Energy disputes in Asia: A New Wave?


Oil prices continue to be depressed and trading conditions for oil and gas companies remain difficult. In such circumstances, commentators are predicting a new wave of disputes in the oil and gas sector, with new types of dispute (for example, claims brought by liquidators following the insolvency of a counterparty) prevailing. However, market conditions vary across the world, and it would be unwise to assume that conditions in a mature market such as Europe are the same, and/or will have the same consequences, in Asia and South East Asia region. In this article, Richard Power considers whether the Asia/South East Asia region stands on the verge of a new wave of energy disputes, or whether the region's peculiar - perhaps unique - economic circumstances could isolate it from the travails affecting the energy sector elsewhere in the world.

Oil & Gas

US oil is too good, too expensive and too far for Asia buyers


In the world’s biggest oil market, buyers have better options than US crude. As the country inches toward ending the last restrictions on exports, Asian buyers will probably have a limited appetite for the quality of crude on offer. Many of the region’s refiners are geared to process heavier, cheaper oil with higher sulfur content.

Oil & Gas

Platts could change benchmark formula for Middle Eastern crude sold to Asia


Platts, the commodities price-reporting agency, may decide soon after Oct. 30 to make changes to the formula of the benchmark for much of the Middle Eastern crude sold to Asia as it seeks to stay competitive with China planning to introduce its own contract. The agency is considering adding two crudes to the three grades it uses in calculating the Dubai oil benchmark, which determines prices for almost 30 million barrels a day in exports to Asia, said Dave Ernsberger, its global editorial director for oil. Platts seeks to ensure liquidity amid rising demand from Asia, especially China, which plans to introduce a futures contract this year.

Other News

Vince Cable says China shouldn’t be scapegoated for UK steel meltdown


China should not be made a “scapegoat” for the collapse of the UK’s steel industry, Sir Vince Cable has said, accusing the Treasury of holding back with financial assistance that could help relieve pressures. The Liberal Democrat former business secretary said David Cameron should urge action from Beijing to curb production and noted there was a technical question to be examined over whether China was guilty of illegal “dumping”. But he insisted there had been “endless problems with steel” unrelated to China while he was in government that ministers had some power to alleviate.

Oil & Gas

Exova strengthens team with new Middle East MD


Exova has strengthened its senior team with the appointment of a new managing director for its Middle East, Asia and Asia Pacific region (MEAAP). Matt Davies joined the company two years ago as finance director with more than 17 years experience working in global companies. His promotion will see him take the position over from Hicham Abdallah who played a critical role in returning the region to growth.

Market info

Asia stocks gain with US futures while crude, Aussie retreat


Asian stocks rose, led by Japanese and Chinese shares, and US equity-index futures signaled a rebound. Australia’s dollar fell, while crude oil retreated toward this year’s low after US producers added rigs. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.3 percent by 2:49 p.m. in Tokyo, as Chinese equities rose a second day amid industrial-company merger speculation. Japan’s Topix index erased declines to advance a ninth day, while Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures added 0.3 percent after US stocks fell last week. The Aussie weakened 0.3 percent. Oil slid a fourth day. The yield on 10-year Treasuries increased two basis points. China’s July exports plunged more than five times the rate projected by analysts, while producer prices slid the most since 2009, data at the weekend showed, spurring speculation the government may boost efforts to invigorate growth through state- owned enterprise reform.

Market info

Asian bonds drop as Fed rate bets propel dollar; oil advances


Bonds in Asia declined as speculation US interest rates will be raised as soon as next month underpinned the dollar. Copper and gold fell as shares in the region were mixed. Crude oil rallied. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index extended gains at a four- month high, up 0.2 percent by 1:52 p.m. in Tokyo, as yields on 10-year debt from New Zealand to Japan climbed. Oil rose a second day, continuing its recovery from Monday’s rout, while copper resumed losses with gold. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dipped 0.2 percent as US index futures increased 0.2 percent after Apple Inc. drove equity losses Tuesday. Traders boosted bets on a September rate hike in the US after Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta chief Dennis Lockhart said he would only endorse putting it off should there be a significant deterioration in economic data. Oil’s rebound steadied commodity markets, quelling losses among energy and mining stocks ahead of a swag of services industry data from China to Japan and the US Thailand is projected to keep benchmark borrowing costs unchanged at a review Wednesday.

Oil & Gas

China says it has every right to drill in East China Sea


China said on Friday it had every right to drill in the East China Sea close to waters disputed with Japan, adding that it did not recognise a "unilateral" Japanese median line setting out a boundary between the two in the waters. Japan this week called on China to halt construction of oil-and-gas exploration platforms in the East China Sea close to waters claimed by both nations, concerned that Chinese drills could tap reservoirs that extend into Japanese territory. Patrol ships and aircraft from both countries have been shadowing each other in the area over the past couple of years, raising fears of a confrontation and clash.

Oil & Gas

New South African crude blending terminal to supply Asia from 2017


Using the world's first dedicated crude oil blending terminal, South Africa will by 2017 mix different grades of crude oil for export to refineries across Asia, enabling them to produce cleaner fuels more cheaply, an official said on Thursday. Construction of the 2 billion rand ($161 million) fuel blending farm, which consists of 12 massive concrete bunkers, should start in August with the first output expected for the second quarter of 2017, said Pieter Coetzee, a director at OiltankingMogs, a joint venture firm developing the terminal. "Our model is based on blending of different grades of crude to supply a specific recipe to a refinery," Coetzee said.