AUSTRALIA: Premier Oil sells entire Australian Worldwide Exploration stake

LONDON (AFX) – Premier Oil PLC said it has sold its entire shareholding in the Sydney-based quoted company Australian Worldwide Exploration Ltd (AWE) for 13.1 million sterling. (US$1=0.65 sterling) The company did not name the buyer. The deal is in line with the group’s strategy of rationalising its portfolio and releasing value from non-core assets,...

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SAUDI ARABIA: Technip Coflexip furnace modernisation contracts for ethylene plants in Saudi and Chin

France’s Technip-Coflexip has been awarded two cracking furnace modernisation contracts involving its latest ethylene technology. The contracts in Saudi Arabia and China will apply Technip-Coflexip’s know-how to upgrade existing cracking furnaces to increase the capacity of an ethylene plant. The contract with Saudi Petrochemical Company (SADAF) – a joint venture of SABIC and Shell Saudi...

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THAILAND: Shell warns of domestic retail price war

Shell Thailand is predicting a price war will erupt in the local retail oil market later in the year, partly as a result of falling oil prices on the global markets. The company’s chairman, Tiraphot Vajrabhaya, was quoted by the Bangkok Post as saying that Iraqi oil exports would rise to a historical high, putting...

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PHILIPPINES: Meralco firmer on franchise renewal

MANILA (AFX-ASIA) – Manila Electric Co shares have been trading higher after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Republic Act 9029 into law, renewing the company’s franchise to distribute electricity in parts of Luzon island for another 25 years, dealers said. Dealers said the franchise approval has removed any regulatory overhang on the company and assured its...

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CHINA: Huaneng Power slightly lower on units’ tariff cut

SHANGHAI (AFX-ASIA) – A-shares of Huaneng Power International Inc (SH A 600011; HK 0902; NYSE HNP), the largest independent power generator in Asia, have been trading lower following news that two of its affiliated power plants in northeastern Liaoning province are required to cut on-grid tariffs, dealers said. The mainland-listed firm said its two wholly-owned...

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PHILIPPINES: Oil companies form jv to operate Pandacan terminal

MANILA (AFX-ASIA) – Petron Corp, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp and Caltex Philippines Inc have formed a joint venture for the scaled-down operation of their terminals in Pandacan, a suburban district in Manila, Shell country chairman Eliseo Santiago said. The Pandacan Oil Terminal Services Inc (POTSI) may be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission within...

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PEOPLE: Credit Agricole Indosuez unit appoints Tom James as director of traded energy markets

A unit of France’s Credit Agricole Indosuez has appointed Tom James as Director of Traded Energy Markets from June 2. Mr James will continue to operate from his London base for the bank’s global project team in the Structured and Structured Commodity Finance Group. He will report to Paul Chivers, global head of the group....

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AUSTRALIA: BHP Billiton forecasts raised on higher oil prices Ð Citigroup

SYDNEY (AFX-ASIA) – Citigroup said it has revised up its year to June 2004 net profit forecast for BHP Billion to US$2.45 billion from a previous estimate of US$2.37 billion after raising oil price forecasts. In a note to its clients, Citigroup said it has also lifted its year to June 2005 forecast to US$2.78...

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CASPIAN: US diplomat criticises Gazprom monopoly in Caspian Sea

ISTANBUL (AFX) – A US diplomat complained about what he described as the growing monopoly of the Russian oil company Gazprom in the Caspian Sea area, while defending US action to develop oil exports from the region. “We welcome our energy cooperation with Russia,” Steven Mann, whose State Department brief covers Caspian Sea energy resources,...

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CHINA: Sinopec potential partner in China LNG distribution ops Ð report

BEIJING (AFX-ASIA) – China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) (SH A 600028; HK 0386; NYSE SNP) and its parent China Petrochemical have emerged as potential partners in the mainland’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) distribution business, the South China Morning Post reported, citing a company official. The newspaper quoted a China Petrochemical official as saying that...

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IRAQ: Oil to see investment boost with political transition – Sherif Ali

BAGHDAD (AFX) – Iraq’s oil industry will attract foreign investment once a timetable is set for the transfer of power to a permanent authority, which can provide telecommunications and basic services, pretender to the Iraqi throne Sherif Ali Bin Hussein said. Speaking to AFX News on the flight back to Iraq from London after 45...

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PHILIPPINES: Meralco agrees to renegotiate IPP contracts Ð Neri

MANILA (AFX-ASIA) – Manila Electric Co will renegotiate its power supply contracts with independent power producers (IPPs) in an effort to lower its distribution rate, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported, citing Economic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri. He met with Meralco director Christian Monsod recently, the report said. “Meralco said it is ready to renegotiate its...

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MARKETS: NYMEX, Tocom sign MOU on cooperation

The New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc. (NYMEX), and the Tokyo Commodity Exchange (Tocom) recently signed a memorandum of understanding on exploring areas of cooperation for the mutual benefits of their members. These include: *&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbspCooperation in making available trading in each exchange’s contracts available via computer terminals in both countries; *&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbspCooperation in securing the appropriate regulatory...

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CHINA: CNOOC and Kerr-McGee sign new exploration contract

Kerr-McGee China Petroleum Ltd, an affiliate of Kerr-McGee Corp, has been awarded a production sharing contract (PSC) in China’s Bohai Bay. China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) awarded the US oil company the PSC for Block 09/06 covering a total exploration area of about 1,788 square km. Kerr-McGee is committed to drilling one wildcat well...

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KAKAHSTAN: Exxon, Royal Dutch/Shell, others face penalties relating to project

LONDON (AFX) – ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch/Shell, ENI’s Agip and others could face stiff penalties from a dispute over the start-up date of production at Kazakhstan’s US$20 billion Kashagan offshore oil field, the Financial Times reported, citing Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev. He wants the first oil to be pumped in 2005, but consortium members believe that...

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KOREA: Joint study with Russia on gas pipeline by end-June Ð officials

MOSCOW (AFX) – Russia and South Korea expect to complete by the end of the month a feasibility study for an US$11 billion pipeline project that would carry Russian gas to South Korea, South Korean embassy officials said. The study, begun early last year, should be completed “within a few weeks” and work on the...

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MALAYSIA: Tenaga higher on talk of possible tariff hike

KUALA LUMPUR (AFX-ASIA) – Tenaga Nasional Bhd shares have been strengthened by talk that it may seek approval for a tariff hike, dealers said. “Talk of Tenaga seeking a rise in electricity tariffs has prompted investors to buy the stock,” an institutional dealer at a local brokerage said. He added that if Tenaga is granted...

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INDIA: Reliance group strikes gas in central India – industry source

BOMBAY (AFX-ASIA) – The Reliance group has struck gas reserves in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, an industry source said. The source said the group has discovered reserves that can supply about seven to 10 million cubic metres of gas a day from the coal bed methane block located at Shahdol district of...

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IRAQ: Regular Iraqi oil exports not starting until early July

LONDON, (AFX) – Regular Iraqi oil exports are not expected to restart until early July at the soonest, the Middle East Economic Survey (MEES) in a recent report. “Moreover, due to ongoing security problems at oil fields, it is still unclear what production levels Iraq will be able to sustain once exports resume,” the industry...

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MALAYSIA: Petronas awarded exploration block in Ethiopia

Malaysia’s state oil and gas company Petronas has been awarded an exploration block Ethiopia, marking its entry into the upstream sector of the African country. The award of Block G paves the way for Petronas’ further investment in the African continent. The Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) for the block was signed earlier in Addis Ababa...

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JAPAN: Electric Power Development to consolidate 10 units into six

TOKYO (AFX-ASIA) – Electric Power Development Co is set to consolidate its 10 subsidiaries included in its group accounting into six by April 2004, in a bid to realign its group businesses according to hydroelectric power generation/power transmission, thermal power generation and other operations, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported, citing company sources. The government-affiliated power...

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CHINA: ConocoPhillips makes two additional discoveries in Bohai Bay

Phillips China Inc., a unit of ConocoPhillips, has made two additional exploration discoveries in its Bozhong 11/05 block in Bohai Bay, China. The company said it drilled the PL 19-9-1 exploration well – located two miles east of the PL 19-3 field – in January 2003, and the well encountered 31 meters (102 feet) of...

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AUSTRALIA: Oil Search lower as Alcan supply goes to Woodside

SYDNEY (AFX-ASIA) – Oil Search Ltd shares have been underperforming the broader market amid some disappointment the company missed out on a chance to supply gas to Alcan’s alumina refinery and bauxite mining plant at Gove in the Northern Territory, dealers said. Last week, Woodside Petroleum said its Blacktip field, which it owns with Italy’s...

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PEOPLE: ABN AMRO names Wirat Uanarumit as head of Integrated Energy unit in Thailand

Wirat Uanarumit has joined ABN AMRO bank as Head of Integrated Energy for Thailand, from June 1 2003. He will be responsible for client coverage in the Integrated Energy subsectors- oil and gas, power, chemicals and metals and mining, and report to Eelko Bronkhorst, ABN AMRO’s Managing Director for Integrated Energy, Asia Pacific. ABN AMRO...

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MALAYSIA: Sapura Telecom holds 60.44% of Crest after general offer

KUALA LUMPUR (AFX-ASIA) – Sapura Telecommunications Bhd said it now holds a 60.44% stake in Crest Petroleum Bhd after it made a general offer for the remaining Crest shares it does not own at RM3.60 each. (US$1=RM3.8). Sapura said in a statement as its holdings in Crest exceed 50%, the mandatory general offer is now...

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