(EnergyAsia, January 23 2013, Wednesday) — While US majors ExxonMobil and Chevron are undergoing a bad patch with the Indonesian govervnment, BP has found strong official backing for one of its most important projects to expand a liquefied natural gas project in Tangguh in West Papua province. The UK major is expected to make a…
(EnergyAsia, January 22 2013, Tuesday) — Canada’s Sunshine Oil Sands Ltd, which is listed on the stock exchanges of Hong Kong and Toronto, has signed a one-year agreement to share oil sands exploration technology developed by the oilfields division of China’s CNOOC Ltd.
Calgary-based Sunshine said it has signed an agreement with China Oilfield Services Ltd (COSL) to cooperate in the further development of multiple thermal fluid oilsands exploration technology in Canada. The cooperation could also lead to the Chinese firm to conduct thermal fluid tests in Sunshine’s acreages to confirm “the feasibility of multiple thermal fluid techniques and other relevant technologies” for use in oilsands exploration.
“The technology which was developed and patented by COSL has the potential to reduce the facility foot print and operation cost for generating steam and other thermal fluids to inject into reservoirs,” said Sunshine.
Songning Shen, Sunshine’s co-chairman, said the technology has proved successful in an CNOOC Limited offshore project, and could prove feasible in developing and producing bitumen.
(EnergyAsia, January 22 2013, Tuesday) — New Zealand’s economy could be brought to its knees if its sole oil refinery was hit by an earthquake, fire or tsunami, warned the country’s air carrier in its submission to the government’s review of energy security. In its report to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Air…
(EnergyAsia, January 22 2013, Tuesday) — Caltex Australia said it has begun supplying bitumen from a new purpose-built import terminal at Port Botany in Sydney following the closure of operations at the nearby Kurnell refinery.
The new terminal, designed, constructed and commissioned in less than 14 months by Terminals Australia Pty Ltd, provides 24,000 tonnes of storage capacity, giving Caltex the ability to import and efficiently distribute hot bitumen to a range of government and commercial customers throughout New South Wales state.
Australia’s largest downstream company also announced a partnership with SAMI Bitumen Technologies Pty Ltd, which will construct a bitumen oxidation plant at the terminal. Due to be commissioned by March, the plant will improve the terminal’s capability to supply new base grade and specialty bitumen products to meet the future needs of road authorities and users.
Caltex Australia’s manager for lubricants and direct sales, Phil Amos, said the addition of the oxidation plant would benefit the state’s road services industry by ensuring the reliable supply of all
Roads and Maritime Services base grades, in the event that specific bitumen grades were not available from the international market.
Caltex ceased manufacturing bitumen at the Kurnell refinery in late 2012 following the closure of a number of process units associated with manufacturing this product. The company has already announced that it will close down the refinery by late 2014.
Gary Smith, its general manager for refining and supply, said:
“As the foundation customer of this terminal, Caltex is providing its NSW bitumen customers with long-term supply continuity. This demonstrates Caltex’s continued commitment to providing a flexible and reliable supply chain for customers. Caltex is delivering the diverse range of fuel and non-fuel products that Australia needs.”
(EnergyAsia, January 22 2013, Tuesday) — Amid declining investor confidence, Indonesia may not achieve its modest crude oil production target of 900,000 b/d for 2013, and certainly not the one-million b/d goal for 2014, said the head of upstream regulator SKMigas. The government, which is currently embroiled in bitter disputes with ExxonMobil and Chevron, two…
(EnergyAsia, January 21 2013, Monday) — A total of 55 people including 32 workers have been reported killed over the course of a four-day hostage crisis in Algeria that ended when security forces battled terrorists who had seized a BP-operated natural gas plant at Ain Amenas in the eastern central part of the country.
On June 16, the Al Qaeda-linked terrorists seized the plant that is part of a joint-venture natural gas project led by BP supplying about 12% of Algeria’s production. The Interior Ministry said its troops killed 23 of the terrorists who were believed to have executed several of their foreign hostages in the final battle on January 19.
A total of 685 Algerian and 107 foreigner workers were freed while some of the terrorists were believed to have fled during the chaos.
BP’s partners in the joint venture include the Algerian state oil and gas company, Sonatrach, and Norway’s Statoil to produce gas from the field located about 60 km west of the Libyan border. The project, which employs people from more than 25 countries, was targeted in retaliation against France and its Western allies for launching military attacks on Islamic groups in neighbouring Mali.
Among the terrorists in North Africa who have turned on the West are young men trained by the Pentagon, according to the Financial Times. As part of its global war on terror, the US poured US$620 million into providing military training for Algeria and Mali. Some of them have defected to join the very Islamic militant groups that the US had sought to counter.
BP, which has operating in Algeria for over 60 years, said it is focusing efforts on relocating its staff and ensuring their safety. The company said 14 employees at Ain Amenas at the time of the attack have been confirmed to be safe and secure, including two who have sustained injuries that are not life-threatening.
However, the fate of another four employees has yet to be determined.
Bob Dudley, BP’s group chief executive, said:
“While not confirmed, tragically we have grave fears that there may be one or more fatalities within this number.”
The attack on one of the country’s most important and well-guarded economic installations has raised questions over the security of Algeria’s daily production of 1.7 million barrels of oil and 214 million cubic metres of natural gas.
According to BP, Algeria was Africa’s largest natural gas producer and its third largest oil producer.
(EnergyAsia, January 21 2013, Monday) — Oil will lose its dominant position as the world’s primary fuel by 2030 as natural gas and coal gain market share to share equal billing, according to BP’s latest energy forecast to 2030.
The UK major expects global demand for oil will grow by just 0.8% p.a. between 2011 and 2030 to lag behind a projected 1.2% rate for coal and 2% for natural gas.
“Oil, gas and coal are expected to converge on market shares of around 26-28% each by 2030,” it said. In 2011, BP reported that oil contributed about a third of the global energy mix, with coal in second place at 30% and gas at 23.7%.
The big winner will be non-fossil fuels including nuclear, hydro and renewables which will contribute a total of around 18-19% by 2030, compared with about 12.8% in 2011.
BP expects global oil and liquid fuels demand to rise from just over 88 million b/d in 2011 to 104 million b/d in 2030.
“All the net demand growth will come from outside the OECD. Demand growth from China, India and the Middle East will together account for almost all of net demand growth,” it said.
Growth in the supply of oil and other liquids (including biofuels) to 2030 will come mainly from the Americas and Middle East. More than half of the growth will come from non-OPEC sources, with rising production from US tight oil, Canadian oil sands, Brazilian deepwater and biofuels more than offsetting mature declines elsewhere.
Increasing production from new tight oil resources will result in the US overtaking Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of liquids in 2013. US oil imports are expected to fall 70% between 2011 and 2030, said BP.
OPEC’s market share is expected to fall early in the outlook, reflecting growing non-OPEC production together with slowing demand growth due to high prices and increasingly efficient transport technologies. OPEC market share is expected to rebound somewhat after 2020.
BP’s group chief economist, Christof Rühl, said:
“As OPEC cuts production in response over the coming decade, by 2015 we expect spare capacity to reach the highest levels since the late 1980s. While this will be a key oil market uncertainty over the next decade, we believe OPEC members will be able to manage the challenge of maintaining production discipline despite high spare capacity.”
BP said it expects global energy demand growing at an average rate of 1.6% a year to 2030.
(EnergyAsia, January 21 2013, Monday) — US major Chevron Corp said it has signed agreements for two production sharing contracts with Chinese offshore oil company CNOOC Ltd to explore two blocks in the South China Sea.
Their joint-venture company, Chevron China Energy Co, will have full contract ownership of blocks 15/10 and 15/28 in the Pearl River Mouth Basin, and will operate the two shallow water blocks covering an area totalling 5,782 square km.
“Exploration of these blocks builds on our strategy to grow our business across the Asia Pacific region, where we are developing LNG, deepwater, shale and sour gas resources,” said George Kirkland, Chevron’s vice chairman, Chevron.
Melody Meyer, President of Chevron Asia Pacific Exploration and Production, said:
“We welcome the opportunity to partner with CNOOC and apply our industry-leading exploration capabilities in the prospective Pearl River Mouth Basin.”
(EnergyAsia, January 21 2013, Monday) — With an eye on the Asian markets, two leading Russian natural gas producers have agreed to form a joint venture to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the hydrocarbon-rich remote northern Yamal peninsula. State-owned Gazprom and Novatek, Russia’s leading independent gas producer, will invest in facilities to begin producing…
(EnergyAsia, January 18 2013, Friday) — Rolls-Royce, the UK-based global power systems company, said it has secured a US$75million contract to supply PetroChina with equipment and related services to power the flow of natural gas through a tributary in the country’s West-East Pipeline Project (EPP).
Rolls-Royce will supply six of its RB211-driven pipeline compressor units for use in Line 3 of the WEPP, the world’s longest pipeline and a crucial element of China’s drive towards cleaner energy consumption.
The latest award brings the total number of RB211 units sold for installation on China and Central Asia’s vast natural gas pipeline network to 56.
When completed in 2015, the 7,000km Line 3 will link China’s western Xinjiang autonomous region to Fuijan province in the south-east to deliver up to 30 billion cubic metres of gas per year.
Andrew Heath, President of Rolls-Royce’s Energy Unit, said:
“Rolls-Royce has a strong track record of delivering reliable technology and services to underpin China’s growing energy infrastructure. We are delighted to extend our role in the West-East Pipeline Project which uses cleaner, greener energy to boost China’s economic growth and ensure greater security of electricity supply to China’s fast-developing cities.”
Rolls-Royce, which has provided equipment to WEPP since 2004, will manufacture and package the equipment at its energy facilities in Montreal, Quebec in Canada and Mount Vernon, Ohio in the US.
(EnergyAsia, January 18 2013, Friday) — The world is becoming increasingly dependent on unconventional sources of oil and gas to meet its energy needs, said BP in its latest supply-demand outlook to 2030. The recent surge in unconventional supplies has had the biggest impact in the US where the application of technology has enabled the…
(EnergyAsia, January 18 2013, Friday) — After years of drawing on inventory, the world will produce more crude oil than it consumes next year, said the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
In its January short-term energy outlook report, the agency said it expects world production to rise more than 3% over 2012’s 88.99 million b/d to reach 91.71 million b/d in 2014. With global demand seen rising to 91.46 million b/d, it means the world will have a net gain of 25,000 b/d for 2014, reversing years of deficit.
For both 2013 and 2014, the EIA expects both world supply and demand to set new highs, surging past the 90-million b/d level for the first time.
Consumption will reach 90.11 million b/d in 2013 and rise by 1.5% to 91.46 million b/d on the back of improved economic conditions.
In its previous forecast, the EIA had expected the world to consume 89.04 million b/d in 2012 and 90 million b/d in 2013.
The supply picture is capturing the bigger headline with total production surging by more than 2.72 million b/d over the next two years to 91.71 million b/d in 2014, said the EIA.
The EIA expects non‐OPEC production to increase by 1.4 million b/d in 2013 and 1.3 million b/d in 2014, thanks mostly to new supplies coming from the US and Canada.
Despite political and environmental risks, the EIA sees North America providing about two-thirds of the projected growth in non‐OPEC supply over the next two years.
US crude oil production is seen rising from 6.4 million b/d in 2012 to 7.3 million b/d in 2013 and 7.9 million b/d in 2014, which would mark the highest annual average level of production since 1988.
The EIA expects OPEC members to continue to produce at least 30 million b/d of crude oil over the next two years to accommodate the projected increase in world consumption and to counterbalance supply disruptions.
However, the agency is forecasting OPEC supply to fall by 600,000 b/d in 2013 and to stay flat through 2014. Most of the decrease in 2013 will come from Saudi Arabia, which is responding to supply competition from North America, Iraq, Nigeria and Angola.
(EnergyAsia, January 18 2013, Friday) — US majors ExxonMobil and Chevron are threatening to reduce investments in Indonesia amid souring relations with the government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Jakarta wants ExxonMobil to replace its country president, Richard J. Owen, and has accused Chevron of mismanaging the re-mediation of an ageing oilfield in Riau province….
(EnergyAsia, January 17 2013, Thursday) — With financial support from the the Asian Development Bank (ADB), China will be deploying at least 5,000 new “green” buses in its major cities by 2018 to help reduce the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The bank said it has allocated US$275 million for up to five top-tier financial leasing companies in the country to finance leased buses that run on cleaner fuel such as compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) as well as electric and hybrid buses.
The bank expects the new fleet to help China prevent the annual output of 1.31 million tons of greenhouse gases from 2019, benefiting millions of low-income commuters and improving the country’s notoriously well-known unhealthy air quality.
“This programme will help roll out more green buses onto the streets by easing the funding bottleneck of financial leasing companies and bus operators,” said Philip Erquiaga, Director General of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department. The programme will provide critical long-term finance and may help leverage cofinancing to promote the development of clean bus leasing business in China.
According to the ADB, several leasing companies have shown strong interest in participating in what is the bank’s first non-sovereign loan to support sustainable transport in China. The programme is in line with the US$175 billion commitment of multilateral development banks made during the Rio+20 Summit for transport in developing countries from 2012 to 2022.
(EnergyAsia, January 17 2013, Thursday) — Russia said its crude and condensate output surged to a new high of 10.4 million b/d last year, a figure not seen since the days of the Soviet Union which collapsed in 1991. Russia, the world’s largest oil producer ahead of Saudi Arabia, remains dependent on oil and gas…
(EnergyAsia, January 17 2013, Thursday) — Italian energy company Eni said it has secured a joint agreement to supply a total of 1.7 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 28 cargoes to two customers in Japan and South Korea.
Eni said the exact volume to be shipped separately to Korea Gas Corp (Kogas) and Japan’s Chubu Electric Power Co will be determined later over the course of the four-year contract ending 2017.
Last year, Eni supplied a total of 3.3 million tons on LNG in 49 cargoes to Japan.
(EnergyAsia, January 17 2013, Thursday) — Singapore’s bunker sales volume fell 1.2% to 42.7 million tonnes last year as the maritime sector continued to face “challenging” conditions brought on by a prolonged economic recession in the US, Europe and Japan, said the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). The decline ended several consecutive years…
(EnergyAsia, January 16 2013, Wednesday) — Liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from the US will hasten the global market’s shift away from oil-linked pricing to favour buyers in Asia who are waging a campaign against current suppliers to reduce the fuel’s cost. According to a recent study by consultant Deloitte, the US could export around…
(EnergyAsia, January 16 2013, Wednesday) — GAIL, India’s state gas giant, has started up the country’s third terminal to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) at Ratnagiri in the western state of Maharashtra.
Located around 340km south of Mumbai, the Dabhol LNG terminal will be the conduit for imported natural gas to provide fuel for power generation as well as feedstock for fertiliser manufacturers in southern and western India.
B.C. Tripathi, GAIL’s chairman and managing director, said the company plans to expand the five-million-tonne/year terminal to 7.5 million tonnes in 2014 and to 10 million tonnes by 2017 at a cost of 20 billion rupees.
GAIL will soon start up the 1,400 km Dhabol-Bengaluru pipeline system that will help deliver gas to users in the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The terminal is operated by RGPPL, a consortium comprising GAIL (India) Limited, state power company, NTPC, and local financial institutions.
India is racing to increase its LNG imports to meet the country’s growing power demand. Its other two terminals at Dahej and Hazira in Gujarat have been operating at capacity.
(EnergyAsia, January 16 2013, Wednesday) — Mired in its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of 1929, the West strangely has failed to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the rapid growth in the emerging economies led by China.
In its latest Emerging Markets Index report, HSBC chief economist Stephen King observed that the US exports a mere 0.7% of its GDP to China, with Canada, France and Italy “more or less the same.”
He wrote: “The world economy is increasingly led by China. Those nations raising their China exposure have outperformed. Western nations, faced with internal discord, have failed to grab the opportunity.
“The UK’s exposure to China is lamentable: exports to China account for only 0.4% of UK GDP, not much more than a rounding error. Japan and Germany do a lot better yet their higher exposures can’t hide underlying weaknesses. In Japan’s case, its uneasy political relationship with its mainland rival – exemplified in an unresolved island dispute – led to a collapse in exports from Japan to China in the second half of 2012.
“Meanwhile, Germany’s heightened trade relationship with China has been absolutely swamped by an even bigger increase in its dependency on the rest of Europe, one reason why, despite its competitive advantages, Germany found itself succumbing in the second half of 2012 to a crisis which had already engulfed other parts of the Eurozone.”
Following a pick-up in the fourth quarter, the bank has raised its outlook for Chinese GDP growth to 8.6% in 2013 to follow on an estimated 7.8% expansion last year.
For the emerging world as a whole, HSBC expects growth of 5.4% in 2013, up from 4.8% in 2012.
Taking a macro view, HSBC described China as being “pivotal” to global prospects as it is now a much bigger economy than it was before the global economic meltdown began in 2008.
Thus, while its own growth rate may have slowed, China’s contribution to global growth is on the rise.
As a result of what HSBC calls China’s “enhanced gravitational pull”, the bank recommends viewing the world economy as an “old world” story focused on the ongoing deleveraging in Europe and the US and a “new world” story focused on the structural dynamism of the emerging world and, in particular, China.
While the world is rotating away from a US- or Europe-led world to a world led by China, the benefits have accrued mostly to those markets either geographically close to China or important in satisfying China’s insatiable demand for commodities. Many of them are emerging economies.
HSBC found a host of smaller emerging economies along with Australia benefitting from China’s rise as shown by rapid increase in exports to China as a share of their GDP since the beginning of the 21st century.
South Korea’s exports to China has grown from 3.5% to 12% of its GDP between 2000 and 2012, while Malaysia and Singapore have experienced big increases in their export exposure to China. Commodity producers like Australia, Chile, Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia have also shared in the spoils.
Angola is now China’s 14th most important source of imports, ahead of France, Canada, Italy and the UK.
Interestingly too, HSBC points out that India is also behind Angola: the lack of trade between India and China must count as one of the great missed opportunities of recent years.
(EnergyAsia, January 16 2013, Wednesday) — Police have arrested five people, including three executives of state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), following last week’s fire that killed at least three workers at the company’s oil storage depot in the north-western state of Gujarat. Another two workers are still unaccounted for after the fire destroyed a tank…
(EnergyAsia, January 15 2013, Tuesday) — Without a national carbon price floor, companies would be reluctant to invest in Australia’s domestic carbon offset mechanism known as the Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI), predicts carbon consulting firm RepuTex.
Even with a floor price in place, the CFI is expected to deliver at most only five million tonnes of carbon offsets per year by 2020, less than a third of the government’s optimistic estimate of 15.1 million tonnes.
Should the floor price be removed, investment in new projects will further dry up, with pre-existing projects likely to be the main source of offset supply, said RepuTex.
“A key objective of the Australian carbon price floor is to underwrite demand for domestic Australian offsets such as those derived from the CFI, with supply of local credits to be bounded by the carbon price floor,” said RepuTex’s executive director, Hugh Grossman.
“Even with the compliance limit on the import of international emissions offsets known as CERs set at 50%, it is likely Australia’s CFI will be constrained by the low price of CERs. We estimate 4.6 million offsets per year will be available from the CFI in 2020, as low CER prices will provide cost effective abatement up to the 50% limit for CERs being used by liable entities to meet their total liability each year.
“Once we remove that price floor, the CFI will effectively be undercut by cheaper permits imported from Asian markets.”
Australia’s domestic abatement scheme is designed to facilitate the production of emissions reduction credits largely from the agriculture, forestry and waste management sectors.
From 2015, Australian firms will have the option of purchasing abatement credits from the Australian CFI or internationally.
Australia’s carbon price is fixed for the period 2012-15, with a floor price starting at A$15/tonne and rising with inflation currently planned to be in operation for the initial three years of the floating price period (2015-18).
The operation of this floor price would partly shield the Australian carbon market from international price pressures, with international carbon credits presently trading at around A$3.50. (US$1=A$0.96).
RepuTex estimates that by 2020, Australian firms will be required to purchase 155 million tonnes of emissions reductions annually. The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency estimates around 10% (15.1 million tonnes) of these reductions will be supplied through the CFI.
However, RepuTex disputes this, predicting it will likely come under 3% (4.6 million tonnes).
If the removal of the floor price were to be accompanied by a tighter restriction on the volume of CERs imported into Australia, or a tie up with global carbon markets, RepuTex notes that the picture would drastically change for the domestic CFI market.
(EnergyAsia, January 15 2013, Tuesday) — Mechel, a leading Russian mining and metals company, said it has completed the acquisition of a 55% stake in a Pacific port that will enable it to expand coal exports to the Asian markets.
Mechel said the Russian government approved the offer by logistics subsidiary Mecheltrans to acquire the controlling stake in Vanino Sea Trade Port OAO for 15.5-billion rouble. (US$1=30 rouble).
The company was awarded the bid in a December 7 auction for Port Vanino in the Strait of Tartary’s Vanina Bay which links the Sea of Okhotsk and Sea of Japan. As one of Russia’s 10 largest ports, Vanino is the largest transport hub in the Khabarovsk region.
Mechel plans to expand the year-round port, which serves north-eastern Russia, Japan, South Korea, China, Australia, the US and the Pacific markets, into a major hub as well as consolidate the company’s position as one of the world’s largest producers of metallurgical coals.
“The acquisition was made in line with the company’s strategy of developing its mining division in a bid to expand its export capacities and reduce transport costs in line with planned increases in coal mining volumes,” said Russia’s largest coking coal producer.
Mechel’s CEO Evgeny Mikhel said: “By gaining access to Port Vanino’s transhipment capacities, Mechel significantly expands its export capacities to Asia Pacific. Port Vanino is located only some 1,500 km away from the company’s Yakutia coal assets. Port Vanino’s operations will indisputably improve our ability to manage the logistics of our deliveries, expand the range of our exports due to greater storage capacity and minimize our dependency on transport markets.
“The fact that Port Vanino’s coal transhipment capacities may be increased as early as in 2013 to seven million tonnes a year at little expense and without any significant reconstruction of its facilities, gives us the chance of greatly reducing investment costs for construction of our own terminal at Vanino in the next 3-5 years.
“I would like to note separately that as a result of this transaction Mechel will ensure guaranteed sales volumes of the group’s coal products, including those produced at the Elga deposit.”
Last year, the port, which can handle vessels up to 45,000 deadweight tonnes in size, reported throughput of six million tonnes of cargo.
(EnergyAsia, January 15 2013, Tuesday) — Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions will grow at a slower rate this year, rising by just 0.4% from 2012 levels on the back of reduced output from the metals sector and an increase in the nation’s renewable power generation, said carbon consulting firm RepuTex. The company expects Australia’s emissions to…
(EnergyAsia, January 14 2013, Monday) — Tata Power, India’s largest integrated power utility, said it has started up the fourth 800 MW unit at its coal-fired power plant in Mundra in Gujarat state.
Using the energy efficient supercritical boiler technology, the plant is owned and operated by wholly owned subsidiary Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (CGPL).
With the start-up, Tata Power said it has raised its total power generation capacity to 7,699 MW, reinforcing its position as the country’s largest integrated power company.
The company commissioned the plant’s first unit last March, the second unit in July and the third unit in October.
According to Tata Power, the plant’s technology will enable it to save fuel and cut down greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15% compared with the traditional sub-critical coal-fired power stations.
Anil Sardana, Tata Power’s managing director, said:
“The Mundra power plant is one of the most efficient and environment friendly plant based on super critical technology. With this development, Tata Power’s gross generation has touched 7,700 MW, reinforcing its position as the largest integrated power company in India.”