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In brief.

Taqa unveils Turkish power plans

ANKARA: Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) said it has completed a pre-feasibility study and prepared an investment model for a major power project in southern Turkey in co-operation with Electricity Generation Company. The governments of Abu Dhabi and Turkey have signed a "joint declaration" for the project and also discussed further investment.

Exxon sees LNG decision in 2013

MELBOURNE: ExxonMobil expects to make a decision on how to develop the Scarborough gas field, considered one of the toughest projects in Western Australia, around the second half of 2013, its Australian chairman said. The Scarborough field, half-owned by BHP Billiton, lies some 280 km offshore, making it an expensive prospect to develop, which could be difficult to justify at a time when abundant gas supplies in the US could start flowing into Asia.

Shell faces suit over pollution

AMSTERDAM: Oil major Royal Dutch Shell will defend its environmental record in the Niger Delta as it faces a lawsuit that may set a precedent for damage claims related to the activities of international companies. The case, filed in a local court in The Hague where Shell has its joint global headquarters, seeks to make Shell and other corporations responsible for pollution resulting from three oil spills in 2004, 2005 and 2007.

Yemen exporting LNG again

DUBAI: Yemen's only liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal began exporting LNG again, ship tracking data showed, after being forced to shut when its feed pipeline was blown up in late September. Korean LNG tanker the K Mugungwha arrived at the Yemen LNG terminal near Balhaf, bound for India, according to ship tracking data on Reuters.

Saudi to supply full November crude

TOKYO: Saudi Arabia, the world's top crude exporter, will supply full contracted volumes of crude oil to Asian term buyers in November, unchanged from October, industry sources familiar with the matter said. The move was expected as the Opec kingpin has supplied full contractual volumes.

Valero withdraws from LA

HOUSTON: Valero Energy said it was temporarily withdrawing from the Los Angeles spot refined products market to assure supply to branded and unbranded retail stations the company supplies.

Valero is a major player along with BP in the spot market, which is where southern California refiners look first to replace supply when they cannot produce enough motor fuels to meet their obligations. "Valero has temporarily halted spot market sales to ensure supplies to branded and unbranded customers," said company spokesman Bill Day.

Shell begins Beaufort drilling

ANCHORAGE: Royal Dutch Shell has started drilling a well in the Beaufort Sea off northern Alaska, making good on exploration plans that had been stalled by floating ice, technical delays and problems with meeting oil spill-preparation requirements.

Shell said it started drilling at its Sivulliq prospect after getting clearance from Inupiat Eskimo whalers, who had just completed their autumn bowhead whale hunt. Under the plans, operations must cease by the end of October.

As with the well it began last month in the remote Chukchi Sea off northwestern Alaska, Shell is permitted by federal authorities to drill only to shallow depths that are far short of oil-bearing reservoirs. The permits issued by the US Bureau of Environmental Safety and Enforcement allow only "top-hole" drilling because Shell has not yet met oil-spill regulations.

Technip, partners win $2.7bn deal

HOUSTON: Technip, Odebrecht and ICA Fluor affiliate have won a $2.7 billion contract for the engineering, procurement and construction of a petrochemical complex to be built in the Mexican state of Veracruz, Technip said.

The project is scheduled for completion in June 2015, said Technip, which will have a 40 per cent share of the contract awarded by Braskem Idesa. Odebrecht will also have 40 per cent, with ICA Fluor 20 per cent. The complex will include an ethane-based ethylene cracker, producing 1 million tonnes a year, and three polyethylene plants, as well as storage, waste treatment and utility facilities, including a 150-megawatt power plant.

Exxon still assessing damage

HOUSTON: ExxonMobil is still assessing damage to a diesel hydrotreater hit by a fire at its 560,500 barrel-per-day (bpd) facility in Baytown, Texas, and output remains reduced at the largest operating refinery in the US, the company said. "Remaining plant operations were not impacted from the event," company spokeswoman Rachael Moore said in an email. A fire broke out at Hydrofining Unit 10 at the Baytown refinery, a giant refining and petrochemical complex on the Houston Ship Channel east of Houston, according to a notice the refinery filed.

Conoco opts out of exploration

NEW YORK: ConocoPhillips has decided not to further explore two blocks in Peru as part of the US oil company's strategic plan to reduce non-core overseas assets. ConocoPhillips' 45 per cent interest in Blocks 123 and 129, in the Maranon Basin, will be transferred to Gran Tierra Energy Peru SRL, along with the operation of the blocks subject to government approvals, the company said. "After careful consideration, we reached this decision as part of the company's broader strategic effort to re-evaluate our investments and asset portfolio since becoming an independent E&P company," said Larry Archibald, senior vice president of exploration.

Ecuador to appeal Oxy ruling

QUITO: Ecuador's upcoming appeal to overturn a ruling that awarded $1.77 billion to US-based Occidental Petroleum could take one to two years, the Andean country's attorney general said. The World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) ordered Ecuador to pay the hefty sum to Occidental, the fourth largest US oil company, as a compensation for taking over its assets in 2006. Shortly after the ruling was announced, leftist President Rafael Correa said Ecuador would lodge an appeal.

HollyFrontier at normal rates

NEW YORK: HollyFrontier said it had returned its 70,300-barrels-per-day (bpd) Tulsa East refinery in Oklahoma to normal rates after the company completed repairs on a diesel hydrotreater damaged by an August fire. HollyFrontier had said on August 8 that repairs would take six to eight weeks. "The work was completed within that timeframe," spokeswoman Julia Heidenreich said. The company plans to undertake a 30-day turnaround at its 85,000 bpd Tulsa West plant "fairly soon," Heidenreich added.

Petrobras sweetens raise offer

RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras sweetened a pay increase offer to thousands of workers, which will likely help the company avert a strike. Brazil's oil workers federation will recommend unions to accept a proposal by the company to boost pay between 7.51 per cent and 8.2 per cent before October 15. FUP, as the federation is known, demanded a 10 per cent wage increase while Petrobras originally offered 6.5 per cent. Petrobras confirmed the revamped proposal in a statement to Reuters.

Chesapeake to pay $600,000

HOUSTON: Chesapeake Energy said it has reached a settlement with the US Department of Justice to resolve alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act. As part of the deal that still requires court approval, the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, company will pay a $600,000 fine. The government said Chesapeake violated a section of the Clean Water Act when in 2008 it ordered the placement of gravel as part of a project to upgrade a road in West Virginia.

Continental sees output rising

NEW YORK: Leading Bakken oil producer Continental Resources set a target for production growth of 30 per cent to 35 per cent next year, as it laid out plans to triple both production and proved reserves over the next five years. The 2013 production target is based on anticipated capital expenditure of $3.4 billion, which would represent a rise from its recently increased $3 billion capex.

Exxon refinery resumes

HOUSTON: ExxonMobil said its 149,500-barrels-per-day Los Angeles-area refinery in California resumed normal operations, completing a recovery from a plant-wide power outage. The outage was seen as a triggering event for a record spike in wholesale gasoline prices, which reached a peak of $1.45 per gallon over November Nymex RBOB gasoline.

Motiva may start unit in December

HOUSTON: Motiva Enterprises may restart a damaged 325,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) crude distillation unit (CDU) at its 600,000 bpd Port Arthur, Texas, refinery earlier than expected, according to sources familiar with operations at the refinery.

Faster-than-expected repairs of piping and other sections of the atmospheric section of the CDU could have the unit restarting in December, at least a month ahead of Motiva's target date of early 2013, they said. Motiva is a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco.

Phillips hydrocracker shuts down

NEW YORK: Phillips 66 reported an unplanned shutdown of a hydrocracker and flaring at its 120,200 barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery in Rodeo, California, a Contra Costa Health Services personnel said.

There was no off-site impact, the report said. The company had said a planned maintenance was under way at the San Francisco-area Rodeo refinery.

Citadel eyes Uganda

CAIRO: Egypt's Citadel Capital could be an investor in Uganda's proposed $2.5 billion oil refinery project, the Egyptian private equity firm's managing director said. Uganda, east Africa's third-largest economy, has said it intends to build a refinery once it starts producing crude oil, and it recently raised its estimated oil reserves to 3.5 billion barrels from 2.5 billion barrels. Citadel secured $3.7 billion in financing for an Egyptian petroleum refinery project in June, and the firm's managing director Karim Sadek said the company is now looking at refining potential deals in sub-Saharan Africa, including Uganda. "Yes, we would be interested," Sadek told Reuters in Nairobi, where he addressed a business club.

EU bans Iran gas import

BRUSSELS: The European Union (EU) is poised to ban imports of Iranian gas as part of a set of new measures to ratchet up pressure on the Islamic Republic over its nuclear programme, according to senior diplomats. Diplomats from EU member states have started preparing a package of sanctions against Iran with a goal of formally adopting them at a meeting of foreign ministers on October 15 in Luxembourg. Later, they reached a preliminary deal to ban gas imports, the first measure to win approval in the package, which also consists of various finance and energy-related proposals, three EU diplomats said.

QFIB to invest in KEC

DOHA: Qatar First Investment Bank (QFIB) said it will invest $150 million in Kuwait Energy Company (KEC) to support the firm's expansion.

The deal is structured in the form of a convertible murabaha which will be used to boost Kuwait Energy's growth plans in the oil and gas exploration and production sector, the Qatari bank said in a statement. Unlisted QFIB acquired a $16 million stake in Kuwait Energy in June 2011, the statement added. The Qatari investment company plans to list on the Doha stock exchange by November, its chief executive said earlier this year.

Dubai gears for WEF

DUBAI: More than 2,500 top officials from the key energy sectors of oil and gas, nuclear, solar and coal industry will be in Dubai to take part in the first 'World Energy Forum' being held outside the UN headquarters, New York. Announcing this, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, the vice chairman of the Supreme Council of Energy, said all arrangements to host the WEF 2012 have now been finalised. The objective accords in alignment with the UN's move to name 2012 the 'International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.' Forum will be held from October 22 to 24 under the theme 'A Forum for World Leaders,' said Al Tayer.

Abu Dhabi power expo

ABU DHABI: More than 100 exhibitors from 25 countries showcased products and services for the regional energy sector at a power and water event in Abu Dhabi. Held in partnership with Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority, Power + Water Middle East took place on October 10 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

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Publication:Oil & Gas News
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Oct 15, 2012
Words:1989
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