Qatar: Processing power"
Having established itself as the world’s leading supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG), Qatar is now looking to bring a new processing facility online to support a projected jump in local industrial activity. Over the past decade, Qatar has invested heavily in increasing its gas extraction and processing capacity, with output of LNG having peaked at 77 million tons this year. Although most of the country’s natural gas production is destined for the export market, Qatar is now focusing on building processing capacity to serve the domestic economy. The $8.6 billion Barzan natural gas project, to be located in Ras Laffan Industrial City, north of Doha, will process gas from Qatar’s North Field. The new facility will supply gas to power plants, ethane to the local petrochemicals sector, and liquid hydrocarbons for sale in both local and international markets. The first of two production plants is set to begin operations in 2014, with the second coming online the following year. The plants will have a combined capacity of 39.6 million cubic meters a day and will increase local gas supplies by around 50%. Barzan is a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum (QP), the state-owned energy company, which will have a 93% stake in the project, and ExxonMobil, which will hold the balance of the shares. JGC Corporation of Japan and South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries have been awarded contracts for onshore and offshore engineering, procurement and construction, with a number of other international firms having been contracted to supply materials and services as part of the project. Source: Oxford Business Group"
Bapco in natural gas supply deal"
Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) said it has signed a natural gas supply agreement with Bahrain Welding Wire Products Manufacturing Company (BWWP). It is in line with National Oil and Gas Authority's strategies for promoting value-added industrialization in Bahrain, said a Bapco statement. The agreement will last 10 years. Essential arrangements for gas supply piping work are in progress. Bapco chief executive Faisal Al Mahroos expressed pride in signing the agreement with BWWP aimed at fostering the process of industrialization in Bahrain and enhancing industrial growth of the kingdom. BWWP is located at South Alba Industrial Area. It operates in a primary aluminum based rods, wire and alloy ingot casting operation where it produces welding wire products. Source: TradeArabia News Service"
Saudi Arabia: Pumping up the volume"
Saudi Arabia has boosted oil production to near record highs, reaching levels of output and exports not seen since before the global economic crisis. According to official data issued in mid-August by the Joint Organisation Data Initiative (JODI), Saudi Arabia increased its crude oil production from 8.89 million barrels per day (bpd) in May to 9.76 million bpd in June, with overseas shipments averaging 7.38 million bpd, the highest since October 2008. Although as the only substantial “swing state” oil producer the Kingdom made a commitment to meet any shortfall in global supply caused by the halting of production in Libya, which has caused a fall in global output by an estimated 1.2 million bpd, the reason behind the increase is also domestic in nature. Having launched a long-term investment program that dedicates almost $400 billion to housing projects, infrastructure and economic development schemes, health and education, Saudi Arabia also needs the additional income to fund these projects. If international crude prices stay at or above $90 per barrel, the Kingdom should be able to keep its budget in the black. However, with crude oil prices fluctuating, in part due to concerns that many major economies will return to a recession, Riyadh may be looking at quantity over high prices. Source: Oxford Business Group"
ME national oil firms plan $140bn in contracts"
About $140 billion worth of engineering and construction contracts have been either awarded by national oil companies (NOCs) or are planned throughout the Middle East in 2011, according to a report. Upstream oil and gas development and pipelines have not been widely accessible to the private sector, said a Deloitte white paper on Energy & Resources in the Middle East entitled “Show me the money: opportunities for private sector investment in the oil and gas sector”, the fifth in the Deloitte series of ‘Managing Scarcity for the Future’ monthly white papers. However, exceptions have been made in the interest of pressing market need, or to gain access to specialist technologies and practices. The Deloitte white paper states as an example that Saudi Arabia developed its own gas initiative some time ago to lessen dependence on imported gas for domestic consumption and exploit natural gas reserves for the same purpose. “In common with other GCC NOC’s, the Kingdom entered into joint ventures and contracts with International Oil Companies (IOCs) to access the technology and transferable skills necessary to enable optimal use of their natural resources,” said Kenneth McKellar, partner and Energy and Resources leader at Deloitte in the Middle East. The white paper reiterates that offshore exploration also presents an opportunity for IOCs to lend much needed technical expertise. It reveals that regional NOCs originally focused on more accessible and cheaper, onshore exploration but are now under pressure to maximize and replace output from onshore and offshore fields that are maturing. Source: TradeArabia News Service"
Kuwait: Expanding downstream"
With a recent increase in oil production and global crude prices above $100 per barrel, Kuwait is expected to run a substantial fiscal surplus in 2011 thanks to its hydrocarbons export revenues. But the country is looking beyond the market for crude oil and investing in refineries both at home and abroad. Last month local media reported that Kuwait’s production had reached 2.9 million barrels per day (bpd) in September. This is the highest level since output peaked at 2.85 million bpd in September 2008, local media reported. Both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have ramped up production in recent months, in part due to a drop in exports from Libya and surging demand from Asia. This increase came despite their inability to convince other OPEC members to raise output quotas during the 12-nation producer bloc’s most recent meeting in June. The minister of oil, Mohammad Al Busairi, said that the move by Kuwait to increase production had tempered volatility in global oil prices. “Without such a measure, the prices of the oil would have shot up much higher than the current level and would have caused a global crisis that would boost the global economic recession,” he said. While this move may stabilize prices moving forward, Kuwait is nonetheless expected to earn $104.10 per barrel on its oil exports in 2011, according to the latest IMF Article IV staff report for the country, a significant increase over $58.20 in 2009 and $76.40 in 2010. Oil export earnings are accordingly forecast to grow from $61.7 billion in 2010 to $85.9 billion in 2011. As a result, the fiscal surplus is expected to rise by almost 5.5 percentage points to reach 26% of GDP in 2011, despite the fact that the government has budgeted a substantial increase in expenditures. Source: Oxford Business Group"
Fluor wins Abu Dhabi offshore contract"
Fluor Corporation, a leader in engineering, procurement, construction and management sector, said its unit has won a front-end engineering and design (Feed) contract to develop new offshore facilities in Abu Dhabi. The feed contract was awarded to Fluor Offshore Solutions by Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (Adma-Opco) for the new facilities at the Nasr Field, 30 km northeast of Umm Shaif Super Complex in Abu Dhabi. The Nasr Full Field Development Project includes seven wellhead towers, super complex facilities including gas processing and oil separation production facilities, utilities platform, living quarters, infield subsea pipelines and an export pipeline to Das Island. On the contract win, Peter Oosterveer, president of Fluor's Energy & Chemicals Group, said, 'This is our third major Gulf offshore project within the last 18 months and underscores Fluor's strength in the offshore oil and gas sector in the Middle East and the UAE in particular.' Source: TradeArabia News Service"
Iran suspends China contract in gas field"
Iran said it had suspended a contract with China's National Petroleum Corporation International (CNPCI) for development of its North Pars gas field ""until further notice,"" an Iranian official told the semi-official Mehr news agency. ""We will decide on the continuation of CNPCI activities in the North Pars gas field when they fulfill their commitments in Iran's South Pars gas field, which is Iran's first priority,"" Mousa Souri, the managing director of Pars Oil and Gas Company, told Mehr. Iran has the second biggest gas reserves in the world after Russia, but sanctions and other factors have slowed its development as a major exporter. The offshore South Pars field, the world's largest reservoir of gas, contains about half of the estimated 28 trillion cubic meters of the country's gas reserves. South Pars is shared by Iran and Qatar. The Iranian part is divided into 24 phases. Many foreign companies have been forced to pull out from the Islamic state's energy sector due to the fear of sanctions. Source: Reuters"
Omani firm looks at buys in Toronto, London"
MB Holding, an Omani mining and energy group, plans to take advantage of depressed valuations to buy a stake in listed firms on the Toronto and London exchanges, its chairman said. Mohamed Al Barwani said the Omani firm, whose operations range from oil field services and mining to tourism, was looking at companies with a market value of up to $500 million. ""A lot assets are coming on the market at lower prices ...our primary interest is oil and gas and mining,"" Barwani told reporters on the sidelines of a Meed conference in the Omani capital. ""We have a lot of open bank lines at the moment."" MB's Mawarid Mining took a 9.98% stake, worth about $50.1 million, in Canada's Nautilus Minerals in August. Nautilus is using funds raised to develop a copper project off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Barwani said the privately-owned conglomerate's main acquisition focus lay in the copper and gold sectors but it would consider attractive oil and gas production or exploration assets, particularly in Europe, to build on its operations on the continent. ""We're not looking at hostile takeovers,"" he said. ""We're not going to take 100 percent. We're currently looking very closely into Toronto, into London."" Source: Reuters"