Saturday, July 22, 2017

China News

Drilling in Disputed South China Sea may Resume

Drilling for oil and natural gas on the Reed Bank in the South China Sea may resume before the end of the year, a Philippine energy official said on Wednesday, as the government prepares to offer new blocks to investors in bidding in December. The Philippines suspended exploration at the Reed Bank, which it calls Recto Bank, in late 2014, as it pursued international arbitration over territorial disputes. The bank is in waters claimed by China.

China Moves to Ease State Oil Majors' Grip on Storage

Beijing on Wednesday issued a draft of new regulations for China's growing oil and fuel storage industry, helping loosen the state-owned oil majors' grip on the sector as the nation pushes to reform its vast energy markets. The government is looking to update storage policies issued in 2006, consolidating regulations for crude oil and rules for oil products under a single framework. The main change proposed is to remove the requirement for distributors and storage companies to have secure and steady supplies of refined products…

China's Navy holds Missile Combat Resupply Drill

China's navy held its first drill simulating the resupply of missiles in a combat environment in the Yellow Sea, the Defence Ministry said on Thursday, the latest sign of the country's growing military prowess. The live-fire exercises, involving ships, aircraft and land-based forces, featured the firing of missiles, torpedoes and shells, some of which were new models, the ministry said in a statement on its website. They were fired to intercept surface…

Vietnam, Australia Call for South China Sea 'Restraint'

Vietnam and Australia called on Wednesday for "self-restraint" in the South China Sea and warned against the unilateral use of force, an obvious reference to China's increasingly aggressive presence that has stirred concerns across the disputed region. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met Australian counterpart Tony Abbott in Canberra, where they will sign a deal on issues including security and climate change. Vietnam and other wary…

China Sets Sights on Oil Benchmark

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) scanrail)

China has opened more than 6,000 trading accounts for its long-awaited crude futures contract - with three-quarters coming from individual traders - as it pushes ahead with plans to compete with global pricing benchmarks. China's oil majors and about 150 brokerages have also registered, but the strong interest by 'mom-and-pop' investors looks set to mark out China's crude futures from western counterparts, which are dominated by institutional investors.

Philippines: South China Sea not on APEC Agenda

Energy ministers from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group will discuss climate change and business opportunities at a meeting in the Philippines next month but not the South China Sea. China claims most of the potentially energy-rich South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei also have overlapping claims. The Philippines has filed a case…

Vietnam Renews India Oil Deal In Tense South China Sea

Vietnam has extended an Indian oil concession in the South China Sea and begun drilling in another area it disputes with China in moves that could heighten tensions over who owns what in the vital maritime region. The moves come at a delicate time in Beijing's relations with Vietnam, which claims parts of the sea, and India, which recently sent warships to monitor the Malacca Straits, through which most of China's energy supplies and trade passes.

China: No Military Force to Settle Oil Rig Spat

A Chinese official said on Friday that China will never send military forces to the scene of an increasingly ugly spat with Vietnam over an oil rig in the South China Sea, and accused Hanoi of trying to force an international lawsuit. China claims about 90 percent of the South China Sea, but parts of the potentially energy-rich waters are also subject to claims by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. China is also involved in a territorial dispute in the East China Sea with Japan.

PetroChina Unloads First US SPR Cargo

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carabay)

PetroChina is this week unloading the first Chinese purchase of crude oil from U.S. strategic petroleum reserves at a port in eastern China, according to shipping data and two industry sources. The move comes as China, the world's No.2 oil consumer, steps up imports from the Americas to diversify supply sources. PetroChina unit, PetroChina International America Inc, bought the 550,000-barrel cargo of Bryan Mound sour crude in a sale from U.S. strategic petroleum reserves in March for $28.8 million.

CNOOC Tenders Offshore Blocks, Some in South China Sea

China National Offshore Oil Company, or CNOOC, has issued a tender inviting foreign firms to bid for 18 blocks off China's northern, eastern and southern coast, according to a company statement. The blocks have a total size of 52,257 square km, including three blocks in the Bohai Bay area, one in East China Sea and 14 in the northern part of the South China Sea, the company said on its website www.cnooc.com.cn. CNOOC said it would offer flexible…

White House Supports Legal action in South China Sea Dispute

The White House said on Thursday it would support the use of legal action by Vietnam against China to resolve a dispute after the deployment of a Chinese oil rig to disputed waters in the South China Sea. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said, in comments to Reuters, his government was considering various "defense options" against China, including legal action. U.S. support for such a move would likely upset Beijing. "The United States has a national interest in maintenance of peace and stability…

Weather Impacts China Coal Imports, Prices

Thermal coal prices in Asia have had a strong run recently, amid Chinese demand and supply disruptions in major exporters, but these factors point to a temporary boost rather than any structural change. The price of spot cargoes from Australia's Newcastle port , the world's largest thermal coal export harbour, have jumped 23 percent since mid-May to close on Wednesday at $87.90 a tonne. While still negative for the year, the recent rally has taken Newcastle coal close to the $93.50 a tonne it fetched at the end of last year.

Oil Edges Up as U.S. Drilling Slows

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Shamtor)

U.S. drilling growth slows but rig count still high; China's refiners process near record amounts of crude. Oil edged up to around $49 a barrel on Monday as a slowdown in the increase of rigs drilling in the United States eased concern that surging shale supplies will undermine OPEC-led cuts. U.S. drillers added two oil rigs in the week to July 14, bringing the total to 765, Baker Hughes said on Friday. Rig additions over the past four weeks averaged five, the lowest since November.

China to Invest in Greek Transport Infrastructure

Photo: Piraeus Port

China wants to invest in Greek airports and railways as well as the busiest port, officials said on Friday, as the country where the euro debt crisis began seeks a role as China's gateway into Europe. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is on a three-day trip to Greece to boost economic ties between the nations, who have drawn closer since China's Cosco Paficic won a 35-year concession in 2009 to upgrade and run two cargo piers at the Piraeus port. Greece…

U.S. Challenges China's imports of North Korean Coal

Deputy Secretary Blinken Photo US Dept of State

China's imports of North Korean coal run counter to global sanctions, a senior U.S. official said on Saturday, adding that a U.S. missile system deployed in South Korea should "motivate" Beijing to pressure Pyongyang over its nuclear programme. North Korea's exports of coal to China provide a lifeline for the country and are also seen by the United States as a crucial area where Beijing has leverage over its neighbour, which has carried out a series of missile and nuclear tests in defiance of international sanctions.

Traders Lose Millions as LPG Glut Routs Market

U.S. propane buyers cancel cargoes as prices sink. Chinese end-users seek to wriggle out of expensive contracts. Traders in the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) market face a "career-ruining" glut that has led to millions of dollars in losses as Chinese buyers, far from coming to the rescue, are in a stand-off with oil companies to cancel deals. LPG, a historically niche and dislocated market, has ballooned with the advent of U.S. exports due to the shale boom.

Oil Firm as Higher Demand Outweigh Supply Worries

Shell declares force majeure on Bonny Light exports; OPEC's compliance with production curbs has slipped - IEA. Oil prices edged higher on Friday and were on track for solid weekly gains following positive demand signals, production issues in Nigeria and a reported decline in stocks. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil, were up 43 cents at $48.85 per barrel at 1111 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $46.45 per barrel, up 37 cents.

Oil Falls as OPEC Production Cuts Fade

IEA says oil markets remain oversupplied; global demand outlook nevertheless rises, IEA says. Oil prices fell on Thursday after the International Energy Agency (IEA) said the oil market could stay oversupplied for longer than expected due to rising production and limited output cuts by some OPEC exporters. The Paris-based IEA said rising consumption in Germany and the United States was helping boost oil demand but the world still faced a fuel glut. Brent crude was down 40 cents at $47.34 a barrel by 1120 GMT. U.S.

Qatar LNG Flows Unaffected by Crisis -Shell

Qatari exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) remain stable amid ongoing tension between the world's biggest LNG exporter and its neighbours, an executive for Royal Dutch Shell said on Monday. "LNG flows remain stable, cargoes are going into the market," said Steve Hill, Executive Vice-President for Gas and Energy Marketing and Trading at Shell, one of the world's biggest LNG traders. "Qatar is a very credible and competent LNG producer," Hill said at an industry event in Istanbul.

Peru to Auction Natgas Pipeline Project in 2018

Peru is planning to hold a new auction for a natural gas pipeline in the first half of 2018 after rescinding a $5 billion contract for the project with Brazil's scandal-racked Odebrecht, the head of state bidding agency Proinversion said on Thursday. The government rescinded the contract for the proposed 1,134-kilometer (705-mile) pipeline in January after the consortium led by Odebrecht missed a financing deadline amid a growing graft scandal.