Sunday, August 9, 2020

Malaysia News

Malaysia to Sue EU Over Palm Biofuel Restrictions

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Malaysia, the world's second-largest palm oil producer, will take legal action against the European Union's restrictions on palm oil-based biofuels with the World Trade Organization (WTO), calling the policy a "discriminatory action."Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali said on Wednesday the EU's renewable energy directive "restricts free trade practices.""The policies adopted by the EU in the Delegation Regulation under the European Union Renewable Energy Directive II have created unreasonable restrictions on Malaysia's sustainability efforts…

BP to Sell Petrochemicals Business to Ineos for $5B

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British oil major BP will sell its global petrochemicals business to Ineos for $5 billion, a transaction delivering BP's divestments target a year earlier than originally scheduled.Brian Gilvary, BP’s chief financial officer, said: “With today’s announcement we have met our $15 billion target for agreed divestments a full year ahead of schedule, demonstrating the range and quality of options available to us.”Ineos will pay BP a deposit of $400 million and will pay a further $3.6 billion on completion.

Asian LNG Prices Steady on Ample Supply despite U.S. Cargo Cancellations

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Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices remained steady this week on a continued stream of spot supply even though traders continued to cancel cargoes loading from the United States due to poor economics. The average LNG price for August delivery into northeast Asia was estimated to be about $2.20 per million British thermal units (mmBtu), slightly lower than the previous week, trade sources said. Buyers of LNG are expected to cancel 40 to 45 cargoes for August-loading from the United States due to a slow recovery in Asian gas demand and record-high European gas stocks…

Gastech Postponed for 2021

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Gastech, one of the world's largest gas, LNG and energy industries events has been postponed for 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The event was expected to take place in Singapore in September this year, however, the organizers have now decided to delay the event to September 13 to 16, 2021.Organizers dmg events said the decision had been based on concerns around the global pandemic, accessibility and for the wellbeing of speakers, delegates, exhibitors and visitors. Nick Ornstien, Vice President Energy for dmg events…

Iran's Oil Exports Dwindle to Record Low

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Iran's oil exports have sunk to a record low as the coronavirus crisis compounds the impact of U.S. sanctions already limiting shipments, underlining the diminishing oil clout of what was OPEC's second-largest producer.Exports averaged 70,000 barrels per day in April, down from 287,000 bpd in March according to Kpler, which tracks the flows. The difficulty assessing volumes means the total may be revised higher and Kpler told Reuters that could possibly be to as much as around 200,000 bpd, but even then it would still be lowest in decades…

Virus Lockdowns Pummel Global Gas Demand, Force LNG Output Cuts

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Lockdowns to slow the coronavirus pandemic are pummelling gas demand in the world's biggest buyers of liquefied natural gas (LNG), pushing Asia's spot prices to record lows and forcing some suppliers to start cutting output. Economies worldwide have ground to a halt as virus containment measures have taken their toll, slashing gas demand for power generation, heating, cooking, vehicles and chemical manufacture. The world's biggest LNG markets - Japan, China, South Korea, and India - are all seeing a drop in demand.

Venezuelan Oil Exports Rose in April

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Venezuela's oil exports ticked higher in April after falling in March to their lowest average in seven months, helped by new trading partners that were re-selling cargoes in Asia, according to documents from state-run PDVSA and vessel tracking data.Venezuela shipped 31 cargoes of crude and refined products last month carrying an average of 848,500 barrels per day (bpd), a small increase from the 814,000 bpd the previous month, the data showed.This year, the United States sanctioned two units of longtime PDVSA business partner Rosneft over allegations of hiding the country of origin for Venezuelan crude shipments.U.S.

New Offshore Acreage Licensing to Drop 60% in 2020, Rystad says

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Newly licensed offshore oil and gas exploration acreage is likely to fall by about 60% and onshore acreage by 30% compared with 2019 levels, Rystad Energy has said, as the Norwegian energy market analytics company expects more than half of the world’s planned licensing rounds to be canceled this year due to the combined effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the low oil prices."This year was slated to be another remarkable year for exploration with about 45 countries launching at least 52 lease rounds, about 60% of them in offshore areas.

Chinese Seismic Vessel Returns to Waters off Vietnam Amid Virus 'Distraction' Charges

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A Chinese ship embroiled in a standoff with Vietnamese vessels last year has returned to waters near Vietnam as the United States accused China of pushing its presence in the South China Sea while other claimants are pre-occupied with the coronavirus.Vietnamese vessels last year spent months shadowing the Chinese Haiyang Dizhi 8 survey vessel in resource-rich waters that are a potential global flashpoint as the United States challenges China's sweeping maritime claims.On Tuesday, the ship, which is used for offshore seismic surveys…

Coronavirus Leaves China-bound Tankers Stranded

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The coronavirus's effect on energy markets is worsening, as the sharp fall in demand in China, the world's largest importer of crude, is stranding oil cargoes off the country's coast and prompting shippers to seek out other Asian destinations.More than 1,360 people have died from the coronavirus in China, which has disrupted the world's second largest economy and shaken energy markets, with international benchmark Brent crude oil down 15% since the beginning of the year.Major international energy forecasters expect demand to fall in this quarter…

Australia Becomes World's Largest LNG Exporter

Graph: Rystad Energy

Australia has become the largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter in the world. The record figure knocked Qatar out of the top spot."Australia is set to become the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter this year, overtaking Qatar, with its supplies expected to reach 81 million tonnes (MT) as Ichthys LNG and Prelude FLNG increase production," Rystad Energy said.Meanwhile, Qatari exports will remain at current levels, around 77 MT. The US will increase LNG exports from about 36 MT in 2019 to 56 MT in 2020, dominating new LNG supply contributions.

China Can't Meet Its US Energy Commitments

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The more you delve into the details of China's commitment to buy an additional $52.4 billion in U.S. energy over the next two years, the more it becomes apparent the goal is unachievable, even with the best will in the world.As part of the "Phase 1" trade truce between Beijing and Washington, China undertook to buy energy over and above a $9.1 billion baseline of U.S. imports in 2017, with a split of an extra $18.5 billion in 2020 and $33.9 billion in 2021.In practical terms this means China's imports…

Malaysia in Shanghai LNG Supply Pact

The signing of the HOA between Petronas and Shenergy was witnessed by Petronas President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin.

Malaysian state-run giant Petroliam Nasional (Petronas) subsidiary Petronas LNG (PLL) has signed a 12-year liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply deal with China’s Shenergy Group. Under the terms of the 12-year heads of agreement (HOA), Petronas LNG will supply approximately 1.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of LNG to Shenergy’s Wuhaogou receiving terminal.Additionally, the LNG supply agreement involves a shipping collaboration to construct and charter new mid-sized LNG vessels. The deal is effective from 2022.Through this new long-term agreement…

China Opens Up to Foreign E&P Firms

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For the first time, China will this year allow foreign companies to explore for and produce oil and gas in the country, opening up the industry to firms other than state-run energy giants, as Beijing looks to boost domestic energy supplies.The long-awaited opening accompanies a reshuffle of the so-called "midstream" pipeline business, but experts say it may not excite immediate interest from global drillers because of the poor overall asset quality of China's hydrocarbon resources.From May 1, foreign firms registered in China with net assets of 300 million yuan ($43 million) will be allowed to take part in oil and gas

CNPC Pulls Staff from Iraq Oilfield

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China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), a top investor in Iraqi oil, has withdrawn about 20 employees from the West Qurna-1 field operated by U.S. major Exxon Mobil because of tensions in the region, a company source familiar with the matter said.CNPC made the move on Sunday after last week's killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq, the Beijing-based source said, adding that the state firm has kept staff in place at two other fields.Tehran retaliated with missile attacks on U.S.-led forces in Iraq on Wednesday…

Petrochemicals: Weak Margins Sweep Asia

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Asian petrochemical makers, who are unable to pass down sky-high feedstock costs, are resorting to run cuts or extending cracker shutdown periods to tie through the bad times.The gloom was evident across South Korea, Asia's top naphtha importer, as well as Southeast Asia as crude-derived naphtha premiums were recently either setting new records or were near record levels because of a supply crunch following drone attacks on Saudi oilfields in mid September and heavy refinery maintenance.Buyers are even more concerned now given mounting tensions between the United States and Iran after U.S.

Malaysia Spot Crude Premiums Hit Multi-year High

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Asia-Pacific refineries are forking out multi-year high premiums for sweet crude produced in the region as alternative supplies from the West have become more expensive with the rise in shipping costs, several trade sources said on Monday.Lower exports from Indonesia and Vietnam and rising demand for very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) have also helped push up premiums for crude produced in Malaysia such as Labuan and Kimanis to the highest in years, they said.Malaysian crude has low sulphur content that makes them suitable to be processed into cleaner fuels.Malaysia's state energy company Petronas has sold 300…

Malaysian State Open to Buying Petronas Stake

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Malaysia's Terengganu state said on Wednesday it was open to buying a stake in national energy giant Petronas, after Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he was considering such a sale to raise funds for his heavily-indebted federal government.Petronas, the world's third-largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, is one of the biggest sources of revenue for the federal government that has a debt pile of more than 1 trillion ringgit ($239 billion).Mahathir told Reuters on Tuesday that the government could sell Petronas shares privately to states such as Sarawak…

Sapura Energy Secures New Order

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Malaysian oil and gas services firm Sapura Energy has secured several new contracts and contract extensions for its engineering and construction (E&C) as well as drilling segments.The contracts, valued at approximately RM615 million (USD 148 million), brings the total order book year-to-date to RM15.1 billion, which will increase work volume and utilization of assets.Building on its long-term relationship, Sapura Fabrication Sdn Bhd has won a contract from Hess Exploration and Production Malaysia B.V under the PETRONAS frame agreement…

Oil Companies Swap Stakes in Mexico

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With Mexico's government insisting that energy companies increase oil and gas output before it auctions off more of the country's vast reserves or offers more partnerships with state-run Pemex, firms ranging from foreign majors to local players are scrambling to buy and sell blocks they already own.The negotiations are creating a dynamic secondary market for oil acreage, which could be the only investment opportunity left for firms until leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador unblocks his…