U.S. became net LNG importer in 1997
Despite a slight increase in exports, 1997-the most recent year for which full data are available from the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA)-saw the U.S. become a net importer of LNG for the first time. LNG imports into the U.S. for the year nearly doubled, compared with those for 1996. Total 1997 LNG imports were 77.78 bcf, compared to 40.27 bcf in 1996 (OGJ, Jan. 19, 1998, p. 52), an increase of 93.1%.
European petrochemicals 'at crossroads'
European petrochemicals producers are at a crossroads, with most companies continuing to rationalize operations in a bid to be more competitive in an increasingly global market. This is the view of Datamonitor plc, London, which said companies need to accelerate rationalization and operate on a global scale if they are to remain competitive. "Europe is hindered by cost disadvantages and insufficient plant investment," said Datamonitor. "The issue of overcapacity has been compounded by problems
Mexico's petrochemical privatization in doubt
Further doubt is looming for Mexico's planned privatization of the state-run Morelos petrochemical complex. Mexico is slated to reveal on Feb. 19 the winning bid in the sell-off of a 49% stake in the plant, but the Energy Secretariat has announced that iti will give the winner an extra week to form an alliance with other companies to complete the purchase.
Indonesia-Singapore line gets sales pacts
Following some balky steps late last year, key contracts have now been signed for a pipeline project that will bring Indonesian gas to Singapore, following 2 years of planning. The 28-in., 300-mile subsea pipeline will carry gas from fields in the West Natuna Sea to Singapore for use mostly in power generation. It will have a capacity of 325 MMcfd and is slated to begin deliveries by 2001.
Brazil begins first open licensing round
Brazil's National Petroleum Agency (ANP) has conducted road shows promoting its first open licensing round. The first presentation took place Jan. 14 in Rio de Janeiro, where the agency outlined details of the 27 blocks being offered. Following the that show, ANP made identical presentations in Houston and London. Last year, the agency sent letters to about 500 oil companies around the world inviting them to participate in its first open bidding round. It presented a draft bid notice for
Greenpeace threatens U.K. over licensing
Environmental campaign group Greenpeace has threatened the U.K. government with legal action if further exploration and production licenses are issued in the Atlantic frontier area. Greenpeace said it considers the granting of licenses unlawful according to European Commission (EC) legislation.
Two blocks licensed off Madagascar
The recent signing of licensing agreements for blocks off Madagascar by two U.S. companies could rekindle exploration interest in the area, said Marex Inc., a Houston consulting firm that acted as intermediary on both contracts. In two unrelated transactions, Xpronet Inc. and Frontier Resources International Inc., both based in Houston, signed 1-year contracts with Madagascar's petroleum-granting authority, Omnis. Each company's licensing agreement is for two 2-block areas off
China coalbed methane reaches turning point
Phillips Petroleum Co. conducts wire line coring operations at the LXC-003 coalbed methane exploration well in Shanxi Province, China. Whereas 1.1 tcf of coalbed methane (CBM) was produced in the U.S. during 1997, some 6% of total U.S. natural gas production, E&P efforts overseas have yet to achieve a major commercial success for this promising natural gas resource. China's conventional natural gas production is small, about 2.0 bcfd. Indeed, the 2.5 bcfd of coalbed gas produced in the U.S.
E&P activities remain steady in Peru
Peru is hosting several exploration programs in early 1999, while the start-up of Aguaytia field buoyed the country's production in 1998. In offshore action, Perupetro expects Repsol SA to begin drilling two exploration wells by mid-1999 on Block Z-29 in the Trujillo and Sechura-Salaverry basins (see map, OGJ, Dec. 7, 1998, p. 87). Repsol and partners Braspetro, Ranger Oil, and YPF of Argentina have requested an expansion of the block Z-29.