Thursday, 22 January 2015

Oil pipeline through Myanmar to China expected to open in Jan -sources

A crude oil pipeline and a deep sea port meant to secure an alternative route for Chinese imports overland through Myanmar are set to open at the end of January, but an affiliated refinery in China is months away from completion, sources said.

The finished development should help ease China's reliance on shipments via the narrow and potentially risky Malacca Strait. Although that route, through which some 80 percent of China's oil imports now pass, would still be used for the vast majority of overseas purchases.

PetroChina, the main investor in the facilities, has built 60 percent of the refinery in Yunnan province that borders Myanmar, designed to process the crude shipped via the pipeline, a spokesman for the state energy giant said on Monday. Completion is slated for later this year.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Shell ends $6.5B Qatar project as oil price falls

Qatar Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell have scrapped plans for a petrochemicals project, worth an estimated $6.5 billion, due to the slump in global oil prices.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Shell said the Al Karaana project would not go ahead because of the "high envisaged capital cost that has rendered it commercially unfeasible, particularly in the current economic climate prevailing in the energy industry".

The joint venture between the Anglo-Dutch energy giant and state-owned Qatar Petroleum had been signed in December 2011.

At the time it was envisioned that a huge "world-scale petrochemicals complex" would be built in Ras Laffan, an industrial city some 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Doha.

The Qatari company was to own 80 percent of the project, and Shell the remaining 20 percent.

Last year it was reported that the project would be completed in 2018.

However, the decision not to proceed was taken, said Shell, after "careful and thorough evaluation of commercial quotations".

Global oil prices have dived since last June and continued to fall on Wednesday after major crude producers insisted they would maintain current output levels despite oversupply.