Thursday, September 21, 2017

China News

Unipec to Ship VLCC of Diesel to Europe from Tianjin

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

Unipec, the trading arm of China's state-owned Sinopec, is shipping its first very large crude carrier (VLCC) of diesel from China to Europe, two sources close to the matter said on Friday. The company is loading the vessel with 10 parts-per-million (ppm) diesel from its refinery in the northern port city of Tianjin, near Beijing, in second-half September to head to the Mediterranean or northwest Europe, one of the sources said. It will also match the more stringent winter specifications required by Europe, the source said.

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'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…

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…

China's Commodity Imports Show Why Prices May Stall

China's imports of major commodities in August illustrate both why prices have gained in recent months and why this rally may be running out of steam. Imports of crude oil, copper, coal and iron ore remained relatively robust in August, but the customs data released on Sept. 8 also showed a certain loss of momentum. Crude oil imports were 33.98 million tonnes, equivalent to about 8 million barrels per day (bpd), which was the lowest in about eight months and down from 8.18 million bpd in July.

Eni Inks Cooperation Deal with CNPC

Eni signed a cooperation agreement with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) on Wednesday in a move that could give the Italian oil major greater access to the Chinese market. Eni said in a statement it had agreed to work with state-owned CNPC in the fields of exploration and production, liquefied natural gas (LNG), trading and refining-petrochemicals. The deal will cover operations in China and abroad, it said, without giving further details.

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…

Sinopec's Tianjin Crude Reserve is in Service

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

A new commercial crude oil reserve base built by China's Sinopec Corp in northern Chinese port of Tianjin received its first oil shipment on Wednesday, the state refiner said.   **The new site consists of 12 tanks each sized 100,000 cubic metres, totalling about 7.56 million barrels.   **This is the fourth commercial crude storage site Sinopec has started since 2012 in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster region. The first three sites are in Caofeidian and Tianjin.   Reporting by Chen Aizhu 

CEFC Buys Rosneft Stake as Glencore, Qatar Pull Back

Chinese conglomerate CEFC will buy a 14.16 percent stake in Russian oil producer Rosneft from a consortium of Glencore and the Qatar Investment Authority in a move that further strengthens the energy partnership between Moscow and Beijing. CEFC China Energy has grown in recent years from a niche oil trader into a sprawling energy conglomerate and the transaction will allow China, the world's second largest energy consumer, to boost cooperation with the world's top oil producer.

Guangzhou Halts Foreign Coal Imports

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Lidian Neeleman)

Port handles 60 mln tonnes/year of foreign and domestic seaborne coal. Guangzhou port, the largest coal transport hub in southern China, has halted foreign coal imports, according to traders who use the port and said they had been informed of the shutdown by customs authorities and senior company officials. Traders said the move caught merchants using Guangzhou by surprise and interpreted it as a sign of Beijing stepping up its campaign to cut pollution caused by the burning of coal.

CNOOC Ends Feasibility Study for Western Canadian LNG Terminal

China's CNOOC Ltd said on Thursday it will end the feasibility study for its (LNG) export terminal on British Columbia's coast due to low global commodity prices, in the latest setback for Canada's energy industry. Nexen Energy, a unit of CNOOC, said in a statement the current macro-economic environment does not currently support developing a large LNG business. The project, a joint venture with Japan's Inpex Corp , would have had the capacity to export 24 million tonnes of LNG per year, granting Canadian gas producers access to the Asian market.

Coal's Rally Isn't All About China

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carolyn Franks)

It is increasingly popular to write obituaries for coal, with analysts, market watchers, investors and utility bosses leaping on the bandwagon, declaiming that the days of the polluting fuel are numbered. Certainly the long-term outlook for coal is becoming less certain as more countries commit to ending, or severely curtailing, use of the fuel. But while the doomsayers may eventually be proven correct, coal is enjoying a stellar year, particularly in Asia, the main demand centre.

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.

Shell eyes Asia Moves, Vehicle Recharging Stations

File Image: AdobeStock / (c) Dariaren

Shell is world's biggest fuel station operator; will focus on downstream earnings as crude price falls. Royal Dutch Shell aims to expand marketing operations in Asia and wants 20 percent of sales from its fuel stations worldwide to come from recharging electric vehicles and low carbon fuels by 2025, as the world shifts away from crude. The Anglo-Dutch firm, with 43,000 fuel stations in 80 countries, aims to expand in China and India, as well as Mexico…

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.

BP in South American Venture with Bridas

British oil major BP has agreed to merge its interests in South American oil company Pan American Energy (PAE) with refiner and fuel retailer Axion Energy in a new joint venture with Axion's owner and PAE partner Bridas Corporation. BP and Bridas, an Argentine energy company 50 percent-owned by China's CNOOC, will hold equal stakes in the newly merged Pan American Energy Group (PAEG) after a cash-free deal that is expected to close early next year, the companies said.

In Sign of Oil Rebalancing, North Sea Floating Storage Shrinks

The volume of global price benchmark North Sea crude being held in floating storage has declined sharply since mid-August, according to shipping data and trade sources, a sign that a long-awaited market rebalancing is gaining momentum. Two supertankers being used to store North Sea crudes offshore the UK, Desimi and Gener8 Neptune, contain about 4 million barrels of oil, trade sources said. Three weeks ago, the total was closer to 10 million barrels.

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