Efective steps to avoid a future oil crisis must be taken - OAPEC's director of Technical Affairs

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- The Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC)'s director of Technical Affairs, Dr. Samir Elkareish, says effective steps to avoid a future oil crisis must be taken. Dr. Elkareish is one of dozens of high-level experts who will address the Middle East Downstream Week in Abu Dhabi from 8-11 May, where NOCs, IOCs, petrochemical producers, refiners, fuels marketers and distributors in addition to independent oil and gas experts and technology leaders will gather.

The global economic impact of the unrest in the MENA region, in particular Libya, and the resultant rise in the oil price, is expected to be an important point of the discussions at this event. Dr. Elkareish says the risk to the global economy posed by sustained high oil prices is a factor that should not be overlooked: ⌠If tensions in the MENA region die down quickly and the price of oil returns to pre-crisis levels, the global economic recovery will not be affected dramatically. However, if these movements spread, and a collection of countries see deep cuts in oil production, high oil prices could pose a real danger to the global economy.

The largest refiners in the region will attend the Middle East Downstream Week in May where OAPEC's Dr. Elkareish will specifically focus on clean fuels regulations and Arab countries' strategies to improve refined product specifications, including current specifications of refined products in Arab countries and the expected time schedule for meeting international clean fuels standards. He will also address the main reasons why refiners in Arab countries are not able to meet international clean fuel standards in addition to plans already implemented for improving refined product specifications in Arab refineries.


Ras Laffan Industrial City made USВ 70 billion in investments

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- Qatar's Ras Laffan Industrial City (RLIC) is estimated to have made US$70 billion in investments to date according to its director. Abdul Aziz Jassim Al Muftah said that the city is still pursuing its planning and development programme in infrastructure of its existing industries, future hydrocarbon industries associated with LNG and support services industries.

Speaking with the Qatar News Agency, Al Muftah said that a number of major projects were slated for implementation this year, including a solar technology project to produce polysilicon and the Barzan gas company for supplying gas mostly to the domestic market, and feeding the industrial and desalination requirements.

RLIC continues to expand further with Qatar Petroleum maintaining oversight over its growth, said the director. In an updated plan for the major industrial zone, Al Muftah said that it would be expanded to cover a total area of 295 square kilometres which more than doubles its current size, helping it meet and secure the needs of Qatar's growing hydrocarbons industry over the next 30 years.


Qatargas has confirmed additional LNG cargoes to Japan

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- Qatargas has confirmed additional LNG volumes equivalent to sixty conventional LNG cargoes to Japan, demonstrating its commitment to support its long-term Japanese customers. Sixty conventional LNG cargoes represent approximately 4 million tonnes of LNG. In other words, this is enough energy to generate approximately 28 terrawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity, or enough to meet the average electricity consumption, of five million Japanese households for a year.

This commitment is announced after Qatargas' Chief Executive Officer Khalid Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, returned from last week's visit to Japan, where he led a Qatargas delegation to meet with senior officials from Japanese utility and gas companies.

Confirming Qatargas is working to meet Japan's increased requirements for LNG Qatargas's CEO added: ⌠These additional cargoes of LNG will be supplied to a number of our long-term customers over the next 12 months. The first of these cargoes was discharged whist I was still in Japan and I anticipate further sales.


PE prices in Europe are stable to slightly higher compared with March

(ICIS) -- Polyethylene (PE) prices in Europe this month are stable to slightly higher compared with March, but buying remains cautious as consumers wait for price levels to ease in the coming weeks, sources said on Friday.

The US dollar has weakened against the euro, providing European producers with a buffer against the rise in upstream prices.

On Friday morning, Brent crude oil was trading at USD121.95/bbl and naphtha was at USD 1.030-1.038/tonne CIF (cost, insurance freight) NWE (northwest Europe).

The PE market is becoming fragmented and some grades are seen as firmer than others.

Availability of high-density injection and blowmoulding is tight. But even for these grades, buyers are reluctant to pay higher prices.

Low density polyethylene (LDPE) buyers are now getting some relief after several months of price increases. Monthly prices are now at a record high, trading around EUR 1.500/tonne (USD 2.174/tonne), FD (free delivered) NWE on a net basis.


Azerkimya restored production in its two plants

(Trend) -- Azerkimya Production Unit of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) commissioned the Surface-active Substances Plant after the repair work, SOCAR said on Friday.
The plant's work was suspended in January for repair of electrolysis baths of caustic soda and chlorine production. After commissioning the plant production of caustic soda, liquid chlorine and other products was restored.

Production at the, "Organic Synthesis" plant was also suspended in connection with the repair work at the Surface-active Substances Plant. Work on this production site has been also restored.