Category Archives: Asia Pacific

Asia-Pacific or Asia Pacific (abbreviated as Asia-Pac, Asia Pac, Apac, APAC, APJ, JAPA or JAPAC) is the part of the world in or near the Western Pacific Ocean. The region varies in size depending on context, but it typically includes at least much of East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania.

Asia Needs International Oil Firms Despite NOCs Rise

image

Asia still needs international oil companies to continue to play a large and essential role in the oil and gas industry’s research and development activity, despite the rise of national oil companies, a group of the region’s oil and gas industry leaders has stated during the round table discussion event organized by GL Noble Denton in order to to generate research information for a forthcoming Economist Intelligence Unit​ (EIU) report on the outlook for the oil and gas industry in 2012 and beyond.

A mix of senior representatives from international oil companies, technical suppliers and industry associations attended the event and offered their opinions on where the industry is going and the challenges and obstacles that await it in the future.

One of the key findings is that the rise of Asia’s national oil companies (NOCs) does not mean international oil companies (IOCs) will be marginalized in the region. State-owned oil companies have played a leading role in developing Asia’s growing profile in the international energy market over the past decade. Overall, NOCs now control about 80% of the world’s oil reserves. Research gathered for the EIU 2012 report shows that just 15% of respondents expect to see a more favorable approach to working with international companies from governments and NOCs, a 10% drop on last year’s figure. However, according to the energy industry leaders participating in the GL Noble Denton event, Asia will continue to count on global players to provide the innovation that is critical to the safe and efficient exploration of more challenging environments.

The growth of China’s oil and gas industry

China’s place in the Asian energy market remains difficult to predict, leading the Singapore round-table attendees to offer conflicting opinions on how heavily its neighbors will be impacted by China’s growth. Some believed that the rise of China’s prominence in the Asian oil and gas industry was likely to have a significant commercial impact on other countries, once issues of quality have been overcome. Others, however, felt that China’s interests in oil and gas projects outside of the Asian region will mean its growth was less likely to impact upon other countries in the market.

Concerns over skill shortages

The Asian energy market is at particular risk of under-resourcing itself over the next decade. Concern over skills shortages in the region reflect similar anxieties across the oil and gas industry. However the rapid growth in energy demand across the region, means the need to address this problem is particularly acute. Sustaining this growth will require unprecedented numbers of oil and gas professionals. Participants at the round table suggested that companies broaden the pool of candidates that they could draw upon by requiring fewer years of technical experience.

The discussions raised around the tables at this event have confirmed the underlying concerns felt within Asia’s oil and gas industry, many of which are linked to the rapid expansion the region is experiencing,” said Richard Bailey, GL Noble Denton’s Executive Vice President for the Asia Pacific,who hosted the event.

“The Asian oil and gas industry is clearly focused on its future challenges, and the opportunities that lie ahead, and GL Noble Denton continues to support its key players in developing the innovative solutions they need to meet the region’s evolving energy demands, “ he said.

Source

U.S.-China tensions risk spilling over into Asia summit

image

By Caren Bohan and Laura MacInnis
NUSA DUA, Indonesia | Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:12am IST

(Reuters) – Tensions between the United States and China threaten to spill over into meetings of Asia-Pacific leaders from Friday, with U.S. President Barack Obama declaring his intention on the eve of the gathering to assert U.S. influence in the region.

Obama said in Australia on Thursday, on his last stop before jetting to the meetings in neighboring Indonesia, that the U.S. military would expand its Asia-Pacific role despite budget cuts, declaring America was “here to stay” as a Pacific power.

And days earlier, as host of the Asia Pacific Economic Co-Operation forum in Hawaii, Obama had voiced growing frustration at China’s trade practices and pushed for a new Asia-Pacific trade deal with some of Beijing’s neighbors.

The Indonesia meetings, on the resort island of Bali, bring together the 10-member Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and eight dialogue partners, including the United States, China, Russia and Japan. Bilateral meetings are held on Friday before a full East Asia summit on Saturday.

Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged claimants to the South China Sea not to resort to intimidation to push their cause in the potentially rich waters, an indirect reference to China ahead of the Bali summit.

China and several ASEAN countries have clashed over sovereignty of the waters, believed to be rich in natural resources and straddling vital trade lanes.

Clinton called for candid discussion of the maritime dispute at the summit, which could embolden some Southeast Asian countries with maritime claims, though China says it does not want such talks to take place and that the issue should be resolved via bilateral negotiations.

“Introducing a contentious subject into the meeting would only affect the atmosphere of cooperation and mutual trust, damaging the hard-won setting of healthy development in the region,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said on Wednesday. “That’s is beyond any doubt.”

Obama has declared that U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific region was “absolutely critical”, feeding China’s longstanding fears of being encircled by the United States and its allies.

“As we end today’s wars, I have directed my national security team to make our presence and missions in the Asia Pacific a top priority,” Obama said on Thursday in a major speech on Washington’s vision for the Asia-Pacific region.

“As a result, reductions in U.S. defence spending will not — I repeat, will not — come at the expense of the Asia Pacific.”

Nervous about China’s growing clout, U.S. allies such as Japan and South Korea have sought assurances from the United States that it would be a strong counterweight in the region.

A first step in extending the U.S. military reach into Southeast Asia will see U.S. Marines, naval ships and aircraft deployed to northern Australia from 2012.

That deployment to Australia, which by 2016 will reach a taskforce of 2,500 U.S. troops, is small compared with the 28,000 troops stationed in South Korea and 50,000 in Japan.

But the presence in Darwin, only 820 km (500 miles) from Indonesia, will allow the United States to quickly reach into Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean.

Obama acknowledged China’s unease at what it sees as attempts by Washington to encircle it, pledging to seek greater cooperation with Beijing.

He added: “We’ll seek more opportunities for cooperation with Beijing, including greater communication between our militaries to promote understanding and avoid miscalculation.”

The new de facto U.S. base in Australia expands the direct U.S. military presence in Asia beyond South Korea and Japan and into Southeast Asia, an area where China has growing economic and strategic interests.

It will also put more U.S. troops, ships and aircraft much closer to the South China Sea.

CHINA QUESTIONS U.S. DEPLOYMENT TO AUSTRALIA

China has questioned the new U.S. deployment, with a foreign ministry spokesman raising doubts about whether strengthening such alliances helped the region pull together at a time of economic gloom.

But overall its official reaction has been restrained, with an impending leadership succession preoccupying the ruling Communist Party and leaving Beijing anxious to avoid diplomatic fireworks.

Reaction from some state media was harsher.

“It wouldn’t come as a surprise if the United States is trying to seek hegemony in the region, which would be in line with its aspirations as a global superpower,” China’s state news agency Xinhua said in a commentary.

Obama said the increased focus on the Asia-Pacific region was essential for America’s economic future.

“As the world’s fastest-growing region – and home to more than half the global economy – the Asia Pacific is critical to achieving my highest priority: creating jobs and opportunity for the American people,” he said.

Source

Obama to renew, strengthen ties in Australia

image

By ERICA WERNER, Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP)President Barack Obama turns from economic to security concerns in the Asia-Pacific region as he travels to Australia, finally making a long-delayed visit to the longtime and increasingly important U.S. ally.

Obama twice last year canceled visits to Australia, once to stay in town to lobby for passage of his health-care bill, and again in the wake of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The third time’s the charm as Obama was setting out for the capital of Canberra Tuesday morning from Hawaii, where he’s spent the last several days hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Because Air Force One has to cross the international date line, Obama won’t arrive in Australia until mid-afternoon local time Wednesday for a one-and-a-half-day visit.

Kim Beazley, Australia’s ambassador to the U.S., said Obama’s mere appearance was “enormously important” to Australians. And for the U.S., Australia’s geographic location in the burgeoning Asia-Pacific region makes the longtime ally an increasingly important one as China’s might grows.

After arriving Wednesday afternoon, Obama will meet with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the two will hold a joint news conference. On Thursday, Obama addresses the Australian Parliament before traveling to Darwin, on Australia’s remote northern coast, where U.S. and Australian forces were killed in a Japanese attack during World War II. Obama will pay respects at a memorial to the dead and visit a military base in Darwin, where he’ll speak to Australian troops and U.S. Marines.

The visit comes as the U.S. and Australia mark 60 years as defense treaty partners, and Obama is expected to announce plans to expand that relationship, including positioning U.S. military equipment in Australia, increasing access to bases and conducting more joint exercises and training.

The moves would effectively counter an increasingly aggressively China, which claims dominion over vast areas of the Pacific that the U.S. considers international waters. China has alarmed smaller Asian neighbors by reigniting old territorial disputes, including confrontations over the South China Sea. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said the goal is to signal that the U.S. and Australia will stick together in face of any threats.

From Australia, Obama will head to Indonesia for a security summit with Asian nations before finishing his nine-day trip and returning to Washington on Nov. 20.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Source

Obama to China: Behave like "grown up" economy

image

By Matt Spetalnick and Doug Palmer

(Reuters) – President Barack Obama served notice on Sunday that the United States was fed up with China‘s trade and currency practices as he turned up the heat on America’s biggest economic rival.

“Enough’s enough,” Obama said bluntly at a closing news conference of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit where he scored a significant breakthrough in his push to create a pan-Pacific free trade zone and promote green technologies.

Using some of his toughest language yet against China, Obama, a day after face-to-face talks with President Hu Jintao, demanded that China stop “gaming” the international system and create a level playing field for U.S. and other foreign businesses.

“We’re going to continue to be firm that China operate by the same rules as everyone else,” Obama told reporters after hosting the 21-nation APEC summit in his native Honolulu. “We don’t want them taking advantage of the United States.”

China shot back that it refused to abide by international economic rules that it had no part in writing.

“First we have to know whose rules we are talking about,” Pang Sen, a deputy director-general at China’s Foreign Ministry said.

“If the rules are made collectively through agreement and China is a part of it, then China will abide by them. If rules are decided by one or even several countries, China does not have the obligation to abide by that.”

Even as Obama issued the veiled threat of further punitive action against China, it was unclear how much of his tough rhetoric was, at least in part, political posturing aimed at economically weary U.S. voters who will decide next November whether to give him a second term.

Obama insisted that China allow its currency to rise faster in value, saying it was being kept artificially low and was

hurting American companies and jobs. He said China, which often presents itself as a developing country, is now “grown up” and should act that way in global economic affairs.

The sharp words between the U.S. and China contrasted with the unified front that Asia-Pacific leaders sought to present with a pledge to bolster their economies and lower trade barriers in an effort to shield against the fallout from Europe’s debt crisis.

The members of APEC, which accounts for more than half of the world’s economic output, said they had agreed on ways to counter “significant downside risks” to the world economy.

That followed an appeal by Obama, seeking to reassert U.S. leadership to counter China’s growing influence around the Pacific Rim, for a commitment to expand trade opportunities as an antidote to Europe’s fiscal woes.

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, in Honolulu to consult with APEC leaders, said the euro zone upheaval risked sweeping the world economy into a “downward spiral” that all countries had a stake in resolving the crisis.

TRADE LIBERALIZATION PROMISED

APEC said in a final communique: “We recognize that further trade liberalization is essential to achieving a sustainable global recovery in the aftermath of the global recession of 2008-2009.”

The communique also expressed a firm resolve “to support the strong, sustained and balanced growth of the regional and global economy” — a clear reference to U.S. concerns about a huge trade deficit with China’s export-driven economy, fiscal problems in developed nations and the low savings rate in the United States.

In another bow to U.S. pressure, APEC committed to reducing tariffs on environmental goods and services to 5 percent as a way to promote green technology trade, overcoming China’s resistance to the idea.

Differences persist among APEC members — a point hammered home by U.S.-China tensions — and the question remains how far leaders will be able to go in turning promises into action. Many, Obama included, will face resistance to opening markets further to foreign competition.

Obama’s public denunciation of China’s policies came as he faces pressure at home, from Republican presidential contenders as well as fellow Democrats, for a tougher line on Beijing. But U.S. leverage is limited, not least because Beijing is America’s largest foreign creditor.

Though Obama acknowledged a “slight improvement” in the value of China’s yuan, he insisted it was not enough.

The United States has long complained that China keeps its currency artificially weak to give its exporters an advantage. China counters that the yuan should rise only gradually to avoid harming the economy and driving up unemployment, which would hurt global growth.

Hu was quoted by Chinanews.com in Beijing on Sunday as saying a big appreciation in the yuan against the dollar would not help U.S. trade and unemployment problems.

The yuan inched up against the dollar. Dealers said Hu’s comments in Honolulu indicated that China had no intention of letting the currency rise faster in the near term.

U.S. ENGAGEMENT

Obama declared U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific region as “absolutely critical” to America’s prosperity. By harnessing the potential for expanded trade with the world’s fastest-growing region, Obama hopes he can create U.S. jobs to help him through a tough reelection fight in 2012.

Obama’s drive toward a pan-Pacific free trade zone — the signature U.S. achievement of the summit — got a boost when Canada, Mexico and Japan said they were interested in joining talks now under way among nine countries, and they agreed to complete the detailed framework in 2012.

The Philippines was discussing the matter, U.S. officials said.

The Transpacific Partnership adds momentum to Obama’s pledge to double U.S. exports, made more urgent by the virtual collapse of the Doha round of trade talks. A free trade zone in the region would outstrip the market size of the European Union. But for Japan, such a deal faces major political obstacles at home.

Yet there was little promise of immediate economic dividends as such trade deals often take years to take effect.

Obama is seeking to assure allies of a U.S. “pivot” as China flexes its economic and military muscles in Asia and beyond. But leaders may doubt whether Washington can avoid being distracted by economic woes at home and foreign policy priorities like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.

(Reporting by Reuters APEC team; Writing by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Stella Dawson)

Source

Australia: Tap Announces Spud of Hannah-1 Well

image

Tap Oil Limited (“Tap”) provides the following information on the Hannah-1 commitment well, offshore Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia.  The Hannah-1 well is located in permit TP/8, approximately 18km east of Barrow Island. The well will be drilled in water depth of 16m by the jack-up rig Ensco 104.

The well will test a stratigraphic oil play in the lower Cretaceous Barrow Group. The primary target is expected to be intersected at approximately 1,200m. Hannah-1 is expected, on a trouble free basis, to take 10 days to reach a final total depth of 1,368m.

Progress

The Hannah-1 well commenced at 05:30 today AWST, 10 November 2011.

Forward Plan

The Hannah-1 well will be drilled in 311mm (12¼”) hole to 625m where casing will be set before resuming drilling to final total depth.

TP/8 Joint Venture Participants

Apache Northwest Pty Ltd 68.5000%

Kufpec Australia Pty Ltd 19.2771%

Tap (Harriet) Pty Ltd 12.2229%

Source

Australia: Ichthys Cost to Exceed USD 30 Billion, Total CEO Says

image

The huge Australian offshore gas project Ichthys will cost more than the anticipated total of $30 billion, the head of French oil major Total said on Thursday.

“It will cost a little more than expected for environmental reasons… We had originally said $30 billion,” Total Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie told Reuters on the sidelines of a G20 meeting of business leaders in southern France.

The project, developed by Total and Japan’s Inpex , *aims to build offshore facilities to produce natural gas and condensate, and an undersea pipeline stretching 885 km to a liquefaction plant in Australia’s northern city of Darwin.

It is expected to produce 8.4 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas and condensate each year.

The project was initially estimated to cost $20 billion but de Margerie said that the company had in recent months been citing the figure of $30 billion in road shows.

Total currently owns 24 percent of the project, a stake the French company would be keen to increase, de Margerie said.

“We would like to have more than that,” he said, giving no details on whether Inpex, which holds the remaining 76 percent of Ichthys, would agree to let Total raise its stake.

The strict environmental conditions imposed by the Australian government to develop the project explain the upward revision in the project’s cost, de Margerie said.

De Margerie said he expected a final investment decision (FID) to be made by year-end, with a view to start production in four years.

He did not comment on the outcome of reported meetings by bankers in Tokyo and Sydney that were aimed at putting together the financing needed for the development.

“In Ichthys like for every big project we have been in, the FID will be made before the financing is in place,” de Margerie said.

LNG project developers typically seek and sign long-term deals to sell their gas before they begin construction. Inpex said earlier this year it had secured buyers to cover the whole annual output of 8.4 million tonnes from the Ichthys project.

Reporting By Marie Maitre (Reuters)

Source

DOF Subsea’s Skandi Singapore Bags Gig Offshore New Zealand

image

DOF Subsea​, a subsidiary of DOF ASA​ advises that it has secured a campaign of work in the New Zealand Taranaki Basin for the new build DSV Skandi Singapore for an undisclosed sum. The vessel will mobilize for New Zealand on completion of the current work program in Indonesia for Conoco Philips.

Work in the Taranaki Basin involves diving and ROV operations for for AWE Limited, Shell Todd Oil Services Limited and Origin Energy. The program of work will be completed in February 2012.

Steve Brown, EVP, Asia Pacific said

“The Skandi Singapore is an ideal vessel for the work in the Taranaki Basin. The vessel is the newest DSV in the DOF Subsea fleet and is equipped for extreme weather operation in environmentally sensitive areas. Since delivery, the Skandi Singapore has proven to be a highly capable vessel and is building an excellent reputation with our regional clients.

With the delivery of new vessels into the region, DOF Subsea continues to build a strong project focused organization based in Perth, Australia and Singapore. With a regional project management and engineering capability based around 220 permanently employed engineers and support staff and the highest quality vessels in the region DOF Subsea continues to pursue growth across all subsea market sectors”

Mons Aase, CEO said that the contract awards in Asia Pacific are great news and that the investment in new assets is positive for further growth in the region.

Source

Taiwan: Gas-Fueled Power Generation Capacity to Grow by 2030

image

Taiwan’s gas-fueled power generation capacity will increase 67% by 2030, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang said last Saturday, according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency.

Shih Yen-shiang, speaking at a ceremony in Taichung Harbor to mark the 100th shipment of LNG delivered to the port, said gas-fueled power generation would reach 15 GW this year, or 35% of total power generation capacity, the news agency said.

By 2030, the installed natural gas generating capacity will grow to 25,000 megawatts [25 GW],” he added.

Shih said the government has developed plans to build more natural gas storage tanks and transport pipelines on the island as part of its 30-year energy development plan, the report said.

Shih’s ministry has made sourcing, transporting, and storing natural gas top priorities in its energy policy, to support the increased usage of natural gas to reduce carbon emissions and global warming.

Taiwan’s Council of Economic Planning and Development approved a plan in September by state-owned CPC Corp​. to add three 160,000-cubic meter LNG storage tanks at its Taichung LNG receiving terminal in central Taiwan.

The additional storage tanks would boost the capacity of the Taichung receiving terminal to 5 million mt/year from the present 3 million mt/year.

The project now has one final hurdle to clear — the environmental impact assessment. The expansion is due to start in July 2012 and slated for completion by end-2018.

CPC owns another 7.44 million mt/year LNG terminal at Yung An, in Kaohsiung city in southern Taiwan.

CPC imports all the LNG Taiwan consumes, with 70% of the cargoes going to state power generators such as Taiwan Power Company​. Consumption by seven independent power producers, domestic and industrial users account evenly for the outstanding 30%.

Taiwan imported a total 8.01 million mt of LNG through to August this year, an 8.64% increase from the 7.37 million mt it imported in the first eight months of 2010. Taiwan imported a total 11.14 million mt of LNG in 2010, according to data from Taiwan’s Directorate General of Customs.

By  Max Gostelow ( platts )

Original Article

%d bloggers like this: