SRI LANKA: Refinery operating again after brief shutdown from loss of Iranian crude

(EnergyAsia, November 30 2012, Friday) — Sri Lanka’s only oil refinery at Sapugaskanda near the capital city of Colombo resumed operations earlier this month after being forced to shut down for about two weeks on October 26. State-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) said it had to halt operations at he 50,000 b/d refinery, which is…

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INDIA: Coal import bill could rise 25% to reach record US$18 billion by 2017

(EnergyAsia, November 30 2012, Friday) — India’s already hefty annual coal import bill could surge at least 25% over the next five years to a record US$18 billion, officials and traders warn. Unable to rely on domestic production to feed the country’s surging coal demand, India has seen its imports rise sharply over the last…

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MARKETS: North America to dramatically alter global energy balance, predicts IEA

(EnergyAsia, November 30 2012, Friday) — North America will dramatically change the global energy map as it sharply raises oil and gas production in coming decades, predicts the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its 2012 edition of the World Energy Outlook (WEO).

“North America is at the forefront of a sweeping transformation in oil and gas production that will affect all regions of the world, yet the potential also exists for a similarly transformative shift in global energy efficiency,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven.

“This year’s World Energy Outlook shows that by 2035, we can achieve energy savings equivalent to nearly a fifth of global demand in 2010. In other words, energy efficiency is just as important as unconstrained energy supply, and increased action on efficiency can serve as a unifying energy policy that brings multiple benefits.”

The WEO finds that the extraordinary growth in oil and natural gas output in the US will mean a sea-change in global energy flows.

In the New Policies Scenario, the WEO’s central scenario, the US becomes a net exporter of natural gas by 2020 and is almost self-sufficient in energy, in net terms, by 2035. North America emerges as a net oil exporter, accelerating the switch in direction of international oil trade, with almost 90% of Middle Eastern oil exports being drawn to Asia by 2035.

Links between regional gas markets will strengthen as liquefied natural gas trade becomes more flexible and contract terms evolve. While regional dynamics change, global energy demand will push ever higher, growing by more than one-third to 2035. China, India and the Middle East account for 60% of the growth; demand barely rises in the OECD, but there is a pronounced shift towards gas and renewables.

The IEA expects fossil fuels to remain dominant in the global energy mix, supported by subsidies that, in 2011, surged by almost 30% to US$523 billion, due mainly to increases in the Middle East and North Africa.

It expects global oil demand to grow by seven million b/d to 2020 and to exceed 99 million b/d in 2035, with oil prices averaging US$125 per barrel in real terms and over US$215 per barrel in nominal terms.

A surge in unconventional and deepwater oil is seen boosting non-OPEC supply over the current decade, but the world will rely increasingly on OPEC after 2020. Iraq will account for 45% of the growth in global oil production to 2035 to become the second-largest global oil exporter, overtaking Russia.

While the regional picture for natural gas varies, the global outlook over the coming decades will remain bright as demand increases by 50% to five trillion cubic metres in 2035. Nearly half of the increase in production to 2035 will come from unconventional gas, with most of this taking place in the US, Australia and China.

Whether demand for coal carries on rising strongly or changes course radically will depend on the strength of policy decisions around lower-emissions energy sources and changes in the price of coal relative to natural gas.

In the New Policies Scenario, the IEA expects global coal demand, led by China and India, to rise by 21%.

For the first time, the IEA addressed the growing importance of water given its importance to the production of energy. Already, it notes the energy sector accounts for 15% of the world’s total water use and will have an impact on assessing the viability of energy projects.

“In some regions, water constraints are already affecting the reliability of existing operations and they will introduce additional costs. Expanding power generation and biofuels output underpin an 85% increase in the amount consumed (the volume of water that is not returned to its source after use) through to 2035,” said the IEA.

Fatih Birol, IEA’s chief economist and the WEO’s lead author, said:

“Our analysis shows that in the absence of a concerted policy push, two-thirds of the economically viable potential to improve energy efficiency will remain unrealised through to 2035. Action to improve energy efficiency could delay the complete ‘lock-in’ of the allowable emissions of carbon dioxide under a 2oC trajectory – which is currently set to happen in 2017 – until 2022, buying time to secure a much-needed global climate agreement. It would also bring substantial energy security and economic benefits, including cutting fuel bills by 20% on average.”

The report also makes a case for energy efficiency in helping to cut the growth in global energy demand by half.

Global oil demand would peak before 2020 and fall by almost 13 million b/d by 2035, a reduction equal to the current production of Russia and Norway combined. The accrued resources would facilitate a gradual reorientation of the global economy, boosting cumulative economic output to 2035 by US$18 trillion, with the biggest gains in India, China, the US and Europe.


CHINA: Small refiners here to stay as they expand and plan on importing crude

(EnergyAsia, November 30 2012, Friday) — Far from being extinguished by official policy and competition from the large state-owned players, some of China’s small oil refineries are thriving as their owners plot expansion as well as take on a direct role in importing crude oil. The “teapot” refineries, each of less than 40,000 b/d in…

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US: Politics and LNG exports: What is the future of shale gas?

(EnergyAsia, November 29 2012, Thursday) — The following is an edited version of an article written by Susan L. Sakmar, Visiting Assistant Professor, and Andrews Kurth Energy Law Scholar, University of Houston Law Centre. It was first published by CWC News.

The vast shale gas reserves that have been unlocked in the US have been a “game changer” with shale gas expected to constitute almost 50% of US natural gas production by 2035.

What is less clear is whether the abundance of shale gas will result in the US becoming a major LNG exporter with a growing number of companies seeking approval from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to export LNG to countries around the world.

US law generally requires automatic approval of natural gas exports to most countries that have a free trade agreement (FTA) with the US, including Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Oman, Peru, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Panama which has not yet taken effect. Notably, the US currently does not have an FTA with Japan – the world’s largest LNG importer.

For non-FTA countries, the DOE reviews proposed exports on a case-by-case basis to ensure they are consistent with the “public interest” in light of a number of factors including the domestic need for the natural gas proposed to be exported, whether there is a threat to the domestic security of supply, and other factors deemed to be relevant to a public interest determination.

While the US DOE claims “it takes its statutory responsibility to make public interest determinations on natural gas export applications very seriously and is committed to taking the time necessary to get the decisions right,” a number of lawmakers have been putting pressure on the Obama administration to speed up the approval process for the pending LNG export applications.

In an August 2012 letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a group of US lawmakers pointed out that the DOE “does not seem to have a set timeline for decisions or a sense of urgency,” which has left a growing number of companies and projects waiting in limbo, with Cheniere’s Sabine Pass Liquefaction project being the only project granted an export license for non-FTA countries.

Prior to the US Presidential election on November 6, the prospect of the US becoming a major natural gas exporter became a political hot button that no one wanted to push in an election year. Some US policy makers have expressed concern that LNG exports will increase domestic prices for natural gas, which would harm consumers as well as industrial users of natural gas such as the steel, plastics and fertiliser industries.

While most business leaders seem reluctant to argue that a free trade nation like the US should restrict exports, some have urged that America should exploit her competitive advantage with lower natural gas prices to create jobs by using its cheap natural gas to convert to products for export, as opposed to exporting the natural resource itself. Still others have claimed that with far fewer emissions than any other fossil fuel, America should use more natural gas at home, particularly in transportation and heating.

In addition to political and industry opposition, there is also risk that environmental opposition to shale gas development will spill over into opposition to US LNG exports. The Sierra Club has argued that LNG exports could increase the domestic price of natural gas and inflict negative environmental impacts in the production stage.

Some reports have acknowledged that since the case for US LNG exports depends on the continued development of shale gas, the public’s concerns over the environmental impacts of shale gas development must be resolved.


The bottom line

With the re-election of President Obama, many are wondering whether the long wait for export approval will soon be over. The DOE has retained an independent third-party contractor to conduct a review of the economic impacts of proposed LNG exports with the report expected by end-2012.

However, the DOE has also indicated that once complete, the report will be subject to public comment before it continues with the process required by statute to make public interest determinations on the pending applications. How long the public comment period will be open is anyone’s guess.

This topic and many more will be discussed in more detail at CWC’s World LNG Summit in Barcelona on November 27-30, and at CWC’s World Shale Oil & Gas: Latin America Summit in Buenos Aires on November 28-30.

MARKETS: World refining capacity increased by more than 3 million b/d since 2008, says OPEC

(EnergyAsia, November 29 2012, Thursday) — The following is an edited version of an article on world oil refining outlook by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Since the 2008 financial crisis, global refinery throughput has increased by more than three million b/d, reflecting the improvement in world oil demand. This recovery in global oil…

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BANGLADESH: ADB extends US$700 million loan to help end “crippling” power shortages

(EnergyAsia, November 29 2012, Thursday) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said it is providing Bangladesh a US$700 million loan to enhance the country’s power supply system and help reduce outages and shortages that are crippling the economy.

The ADB said the programme will boost the efficiency of several generating facilities to increase capacity by up to 700 megawatts. The program will also fund hundreds of kilometers of new transmission and distribution lines and improve supply equipment.

The first US$185-million tranche loan will be used to convert a gas-fired power plant in Khulna, the third largest city in the country, into a more efficient, cleaner-burning combined cycle plant.

Power system and financial management training will be given to staff in sector institutions, and a pilot project with around 200 solar energy-driven irrigation pumps will be established, benefitting around 4,000 poor farming families.

According to the bank, 450,000 households will receive new power connections through the multitranche facility’s financing of an expansion and upgrade of generation, transmission and distribution facilities. Carbon emissions will also be reduced by almost 2.5 million tons per year.

The investments are part of a broader government plan to reform and strengthen the power sector, tapping private sector financing. The goal is to raise Bangladesh’s generating capacity to more than 12,500 megawatts and the rate of electrification to 68% by 2025.

While investment over the last 15 years has substantially improved the country’s power supply network, the bank said more than half the population still has no access to electricity. Outages are frequent, especially in peak periods. Demand is rising, and is already nearly double the current generating capacity. The cost of supply interruptions to the economy is estimated at around 0.5% of annual gross domestic product.

“Supply shortages are putting a severe strain on businesses and undermining people’s quality of life, with poor communities suffering the most. Providing more electricity more reliably is absolutely critical for Bangladesh’s growth and development,” said Herath Gunatilake, the lead energy economist in the bank’s South Asia Department.

Costing a total of US$1.6 billion, the overall programme, includes cofinancing from the Agence Française de Développement, the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the Islamic Development Bank, as well as a government contribution of $222 million. ADB said it will also administer a US$7 million capacity building grant from EIB.

CHINA: Growing ties with Iraq as Western majors offend Baghdad to pursue Kurdistan’s oil riches

(EnergyAsia, November 29 2012, Thursday) — Nearly a decade after the US military invasion of Iraq, launched presumably to take over the world’s second largest oil reserves among other reasons, it is China, an opponent of the ill-fated war, that has made some of the biggest gains. The various post-Saddam regimes have awarded Chinese state-owned…

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MARKETS: OPEC lowers forecasts for world oil demand growth for 2012 and 2013

(EnergyAsia, November 28 2012, Wednesday) — The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has slightly reduced its forecasts for global oil demand to grow to reach 88.80 million b/d in 2012 and 89.57 million b/d next year. In its latest monthly report, the cartel expects global oil demand to edge up by just 0.87% or…

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MARKETS: EIA further reduced forecast growth in world oil demand for 2012 and 2013

(EnergyAsia, November 28 2012, Wednesday) — The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has once again reduced its forecast for global oil demand growth for 2012 and 2013. In its November short-term energy outlook, the agency expects world demand to grow by 750,000 b/d this year, down from last month’s forecast of 790,000 b/d, to reach…

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INDIA: ONGC unit to make biggest acquisition with proposed US$5 billion takeover of ConocoPhillips’ Kazakhstan stake

(EnergyAsia, November 28 2012, Wednesday) — State-owned ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) has launched India’s biggest acquisition of overseas oil and gas assets with its agreement to buy ConocoPhillips’ 8.4% stake in a Kazakhstan oil field for US$5 billion.

The proposed sale of the US firm’s stake in the giant Kashagan field is expected to meet the approval of the companies’ shareholders and regulators of the two Asian countries by the first half of next year. It will also have to meet first-refusal rights of the field’s consortium partners Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, ExxonMobil, Kazmunaygas and Inpex.

The deal is in line with the stated objectives of Texas-based ConocoPhillips to sell off non-core assets as well as OVL’s parent, ONGC, which has been tasked with building up its oil and gas reserves to meet India’s growing energy demand.

ONGC, whose previous record deal of US$2.2 billion was made in 2009, expects to reap immediate benefits as the field is scheduled to start producing 370,000 b/d of light crude oil in early 2013.

Kashagan, located in the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea, is one of the world’s largest oil fields with reserves estimated at 30 billion barrels.

ONGC said the acquisition would initially add an average 20,000 b/d to its annual oil production over 25 years.

INDIA: HPCL shifts terminal to Ennore, IOC to build new depot

(EnergyAsia, November 28 2012, Wednesday) — Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) has started using its new oil storage terminal in Chennai on India’s east coast while Indian Oil Corp (IOC) expects to complete construction of a new depot in Orissa state by 2014. HPCL invested 3.3 billion rupees in the new 140,000-cubic metre storage terminal…

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SINGAPORE: Rig builder Keppel O&M celebrates 10th anniversary with total orders exceeding S$12 billion

(EnergyAsia, November 27 2012, Tuesday) — Singapore’s Keppel Corporation Limited said its wholly-owned subsidiary, Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd, has secured S$12.2 billion worth of business since its start-up in 2002. (US$1=S$1.22).

Remarkably, the company, which was created from the merger of three offshore and marine companies, Keppel FELS, Keppel Shipyard and Keppel Singmarine, secured more than 70% or S$9 billion of its orders this year.

Revenue tripled from S$1.9 billion in 2002 to over S$5.7 billion in 2011, and is on course to reach a record this year after topping S$6.2 billion in the first nine months.

As one of the world’s leading offshore rig builders, Keppel O&M has a global workforce of over 30,000 today, more than double 14,000 when it started.

Choo Chiau Beng, Keppel Corp’s CEO, and Keppel O&M’s chairman, said:

“The past 10 years have proven that this integration strategy is right for us. By eliminating duplication and internal competition, streamlining our operations as well as harnessing synergies and combined strengths, we have maximised value for not only ourselves, but also our customers and business partners. In the process, we have grown from strength to strength.”

Tong Chong Heong, Keppel O&M’s CEO, said:

“Our robust track record over the past decade reflects our strong capabilities. Today, our network of 20 yards globally enables us to meet increasing demand for local content.

“In the Gulf of Mexico, our yard in Brownville, Texas, is working on several projects for Mexican customers, while in Kazakhstan, we are building the country’s first jackup rig.

“In Brazil, we are constructing six DSSTM38E semisubmersible (semi) drilling rigs for Sete Brasil, as well as undertaking the fabrication and integration works for four floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) units.”

Keppel O&M has laid claim to having built half the world’s jackup rigs and one-third of its semisubmersible rigs since 2000.

For 2013, Keppel FELS expects to deliver a record 20 rigs, exceeding its previous all-time high of 13 rigs in 2009.

In the marine sector, Keppel Shipyard has so far delivered 105 offshore conversion and upgrading projects, while Keppel Singmarine has completed some 400 specialised newbuild ships including offshore support vessels and specialised units.

Mr Tong said: “Our proprietary designs are gaining wide market acceptance. Since 2002, Keppel O&M has delivered 35 KFELS B Class jackups, 3 KFELS N Class jackups and 16 semis built to our proprietary designs. Since 4Q2010, Keppel O&M has secured a total of 39 newbuild rig orders, and out of these, 34 are for Keppel designed jackups and semis. We will continue to leverage our execution and design capabilities built up over the years to sustain our market leadership.”

SAUDI ARABIA: SABIC to build storage terminal with Vopak, expand chemical plant with Shell

(EnergyAsia, November 27 2012, Tuesday) — Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) said it has agreed to build a new storage terminal with Dutch oil logistics firm Royal Vopak and to expand a chemical plant with Anglo Dutch major Shell. The companies did not disclose the value of the two separate projects to be built in Saudi Arabia’s industrial eastern city of Jubail.

Vopak said it will take a 25% stake in the Jubail Chemical Storage and Services Company (JCSSC) which will build the terminal at the city’s King Fahd Industrial Port to serve the area’s fast-growing petrochemical and chemical industries.

Expected to start up in early 2015, the project’s 250,000-cubic metre first phase will consist of 40 commodity and specialty chemical storage tanks, and truck handling and ship loading facilities for five berths.

Royal Vopak, the world’s largest independent tank storage service provider, operates 84 terminals with a total capacity of nearly 30 million cubic metres in 31 countries.

Separately, SABIC said it and Shell Chemicals have agreed to expand the capacity of their jointly owned polyols and styrene monomer propylene oxide (SMPO) plants in the Al Jubail industrial zone as well as develop their SADAF joint-venture to other countries.

SABIC said the partners will jointly conduct studies to implement the project which would employ Shell Chemicals’ proprietary polyols and SMPO technologies to produce chemical building blocks for the polyurethanes industry and petrochemicals sector in the Middle East and beyond.

Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC’s vice chairman and CEO, said:

“We are pleased to be deepening our partnership with Shell. This investment will respond to demands for solutions from our global customer base. These sectors include building & construction, automotive & transportation, furniture & bedding, sports goods, food packaging, cold chain & refrigeration, and home appliances industries. Our polyurethane solutions will offer strength and flexibility, variable rigidity and insulation properties in a wide range of applications.”

Ben van Beurden, Shell Chemicals’ executive vice president, said:

“SABIC ranks among the world’s top petrochemical companies and operates in over 40 countries.  We are delighted to expand our successful, long-standing partnership of more than 30 years.  The proposed SMPO and polyols plants will help strengthen Shell’s global propylene oxide and polyols manufacturing capacity, boosting our supply to customers worldwide.”

CHINA: Water scarcity threatens plan to more than quadruple gas output by 2030

(EnergyAsia, November 27 2012, Tuesday) — China aims to produce 250 million tonnes of oil and 450 billion cubic metres of natural gas by 2030, up from 203 million tonnes and 101 billion cubic metres respectively last year. According to the Ministry of Land and Reserves, the bulk of the new production will come from…

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ABU DHABI: Samsung awarded US$2.48 billion contract to build delayed coker, carbon black units for refinery

(EnergyAsia, November 27 2012, Tuesday) — South Korea’s Samsung Engineering has secured a US$2.48 billion engineering, procurement and construction to add a delayed coker and a carbon black unit to the oil refinery in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi by early 2016. Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company (ADNOC) awarded the contract for the new plants to refine…

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CHINA: Longwei Petroleum signs sales agreements for Huajie terminal, completes upgrades at Gujiao

(EnergyAsia, November 26 2012, Monday) — Longwei Petroleum Investment Holding Ltd, a NYSE-listed company engaged in the storage, distribution and retail sales of oil products in China, said it has secured sales agreement for its Huajie terminal as well as completed scheduled maintenance and plant upgrades at the Gujiao terminal, both in Shanxi province.

The Taiyuan city, Shanxi-based company said it signed agreements with seven major customers, taking the total for the 100,000-metric ton (mt) Huajie terminal to 16 new customers since its start-up in early October.

The 70,000-mt Gujiao terminal, started up in November 2009, accounted for US$233.8 million in sales last year.

Longwei Petroluem’s other terminal in Shanxi, located in Taiyuan city, stores up to 50,000 mt.

Cai Yongjun, Longwei’s chairman and CEO, said:

“We have a very good safety record over our 17-year operating history, and we have maintained strong, long-standing working relationships with industry regulators and local government officials.”

The company said its wholly-owned operating subsidiary, Taiyuan Longwei Economy & Trading Co, was one of 15 companies in Taiyuan City and one of only 140 companies in Shanxi Province recognised on February 15, 2012 as honourable and credible in honouring its contractual obligations with customers.

“We have worked hard to build a good reputation for the company. The management team and all of our employees labor diligently to service our customers and the community for the betterment of our surrounding region,” said Mr Cai.


CHINA: White paper affirms energy conservation and efficiency goals

(EnergyAsia, November 26 2012, Monday) — China has re-affirmed its goal to significantly improve energy efficiency and conservation at the same time that it plans to grow the economy by 7.5% a year in the current five-year plan from 2011 to 2015. In its latest white paper on energy policy, the government has set a…

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SINGAPORE: Switzerland’s Weatherford opens new oil service facility

(EnergyAsia, November 26 2012, Monday) — Swiss oilfield service company Weatherford International has expanded and consolidated its Singapore operations with the opening of a new multi-million dollar facility in Loyang.

For the first time in its 30-year history in Singapore, the company will house all its staff under one roof as part of an expansion to boost its existing 300-staff workforce to serve the Asia Pacific region.

At the new 20,000-sq m four-storey building, Weatherford plans to raise headcount by 30% to provide administrative, manufacturing, technology, assembly, testing, repair and maintenance services along with storage and warehousing facilities.

Peter Fontana, the company’s chief operating officer, said:

“This development is critical to the ongoing success of our business within Singapore and will provide a base from which we can coordinate and expand our operations across the Asia Pacific region. We have identified significant growth potential in emerging markets such as Bangladesh, Brunei, Vietnam, Philippines and Myanmar and our investment in this new facility is a milestone in the evolution of our business in these key areas.

“Our previous footprint in Singapore was spread across 11 different buildings or plots in two primary locations. The new state-of-the-art facility will provide the platform from which Weatherford can continue to keep pace with economic growth and conditions and maintain its position as a market-leading oilfield services company.

“The investment in this new facility is recognition of the strategic importance of Singapore to Weatherford in realising its ongoing ambitions in the emerging markets of the Asia Pacific region.”

Julian Ho, assistant managing director of the Singapore Economic Development Board, said:

“Weatherford’s decision to consolidate its various facilities in Singapore into this new multi-million dollar location positions it for growth and expansion. It reaffirms Singapore’s attractiveness as the leading hub in the Asia Pacific region for the oil and gas equipment & services industry, and signifies a new milestone in our 30-year partnership. Our skilled workforce, excellent logistics infrastructure and reputation for quality make Singapore an ideal location for Weatherford to better serve its customers in the region and beyond.”

Operating in over 100 countries with a workforce of over 60,000 people, Weatherford is a global leader in supplying innovative mechanical solutions, technology and services for oil and gas drilling and production.



CHINA: October oil demand third highest on record, says Platts

(EnergyAsia, November 26 2012, Monday) — China’s October oil demand rose 6.6% year-on-year to 41.28 million metric tons (mt), or 9.76 million b/d, the third highest on record, according to energy media Platts. In its latest analysis of recent Chinese government data, Platts said the October demand was slightly lower than the record 9.8 million…

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ASIA: Russia targets region for gas exports as Europe plays hardball, said GlobalData

(EnergyAsia, November 23 2012, Friday) — European resistance to oil-linked gas prices will drive Russia to seek Asian export partners, according to a report international business intelligence firm GlobalData.

It said Russia is being forced to re-evaluate its natural gas export strategy as the rest of Europe – the destination of 93% of the country’s gas exports in 2011 – is becoming disillusioned with the country’s pricing system.

Russia has long been dependent on Europe’s custom but that relationship is getting strained amid the decline in spot gas prices forcing many European utilities to take their business elsewhere.

Russia’s gas monopoly, Gazprom, has had to renegotiate its prices with some of the major European utility companies, agreeing to link 15% of export volumes to the spot market price in several deals.

The Russian firm has also offered price discounts of up to 10% to many of its customers including Italy’s Eni, Edison and Sinergie Italiane, France’s GDF Suez, Germany’s Wingas, Slovakia’s SPP and Austria’s EconGas, said GlobalData.

However, these discounts do relatively little to counter Russia’s exponential gas export price increase – from $244.44/million cubic meters (mcm) in July 2009 to $452.16/mcm in June 2012 – prompting European firms to escalate imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from producers in the Middle East and Africa.

Matthew Jurecky, GlobalData’s Director of Energy Research and Consulting, said:

“Weakened demand for natural gas during an economic crisis in the European Union has further lessened the region’s appetite for oil-price linked gas from Russia.

“Europe was already open to alternative sources after enduring the political games that have threatened supply over the past few years.”

As a hedge, Russia is aiming to raise natural gas exports to Asia.

GlobalData expects that to climb significantly from 11.8 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2012 to 44.2 bcm by 2020, with China, Japan and South Korea being the main markets.


ABU DHABI: ADNOC to stockpile oil in South Korea

(EnergyAsia, November 23 2012, Friday) — Two state oil companies of Abu Dhabi and South Korea have signed a first agreement to cooperate on strategic oil stockpile. On Wednesday, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) became the 12th company to stockpile oil in South Korea when it signed on to lease tanks from Korea National…

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AUSTRALIA: APLNG consortium starts using US$8.5 billion funding for Queensland project

(EnergyAsia, November 23 2012, Friday) — The Australia Pacific Liquefied Natural Gas (APLNG) Pty Ltd consortium has begun drawing on its US$8.5 billion funding facility to develop its massive A$23 billion project in Queensland state, said operator and 37.5% shareholder Australia’s Origin Energy. (US$1=A$0.96).

In a statement, Origin Energy said all conditions for the drawdown had been met for what it claims is the largest financing facility ever secured in Australia.

The consortium, whose other members are US independent ConocoPhillips (37.5%) and China’s Sinopec (25%), is processing coal seam gas (CSM) reserves in the Surat and Bowen Basins to LNG for export to Asia. APLNG will also be developing a 530 km transmission pipeline and a multi-train LNG facility on Curtis Island.

Origin said the project finance facility will specifically fund the downstream parts of the project, including the liquefaction facilities on Curtis Island near Gladstone in Queensland. The consortium secured the facility in May from the US Export-Import Bank, the Export-Import Bank of China, and a syndicate of Australian and international commercial banks for 16 and 17 year terms.



CHINA: Refining capacity expansion to outpace domestic demand growth by 800,000 b/d by 2017, says IEA

(EnergyAsia, November 23 2012, Friday) — China is ready to spring its next big surprise by becoming a global oil products exporter over the next five years as its projected refining capacity expansion will far exceed its domestic oil demand growth by 800,000 b/d, predicts the International Energy Agency (IEA). In its latest medium-term oil…

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US: Gas companies launch campaign to allow LNG exports

(EnergyAsia, November 22 2012, Thursday) — Fed up with being paid low prices by domestic consumers, US natural gas producers and traders are actively lobbying the government to allow them to sell the fuel abroad, especially to Asia where the fuel sells for an average five times more. Gas producers, shippers, terminal operators and developers,…

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