Tuesday, May 30, 2017

China News

China Threatened War If Philippines Drills for Oil -Duterte

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday Chinese counterpart China Xi Jinping had warned him there would be war if Manila tried to enforce an arbitration ruling and drill for oil in a disputed part of the South China Sea. In remarks that could infuriate China, Duterte hit back at domestic critics who said he has gone soft on Beijing by refusing to push it to comply with an award last year by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which ruled largely in favor of the Philippines.

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…

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…

Coal Exporters Watch as China, India Mull Policy Change

File Image: credit Inland Marine

Coal exporters may be feeling more comfortable about their future as they see both reasonable demand from Asia's top importers and prices which appear to be stabilising at levels that allow for decent profits. This renewed optimism was evident at this week's Coaltrans Asia conference on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, where much of the discussion among delegates at the region's biggest coal event was on plans for new capital spending and boosting output at existing mines.

Norinco, Saudi Aramco Ink Refinery Deal

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Sharrif Che'Lah)

Chinese defense conglomerate China North Industries Group Corp (Norinco) signed a framework agreement with state-run oil company Saudi Aramco to build a refinery and chemical complex in northeast China, industry and government officials said on Tuesday. The planned projects, including a 300,000 barrels per day refinery and a 1 million tonnes-per-year ethylene complex, were estimated to cost 69.5 billion yuan ($10.09 billion), according to one industry official with knowledge of the agreement.

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.

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…

Venezuela Struggles to Manage Crushing Debt

Venezuela is considering several options to repay its debts, the oil minister said on Thursday, after a deep recession and low crude prices hit output and prompted Caracas to seek funds from China and Russia. Venezuelan oil production has slipped to its lowest levels in about 20 years, hurting a nation which relies almost solely on crude exports for revenues. Oil minister Nelson Martinez, speaking at a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries…

China Resumes Light Cycle Oil Imports

China has resumed imports of light cycle oil (LCO) after buyers cancelled shipments in April, as a planned Chinese consumption tax has not been announced, four industry sources said this week. Less than 1 million tonnes of LCO are being shipped from South Korea to China in May and June, compared with a peak of 2 million to 3 million tonnes, said two of the sources, both from South Korean refiners. The lower volumes reflects cautious buyers, they said.

Sinochem No Longer Pursuing Stake in Noble Group

China's state-owned Sinochem is no longer pursuing an investment in Noble Group Ltd due to concerns over the finances and business outlook of the loss-making commodity trader, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. When it held talks with Noble earlier this year to buy a stake, Sinochem's thinking, sources have told Reuters, was that a deal could help the oil, gas and petrochemicals producer to become a globally active energy trader.

China's Shandong Tanks Are Full, Tankers Await Discharge

File Image: Credit BMT

Most crude tankers float for less than a week; half of fuel oil tankers are carrying bitumen mixture. More than 20 tankers carrying crude and fuel oil are anchored off the ports of China's eastern Shandong province, as onshore storage tanks are full, according to trade sources and shipping data on Thomson Reuters Eikon. Frenzied buying by independent refiners, most of whom are located in Shandong, and trading companies seeking to re-sell crude to these refineries have filled up tanks, they said.

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.

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…

Petrobras Sees Higher Oil Exports as Presalt Fields Develop

Brazilian government-controlled Petroleo Brasileiro SA expects higher oil exports this year than initial projections, Guilherme França, executive manager of trade and marketing, said Wednesday. Petrobras expects oil exports to reach 742,000 bpd by 2021 as the company advances development of its pre-salt oil reserves, which are capable of producing lighter varieties which are demanded internationally, França said. In March, França told Reuters in an interview that the company's oil exports would reach 450,000 bpd this year.

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.

Copelouzos Teams Up with Shenhua in Green Energy

Greek energy group Copelouzos signed a deal with China's Shenhua Group to cooperate in green energy and upgrade power units in Greece and other countries, Copelouzos said on Friday. The deal involves total investment of 3 billion euros, it said, without providing further details. Copelouzos has built a number of energy projects in Greece, including wind parks and small hydroelectric plants.   (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou)

Thermal Coal Prices Edge up on Utility Orders

Thermal coal prices rose slightly on Thursday on the back of utility orders ahead of the peak demand winter season, but rises were capped by falling oil markets and because of a weaker economic outlook in China. European API2 2015 coal futures prices were trading at $74.60 a tonne on Thursday afternoon, up almost half a dollar since their last close, and physical cargoes from South Africa's Richards Bay terminal for delivery in November were up 20 cents to $65.50 a tonne.

U.S., China clash over disputed South China Sea

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

The United States and China clashed over a territorial dispute in the South China Sea on Saturday, as China's foreign minister asserted its sovereignty to reclaim reefs saying its determination to protect its interests is "as hard as a rock". After a private meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi showed no sign of backing down despite Kerry urging China to take action to reduce tension in the South China Sea.