Day: August 3, 2007

Abu Dhabi in $3b Borouge expansion

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Abu Dhabi in $3b Borouge expansion
By Himendra mohan kumar, Staff Reporter GULF NEWS / Published: August 02, 2007, 23:15

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi will invest Dh11 billion ($3 billion) to expand the capacity of the Borouge petrochemicals facility to two million tonnes per year.

Abu Dhabi, which has 98 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, has targeted an increase in its production capacity to four million barrels of oil per day, as well as raising its natural gas supplies through the development of sour gas reserves and optimisation of existing sweet gas production.

Earlier this week, The Executive Council of Abu Dhabi in its policy agenda for 2007-08 said: “Current targets are to expand oil and gas production capacity significantly. Abu Dhabi is adding oil and gas and natural gas liquids production capacity each year through the application of better processes, products and technology. The phased approach is a deliberate strategy to ensure that the Emirate continues to provide the highest quality while steadily raising capacity.”

With its hydrocarbon reserves and relatively low production costs, Abu Dhabi has a natural advantage in a range of downstream industries.

“Opportunities in base oil and petrochemicals will be leveraged to enhance the value of energy exports and support diversification of growth across the economy,” it added.

“A key priority in Abu Dhabi’s capacity expansion will be the timely development and delivery of energy resources to meet growing domestic demand,” said the policy agenda document.”

Additionally, it said “investment entities affiliated with the Abu Dhabi government will also continue to pursue geographical diverification of Abu Dhabi’s energy interests via strategic investments in upstream and downstream hydrocarbon assets outside of Abu Dhabi and the UAE”.

The Executive Council also said the energy sector will be expected to continue increasing its contibution to an even more diverse Abu Dhabi economy, “not only via increased production capacity, but also via efficiency and productivity realised through continuous technological and managerial innovation.”

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IPIC and Shell target Turkmenistan projects

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IPIC and Shell target Turkmenistan projects
Reuters Published: August 02, 2007, 23:15

Dubai: The UAE’s IPIC and Royal Dutch Shell are considering joint exploration for oil and gas in Turkmenistan, the UAE’s news agency WAM reported.

The International Petro-leum Investment Co (IPIC) invests in oil-related projects for the government of Abu Dhabi, which controls more than 90 per cent of the UAE’s oil reserves. The UAE is the world’s sixth-largest oil exporter.

The three companies also plan to build a $500 million urea plant with capacity to produce one million tonnes per year, WAM reported late on Wednesday.

Both the oil and gas exploration and the urea plant were pending government approval, WAM said.

“Working with IPIC to enter oil and gas sectors in Turkmenistan is an ideal opportunity to reinforce Shell’s position in the region, which is growing,” WAM quoted Gavin Graham, Shell’s vice president of new business in the region, as saying.

IPIC’s Managing Director Khadem Al Qubaisi met with Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukh-amedov, WAM said.

IPIC told Reuters last month it planned an aggressive move into oil and gas exploration and production and was eyeing deals in the Caspian. IPIC aims to double its investment portfolio to $20 billion in the next five years.

Total profits slip despite output rebound

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Total profits slip despite output rebound
Reuters/ Published: August 02, 2007, 23:15

Paris: French energy group Total posted a drop in second-quarter profits yesterday as a dip in gas prices and unfavourable exchange rates outweighed a rebound in its hydrocarbon production.

The world’s sixth-largest oil major by market capitalisation reported a net income of 3.10 billion euros ($4.24 billion) – adjusted to strip out gains from changes in the value of fuel inventories and one-off items – down from 3.36 billion a year ago but slightly above a 3.05 billion average analyst forecast.

Total bucked an industry-wide trend of falling oil and gas output as its new 220,000 barrel-per-day Dalia field in offshore Angola came on stream, helping to lift quarterly production by 1.4 per cent to 2.322 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Total said underlying production growth, excluding changes to its portfolio and Opec output cuts, was 3.5 per cent.

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The Paris-based group declined to comment on the outlook for full-year volumes until a strategy update on September 5. Although output was higher in the first half it was capped by Opec cuts, disruptions in Nigeria and a halt in production at its Congo Republic’s 60,000-bpd NKossa offshore oilfield.

“I cannot confirm any target now,” Chief Financial Officer Robert Castaigne said.

Total said in February output should grow less than 6 per cent in 2007, trimming a previous target of 7 per cent.

“We are very successful in our new projects but on the other hand there is the impact of the Opec quotas plus NKossa and the situation in Nigeria. I prefer to wait a little more to have a better view on every area before giving more information.”