MALAYSIA: ADB affirms positive economic outlook despite oil price collapse, domestic political turbulence

(EnergyAsia, March 31 2015, Tuesday) — Malaysia remains on track to become a “high-income status” economy by 2020, said Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao after recently meeting the country’s leaders in Kuala Lumpur. Mr Nakao, who met Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and senior Malaysian officials, was in the country to attend the...

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AUSTRALIA: Chevron sold off entire 50% stake in Caltex to focus on LNG projects

(EnergyAsia, March 30 2015, Monday) — US major Chevron has sold off its entire long-held 50% stake in Australia’s largest downstream company for A$4.7 billion to focus on developing its core Gorgon and Wheatstoneliquefied natural gas (LNG) projects. (US$1=A$1.30). Despite the exit, Chevron said in a statement it remains one of Australia’s largest foreign investors and (more…)

CHINA: Oil and gas storage sector could be opened up to foreign investments

(EnergyAsia, March 27 2015, Friday) — China could open up its tightly-held oil and gas storage and pipelines sector to foreign investment as the next phase of the national plan to enhance domestic energy security. Officials are discussing the idea’s implementation after it was first raised last year amid growing fears over safety, health and...

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MALAYSIA: Southeast Asia’ s first crude oil storage terminal launched

(EnergyAsia, March 26 2015, Thursday) — Malaysia’s Johor state has started up Southeast Asia’s first commercial crude oil storage terminal with the receipt of one million barrels of Middle Eastern crude from a supertanker last week. MT Mesdar, a vessel chartered by France’s Total, docked at the Pengerang deepwater terminal jointly owned by Dutch oil (more…)

MARKETS: OPEC raised global oil demand forecast as price outlook remain under pressure and uncertain

(EnergyAsia, March 26 2015, Thursday) — Despite rising demand and an improving global economy, oil prices remain under pressure from continuing supply growth, a strong US dollar, insufficient storage and speculative bets for further declines, said the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Crude prices recently skidded to a six-year low, with Brent touching US$52...

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MARKETS: EIA holds oil price forecast, sees global oil demand and supply levels at new highs in 2015 and 2016

(EnergyAsia, March 25 2015, Wednesday) — Swimming against a new wave of bearish calls based on rising oil stockpiles, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has largely kept its latest forecast for Brent and WTI crude prices for this and next year. The agency expects the 2015 Brent crude price to average US$59 a barrel,...

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MARKETS: BIMCO developing charter to bring greater flexibility to LNG spot trades

(EnergyAsia, March 24 2015, Tuesday) — In response to the growing liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade, the world’s largest shipping association said it is working with the industry to develop a new contract to provide for better risk and cost-management of the fuel’s transportation under voyage charter terms. The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), (more…)

JAPAN: Analyst predicts energy consumption to rise in fiscal 2015 after four years of decline

(EnergyAsia, March 23 2015, Monday) — After four straight years of decline, Japan’s total energy consumption, buoyed by a mild economic recovery, could begin growing again in the coming financial year starting April 1, according to an analyst at the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan (IEEJ). Helped by weak oil prices, the resurgent industrial and...

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ASIA: Summer LNG price rally to be cut short by additional Australian production, says Wood Mackenzie

(EnergyAsia, March 19 2015, Thursday) — Asia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices will enjoy a brief rally in the summer that will be quickly cut down by the start-up of new production capacity in Australia, predicts energy consultant Wood Mackenzie. The expected resumption of operations at some nuclear plants in Japan will also pressure Asian (more…)

STORAGE: CME Group to launch first physically delivered crude oil storage futures contract on March 29

(EnergyAsia, March 18 2015, Wednesday) — CME Group, the world’s largest derivatives market operator, said it and two US firms expect to launch a physically delivered crude oil storage futures contract on March 29 upong receiving US regulatory approval. The Chicago-based firm said it jointly developed the pioneering contract with LOOP LLC, operator of the (more…)

MALAYSIA: Diversified economy offers “favourable prospects”, says IMF

(EnergyAsia, March 17 2015, Tuesday) — Thanks to its increasingly diversified economy, Malaysia faces “favourable” prospects for 2015 despite sharply reduced earnings from oil and gas exports, said the International Monetary Fund (IMF). State energy firm Petronas which has been contributing up to half of the government’s revenue in recent years has warned of sharp...

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SINGAPORE: Puma Energy expands global bitumen and fuels businesses with acquisitions in Australia and the UK

(EnergyAsia, March 16 2015, Monday) — In separate announcements today, Singapore-based Puma Energy said it has agreed to purchase BP’s bitumen business in Australia and Murco Petroleum’s fuels wholesale and distribution business in the UK. The proposed deals will be subject to local regulatory approvals. The integrated midstream and downstream energy company, which has been (more…)

INDIA: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and five others charged over alleged role in coal scandal

(EnergyAsia, March 12 2015, Thursday) — The Indian government’s attempt to solve the country’s decade-long energy crisis took an unexpected twist yesterday with the arrest of its powerful former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and some his allies to face charges of corruption and criminal conspiracy related to the alleged illegal sales and allocations of the (more…)

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SHIPPING: Piracy, accidents and terrorism threaten Southeast Asia’s energy trade

(EnergyAsia, March 11 2015, Wednesday) — Piracy, maritime accidents and potential terrorist acts are adding to the cost of moving and distributing oil and gas cargoes and general merchandise in Southeast Asia at a time of rising traffic through the increasingly congested Straits of Malacca and the Singapore Straits, said industry officials and analysts. Transits (more…)

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INDIA: Surging demand for seaborne metallurgical coal to help offset weak outlook in China

(EnergyAsia, March 10 2015, Tuesday) — India will emerge as the most important market for metallurgical coal from 2015 as its demand rises to surge ahead of Japan 10 years from now and China by 2035, said UK consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. For the rest of the decade, the company expects China to remain the (more…)

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IEA dampens expectations for major oil price rise despite call for slower supply growth

(EnergyAsia, March 9 2015, Monday) — Forget about oil prices overshooting to the upside and making a strong recovery even as the growth in global oil supply slows sharply from mid-year, predicts the IEA. With the drastically changed market conditions, the agency said it expects the crude oil price to average US$55 per barrel for (more…)

ASIA: TMF Group sees sustained cheap oil boosting region’s GDP by up to 0.5%

(EnergyAsia, March 6 2015, Friday) — Asia’s collective GDP could be boosted by between 0.25% and 0.5% for 2015 if crude oil prices remain at current levels, said global business services provider TMF Group. For China, the US$50 per barrel plunge in oil price is generating an immediate stimulus worth US$112 billion or the equivalent (more…)

RUSSIA: Labour remittances to Central Asia to fall by US$1.7 billion in 2015, says UN unit

(EnergyAsia, March 5 2015, Thursday) — As a result of the oil price collapse, remittances by Central Asian workers in Russia will fall by an estimated total US$1.7 billion this year, said the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). In a recent report, the UN unit said the near 60% (more…)

ASIA: Consumers hopeful as analysts predict oil market rebalance to take years

(EnergyAsia, March 3 2015, Tuesday) — Faced with the growing threats of deflation and a weak global economy, Asia’s largely export-dependent countries will be hoping Wall Street analysts are spot on with their starkly bearish views on the global oil and gas markets. A spate of recent reports paint the same scenario of the global...

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PEOPLE: Fatih Birol to lead IEA; WTI crude’s John Elting Treat laid to rest

(EnergyAsia, March 2 2015, Monday) — The International Energy Agency (IEA) is promoting its chief economist, Fatih Birol, to head the agency from September 1. The 56-year-old Turkish national will succeed Maria van der Hoeven at the end of her four-year term as executive director on August 31. Mr Birol, who previously worked for the (more…)