Bureau Chief, Thailand, Myanmar & Indochina, Bangkok, Thailand, Singapore
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May 31, 2014

Protesters to test Thai junta, no vote for over a year

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Protesters will test Thai coup leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha this weekend after he said there would be no elections in Thailand for more than a year to give the military time to engineer reforms.

Prayuth ousted the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on May 22 after months of sometimes violent protests. The general set out a plan for reconciliation and reform late on Friday in a televised address to the nation.

May 25, 2014

Old-school Thai junta faces new adversary: social media, flash mob protests

BANGKOK, May 26 (Reuters) – The Thai military may have a
well-rehearsed coup playbook after overthrowing a dozen
governments, but it’s never come up against the power of social
media, as used by dissenters worldwide to share information -
and that may prove a game-changer.

Since seizing control of the state on Thursday, Thailand’s
armed forces have arrested protest leaders, banned gatherings,
gagged domestic media, blocked cable news networks and captured
weapons from militant opposition groups. But they are struggling
to deal with protests in cities that are erupting more like
flash mobs than political rallies.

Jun 8, 2012

More U.S. waivers to Iran sanctions likely next week

SINGAPORE/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will announce a new list of countries that will receive exceptions to financial sanctions on oil trade with Iran as soon as early next week, a government official said on Thursday.

Not all of Iran’s oil buyers are likely to get the waivers, said the source, who declined to elaborate. Around two thirds of Iran’s crude exports flow to Asia, where the biggest buyers are China, Japan, India and South Korea.

Jun 7, 2012

More U.S. waivers to Iran sanctions as early as next week

SINGAPORE/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will announce a new list of countries that will receive exceptions to financial sanctions on oil trade with Iran as soon as early next week, a U.S. official in Washington said on Thursday.

The latest round of U.S. sanctions come into effect on June 28 and aim to cut Iran’s oil revenue to pressure Tehran into halting its nuclear program. Western powers suspect Iran is aiming to develop nuclear arms, but Tehran says the program is for civilian purposes.

Jun 7, 2012

U.S. soon to grant more waivers to Iran sanctions

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The United States will “very soon” announce a new list of countries that will receive waivers to financial sanctions on oil trade with Iran, a U.S. official said on Thursday.

The latest round of U.S. sanctions come into effect on June 28 and aim to cut Iran’s oil revenue to pressure Tehran into halting its nuclear program, which Western powers suspect is aimed at developing arms.

Jun 5, 2012

IEA: Oil near $100 still a threat to global economy

KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 (Reuters) – Oil prices near $100 a
barrel are still a threat to a slowing global economy that is
likely to consume less fuel than the International Energy Agency
(IEA) had forecast, the IEA’s executive director said on
Tuesday.

Brent crude this week dropped to a 16-month low
below $96 a barrel before recovering to around $99, well off a
peak of more than $128 in March but not low enough to stimulate,
rather than hinder growth, Maria van der Hoeven said.

May 14, 2012

Total eyes operator role in new Australia gas, oil projects

ADELAIDE, May 14 (Reuters) – French oil firm Total
is looking for oil and unconventional gas projects in Australia
in which it could take a role as operator, the company’s chief
executive said on Monday.

Australia is on its way to becoming the world’s largest
liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter, with around $170 billion
in projects under construction. Total already has minority
stakes in two of those projects, and is looking to expand,
Christophe de Margerie said.

May 13, 2012

Saudi says $100 per barrel great price for oil

ADELAIDE (Reuters) – Top crude exporter Saudi Arabia wants an oil price of around $100 a barrel and would like to see global inventories rise before demand picks up in the second half of the year, Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on Sunday.

International Brent crude settled at $112.26 on Friday, well off a peak of over $128 in March. Brent has mostly traded above $100 since early 2011, keeping fuel costs high and threatening to damage a fragile global economy.

Apr 27, 2012

Drought to cut India’s 2012/13 sugar exports

MUMBAI (Reuters) – India’s sugar exports in the 2012-13 season are likely to fall around a million tonnes on the year to 2 million tonnes as a drought hits the crop in top producing state Maharashtra and domestic consumption rises, the Indian head of ED&F Man said.

The exports, while lower than the 3 million tonnes of the 2011-12 season to end-September, would mark the third consecutive year that India has produced more sugar than it has consumed.

Apr 26, 2012

Essar Oil sees margins jump after expansion

MUMBAI (Reuters) – A major upgrading of its refinery in Gujarat by Essar Oil (ESRO.NS: Quote, Profile, Research) should boost its margins by up to $5 a barrel, its chief executive said on Thursday, adding nearly three quarters of a billion dollars to its annual revenues.

Essar has just completed a $1.6 billion overhaul and expansion at the Vadinar refinery, raising capacity to around 360,000 barrels per day from 280,000 bpd and adding units that can process cheaper, heavier crude into fuels.

    • About Simon

      "Simon Webb is the bureau chief for Reuters in Thailand, Myanmar & Indochina and is based in Bangkok. Simon guides news coverage from five countries with top stories including the political unrest in Thailand and Myanmar's struggle to emerge from decades of dictatorship. Before taking on bureau chief responsibilities, Simon was Asia commodities editor based in Singapore. Members of his team were part of a group that won scoop of the year at Reuters' 2012 journalism awards for coverage of the impact of international sanctions on the flow of oil from Iran. Simon has previously worked in Dubai and London ..."
      Joined Reuters:
      2004
      Languages:
      English, Spanish
      Awards:
      Reuters C&E Journalist of the Year 2009
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