Energy Sector

Oil Settles A Bit off At USD 114.86

Oil prices continued the record rally, with retail gas prices touching record Oil Settles At USD 114.86high of USD 3.40 per gallon and it is projected to cross $4 mark shortly.

In the meantime, Oil prices chop down a little after setting yet another record high overnight.

Light sweet crude for next month delivery came down 7 cents, to settle at record high of $114.86 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).

The gasoline futures for the coming month (May) climbed up 1.88 cents to settle at a record $2.9578 per gallon.

New record high for OPEC crudes at 107.63 dollars

Vienna  - The price for crude oil produced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) continued its record-breaking climb, OPEC said on Friday.

One barrel (159 litres) of OPEC-crude stood at 107.63 dollars on Thursday, up 98 cents from the previous day. OPEC calculates an average basket price based on 13 brands produced by cartel members.

Responsible for the ongoing surge in prices is the continued weakness of the US dollar, the currency in which OPEC oil is sold, analysts said. The current high prices were not linked to the usual market fundamentals. (dpa)

GMR Energy Acquires 5% Stake In South African Coal Firm

GMR Infrastructure has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary GMR GMR Energy (GEL) has acquired 5 percent equity stake in South Africa’s Homeland Mining and Energy SA (Pty) Ltd, a unit of Canada’s Homeland Energy Group Ltd.

GEL has paid Rs 60 crore ($15 million) for the 5 percent stake in the company.

Further GEL has an option to purchase an additional 45 percent in the same company by September 2008 for $145 million. In this way, the total payout for the 50 percent stake is $155 million (approx. Rs 620 crore).

Thailand's alternative fuel sales double

Bangkok - Sales of alternative fuels, such as gasohol and biodiesel, more than doubled in Thailand during the first quarter as world oil prices pushed past 100 dollar per barrel, media reports said Friday.

Sales of gasohol, a mix of petrol and ethanol made from sugar or tapioca, reached 7.4 million litres per day during the first three months of the year, compared with 3.6 million litres per day in the same period in 2007, The Nation newspaper said, citing Viraphol Jirapraditkul, director general of the Energy Policy and Planning Office.

During the first quarter, sales of biodiesel hit 5.9 million litres, up 778 per cent from 0.68 million from a year earlier, Viraphol said.

New OPEC record high at 106.65 dollars

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting CountriesVienna - The price for crude produced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) continued its record- breaking rally on Wednesday, OPEC said on Thursday.

One barrel of crude from OPEC's 13-brand reference basket stood at 106.65 dollars on Wednesday, up from 105.73 dollars the previous day.

The bullish performance in recent days was mainly down to the weakness of the US dollar, OPEC analysts said. (dpa)

Hungary's MOL hopes to produce unconventional gas from 2014

Budapest  - Hungarian energy firm MOL said Wednesday it hoped a joint venture with ExxonMobil and the UK's Falcon Oil and Gas could lead to unconventional gas being extracted from Hungary's Mako trough between 2012 and 2014

"If the project is successful, the ratio of MOL's domestic gas production coming from unconventional sources would equal the amount of gas coming from conventional sources by 2015," MTI news agency quoted Attila Holoda, MOL's director for exploration and research in Eurasia, as saying.

MOL said Monday it had signed an agreement with ExxonMobil to jointly explore 1,560 kilometres of the Mako trough in south-east Hungary.

OPEC crude price cracks 105 dollars

Vienna  - The price for crudes produced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) continued its record- breaking rise on Tuesday, OPEC said on Wednesday.

One barrel (159 litres) of crude produced by the cartel's 13 member states stood at 105.73 dollars on Tuesday, up 1.71 dollars from the previous day, reaching a new all-time high.

In its monthly forecast released on Tuesday OPEC left its prediction for 2008 crude demand growth stable. OPEC predicted a global growth increase by 1.2 million barrel per day to 87 million barrels.

OPEC followed global bullish trends, as oil prices reached new records. Nymex WTI closed at 113.79 dollars, Brent at 111.58 dollars on Tuesday. (dpa)

Pakistan bets on low-power light bulbs to dim energy crisis

PakistanIslamabad  - The government of energy-starved Pakistan plans to distribute 10 million low-consumption light bulbs to reduce the load on national grids, a news report said on Tuesday.

Pakistan is currently producing around two-thirds of its power demand, with an overwhelming deficit of around 4,000 megawatts. Domestic and industrial consumers have been hit hard by continual power cuts.

The state-run National Energy Conservation Centre (Enercon) on Monday tasked the Pakistan Electric Power Company (PEPCO) with arranging the delivery of energy-saving bulbs across the country, the daily newspaper Dawn reported.

New record high for OPEC crudes

Vienna - The price for crudes produced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) peaked above 104 dollars for the first time on Monday, OPEC said on Tuesday.

On Monday, one barrel (159 litres) of crude produced by OPEC members stood at 104.02 dollars, up 35 cents from the previous day.

OPEC followed international bullish trends on Monday. In New York, Nymex WTI ended Monday's trading at 111.76 dollars per barrel, the highest settlement on record, while Brent crude also posted a new high.

OPEC calculates an average basket price based on 13 brands produced by cartel members. (dpa)

What could be world's third-largest oil field discovered off Brazil

Rio de Janeiro - Rio de JaneiroA discovery off Brazil's Atlantic coast could prove to be the world's third-largest oil field, the director of Brazil's National Oil Agency said.

The Carioca field in the Santos Basin off the coast of Sao Paulo state has estimated reserves of 33 billion barrels, Haroldo Lima said Monday.

"It could be the world's biggest discovery in the past 30 years," he said.

Brazil's state oil company, Petrobras, which controls 45 per cent of the field, said in a statement that the exact size of the find would be announced in the coming days after further studies were done.

OPEC crude price remains close to all-time high

Vienna - TOrganization of the Petroleum Exporting Countrieshe price for crude oil produced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) remained close to last week's peak on Friday, OPEC said on Monday.

One barrel (159 litres) of crudes from OPEC's reference basket stood at 103.67 dollars on Friday, down 7 cents from Thursday's peak of 103.74 dollars.

OPEC calculates an average basket price based on 13 brands produced by cartel members. (dpa)

Vietnam copes with long-term electricity shortfall

Hanoi  - Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade predicts the country will continue to suffer from a shortage of electricity through 2020, Vietnamese press reported Monday.

Vietnam's rapid economic growth, 8.5 per cent last year, has driven typical demand for electricity up to 13,000 Megawatts, while supply is just 12,000 Megawatts.

"We will always be short of electricity from now through 2020, not just this year or the next couple of years," said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Huu Hao. "We have to pursue rapid economic growth, while resources are limited."

Mexican opposition vows to block reforms of state oil company

PemexMexico CIty  - Opposition leader Manuel López Obrador led a massive protest rally in the capital Sunday vowing to block proposed reforms to the state-owned oil company Pemex.

The former presidential candidate also warned of a nationwide "civil resistance" to the government planned legal changes to allow greater private sector involvement in the public oil industry.

The leftist leader demanded "a national, pluralistic and democratic debate about the national energy sector."

Lopez Obrador also criticized news media for championing the government's position while ignoring opposing views.

Coal India pays record dividend of Rs 1705 crore to Government

State-owned Coal India Limited (CIL) has paid a record dividend of Rs 1,705.42 crore to the government for the fiscal 2007-08.

This is the highest ever dividend paid by the coal mining giant to the government which constitutes 27 per cent of the paid-up equity of CIL of Rs 6,316.36 crore.

Last year, CIL paid Rs 1,500 crore as dividend which was 23.75 per cent of the equity.

Coal India Ltd. through its subsidiaries offers coal mining and production services, coal based products and mining consultancy. The Public Sector Unit was founded in 1975 and is based in Kolkata, India.

Reliance Industries to sell about 10% stake in KG basin

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL), the largest private sector company in the country, is reportedly in talks with global oil & gas companies to sell about 10% stake in the D-6 block in the Krishna Godavari (KG) basin, according to sources.

A financial daily reported that RIL may hive off its KG basin assets into a separate company and then offer close to 10% stake to a strategic partner.

Currently, RIL holds 90 per cent stake in this block, while another 10 per cent is with Nikko Resources.

Global investment banking giant Goldman Sachs is one of the key consultants for the deal and RIL is sharing necessary data with the prospective partners to reach a valuation for the deal, sources said.

OPEC crude price at new record high

Organization of the Petroleum Exporting CountriesVienna - The price for crudes produced by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) peaked at 103.74 dollars on Thursday, OPEC said Friday.

Setting a new record high, one barrel (159 litres) of OPEC- produced crude stood at 103.74 dollars on Thursday, up 1.36 dollars from the previous day and 86 cents up from its previous all-time high on March 14.

The price hike comes despite bearish remarks from International Energy Agency (IEA) officials who expected demand to soften, which would translate into lower prices, analysts said.

ONGC Intraday Buy Call

As per the views of Karvy Stock Broking Limited, the day traders can ONGCpurchase ONGC stock between Rs 1000-1005 with a stop loss of Rs 995 to achieve an upper resistant intraday target of Rs 1028.

If the stock market remains on positive track, the ONGC stock could easily touch its next intraday target of about Rs 1030.

Shares of the company closed at Rs 1002.4 on Thurday at BSE. The total volume of shares traded was 295062. The stock has seen a 52-week high of Rs 1386.9 and a low of Rs 770 on BSE. Presently, the stock is showing P/E and EPS of Rs 13.07 and 76.91 respectively.

Venezuela President for full cooperation on India's energy security

Venezuela's President Hugo ChavezNew Delhi, Apr 10: Terming India as one of the largest emerging markets in the world, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez on Thursday assured visiting Petroleum Minister Murli Deora of full cooperation in addressing India's energy security needs.

Expressing his happiness over the ongoing cooperation in the oil sector between both countries, President Chavez assured his support for more projects.

Thai and Chinese oil firms join hands in Myanmar gas exploration

Bangkok - PTT Exploration and ProductionThailand's PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) on Wednesday announced an asset swap agreement for Myanmar gas fields with China's state-owned CNOOC.

Under the agreement, the state-owned PTTEP will swap 20 per cent of its stake in Myanmar's offshore concession blocks M3 and M4 for 20 per cent stakes in CNOOC's A4 and C1 blocks.

"We are delighted to have an investment with CNOOC Ltd, which is the largest offshore oil and gas producer in China and has strong expertise in petroleum exploration and production," said PTTEP chief executive officer Anon Sirisaengtaksin.

Calderon proposes sweeping reforms of Mexico's state oil company

Mexican President Felipe CalderonMexico City - President Felipe Calderon proposed sweeping reforms of the state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) Tuesday,

including the creation of "citizens' bonds" to raise fresh money for the company and provide dividends to private investors.

In a nationwide address, Calderon outlined six major measures to reform the company but insisted that Pemex "is not being privatized." He said it will continue to be a state firm and that the constitution would not be changed.

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