Monday, July 22, 2019

State Media News

Two Tankers Attacked in Gulf of Oman

(Photo:  Islamic Republic News Agency)

Two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, leaving one ablaze and both adrift, shipping firms said, driving oil prices as much as 4% higher over worries about Middle East supplies.The Front Altair, carrying petrochemical feedstock, was on fire in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran after an explosion that a source blamed on a magnetic mine. The Norwegian owner said its crew were safe.A second Japanese-owned tanker was abandoned after being hit by a suspected torpedo, the firm that chartered the ship said.

Bahrain LNG Terminal to Start Commercial Operations in May

Photo courtesy of Bahrain

Bahrain's liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal will start commercial operations in May, with the first LNG shipment to be imported mostly from the UAE's ADNOC, state media quoted the CEO of Bahrain’s National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA) as saying.Bahrain LNG is the developer of the receiving and regasification terminal within the Khalifa bin Salman Port facility in Hidd, Bahrain, Bahrain LNG's website says.The terminal also houses an offshore LNG receiving jetty and breakwater, a regasification platform, subsea gas pipelines from the platform to shore, an onshore gas receiving facility, and an onshore nitrogen production

Guangzhou Launches World's First Icebreaking LNG Tanker

Images by Chinese State Media

The world's first liquid natural gas (LNG) carrier tanker was named 'Boris Sokolov' and delivered by Guangzhou Shipyard International in Guangzhou City.According to Chinese state media, the Arctic condensate tanker carrier designed to traverse the world's icy northern polar region.With a load capacity of 44,550 tons, the vessel, which is built for for Dynacom of Greece, can sail in the Arctic region without icebreaker-piloting, it said. The vessel is mainly used for transporting condensate oil for the Yamal LNG project in northwest Siberia…

CNOOC to Expand Jiangsu Binhai LNG Project

China's CNOOC plans to expand its LNG project in eastern Jiangsu province to meet rising demand from more regions, state-media China News reported citing a project manager from CNOOC.CNOOC will lift the storage tank facility of each of the four tanks linked to the Jiangsu Binhai LNG receiving terminal to 220,000 cubic meters, up from 160,000 cubic meters, China News said.Total investment in the project rose to 17 billion yuan ($2.46 billion), up from 14.4 billion yuan, China News said.The terminal and its storage tanks will be able to serve a broader region including the provinces of Jiangsu, Anhui, Henan and Shandong, whe

China's New Shenzhen Terminal Receives First LNG Cargo

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) started operating a new import facility in southern China for liquefied natural gas (LNG), state media reported on Wednesday.The terminal in the city of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong, on Wednesday received a 93,000-tonne LNG cargo from Qatar, Securities Daily reported, making it the state firm's ninth LNG terminal in operation.The new facility has four tanks each sized 160,000 cubic meters and a berth able to dock 266,000 cubic-meter tankers, with annual handling capacity of 4 million tonnes, according China Environment News.CNOOC's press office was not available for immediate comment

Saudi Arabia Halts Red Sea Oil Exports after Tanker Attacks

© Lasse Pape / MarineTraffic.com

Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it was suspending oil shipments through a strategic Red Sea lane after Yemen's Iran-aligned rebels attacked two tankers in the waterway, underscoring the risk of an escalation in tensions in the region.Brent crude futures rose 59 cents to $74.52 a barrel by 1008 GMT, extending their rally into a third day but falling from a 10-day high in earlier trading.Saudi Arabia and arch-foe Iran have been locked in a three-year proxy war in Yemen, which lies on one side of the Bab al-Mandeb strait at the southern mouth of the sea…

Asian Refiners Rush to Secure Feedstock as Trade War Looms

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Carabay)

U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods came into effect Friday; China retaliates, duty on U.S. crude possible. Asian oil refiners are racing to secure crude supplies in anticipation of an escalating trade war between the United States and China, and as Washington plans tough sanctions against Iran aimed at shutting the country out of oil markets. As part of a wave of retaliation for Friday's U.S. tariffs, China has threatened a 25 percent duty on imports of U.S. crude. Meanwhile, Washington's new sanctions against Tehran are due to kick in from November.

Saudi Intercepted Missiles Launched at Aramco Facility

Yemen's Houthis fired two ballistic missiles at a Saudi Aramco facility in the southern city of Jazan on Monday, but Saudi state media said the rockets were destroyed.The Houthis' al-Masirah TV said they had targeted a port belonging to the Saudi state oil giant, but there were no reports of damage or casualties, and no immediate comment from Aramco.Reporting by Marwa Rashaad

Iran to Build Oil Refinery in Syria

Iran will build an oil refinery in Syria, the head of downstream technologies at Iran’s Research Institute of the Petroleum Industry was quoted by Fars news agency as saying on Tuesday. The refinery, to be built near the city of Homs, will have a production capacity of 140,000 barrels per day, Akbar Zamanian reportedly said. The refinery project is one of a series of business deals the Islamic Republic has announced that point to a deepening economic role after years of fighting in the Syrian conflict. Syrian light and heavy crude will be processed at the plant.

Fire Out at Dalian PetroChina Refinery

A fire that broke out on Thursday at state oil major PetroChina's plant in northeastern China, one of the country's largest refineries, has been put out with no reported casualties, state media reported. The fire came just two months after the Dalian refinery finished a planned major maintenance. More than 600 firefighters extinguished the blaze at the plant's 1.4 million-tonnes-per-annum catalytic cracker just after 9:00 p.m. (1300 GMT), and stayed on the scene to make sure equipment at the refinery remained cool, state broadcaster CCTV said on Friday.

Harsh Jail Sentence for Former Sinopec President

Found guilty of taking about $4.9 mln in bribes, Wang Tianpu gets 15-1/2 years. A Chinese court has jailed Wang Tianpu, the former president of energy giant Sinopec Group, for 15-1/2 years for graft, state media reported on Tuesday, citing a court verdict. Wang, who took top positions at Sinopec Group between 2003 and 2014, was found guilty of accepting bribes of about 33.48 million yuan ($4.9 million) and embezzling state properties worth 795,934 yuan ($116,063), state news agency Xinhua said. Reuters was not immediately able to contact Wang's family members, or a legal representative, for comment.

Blast at Chinese Refinery, No Casualties

Courtesy  Sinopec Group

Equipment at an oil refinery in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing caught fire and exploded on Sunday, state media said, in the country's latest industrial accident. The explosion occurred at around 1:50 p.m. at the Jinlingshihua Nanjing Refinery, a subsidiary of Sinopec Group, the official Xinhua news agency said, adding that no casualties had yet been reported. Xinhua said fire fighters had been dispatched to battle the flames and pictures carried by state media showed thick black smoke rising into the sky above an industrial complex.

Iran, Russia start Construction of New Iranian Nuclear Plant

The Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant Courtesy IAEA

Iran began building a second nuclear plant with Russian help on Saturday, in a $10 billion project which follows Tehran's landmark nuclear deal with world powers last year, state media reported. State television showed Iranian and Russian officials at launching ceremonies for the 10-year project which will include two power plants with a total capacity of more than 1,000 megawatts after their completion. Iran already runs one Russian-built nuclear reactor at Bushehr, its first. Russia signed a deal with Iran in 2014 to build up to eight more reactors in the country. A report by the U.N.

Fire Near Yemeni Oil Facility Kills Worker

A fire that broke out at a domestic gas storage facility in Yemen's Marib province on Thursday killed a worker and seriously injured four others, according to state media and a local official. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze caused by an electrical fault which broke out close to Safer, an oil industry compound in Marib province about 150 km (95 miles) east of the capital Sanaa, said state news agency, Saba, citing a Yemeni official. Saudi-led coalition forces fighting the Houthi group who control the capital have been flying reinforcements into a small airport in the town of Safer.

Khalid al-Falih New Energy Minister of S. Arabia

Saudi Aramco President and CEO, Khalid A. Al-Falih Photo ARAMCO

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest crude oil exporter, on Saturday appointed Khalid al-Falih, chairman of the state oil giant Saudi Aramco, as its new energy minister, replacing Ali al-Naimi, who had held the post since 1995. The change is unlikely to mean a shift in Saudi oil policy, which is being crafted to a large degree by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who oversees the kingdom's energy and economic policies, and involves building consensus among top royals based on the advice of senior technocrats.

CNOOC Taps S.China Sea Deepwater Gas Well

China's CNOOC Ltd said on Friday tapped the country's first ultra-deepwater natural gas discovery in the northwestern part of the South China Sea. The state-owned offshore oil and gas explorer started to drill the Lingshui 18-1-1 exploration well last October in water depths of 1,688 metres (5,538 feet) and a test of the well in December was a success, the company said in a report published on the website of parent company China National Offshore Oil Corp (www.cnooc.com.cn). An "ultra-deep" well is categorized as one more than 1,500 metres under the sea.

China's Hebei Province Sees Growth at 6.8%

Map showing the location of Hebei Province Courtesy Wikipedia

China's biggest steel-producing province, Hebei, expects to achieve economic growth of 6.8 percent in 2015 from the previous year, state media said on Sunday, as the area grapples with tougher anti-pollution measures and slowing demand. The province surrounding the capital, Beijing, churns out nearly a quarter of Chinese steel output, but is now taking the brunt of a campaign to cut dependence on heavy and polluting industrial capacity. Hebei had set an annual GDP target of around 7 percent as part of its 13th five-year plan - a blueprint for economic and social development between 2016 and 2020…

Iran Offers 50 Oil Projects to Foreign Investors

Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh Courtesy The Iran Project

Iran offered on Saturday about 50 oil and gas projects to be developed by foreign investors with local partners under a new scheme it hopes will initially generate $25 billion in investments, state media reported. Iran reached a deal with world powers in July, under which sanctions will be lifted in return for it scaling down its nuclear programme. It has outlined plans to rebuild its main industries and trade relationships following the agreement, targeting oil and gas projects worth $185 billion by 2020.

China Mulls Additional Finance Deals with Vens

Chinese President Xi Jinping told visiting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday that China was willing to look at new areas of financial cooperation, but state media made no mention of specifics. Maduro said before leaving he would sign economic and financing deals, as the OPEC nation struggles to make ends meet at a time of low oil prices. He will also visit Vietnam. Xi said that China was willing to promote practical cooperation and "fully utilise existing financing mechanisms, look at developing finance, mining and agriculture and other such new cooperation", state television reported.

China Keeps on Drilling in Disputed Vietnam Waters

A Chinese oil rig at the centre of last year's standoff between China and Vietnam will continue drilling not far from Vietnam's coast, China's maritime safety authorities said on Tuesday. The deployment of the $1 billion deepwater rig last year about 120 nautical miles off Vietnam's coast, in what Vietnam considers its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), led to the worst breakdown in relations since a brief border war in 1979. China said at the time the rig was operating completely within its waters. The rig…