Click on the headline (link) for the full text.

Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage

Iran MP says Japan oil deal ‘to be cancelled’

AFP, Yahoo! News
he head of the Iranian parliament’s energy commission said Tehran would cancel a two-billion-dollar contract signed with Japan’s Inpex to develop its largest onshore oil field after a string of delays.

“The contract with Japan to develop the Azadegan oil field will soon be cancelled,” Kamal Daneshyar was quoted as saying by the official news agency IRNA.

“Japan must pay the penalty for five years of delay” in launching operations, he said, adding that the project would be handed to the National Iranian South Oil Company.
(30 Sept 2006)

Nigerian Militants kill troops on Shell convoy

Austin Ekeinde, Reuters
PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Militants in speed boats attacked Nigerian soldiers escorting a convoy supplying oilfields operated by Royal Dutch Shell on Monday, ending a month of relative quiet in the Niger Delta.

An oil industry source said the militants killed five of the 15 soldiers protecting the convoy, which was ferrying fuel and other supplies to oilfields in the Cawthorne Channel area of Rivers State in the eastern delta. An army spokesman confirmed soldiers were killed but he did not know the exact number.

“About 17 militants attacked our soldiers. The militants came in several boats. They succeeded in sinking two of our boats with soldiers inside,” said army spokesman Sagir Musa, adding that several injured soldiers had been brought to Port Harcourt, the state capital.
(2 Oct 2006)
One report quotes Major Musa putting the number of dead at fourteen and number of attackers at seventy.-LJ

Indonesia to halve LNG to Japan
Observers say move a sign of tough times ahead in energy sector

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Indonesia has notified Japanese companies that it intends to halve exports of liquefied natural gas to Japan by as early as 2010, sources said Thursday.

The two sides have already entered into negotiations on the reduction plan, which will be implemented when current long-term export contracts expire, the sources said.

With the soaring price of crude oil, and growing concerns over environmental problems, countries including China, South Korea and the United States have started importing LNG. This increase in demand from other nations, and subsequent reduction in LNG imports from Indonesia, is likely to have a significant impact on Japan’s energy strategy, observers note. …

LNG imports from countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia largely went to Japan until the 1990s. In recent years, however, the United States, China and South Korea, among other nations, have sharply increased LNG imports as they seem excellent value in the wake of rising oil prices.
(29 Sept 2006)
See comments at Deconsumption. -AF

Norways Statoil hunts for big oil sands deal

Patrick Brethour
Calgary — Norway’s Statoil ASA is on the hunt for an oil sands project, saying it is aiming to strike a deal worth more than a billion dollars to claim a stake in Alberta’s bitumen deposits.
The state-owned company — shrugging off concerns about inflationary pressures in the sector — said its strategy centres on building an integrated project, complete with an upgrader.

Executing that strategy would eventually cost upward of $10-billion, but Statoil is looking to acquire both a project and at least one partner.
In an interview with The Globe and Mail, the head of Statoil’s non-conventional oil unit said he is eager to strike a deal. “We see no reason for hanging around on the street corner,” said Peder Sortland, a senior vice-president at Statoil. ..

He characterizes mining projects as the “first generation” of the oil sands; he is focusing his efforts on in situ projects — the second generation, in his view — that melt bitumen and pump it to the surface rather than excavating millions of tonnes of earth. ..

Last week, Statoil and other Western firms were shut out of the latest preliminary contract round for the Orinoco area. Instead, the government awarded the contracts for estimating reserves to a collection of state oil companies. Mr. Sortland said those contracts do not necessarily mean the same parties will be awarded rights in subsequent rounds.
He said it is not the case that Statoil is fleeing Venezuela for Alberta, but that his company is simply prepared to broaden its portfolio. “We’re ready for Canada now.”
(28 Sept 2006)

Dow suing Nova over ethane feedstock supplies

Globe and Mail
Dow Chemical Canada Inc. is suing Nova Chemicals Corp. for $120.9-million (U.S.), alleging that Nova wrongfully diverted ethane feedstock from the companies’ joint venture in Joffre, Alta. The 11-year-old effort produces ethylene, a building block of industrial plastics, using ethane as a petrochemical feedstock.

The 11-year-old effort produces ethylene, a building block of industrial plastics, using ethane as a petrochemical feedstock.

Supplies of ethane, which is extracted from natural gas, have become increasingly tight in Alberta in recent years as natural gas exports to the United States have risen substantially.

There are three ethylene production units at Joffre, two of which Nova owns wholly, while the third is a joint venture with Dow. ..
(29 Sept 2006)
Contributor C.Purcell writes: This may be business as usual, or a sign that the plastics industry is starting to suffer from gas pains.