Iraq approved a contract with South Korea's Kogas to develop the Akkas gas field

(Trend) -- Iraq 's cabinet approved a contract with South Korea's Kogas on Tuesday to develop the Akkas gas field in western Anbar province, an oil ministry source said. Iraq awarded a development contract for Akkas, the country's largest gas field, to Kogas and KazMunaiGas in a bidding round last year, Trade Arabiya reported citing Reuters. State-run Kogas announced in May it had raised its stake in Akkas to 100 per cent after KazMunaiGas pulled out.

In June, Kogas chief executive Choo Kang-soo said three Asian nations had asked Kogas to sell them a stake in the field, which has estimated reserves of 5.6 trillion cubic feet.

In April, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki visited Seoul and agreed for South Korea to have the priority right to at least 250,000 barrels a day of crude oil during any emergency that upsets the global supply-and-demand balance, equivalent to about 10% of South Korean daily crude imports.


Rosneft may get up to 30 percent in ExxonMobil's projects

(RIA Novosti) -- Russia's top oil producer Rosneft may get up to 30 percent in ExxonMobil's projects as part of a USD 3.2 billion agreement signed in August, Glenn Waller, head of Exxon Mobil Russia, said on Tuesday. Rosneft had to decide on its share in Exxon Mobil's projects at the beginning of 2012, Waller told journalists. Igor Sechin, Deputy Prime Minister in charge of energy, has said Rosneft would get a share in no less than six of Exxon Mobil's projects in the U.S.

The deal between Rosneft and Exxon is aimed at exploring the East Prinovozemelsky Blocks 1, 2 and 3 in the Kara Sea in the Russian Arctic and the Tuapse License Block in the Black Sea. The deal also presupposed Rosneft's participation in Exxon Mobil's turf in the United States, particularly the Gulf of Mexico and Texas, as well as in third countries.

The pact gives Exxon, which already works with Rosneft on the Sakhalin-1 offshore project in Russia's Far East, access to substantial reserves in Russia, the world's top oil producer, while Rosneft, which was in search of a partner to provide it with shelf technologies it lacks.


BP put on hold a key hi-tech project worth 6.7 million pounds in Skolkovo

(RIA Novosti) -- British oil major BP has put on hold a key hi-tech project worth 6.7 million pounds (USD 8 million) in Skolkovo near Moscow over fears that it may be accused of breaching a shareholder agreement with its Russian venture TNK-BP, Kommersant business paper reported on Wednesday.

In spring, the AAR consortium, which represents BP's Russian partners in TNK-BP blocked a USD 16 billion share swap and Arctic shelf development deal between the British oil giant and Russia's top oil producer Rosneft, saying the pact broke TNK-BP's 2008 shareholder agreement, under which all energy projects must be offered to TNK-BP first.

BP was expected to finance the Skolkovo project on a parity basis with the Skolkovo fund, headed by TNK-BP co-owner and billionaire shareholder Viktor Vekselberg, but at the last moment refused to sign the deal. The firm cited the same shareholder agreement with TNK-BP, an instrument previously used by the joint venture's Russian shareholders to block BP's deal with Rosneft, the paper said.

A source close to Skolkovo said BP's behavior was irrational because the British oil major's investment in the hi-tech R&D project was not the subject of the TNK-BP shareholder agreement.


Celanese opened POM production facility in Germany

(Plastemart) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company and a global leader in high performance engineering plastics, announced the opening of its state-of-the art polyoxymethylene (POM) production facility in Frankfurt Hoechst Industrial Park, Germany. With a nameplate capacity of 140 KTa, Celanese's new POM plant will be the world's largest and strengthens the company's Ticona engineering polymers business, including its global operations and advanced technical capabilities. The new manufacturing facility is expected to meet the increased global demand for innovative specialty solutions in polymer-based products.


Hindustan Petroleum Corp. invited bids to conduct a feasibility study for a refinery and petrochemical project

(Plastemart) -- Hindustan Petroleum Corp. has invited bids to conduct a feasibility study for a refinery and petrochemical project at Visakhapatnam in southern India. The last date to submit tenders for the contract is Nov. 15. The state run oil major is reviving the Visakhapatnam project which was stalled earlier as its partners had pulled out due to the global economic slowdown in 2008-09.

The Visakhapatnam project was initially planned as a joint venture by Hindustan Petroleum, Mittal Energy Investments, France's Total SA, GAIL (India) Ltd. and Oil India Ltd. It was projected to have an export-oriented refinery with a capacity of 280,000-300,000 bpd and a petrochemical plant of at least 1 mln tons of annual capacity. GAIL and Oil India are still interested in the project and is also in talks to Mittal Energy and Total.