JAPAN: Idemitsu Kosan in joint venture to export LNG and LPG from Canada

(EnergyAsia, January 31 2013, Thursday) — One of Japan’s largest oil companies, Idemitsu Kosan, has become the latest member of a crowded bandwagon proposing to build a liquefied natural gas project in western Canada for export to Asia.

Japan’s third largest refiner will form an equal joint venture with Calgary, Alberta-based pipeline operator AltaGas to look into exporting two million tons of LNG a year from 2017.

The AltaGas Idemitsu Joint Venture Limited Partnership expects to complete the project’s feasibility study a year from now that will also include plans to export 700,000 tons of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) a year from 2016.

AltaGas owns the existing pipeline network that could be expanded to deliver natural gas from the fields of western Canada to the proposed terminals to be located in either ports of Kitimat and Prince Rupert on the coast of British Columbia. Its pipeline subsidiary Pacific Northern Gas Ltd is expected to support plans by separate consortia led by Shell, Chevron, Petronas and BC LNG Export Co-Operative to build export-oriented LNG projects in both ports.

Idemitsu, which has no experience in the LNG business, said it has begun talks with Japanese power companies and utilities, which are among the world’s largest consumers of natural gas.

David Cornhill, AltaGas’s chairman and CEO, said:

“We are excited to partner with Idemitsu, a global leader in the supply of energy, petroleum, lubricants and petrochemical products and services to the people of Japan. As we move forward, we will continue in our commitment to engage and work effectively with governments, First Nations and other stakeholders.”

Kazuhisa Nakano, Idemitsu’s President, said:

“Canada, one of the world’s most resource-rich countries, has proven to be a very promising new supplier of gas to Japan. As a leading energy infrastructure company in Canada, AltaGas has enjoyed rapid and sustainable growth in its natural gas infrastructure, power generation and natural gas distribution businesses. The partnership with AltaGas is a natural fit with Idemitsu’s gas and power business.”

 

MARKETS: Is globalisation reaching a tipping point? BDP survey finds trade flows becoming more inter-regional

(EnergyAsia, January 31 2013, Thursday) — Global trade flows are becoming more inter-regional as companies move production closer to end markets, suggesting that globalisation could be at a turning point, according to a survey by an international logistics firm.

“Global trade flows from manufacturers in the East to consumers in the West are undergoing a gradual shift toward shorter inter-regional routes as companies seek to reduce the distance between the production and consumption of their goods,” said BDP International.

“This shift in global trade flows confirms the growing economic parity between Western nations and emerging economies.”

This is a key finding of an international supply chain survey conducted by BDP International, its Centrx consulting unit and Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

BDP said it surveyed more than 200 companies throughout the world with annual revenues ranging from US$100 million to over US$10 billion.

Of the supply chain executives surveyed, 87% indicated their companies are considering or have already begun to move production closer to end markets, sourcing and selling their goods within the same hemisphere.

“There are three principal reasons for this phenomenon,” said Arnie Bornstein, BDP’s executive director of marketing and corporate communications.

“First, emerging nations are starting to trade with one another, shortening world trade flows. Second, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East have growing middle classes driving demand for consumer goods. Third, it makes both operational and economic sense to have shorter supply chains, where goods are produced and consumed within the same part of the world.

“That’s why North American companies are looking to Mexico and Latin America as a manufacturing base; EU companies are looking to Eastern Europe and Turkey.

“Asian companies want to sell more of their production to Asian consumers as more than a hedge against sluggish export markets in the West.”

According to BDP, small and medium-sized enterprises appear to have greater flexibility to pursue an inter-regional approach, according to the survey. While the overall trend is toward shorter, hemispheric trade flows, nearly one in five (18.9%) survey respondents representing companies with revenues of more than US$10 billion do not see this shift occurring.

“The survey suggests small to mid-size enterprises are more aggressively pursuing inter-regional supply chains because they have far less invested in sourcing infrastructure and are newer entrants to the world of international trade,” said Mr Bornstein.

“It is understandable that large companies may be more deliberate to embrace inter-regionalization as they take a long-term strategic approach toward structural changes in their global production platforms.

“This is not to say major companies are any less committed to inter-regionalising their supply chains. After all, 81.08% of the US$10-billion-plus revenue companies surveyed agreed they are seeing such a shift.

“Companies are seeking to reduce costs and transit times in meeting demand from countries where consumers are becoming more affluent.

“The survey shows that globalisation may be moving toward a tipping point, belying the conventional wisdom that it would allow companies to economically produce anything, anywhere for sale everywhere.

“Globalisation and traditional East-West trade routes aren’t going away any time soon, but trade patterns are being transformed to mirror the realities of low to no growth in the West and the rise of the rest of the world.”

Focus on Asia

When queried regarding which regions show the greatest potential for inter-regional trade flows, 56% of the respondents cited the Asia-Pacific, followed by 28% for the Americas and just 6.7% for Europe.

Mr Bornstein said: “The bias toward Asia is further evidence of the growing economic importance of the region. The Americas have been attractive largely due to NAFTA and Mexico’s proximity to U.S. markets, improving cross-border infrastructure, and more recently with the emergence of consumer economies in South America.

“The low response for Europe is somewhat surprising given the Eurozone’s more than 600 million inhabitants and lower trade barriers, but likely reflects the continent’s continuing economic woes.”

 

 

SAUDI ARABIA: SABIC to open four new technology centres this year

(EnergyAsia, January 31 2013, Thursday) — Saudi Basic Industries Corporation has announced the opening of four new state-of-the-art technology and innovation facilities in 2013, two in Saudi Arabia and one each in India and China, bringing the total number of its research facilities around the world to 18.

The new centres represent a strategic investment of around US$500 million to improve technology, applications and solutions and meet the needs of an increasingly sophisticated marketplace, as well as address a wide variety of sustainability issues.

Mohamed Al-Mady, SABIC vice chairman and CEO, said continuous investment in technology and innovation will enable the company to meet specific needs of customers as well as society.

“These four new facilities will further empower our global technology and innovation centers to build on their innovative systems to develop new technologies, improve manufacturing processes, and contribute to a sustainable environment for our communities.”

The two centres in Saudi Arabia are the Corporate Research & Innovation Center (CRI) at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, near Jeddah, and the other, the SABIC Plastic Applications Development Center (SPADC) in Riyadh Techno Valley at King Saud University (KSU) in Riyadh.

Ernesto Occhiello, SABIC’s executive vice president for technology and innovation, said the CRI, scheduled for an April opening, “will seek to exchange experience and knowledge between the researchers at SABIC and KAUST, opening access to new technical competencies, blending academia with industry, tapping into new inventions made by academia, sourcing top talent and fresh ideas, and developing a community of excellence in upstream research.”

The SPADC, which is due to open in the second quarter, aims to develop new applications and products that support SABIC’s business growth. Located adjacent to the Saudi Arabia’s largest university, King Saud University, it will enable SABIC to build closer links between academia and the industrial research community.

The SPADC aims to be the centre of excellence for automotive, packaging, consumer, construction, signage, and compounding. It will work closely with SABIC’s other technology and innovation centres to achieve set targets, including training customers and employees.

The centre will enable Saudi Arabia to enter advanced industrial fields, and support the National Industrial Clusters Development Program to develop industries such as packaging, automotive and machinery. It will help develop new plastics applications and extend technical support to local and international customers in various fields, including polymers, elastomers and specialty products.

“These new centres are already creating around 150 professional jobs, and are a part of our plans to significantly boost research and technology in Saudi Arabia,” Mr Occhiello said.

The Bangalore research centre is due to open in the second quarter. It will deal with application development, strategic business research and corporate research and will focus primarily on diverse areas of research in chemistry, material science, process engineering, analytical and application technology. Its aim is to support business as a strategic center of excellence to cater to global and regional needs.

The Shanghai centre will open in the third quarter of 2013. It will deal with application development, strategic business research and corporate research. It will focus on fundamental and applied research in support of SABIC’s Strategic Business Units as well as the company’s Technology and Innovation unit’s corporate projects.

“Bangalore and Shanghai centers, which will host around 500 professionals, are an indication of SABIC’s commitment to be the technology partner of choice for Asian partners as well as the employer of choice for the best talent from the region,” Mr Occhiello said.

 

 

JAPAN: LNG, oil imports contributed to 2012’s record high trade deficit

(EnergyAsia, January 31 2013, Thursday) — Japan’s trade deficit soared 170% to a record 6.9 trillion yen last year on the back of surging energy imports and lower export earnings. (US$1=90 yen). The world’s third largest economy reported a 3.8% rise in import expenditure and a 2.7% decline in export earnings for 2012. Energy accounted…

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INDONESIA: Regulator predicts reduced LNG output in 2013

(EnergyAsia, January 30 2013, Wednesday) — Liquefied natural gas (LNG) consumers will have further reason to prepare for higher prices as the world’s third largest supplier said its production could decline by more than six percent this year to 297 cargoes. Each shipment of LNG cargo varies between 125,000 and 175,000 metric tons. Indonesia’s oil…

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VIETNAM: PetroVietnam and partners agree to build 200,000 b/d refinery

(EnergyAsia, Jan 30 2013, Wednesday) — State PetroVietnam has signed an agreement with Japanese and Kuwaiti companies to jointly build a long-delayed 200,000 b/d refinery in the coastal town of Nghi Son located about 200 km south of Hanoi city.

The US$9 billion plant in Thanh Hoa province will process heavy Kuwaiti crude oil to meet the fuel needs of consumers in Vietnam and neighbouring countries.

PetroVietnam will own a 25.1% stake in the project which was conceived a decade ago while Japan’s Idemitsu Kosan and Kuwait Petroleum International will each hold 35.1%. Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals will own the remaining 4.7% in what will be the country’s second refinery when it starts up in 2017.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung described the project as an important contributor to the country’s economic and social development.

Vietnam’s first oil refinery at Dung Quat started up in 2009 after it was first proposed in the 1980s. Construction of the 130,000 b/d plant was plagued by cost over-runs and delays.

 

IRAQ: GE unit opens new facility near Basra to help boost oil and gas production in Rumaila

(EnergyAsia, January 30 2013, Wednesday) — GE Oil & Gas has announced the establishment of a new technology and service centre near Basra City to support development and production of Iraq’s oil-rich North Rumaila region.

The facility, which was opened earlier this month, brings the latest GE technology and expertise to local customers to help boost production in the Rumaila oil field.

Rumaila is one of the largest oil fields in the world, and its continued development is a key to Iraq’s long-term economic growth. More than 250 production wells currently are operating in the field, located near the Kuwaiti border in southern Iraq. The oil produced from the field represents about 40 percent of Iraq’s total oil production.

In addition to being a base for the supply of pressure control equipment to Iraq’s drilling and production sector, the new GE centre provides a wide range of services including installation and maintenance, testing, inspections, repair and storage. Future services will include complete non-destructive testing capabilities, machine, welding and heat treatment, blasting and painting and API certification and recertification.

Rami Qasem, GE Oil & Gas president and CEO for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, said:

“The new Basra center provides a broad spectrum of solutions under one roof and is situated locally to meet our customers’ demands for rapid drilling and production support. Through our investment in strengthening our local presence, we are able to significantly improve our delivery time for products and services, while also giving us a base for training and developing a local work force.

“The centre not only builds on our long-term commitment to the country but also complements the government’s focus on promoting job creation and nurturing the technical skills of the Iraqi professionals. The centre supports our global strategy to be closer and more responsive to our customers, wherever in the world that we do business.”

To date, GE has opened three offices in Baghdad, Erbil and the southern oil and gas hub of Basra, building on its 40-year history of operations in the country.

 

CHINA: Five killed in oil storage tank explosion

(EnergyAsia, January 30 2013, Wednesday) — Five people were killed and several others injured when an oil storage tank exploded in central China’s Hunan Province early this week. Most of the victims were in the vicinity of the tank in a residential building under construction in a village in Xiangtan City. The incident was believed…

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MARKETS: IEA boosts forecast for 2013 world oil demand, cites China

(EnergyAsia, January 29 2013, Tuesday) — Citing rising consumption in China, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has raised its forecast for 2013 world oil demand growth for the second consecutive month. In its latest January monthly report, the Paris-based agency said world oil demand will grow by 930,000 b/d to 90.8 million b/d in 2013,…

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INDIA: Natural gas price could double on oil ministry support

(EnergyAsia, January 29 2013, Tuesday) — India’s consumers could face sharply higher energy costs this year as the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has agreed to let domestic natural gas prices rise to US$8.5 per million metric British thermal unit (mmBtu) from their current level of US$4.2. As natural gas is used mostly for…

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MARKETS: OPEC maintains forecasts for 2013 world oil demand growth for third consecutive month

(EnergyAsia, January 29 2013, Tuesday) — For the third consecutive month, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has kept its forecasts for global oil demand to grow by just under 800,000 b/d for 2013.

With no major revision to its November and December outlook, OPEC said it expects world demand to grow by 760,000 b/d to reach 88.55 million b/d in 2013.

The oil cartel expects the US economy to expand by 2% this year while uncertainty in the Eurozone will create uncertainty in the outlook for China, which recently improved on the back of strong export and investment growth.

The decline in oil consumption by the developed economies will be more than offset by a projected one million-b/d increase in the emerging economies.

On the supply side, OPEC has forecast US oil production to rise by 490,000 b/d to reach 10.44 million b/d, its highest level in recent years. The bulk of the production increase will come from deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and North Dakota’s unconventional reserves.

 

 

MARKETS: Global demand for LNG to exceed supply in 2013, says BG executive

(EnergyAsia, January 29 2013, Tuesday) — Asia could face higher liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices as global demand for the fuel is set to exceed supply this year, said Steve Hill, vice president of global LNG and oil marketing at UK’s BG Group. LNG spot prices in Asia have stayed stubbornly in the US$15-$20 per…

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KYRGYZSTAN: Celsius Coal positioned to benefit from proposed Trans-Asia railway linking Central Asia and China

(EnergyAsia, January 28 2013, Monday) — The Chinese government has completed a feasibility study for the construction of the Trans-Asia Railway linking China with Central Asia, according to a regional coal player citing Kyrgyzstan’s Transport Ministry.

Australia’s Celsius Coal Limited, which is developing coking coal deposits in Kyrgyzstan’s Uzgen Basin, said the proposed railway route passes within 10km of its projects as part of a 250km link to the Chinese city of Kashgar. It will also serve neighbouring Uzkbekistan.

According to Celsius, which plans to build roads to boost coal exports to China, the Trans-Asia Railway is expected to begin operating from end-2016.

China has announced that it plans to establish a special economic zone at Kashgar in Xinjiang that will serve as a manufacturing centre for export to Central Asia and Russia. By 2015, Xinjiang is slated to have built 170,000 km of new roads, 8,200 km of railway and 22 airports. The region is also forecast to import 30 million tonnes of coking coal from other countries and provinces of China by then.

Celsius said Xinjiang will be an important “beach head” market for its plans to export coking coal from Uzgen Basin to China.

 

AUSTRALIA: International Coal appoints Simpson as CEO

(EnergyAsia, January 28 2013, Monday) — PEOPLE: Australia’s International Coal Limited has announced the appointment of Glenn Simpson as CEO and the resignation of Managing Director Hugh Dai.

A trained geologist with an honours degree in Applied Science (Geology) and a Graduate Diploma of Business Administration, Mr Simpson has over 20 years of experience in the mining and energy sectors, 10 years of experience as a geologist and operational manager, and extensive experience in government, tenure management, and business development.

Mr Simpson last served as a General Manager at Coal Face Resources Pty Ltd where he played a key role in identifying and evaluating new resource opportunities through Queensland, Western Australia and international target generation projects. He brings a wealth of experience in the management of coal tenures, business development and government liaison.

In a statement issued by Chairman John Lester, International Coal said Mr Dai will continue to act as an Executive Director of the company.

 

 

CHINA: IEA spells out four sets of challenges to reforming natural gas industry

(EnergyAsia, January 28 2013, Monday) — China faces four major challenges in reforming its natural gas sector to help meet a targeted doubling in consumption to 260 billion cubic metres by 2015 from 2011 levels, said the International Energy Agency (IEA). Planners will face their most important challenge in aligning domestic gas prices with the…

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SOUTH KOREA: Korea Gas Corp, DNV to jointly launch feasibility study on establishing LNG as bunker fuel

(EnergyAsia, January 25 2013, Friday) — Norway’s DNV said it and Korea Gas Corp (KOGAS) have signed an agreement to jointly study the feasibility of establishing an liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering infrastructure in South Korea. The study will focus on the ports in the south-eastern area of Pusan, and western areas around Incheon and Pyeongtaek.

Led by Sun Il Yoo, DNV Korea’s senior customer service manager and assisted by the DNV Clean Technology Centre in Singapore, the company said this will be one of the largest and most comprehensive feasibility studies ever undertaken to investigate the feasibility of using LNG as a bunker fuel.

KOGAS has formed two separate consortia with local energy companies to partner DNV for the study. The KOGAS-Kyungnam Energy team will focus on the south-eastern area around Pusan while the KOGAS-Samchully unit will help study the western area around Incheon and Pyeongtaek.

DNV said it aims to define the commercial opportunities related to LNG distribution and shipping by identifying supply chains and infrastructures, technologies for use in LNG shipping and bunkering, standards, regulations and issues regarding public acceptance.

“DNV is one of the globally leading risk management service providers that have extensive experience in LNG sectors. KOGAS has already cooperated closely with DNV on R&D and Health, Safety, Environmental and Quality (HSEQ) management. We’re looking forward to continuing our partnership, to which DNV can bring its risk-analysis expertise in the LNG sector, and especially in the LNG bunkering field, and help us to take this LNG bunkering project one step closer to reality,” Yang Young Myung, KOGAS’s vice president, and Head of the R&D Division.

“For years, DNV has developed comprehensive knowledge of the entire LNG value chain. We are the first classification society to present guidelines on LNG-fuelled vessels and have recently been active in introducing innovative LNG shipping concepts. DNV is leading the development of rules and recommended practices in the LNG sector, including the development of bunkering standards. We are thrilled to provide our expertise to KOGAS, the largest LNG importing company in the world,” said Jon Rysst, DNV’s regional manager for South Korea and Japan.

Last May, KOGAS formed a consultative group with industry players to build an LNG bunkering infrastructure, develop an LNG propulsion ship and improve the gas supply to coastal and insular areas. The group, led by KOGAS, includes Korea Gas Safety Corporation, major shipbuilders (Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Samsung Heavy Industries and STX Offshore & Shipbuilding), classification societies (DNV, LR and KR), major energy companies (POSCO, Kyungnam Energy, Samchully, SK E&S and STX Energy), a shipping company (STX Pan Ocean) and industry associations.

By forming this expertise group and initiating R&D projects, KOGAS aims to expedite the development of LNG bunkering infrastructures and LNG bunkering vessels and make South Korea one of the first movers in the global LNG bunkering industry.

 

RUSSIA: Fitch says oil production is nearing peak after reaching post-Soviet high in 2012

(EnergyAsia, January 25 2013, Friday) — After reaching a post-Soviet record last year, Russian oil production will probably peak in the next few years as the gains from new oil fields are offset by falling output from brownfield sites, said US ratings agency Fitch. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. According to the Ministry of…

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ASIA: Kitsault Energy promotes Canada’s Kitsault town as quickest and cheapest launchpad for LNG exports

(EnergyAsia, January 25 2013, Friday) — Kisault, a town located 800 km north of Vancouver in Canada’s British Columbia province, offers investors the quickest and cheapest platform to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other energy products, said newly established Kisault Energy.

Kisault, a purpose-built resource town with infrastructure and housing for more than 1,000 people, is located 140 km north of Prince Rupert port where Malaysia’s Petronas is looking to build an LNG export terminal as part of a $9 billion project to tap Western Canada’s abundant natural gas reserves for export to Asia.

With nearly 350 acres of industrial and residential land, full BC Hydro service and a deep water port, Kitsault makes both economic and environmental sense as the site for a terminal site to export LNG from northeastern British Columbia to Asia and other markets, said Kissault Energy. LNG pipeline routing to Kitsault has already been proposed by others. An export terminal at Kitsault for LNG operation will have the shortest natural gas pipeline for the projects currently proposed in that region, saving 100 to 300 kilometers of pipeline at a cost savings of C$1 to $3 billion. (US$1=C$1).

The town already has staff housing, utilities and land as well as multiple airport facilities including an unused long runway airport at Nass Camp, one hour from Kitsault and 75 minutes from Terrace. Kitsault can also be accessed by float plane, helicopter, and road. Land exists to establish a runway in Kitsault itself.

Kitsault Energy said it has begun contacting other engineering firms, energy producers, First Nation communities, and other interested parties including local, regional, provincial and federal government officials.

 

RUSSIA: Mechel sold part of controlling stake in Vanino sea trade port to investors

( (EnergyAsia, January 25 2013, Friday) — Mechel, a leading Russian mining and metals companies, said it has sold a part of its earlier acquired controlling stake in the Vanino port on the Pacific coast to investors. In line with the conditions for financing the acquisition of a 55% stake in Vanino Sea Trade Port,…

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QATAR: LNG exports to face international competition after 2017, says IMF

(EnergyAsia, January 24 2013, Thursday) — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has provided an update on Qatar’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry as part of its latest assessment of the economy of the Middle Eastern country. Qatar holds 12% of the world’s proven 7,361 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, putting it in third…

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RUSSIA: Gunvor and partner secure US$110 million financing facility for Black Sea fuel oil terminal

(EnergyAsia, January 24 2013, Thursday) — Commodities trader Gunvor Group said it and partner Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port (NCSP) have secured a seven-year credit facility for US$110 million from ZAO Raiffeisenbank for their jointly-owned fuel oil terminal in the Black Sea.

Their equally-owned Novorossiysk Fuel Oil Terminal (NFT) will draw on the facility to refinance shareholder loans used to construct the fuel oil terminal and infrastructure including tanks, rail-car discharging racks, and pipeline.

The Gunvor-operated terminal, which has a capacity of 119,000 cubic metres and a throughput of four million tons a year, started up last year.

Novorossiysk, Russia’s largest port, is the main port for the country’s energy and commodity exports.

Gunvor, which is expanding its oil storage investment, has a 17% stake in Petroterminal de Panamá, SA (PTP), that is partly owned by the Panama government. The Russian trader fully owns the Ust-Luga oil products terminal in the Baltic Sea.

 

 

CHINA: Oil demand could set another record high in 2013 after rising 3.4% to in 2012, says Platts

(EnergyAsia, January 24 2013, Thursday) — Boosted by an end-of-the-year surge, China’s oil demand rose 3.4% to a record high of 9.68 million for 2012, said US energy media Platts. And it could go higher this year if the economy continues to improve and the government maintains its stimulus measures. December’s consumption was up 7.7%…

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MALAYSIA: BASF pulls out of proposed specialty chemicals venture in Johor

(EnergyAsia, January 23 2013, Wednesday) — Germany’s BASF and Malaysian state energy firm Petronas said they have terminated an agreement to jointly develop a specialty chemicals venture that was part of a proposed RM120-billion oil-petrochemical complex to be developed in the southern state of Johor. (US$1=RM3.05).

According to the heads of agreement the companies signed last March, BASF would have a 60% stake in the new joint venture to own, develop, construct and operate new plants to produce isononanol, highly reactive polyisobutylene, non-ionic surfactants, methanesulphonic acid and precursor materials. The plant was to form part of Petronas’s proposed Refinery & Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) complex in the coastal town of Pengerang, located north of Singapore.

In separate statements, the two companies said they decided to terminate the March 5 agreement as they “were unable to come to an agreement on the terms and conditions for the implementation of the proposed venture.”

However, they affirmed their commitment to continuing their existing long-term partnership at the BASF Petronas Chemicals in Pahang state.

MARKETS: Trading volumes for Brent futures surpassed WTI in 2012

(EnergyAsia, January 23 2013, Wednesday) — Brent crude’s position as the global benchmark was confirmed last year when its futures trading volume last year exceeded US WTI for the first time. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), trades in the Brent contract surged while the WTI volume fell in response to the growing…

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ENVIRONMENT: Greenpeace says emissions to rise further on “government hypocrisy” in support of fossil fuel projects

(EnergyAsia, January 23 2013, Wednesday) —– Greenpeace said “government hypocrisy” in support of major fossil fuel projects around the world is fuelling climate change and placing populations at risk.

In a new report studying 14 carbon-intensive projects around the world, the environmental group said government support has raised the threat posed by a planned massive global increase in emissions from increased production of coal, oil and gas.

The “Point of No Return” studied major projects related to massive coal production expansion in Australia, China, the US and Indonesia, oil expansion in the tar sands of Canada, the Arctic and Brazil and new gas production in the Caspian Sea and the US.

Consultancy Ecofys, which undertook the study for Greenpeace, found that by 2020, these 14 projects will increase carbon dioxide emissions by six gigatonnes a year. This trend is confirmed by the International Energy Agency (IEA) which reported that carbon emissions are already at a record high of 31.6 gigatonnes despite years of government promises to reduce output.

The Ecofys modelling found that the yearly carbon emissions from these projects will be higher than the total US emissions and will lock in catastrophic global warming.

Even the World Economic Forum, in its Global Risks 2013 report for this year’s gathering in Davos, warns the global temperature is on course to increase by 3.6 to 40C, possibly by 6 degrees. These increases will be well above the promise of governments to keep global warming to below a 20C increase.

“These new climate changing mega projects are the direct result of the hypocrisy shown by a handful of governments. These governments claim they want to prevent catastrophic climate change, but shamefully continue to approve and promote major fossil fuel projects that will lead to climate chaos and devastation,” said Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International.

“Given the human suffering, destruction and economic turmoil of recent extreme weather events, a world with runaway climate change is a frightening prospect. We cannot let that be our legacy,” said Mr Naidoo, who is meeting key business and government leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week.

The report features an Ecofys pathway showing a 75% chance of avoiding climate chaos if emissions peak soon and then drop by 5% a year and emissions from the 14 projects are cancelled. Greenpeace’s Energy [R]evolution shows that renewable energy and energy savings can deliver the energy our economies need.

Mr Naidoo said: “The companies promoting and the governments allowing these massive climate threats must replace them with renewable energy right away and become part of the solution to climate chaos.”