Day: July 21, 2008
UAE to shut 150,000-200,000 bpd oil output Oct-Nov
(Reuters) 21 July 2008
DUBAI – The United Arab Emirates will reduce oil output by 150,000 to 200,000 barrels per day for 40 days in October and November for maintenance, an official at state oil company ADNOC said on Monday.
The scheduled shutdown will cut oil output from the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter by up to 7.5 percent. The OPEC-member pumped around 2.6 million bpd in June, a Reuters survey showed.
‘It’s for 40 days, around 150,000 to 200,000 bpd,’ the official at Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The work will cut output just as consumer oil demand rises ahead of peak demand in the northern hemisphere for heating during winter. UAE crude is favoured by Japanese refiners making heating oil.
Refiners in Japan say the UAE has offered them more oil in September to compensate for lower volumes during the maintenance.
The offshore Lower Zakum and Umm Shaif fields will be partially shut down, the official added. Lower Zakum typically pumps at around 280,000 bpd, while Umm Shaif produces around 200,000 bpd.
JAPAN GAS IMPORTS
Work at a gas facility on Das Island will force the shutdown, the source said. ADNOC unit ADGAS plans to shut one of three processing facilities on Das that produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) — gas chilled to its liquid form for export.
Das receives natural gas produced at the offshore oilfields, and the only way the UAE could continue producing oil at full tilt during maintenance would be to burn the gas.
But the UAE has a strict no-flaring policy so will limit oil output to reduce the associated gas flow, the official said.
The Das facility exports around 5.5 million tonnes per year (tpy) of LNG, and around 85 percent of shipments go to Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) in Japan.
TEPCO has been forced to increase consumption of fossil fuels for power generation to offset the loss of its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, which has been shut indefinitely since a major earthquake on July 16, 2007.
ADGAS officials were unavailable for comment on Monday. It was unclear how much LNG and natural gas liquids output would be affected by the shutdown.
The Lower Zakum and Umm Shaif fields are operated by ADMA-OPCO. State-owned ADNOC owns 60 percent of ADMA-OPCO, while the rest is held by BP, Total and the Japanese Oil Development Co.
The maintenance in 2008 will be lighter than in 2007, when work at offshore fields cut UAE output by 600,000 bpd.
News of the maintenance had little impact on the spot oil market, but it could support prices in the next few weeks.
‘It will add some pressure on the spot market, but it seems there has been no big effect until now,’ a trader said.
September-loading Murban, Abu Dhabi’s flagship crude, started trading last week at small premiums to the ADNOC official selling price.
ADNOC’s shutdown of about 600,000 bpd of crude in November last year sent premiums for Murban soaring to $1.20-1.30 a barrel above the official price as refiners snapped up the few remaining cargoes.
ADNCO then hiked its Murban official price to a near record-high premium to regional benchmark oil.
Emirates to do away with paper to cut weight
By Saifur Rahman, Business Editor GULF NEWS Published: July 20, 2008, 23:43
Dubai: Emirates airline said on Sunday it could reduce up to one tonne in weight by doing away with in-flight magazines, newspapers, entertainment guides and shopping catalogues. This is part of its cost-cutting measures.
“We are looking into ways to reduce the extra weight that will help reduce fuel emission and cut costs. By doing away with the printed materials, we could save up to one tonne in weight in an A380 aircraft,” an Emirates spokesperson told Gulf News.
Emirates, which is the biggest customer of A380s, with 58 A380s on firm order, will receive its first super jumbo next week, which will be put into service a few weeks later.
With a reduction of two kilograms of paperweight per seat, the load could be reduced substantially.
Emirates says it plans to feed similar content into its in-flight entertainment system – ICE – that will offer news, features and information including the in-flight magazine and catalogue.
“We are working on these to offer the passengers a better experience,” the spokesperson said.
“However, this means, we will have to subscribe to certain channels and suppliers.”
He said the airline will retrofit the new third-generation ICE system in all aircraft on the fleet, gradually.
Face recognition system to be installed at all UAE entry points
By Samir Salama, Associate Editor
Published: July 20, 2008, 15:34
Abu Dhabi: In an attempt to enhance homeland security and deliver the highest level of public safety, a biometric face recognition system will soon be installed at all entry points in the UAE.
The highly-advanced technology will be used for the first time in the world, said Major Dr Fawwaz Khalil Dawood, head of the committee in charge of the system at the Interior Minister’s office.
“The system will perform identification checks of all people who enter the country and those at transit lounges from a distance and without their active participation,” he said.
A facial recognition system verifies a person from a digital image or a video frame by comparing selected facial features from the image and a facial database.
The system analyzes the relative position, size and shape of the eyes, nose, cheekbones and jaw.
It also identifies a face from a range of angles, including a profile view.
The technology was launched by General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, at Abu Dhabi international Airport last week.
How it works
The face recognition system performs identification checks on all people who enter the country from a distance and without the subjects’ active participation.
It ensures the person who checks in is the rightful holder of the passport.
The system also ensures the resident who enters the country is the same person who went out of the country.
It integrates the iris recognition system, currently being deployed at 35 land, sea and air border point across the UAE.
It takes just two seconds from the time of capturing the image to the time of responses and has a 0.5 per cent error.
The iris recognition system has blocked more than 250,000 deportees, who attempted to return to the country on forged documents, ever since it was deployed in 2003.