Aramco investment seen positive for Rapid, Petronas

Thursday, 2 March 2017

PETALING JAYA: The investment of Saudi Arabia’s Aramco in the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) project in Pengerang, Johor, is positive for Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and the project itself.

According to analysts, the US$7bil (RM31.1bil) investment by the Saudi national oil company for a 50% stake in the refinery and cracker assets within the Pengerang Integrated Complex could help relief the financial pressure on Petronas and help the progress of the project.

“Saudi Aramco’s decision to invest up to US$7bil in the Rapid refining complex in Malaysia is positive for the project’s outlook, and significantly reduces the financial burden placed on operator Petronas. The deal would help to lock-in future demand for Saudi crudes from Malaysia, which is set to swing to a net importer by 2020,” BMI Research said.

The research company pointed out that Malaysia’s crude balance will swing into a deficit in 2020 despite being a net exporter currently, as Rapid expands and the need for crude feedstock rises that declining domestic production will not be able to meet.

Petronas on Tuesday signed a share purchase agreement with Aramco to facilitate the latter’s proposed acquisition of a 50% equity in the refinery and cracker assets at Rapid.

Petronas president and group chief executive officer Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said the partnership brought together the strategic fit of both companies.

Meanwhile, Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB) said while Aramco’s investment could ease Petronas’ capital expenditure (capex) burden, it would not expect the national oil and gas company to increase its capex commitment.

“We do not expect a significant jump in capex spending by Petronas post-partial relief of its Rapid capex commitments (due to the investment by Aramco), as we expect the cash surplus to be mainly directed to its dividend payments to the Government,” the brokerage said in a report.

“The farm-in by Saudi Aramco will relieve Petronas group partially from its heavy capex commitment to Rapid, providing Petronas with more cash buffer to maintain its dividend payment to the Government,” it added.

As of the nine months ended September 2016, Petronas’ operating cash flow of RM36.1bil was only sufficient to cover for RM35.9bil in capex spending. The dividend of RM12bil in the period had to be financed by its cash reserves.

“With this deal, Petronas will be able to self-sustain payments to the Government without a further cash drain,” HLIB said of the participation of Aramco.

It noted the other primary beneficiaries of the Petronas-Aramco partnership included Dialog Group Bhd and Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (PetChem). Dialog would benefit from higher prospects for expansions in tank terminal capacity and EPCC (exploration and production concession contract) jobs for refineries, while PetChem would benefit for its involvement in the petrochemical business in Johor and lesser burden in capex spending.


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Indonesia changes production-sharing terms

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PTTEP divests 50% participating interest in Myanmar MD-7 project

March 09, 2017 01:00

PTT EXPLORATION and Production has entered a partnership agreement with Total E&P Myanmar to divest its 50-per-cent participating interest in the Myanmar MD-7 Project, while PTTEP remains the operator of the project.

The company will collaborate with Total in the exploration and development activities in the block, which is located in the Gulf of Mottama, part of the Andaman Sea off Myanmar. The transaction has been approved by the Myanmar government.

PTTEP says seeking a strategic partner in the Myanmar MD-7 Project corresponds with the company’s risk-management policy. By bringing in a partner that has extensive experience in deepwater operations is expected to enhance the overall capacity of the consortium.

Somporn Vongvuthipornchai, president and chief executive officer of PTTEP, said the Myanmar MD-7 Project was located in a deepwater area.

“Therefore, having a partner with expertise and experience in exploration and development of many deepwater projects will help us to carry out the activity of the Myanmar MD-7 Project more effectively. This would be in the best and mutual benefits of both parties, and also of Myanmar.

“Additionally, Total is our long-term strategic partner, which has been co-investing in various projects with PTTEP for the past 30 years.”

Block MD-7 covers an area of 7,798 square kilometres. PTTEP South Asia, a subsidiary of PTTEP, was awarded the exploration rights in 2013. The project is currently under the 3D seismic-evaluation process to assess the block’s resource potentials.

PTTEP holds eight exploration and production projects in Myanmar. The company is the operator in the Zawtika Project, the Myanmar MD-7 Project, the Myanmar PSC G & EP 2 Project, the Myanmar M11 Project, the Myanmar M3 Project and the Myanmar MOGE 3 Project.

Meanwhile, it is a joint-venture partner in the Yadana Project and the Yetagun Project.


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Shell’s Divestment Push Reaches Thailand in $900 Million Sale

January 31, 2017, 12:41 PM GMT+8
  • Kuwait Petroleum unit to buy 22.2% stake in Bongkot gas field
  • Sale is part of Shell’s $30 billion divestment program

Royal Dutch Shell Plc will sell its stake in an offshore Thai gas field to a unit of Kuwait Petroleum Corp. for $900 million as the international energy giant continues hawking assets for cash in the midst of a years-long energy slump.

Shell reached an agreement to sell two subsidiaries that own a combined 22.2 percent interest in the Bongkot field and adjoining offshore acreage to a subsidiary of Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co., the unit known as Kufpec, Shell said in a statement Tuesday. A spokesperson for Kufpec, the international arm of Kuwait’s state-owned energy company, wasn’t immediately available to comment.

The Bongkot field started production in 1993 and came to Shell when it acquired BG Group Plc for $70 billion in 2015. To win shareholder support for that deal, Shell has promised cost savings of $2.5 billion, asset disposals of at least $30 billion within four years and a share buyback of $25 billion from 2017 to 2020.

“This transaction shows the clear momentum behind Shell’s global, value-driven $30 billion divestment programme, and is consistent with the company’s strategy to high-grade and simplify its portfolio following the acquisition of BG,” Shell said in the release.

The field’s other owners are Total SA, with a 33.3 percent stake, and PTT Exploration & Production PCL, which has 44.4 percent share and operates the field. The deal should be completed this quarter, Shell said in the release.


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Hess engages Wood Group for brownfield, maintenance work offshore Malaysia


Offshore staff

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Hess Exploration & Production Malaysia has awarded Wood Group a five-year operations and maintenance contract to support new fixed and floating offshore facilities in the North Malay Basin development area.

The location is around 150 km (93 mi) northeast of Peninsular Malaysia: the contract carries a one-year extension option.

Wood Group’s Kuala Lumpur office will employ up to 130 new full-time personnel to support operations at the field which is due to start up later this year.

The contractor will provide a wide range of services that will include brownfield engineering, risk-based inspection, integrity management, and computerized maintenance management system support.



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Australia’s Ichthys LNG dealt blow as major contractor pulls plug

* CIMIC pulls out of building power station to supply Ichthys LNG

* Ichthys operator Inpex says power station 89 pct complete

* Ichthys LNG Jul-Sept 2017 start-up likely to be delayed

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE, Jan 25 Australia’s over $35 billion Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project has been dealt a blow as engineering firm CIMIC, involved in building the facility’s power station, announced on Wednesday it was pulling the plug.

“CIMIC Group advises that the … consortium (building the power station) … has terminated its contract with JKC Australia LNG Pty Ltd for the design, construction and commissioning of the Ichthys Combined Cycle Power Plant (CCPP) project,” CIMIC said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange Ltd (ASX) on Wednesday.

CIMIC spokeswoman Fiona Tyndall said “we are not going beyond what we have said in that ASX statement.”

The power station is designed to supply the Ichthys LNG export facility with electricity.

A spokesman for Japan’s Inpex, the majority owner of Ichthys LNG, said the power station was 89 percent complete.

And while the spokesman said Inpex did not see this cancellation as “critical” to Ichthys and that it would have “no fatal influence” on its launch, the cancellation will almost certainly add further costs and delay the project’s production ramp-up, which was scheduled for July to September this year.

Australia’s $200 billion LNG production ramp-up is one of the biggest increases in supply the industry has ever seen, and will lift Australia over Qatar as the world’s biggest LNG exporter.

Even so, most of Australia’s LNG projects currently under construction, including Chevron’s huge Gorgon facility and Royal Dutch Shell’s floating Prelude production vessel, are having trouble keeping within budget and sticking to schedules, and more delays are expected.

“All projects currently being built or expanded in Australia are having trouble with time and cost control. They will almost certainly see further delays,” a source advising LNG producers said on condition of anonymity.

Once completed, Ichthys will produce 8.9 million tonnes of LNG per year.

Inpex holds 62.245 percent of Ichthys, France’s Total 30 percent, with the rest spread amongst Taiwan’s CPC Corp and Japanese utilities Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Kansai Electric, JERA Corp and Toho Gas .

CIMIC gained the power station and infrastructure contracts for Ichthys after taking over Australian engineering firm UGL last year.

UGL said in its last annual report that “unfortunately, the projects continued to be impacted by significant client delays and disruption resulting in additional costs incurred.”

CIMIC said the termination of the contract will not have any “material impact” on its 2016 and 2017 financial results.

(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Additional reporting by Osamu Tsukimori in TOKYO and Tom Westbrook in SYDNEY; Editing by Tom Hogue and Christian Schmollinger)


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Indonesian government freezes PTTEP licenses

4 December 2016 03:31


Indonesian government freezes PTTEP licenses

The digital map cases of pollution in the Timor Sea PTTEP Australasia project which was not resolved since 2009

Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) – The Indonesian government has finally decided to freeze the licenses and assets of PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) operations in Indonesia.

“This is an extraordinary step that we had never predicted before. The decision was taken during a coordination meeting on maritime affairs led by the coordinating minister for maritime affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan in Jakarta,” the chairman of West Timor Care Foundation, Ferdi Tanoni, told ANTARA News here on Saturday (Dec. 3).

The Indonesian government was forced to take legal action, as Montara PTTEP Australasia oil operator failed to take up the responsibility of an oil spill incident that had affected almost 90 percent of Timor Sea waters in August 21, 2009.

“This is a humanitarian tragedy, which is difficult to explain, because people living in the coastal areas of East Nusa Tenggara had to live for more than seven years in misery due to the Montara oil spill,” he said.

The coordination meeting was attended by officials of maritime affairs, including the attorney generals office, the East Nusa Tenggara province, 13 representatives from districts and cities in the province, and fishermen affected by the incident represented by the West Timor Care group.

Tanoni stated that the decision to freeze the licenses and assets of PTTEP by the government would be immediately consolidated by the National Team for the Settlement of the Dispute over the Montara Oil Spill Incident in 2009 in Timor Sea, led by Havaz Oegroseno, the first deputy of maritime defense, with the office of the coordinating minister for maritime affairs.

As a representative of the people of East Nusa Tenggara, who had fought for justice for more than seven years, Tanoni lauded the decision of Panjaitan, who had directly ordered his staff to take firm action against PTTEP immediately, for taking the responsibility to prevent pollution in the Timor Sea.

“We have waited for the firm action of the government of President Joko Widodo for more than seven years, and it is only now that we realize the governments support in our fight for justice,” he added.

The writer of a book titled “Timor Sea Scandal, An Economic-Political Barter between Canberra and Jakarta,” said Panjaitan has expressed regret over the protracted settlement of the case.

“It is the responsibility of the Indonesian government to protect the people of East Nusa Tenggara who are affected,” he said.

He said the National Team for the Settlement of the Dispute over the Montara Oil Spill Incident in 2009 would immediately coordinate with the prosecutors office to submit an application to the Central Jakarta district court to freeze the licenses and assets of PTTEP.

(Reported by Kornelis Kaha/Uu.H-YH/INE/KR-BSR/A014)


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