d and staying there for most of the year.

As OPEC members boosted production, spare capacity recovered to reach a seven-year high of 4.5 million b/d in late 2009, but it has resumed decline since.

The EIA said the Q1 global spare capacity is down about 1.3 million b/d from the same period in 2011.

Traders watch the spare capacity as it serves as a buffer against oil market disruptions, while giving OPEC leverage to influence prices as there is little or no spare capacity outside the cartel.

The EIA defines spare crude oil production capacity as potential oil production that could be brought online within 30 days and sustained for at least 90 days. This does not include oil production increases that could not be sustained without degrading the future production capacity of a field.

TURKMENISTAN: TAPI pipeline project boosted by gas agreements with India, Pakistan and Afghanistan

(EnergyAsia, May 28 2012, Monday) — India, Pakistan and Afghanistan have committed to import natural gas through a planned 1,800-km pipeline to tap the reserves of Turkmenistan, said the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which has been coordinating and facilitating talks among the various parties for a decade.

Meeting in the Turkmen city of Turkmenbashi last week, GAIL (India) Ltd and Pakistan’s Inter State Gas System Private Ltd signed to each purchase up to 38 million cubic metres a day (bcm) through the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) line.

Afghanistan, which signed a memorandum of understanding on long-term gas cooperation with Turkmenistan, is expected to soon commit to purchase up to 14 bcm/day.

The 90 bcm/day pipeline will enable Turkmenistan to export its natural gas to a wider overland markets beyond its existing markets in Russia, Iran and China.

The ADB, which has acted as the TAPI Secretariat since 2002, said the four nations will next work to attract commercial partners to build, finance, and operate the pipeline, estimated in 2008 to cost at least US$7.6 billion.

The bank said the various agreements were concluded after more than 20 years of “delicate negotiations” to connect one of Central Asia’s largest energy suppliers with South Asia’s fast-growing markets.

The bulk of exported gas will help meet surging energy demand in India and Pakistan – where energy needs are set to double by 2030 – while the remainder will alleviate chronic power shortages in Afghanistan.

“This is a truly historic moment of unparalleled regional cooperation,” said Klaus Gerhaeusser, ADB’s Director General of the Central and West Asia Department.

“The pipeline represents a win-win scenario for each TAPI country, as it will give Turkmenistan with the world’s fourth largest reserves more diverse markets and helps fuel the energy-hungry economies to the South.

“Each country stands to gain, making this not only the ‘Peace Pipeline,’ but a pipeline to prosperity as well.”

MARKETS: EIA expects world oil markets to stay tight in 2012 despite near-term easing

(EnergyAsia, May 25 2012, Friday) —The US EIA said it expects the world’s oil markets to remain tight in 2012 with demand growing to 88.88 million b/d and 90.04 million in 2013, up from last year’s 87.92 million b/d.               In the near term, it sees fundamentals easing slightly since mid-March, oil supply growth to exceed…

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CHINA: Despite losses, PetroChina aims to raise Central Asia gas imports by 50% to 25 bcm this year

(EnergyAsia, May 25 2012, Friday) — PetroChina will raise its natural gas purchases from Central Asia from 15.9 billion cubic metres (bcm) to as much as 25 bcm this year to help speed up China’s adoption of the clean-burning fuel as a substitute for coal, said chairman Jiang Jiemin.Speaking to shareholders in Beijing earlier this…

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CHINA: Venezuela approves doubling borrowing limit to US$8 billion

(EnergyAsia, May 25 2012, Friday) — The Venezuelan government has doubled the borrowing ceiling on its oil-for-loan deal with China to US$8 billion provided for under its 2008 deal with the China Development Bank.The oil-producing country’s Congress this week rubber-stamped the proposal that will see the government of President Hugo Chavez increase Venezuela’s dependence on…

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ASIA: World Bank sees slower growth of 7.6% in developing East Asia including China

(EnergyAsia, May 25 2012, Friday) — East Asia’s developing countries including China will see a further slowdown in economic growth this year to follow on last year’s 8.2% expansion after a near 10% rise in 2010, said the World Bank.

With the Eurozone in meltdown mode and the global slowdown expected to continue, developing East Asia is expected to grow by 7.6% will have to reduce its reliance on exports and find new sources of growth, said the World Bank’s latest East Asia and Pacific Economic Update report.

Excluding China, the region grew by 4.3% last year, and 7% in 2010. The bank expects the Chinese economy to grow by 8.2% this year, down from 8.4% previously.

The combined economies of the EU, the US and Japan absorb more than 40% of the region’s exports, and European banks provide one-third of trade and project finance in Asia.

Praising the region’s “impressive performance”, the World Bank said its 2011 growth was about two percentage points higher than the developing world average, and helped reduce the poverty rate.

“The number of people living on less than US$2 a day is expected to decrease in 2012 by 24 million. Overall the number of people living in poverty has been cut in half in the last decade in East Asia and Pacific,” said Pamela Cox, World Bank East Asia and Pacific Regional Vice President.

But the war on poverty is far from over as the region still counts about one-third of its people or roughly half a billion men, women and children as being poor.

The bank said developing East Asia was affected by a slowdown in manufacturing exports as well as supply disruptions caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and severe flooding in Thailand. This was only partially offset by the strong growth in domestic demand and investment aided by loosening of monetary policy in some countries.

For 2012, the report projects that the region will grow by 7.6% due to slower expansion in China. But without China, East Asia’s developing countries will grow by a slower 5.2%.

The bank said commodity exporters, which experienced a boom in 2011, may be vulnerable in the event of a faster than anticipated slowdown in China, which could trigger an unexpected drop in commodity prices.

“Most East Asian economies are well positioned to weather renewed volatility. Domestic demand has proved resilient to shocks. Many countries run current account surpluses and hold high levels of international reserves.

Banking systems are generally well-capitalised,” said Bert Hofman, the World Bank’s chief economist for the East Asia and Pacific region.
 
“Still, risks emanating from Europe have the potential to affect the region through links in trade and finance.”
Bryce Quillin, the World Bank’s economist and lead author of the report, said:

“Some countries will need to stimulate household consumption. In others, enhanced investment, particularly in infrastructure, offers the potential to sustain growth provided this does not exacerbate domestic demand pressures.

“With a changing financial sector in the aftermath of the financial crisis, new ways to finance higher levels of infrastructure investment need to be developed. Governments would need to focus on accelerating the preparation of infrastructure projects.”

THAILAND: PTTEP raised cash offer for UK-listed Cove Energy shares to 240 pence each

(EnergyAsia, May 24 2012, Thursday) — Thai upstream company PTTEP has raised its all-cash offer to fully acquire UK’s Cover Energy for a total of £1.221.4 billion at 240 pence a share, trumping rival Royal Dutch Shell’s offer of 220 pence. (US$1=£0.64).

Shell might yet be drawn into a bidding war after having earlier matched PTTEP’s offer for Cove which owns sizeable natural gas reserves in Mozambique through its 8.5% stake in the offshore Rovuma Area 1 block.

Operator Anadarko Petroleum Corp said the area could hold as much as 20 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas, sufficient to justify an invesment in a liquefaction plant for export of the fuel to Asia.

“The bid from PTTEP represents significant value for shareholders and confirms the world-class nature of Cove’s east African assets,” said Cove’s CEO John Craven.

Tevin Vongvanich, PTTEP’s President and CEO, said its bid, which will be financed through a combination of cash and debt, has the unanimous support of Cove’s board of directors.

PTTEP said its offer price represents an enterprise value-to-recoverable resources ratio of US$0.41 to US$0.86 per thousand cubic feet (or US$2.48 to US$5.18 per barrel) based on the estimated recoverable reserves of between 24 and 50 tcf in the Rovuma area, including the recent Golfinho discovery.

PTTEP said the acquisition would mark its entry into the highly prospective East Africa area, presenting a strong fit for its emerging LNG business.

The proposed acquisition must be approved by the Mozambique government.

INDONESIA: Italy’s RINA Group appointed to manage and support FSRU project

(EnergyAsia, May 24 2012, Thursday) — Italy-based RINA Group said it has secured a contract to manage a new floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) project that will deliver liquefied natural gas (LNG) to consumers in Indonesia’s South Sumatra province from 2014.

RINA will be involved in selecting the unit’s concept, front-end engineering design as well as provide support during negotiations with potential shipyards, project management during construction, and support for commissioning of the unit.

RINA said it was awarded the project by PGAS Solution, a subsidiary of PGN, Indonesia’s state-owned natural gas distribution company, which will own and operate the FSRU.

The 170,000 cubic metre FSRU Charlie will have the capacity to regasify 500 million standard cubic feet/day (mmscfd) of natural gas when it starts up in mid-2014. The facility will be installed at Labuhan Maringgai Lampung in a water depth of about 20 m and linked to the shore by a 21 km pipeline.

Angelo Lo Nigro, RINA’s energy development manager, said:

“RINA has been selected because we can deliver a wide range of engineering and marine competence and proven experience with offshore gas. Floating solutions for LNG and CNG exploitation and transportation are a fast-growing area. Our experience gives us a lead in helping utilities to bring projects on stream quickly and safely.”

RINA was recently appointed to deliver the world’s first marine CNG project in Indonesia.

CHINA: State oil companies boosting natural gas reserves, but not oil

(EnergyAsia, May 24 2012, Thursday) — PetroChina and Sinopec, two of the country’s three main state hydrocarbon companies, have been boosting their natural gas reserves but not  oil, according to a recent analysis of company data by US energy media Platts.PetroChina grew its natural gas reserves by an average 3% a year to 66.65 trillion…

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CHINA: Wood Mackenzie predicts surge in LNG imports

(EnergyAsia, May 24 2012, Thursday) — China’s surging demand for clean burning fuel may boost its imports of liquefied natural gas by 80% from current contracted volumes of about 46 million metric tons, said energy consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd.The world’s biggest energy user may need to purchase an additional 37 million metric tons of LNG…

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CHINA: April oil demand up 0.3%, Jan-Apr demand up 1.3% on slowing economy, says Platts

(EnergyAsia, May 23 2012, Wednesday) — China’s oil demand in April edged up just 0.3% year on year to 38.32 million metric tons (mt), or 9.36 million barrels per day (b/d), said US energy media Platts. Based on its analysis of recent Chinese government data, Platts said this was the lowest year-on-year monthly growth in oil…

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