By Rebekah Kebede and Edward Mcallister
PERTH/NEW YORK, April 28(Reuters)- Asian spot prices of liquefied natural
gas were seen around $12.30 per million British thermal units (mmBtu) this week,
with the high-demand summer months approaching and buying from Japan, China, and
other Asian nations expected to ramp up.
Japan, the world’s largest LNG importer, is facing mostly
hotter-than-average weather from May to July, raising the prospect of power
supply problems as it struggles to keep the electricity on in the wake of last
month’s massive earthquake and tsunami.
PERTH, April 21 (Reuters) – Oil giant Sinopec on Thursday
signed China’s second-largest gas purchase agreement, worth
around $85 billion over 20 years by one estimate, in a deal that
also gives it 15 percent of an Australian gas-export project.
Sinopec will pay $1.5 billion for the stake in the Australia
Pacific liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, completing a
preliminary deal agreed in February with project developers
ConocoPhillips and Australia’s Origin Energy .
KARRATHA, Australia (Reuters) – Demand for Australian commodities is running white-hot. So too are costs in the country’s remote mining towns, to the point where tiny huts or “dongas” can cost as much as a five-star hotel room and backpackers can earn $2,000 a week cleaning them.
Costs are becoming a big headache for Australian miners, including giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, which complain that labor shortages, a strong local currency and rising fuel prices threaten to slow the pace of expansion.
PERTH, April 15 (Reuters) – Australia’s thermal coal prices,
a benchmark for Asia, were unchanged during the past week as
global miner Xstrata headed back up to Japan to
renegotiate annual thermal coal contract prices.
Australia’s thermal coal on the globalCOAL Newcastle index
for the week to date was $123.25 per tonne on Thursday,
unchanged from a week earlier.
SYDNEY/PERTH (Reuters) – BHP Billiton (BHP.AX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) played down speculation it was in talks to acquire a cornerstone stake that could be worth $10.3 billion (A$9.8 billion) in Australia’s largest oil and gas firm, Woodside Petroleum (WPL.AX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), from Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).
BHP Billiton, widely rumoured to be considering a takeover of Woodside, said in a short statement that there was no basis for the market talk, which has centred on BHP acquiring Shell’s 24.3 percent stake as a step toward a full takeover.
PERTH, April 5 (Reuters) – Australia’s thermal coal prices
rose during the past week, supported by a higher settlement for
the annual Japanese thermal coal contract.
Thermal coal on the globalCOAL Newcastle index, a benchmark
for Asia, closed at $123.75 per tonne for the week to date on
Monday, up from $123 per tonne a week earlier and $121.13 on
PERTH/LONDON, April 1 (Reuters) – Record thermal coal term
contract prices agreed by Japanese utilities and one Australian
supplier this week have given the nearby global coal values a
boost, utilities, traders and analysts said on Friday.
Xstrata (XTA.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Chugoku Electric (9504.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have agreed
annual contract prices for the fiscal year starting April 1 at
just under $130 a tonne FOB Newcastle, over 30 percent higher
than last year [ID:nL3E7EV499].
PERTH, April 1 (Reuters) – Xstrata and Chugoku
Electric have settled an annual coal contract for the Japanese
fiscal year starting April 1 at a record level despite the
near-term thermal coal demand destruction caused by the deadly
earthquake in Japan last month.
The contract was settled just under $130 per tonne, over 30
percent higher than last year’s contract, sources told Reuters
SEOUL/PERTH, March 31 (Reuters) – South Korea’s STX Corp
, aiming to boost its coal trading by investing in
overseas mines, said on Thursday that it has received long-term
supply requests from Chinese and Indian utilities which expect
rising demand after Japan’s quake.
STX also said in a statement that it had bought a 40 percent
stake in an Indonesian coal mine located in Kintap, Kalimantan
from PT Indonesia Cemerlang for $30 million, earning mine
operation and sales rights for all coal output.
PERTH, March 30 (Reuters) – Australia’s thermal coal prices,
a benchmark for Asia, dipped slightly as the short-term drop in
Japanese coal demand kept pressure on prices after a deadly
earthquake earlier this month.
Australia’s thermal coal prices on the globalCOAL weekly
index, a benchmark for Asia, closed at $122.02 per tonne for the
week to date on Tuesday, down slightly from $122.98 a week