Energy Sector

Strike ends at Grangemouth refinery in Britain

London - A two-day walkout by oil workers at the Grangemouth refinery in Britain, which disrupted North Sea oil production, came to an end early Tuesday.

The Unite union, which had called out 1,200 men in protest against changes in the pension scheme at the Scottish plant, warned of further industrial action if the dispute was not resolved.

Ineos, the private company which operates the Grangemouth refinery, north of Edinburgh, said it will be at least a week before the plant is fully operational again.

The strike also closed the Forties oil pipeline, which provides 30 per cent of Britain's daily oil output.

Estimates said the walkout cost the industry 50 million pounds (100 million dollars) a day in lost production.

Iranian president inaugurates oil refinery project in Sri Lanka

Colombo - Iranian President Mahmoud AhmadinejadIranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Tuesday inaugurated the construction of an oil refinery expansion project in the outskirts of Sri Lanka's capital.

The inauguration of the project by the visiting Iranian leader followed the signing of agreements on Monday night for Teheran to provide assistance to the tune of 1.5 billion US dollars for infrastructure development projects, officials said.

Leading oil giants see profits rise on back of oil price

London - Shell and BPRising oil prices have boosted the profits of Britain's two leading oil giants, Shell and BP, in the first quarter of this year, figures showed Tuesday.

Shell reported record profits of 3.9 billion pounds (7.8 billion dollars), while rival BP saw profits rise by 48 per cent to 3.31 billion pounds.

The figures come after Anglo-Dutch firm Shell reported annual profits in January of a record 13.9 billion pounds.

Shell shares are listed in Britain and the Netherlands, while the company's headquarters are in The Hague. (dpa)

OPEC crude price weaker, but remains above 110 dollars

OPECVienna  - The price for crudes produced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was down slightly by the end of last week, OPEC said on Monday.

One barrel (159 litres) of crude oil from OPEC's 13-brand reference basket stood at 110.01 dollars on Friday, down 62 cents compared to the previous day.

OPEC, which is responsible for about 40 per cent of the world's crude production, calculates an average basket price based on 13 important brands produced by cartel members. (dpa)

Extra supplies come in as strike at Scottish refinery continues

FuelLondon - Extra fuel supplies continued to be shipped to Britain Monday to prepare for possible shortages caused by a strike of oil workers at the Grangemouth refinery on the east coast of Scotland.

Hundreds of workers who started a strike over the planned ending of pension schemes stayed away from the plant for a second day Monday. The 48-hour walkout is due to end early Tuesday.

Two fuel tankers have already been unloaded at the refinery, with a further seven shipments expected over the next few days, including from the Netherlands and Sweden. They are due to deliver a total of 65,000 tons of fuel.

Palestinians reject Israeli official's comments on fuel crisis

Gaza City  - The Palestinian gas union on Saturday rejected a statement by an Israeli official blaming Palestinians, led by Hamas, for the fuel shortages in Gaza Strip.

Nir Press, the head of the Israel Defence Forces' Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration said Friday that "the Palestinians, led by the Hamas organization, are creating shortages, misery and disaster."

Mahmoud al-Khozendar, vice-president of the Petrol Station Owners Association in Gaza, disagreed, saying the existing fuel supplies had been accumulated over weeks and were "enough for one day in a normal situation" and would last just three hours "given the current crisis."

OPEC crude price down from all-time highe

OPECVienna  - Crude prices eased on Thursday after reaching a new all-time-high above 111 dollars, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said on Friday.

One barrel (159 litres) of crude produced by the 13-member cartel stood at 110.63 dollars on Thursday, down 51 cents from the previous day.

Prices were pushed up during the last days by the continued weakness of the US dollar and OPEC members maintaining their view that markets were well supplied and an increase in production quotas was not necessary.

OPEC's Vienna-based secretariat calculates an average basket price based on 13 important brands produced by its member states. (dpa)

Asian Development Bank lends 450 million dollars for India power

Manila  - The Asian Development Bank said Friday that it has approved a loan amounting to 450 million dollars to build a 4,000-megawatt, energy-efficient coal power plant in India.

The Manila-based bank said it executed the loan agreement with Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd, which is to build, own and operate the Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project in the western state of Gujarat.

"The project will not only provide a significant volume of additional electricity to address shortages, it will also promote private investment in power and show good practice in building and financing large-scale power projects in India through public-private partnerships," said Takeo Koike, an investment specialist with the bank.

OPEC crude above 111 dollars

http://www.topnews.in/files/opec_0.jpgVienna  - The price for crude oil produced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) finished above 112 dollars for the first time on Wednesday, OPEC said on Thursday.

One barrel (159 litres) of crudes from OPEC's 13-brand reference basket stood at 111.14 dollars on Wednesday, up 1.22 dollars from the previous day.

The cartel, which is responsible for about 40 per cent of the global crude production, calculates an average basket price based on 13 important brands produced by member states. (dpa)

German petrol and diesel prices hit record high

Berlin  - Motor vehicle fuel prices hit a record high in Germany Thursday, oil industry spokesmen said Thursday.

A litre of petrol - whether the standard 91-octane or "super" 95-octane - cost 1.48 euros (2.33 dollars) on average, they said. Diesel rose to above 1.39 euros a litre.

The new prices were marginally above previous records in November last year and earlier this month.

Differing tax rates for the various fuels account for much of the price differential. (dpa)

OPEC crude hovers just below 110 dollars

Vienna - Organization of the Petroleum Exporting CountriesThe price for crudes produced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) continued its climb and was hovering just below the 110-dollar mark, OPEC said on Wednesday.

One barrel of crude oil from OPEC's reference basket stood at yet another record high of 109.92 dollars on Tuesday, up 99 cents from the previous day.

Hopes for OPEC to increase production in the near future were dashed as OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem el-Badri ruled out an extraordinary meeting until the next regular meeting, scheduled for September.

Oil Soars To Record High On Weak Dollar Value

Oil prices climbed up to 119.37 per barrel on Tuesday (April 22) as the Oil Soars To Record High dollar value fell to a new low against the euro.

Light, sweet crude for next month (May) delivery mounted USD 1.89 to settle at record high of USD 119.37 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).

The euro climbed above 1.60-dollar level for the first time on Tuesday as officials at the European Central Bank (ECB) officials suggested that they will raise interest rates if inflation doesn’t fall. The 15-nation single currency euro reached as high as 1.6018 dollars.

EU looks to boost oil security amidst soaring prices

Brussels  -  European Union states should improve their strategic oil reserves policy amid concerns over soaring energy prices, the European Commission said Tuesday.

"The risk of supply disruptions is increasing. Supply is more and more concentrated in a handful of countries, many of which are exposed to high geopolitical risks," the European Commission wrote in a paper asking EU member states, non-governmental organizations and industry representatives to suggest how the bloc should deal with energy reserves in the future.

The launching of the public consultation follows a call from EU members in March 2007 to review the union's oil-stocks strategy. The process is set to last eight weeks, a commission spokesman said.

OPEC crude price continues record-breaking climb

OPECVienna  - The price for crude oil produced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) started the week with a new record high of 108.93 dollars, OPEC said on Tuesday.

One barrel of crude from OPEC's 13-brand reference basket stood at 108.93 dollars on Monday, up 1.18 dollars from Friday, the Vienna-based OPEC secretariat said.

OPEC officials maintain that there are adequate crude supplies and that the current price rally is decoupled from market fundamentals. Hiking up production quotas was not necessary.

Prices were mainly driven by the continued weakness of the US dollar, analysts said. (dpa)

Indian minister to visit Pakistan for talks on gas pipeline

New Delhi  - India's oil minister Murli Deora was due to hold talks in Pakistan on a 7-billion-dollar Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline, officials said Tuesday.

"The minister is scheduled to leave for a three-day visit to Pakistan on Tuesday evening. He will hold talks on the IPI pipeline there," said a spokesman of the Petroleum Ministry without giving further details.

Deora is also likely to wrap up talks on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline that is backed by the United States, which is opposed to the IPI pipeline.

IAEA official arrives in Tehran to probe nuclear weapons claims

International Atomic Energy Agency Olli HeinonenTeheran - Deputy head of the International Atomic Energy Agency Olli Heinonen arrived in Tehran early on Monday to talk with Iranian officials about nuclear weapons claims provided to the agency.

During his two-day stay in Iran, Heinonen, who is the head of an IAEA unit that investigates whether countries have secret nuclear programmes, will probe whether the Islamic country has special weapons studies.

IAEA General Secretary Mohammed ElBaradei said on Thursday a delegation from the UN nuclear watchdog would visit Iran to probe whether it had a special weapons system.

REL Gets Shareholders Nod For Name Change, Share Buyback

Anil Ambani group company Reliance Energy Limited (REL) announced that Reliance Energy Ltdthe company’s shareholders have given the nod to change the name of the company to ‘Reliance Infrastructure’ and to buy back 25% of the paid-up equity share capital and Free Reserves up to Rs. 2000.14 cr.

Besides this, the shareholders have also sanctioned to waive the company’s entitlement to take delivery of 2.57% of the post bonus issue shareholding including 6.15 crore shares in Reliance Power from Anil D Ambani.

Suzlon Arm Receives Orders For 200 MW Wind Power Capacity

Suzlon Energy Ltd has announced that its US-based arm has received Suzlonorders for 200 MW capacity turbines for wind farm projects in China.

The subsidiary company, Suzlon Energy (Tianjin) Ltd (SETL) stated that the order was in two parts.

The first order received from Ao Lu Jia New Energy Development Ltd, China, for delivering 148.5 MW of wind turbine capacity via 99 units of the S82-1.5 MW turbines for use in three wind farms. Deliveries for the first wind farm are planned for shipment during Q2 of 2008-2009.

Asian Development Bank to help India develop cleaner power sources

Asian Development BankManila - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Saturday it was extending a rupee-denominated loan worth 113 million dollars to a private Indian firm that will develop two wind power projects.

The Manila-based ADB said the wind energy facilities will be built in the states of Gujarat and Karnataka by a wholly Indian-owned subsidiary of CLP Holdings of Hong Kong.

"The project will help India's economic growth and energy diversification in an environmentally sustainable manner," said Shantanu Chakraborty, an investment specialist at the ADB.

Anil Kakodkar says IAEA agreement is not final

New Delhi, Anil Kakodkar, The Chairman of India’s Atomic Energy CommissionApr 18: The Chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission, Anil Kakodkar has said that the Indo-US nuclear deal is not final, as has been touted by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the recent past.

During a visit to Washington on March 24-25, 2008, Mukherjee had claimed, “We have finalised the language of the text of the agreement for the process of signing. After that, it will be taken to the Board of Governors.''

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