China betting on overland energy-supply lines

SINGAPORE – China’s strategy to diversify supply routes for its rapidly rising energy imports has just taken a major step forward.

On July 15, natural gas from Myanmar (aka Burma) started to flow along a recently completed pipeline that stretches for 1,100 kilometers from the sea coast, through jungle and mountains, to Kunming in southwest China.

There it will feed into other gas lines supplying homes, industries and power plants generating electricity in the world’s biggest energy user. Continue reading

China in $5 bn drive to develop disputed East China Sea gas

These Chinese ‘geologists’ could also very likely be understating the true significance and size of the deposits. The state-run oil companies do the bidding of the CCP. Today’s CCP is still rooted in ancient Chinese history and follows the philosophy of Sun Tzu, therefore appearing weak when strong, and applying this method to any given situation. The territory dispute is another story. However, in hindsight, the Chinese wouldn’t be trying so hard to acquire this field given the fact that the deposit size will only contribute a fraction of the gas output they need.

BEIJING: Chinese state-run oil companies hope to develop seven new gas fields in the East China Sea, possibly siphoning gas from the seabed beneath waters claimed by Japan, a move that could further inflame tensions with Tokyo over the disputed area.

Beijing had slowed exploration in the energy-rich East China Sea, one of Asia’s biggest security risks due to competing territorial claims, but is now rapidly expanding its hunt for gas, a cheaper and cleaner energy to coal and oil imports. Continue reading

Hot money exodus ends currency wars

Turkey’s efforts to pull the lira off record lows on Monday are likely to be emulated across emerging markets as central banks fight to avert an exodus of foreign capital driven by the impending turn in US policy.

It’s all a far cry from a year or so ago, when emerging market exporters were battling rising exchange rates and Brazil was accusing Western policymakers of waging currency wars by flooding the world with cheap money. Continue reading

India sheds its ‘landlocked mindset’

TIMES A-CHANGIN’: The Indian navy and army are looking East and pursuing strategic defence ties with regional allies

FOUR Indian Navy ships’ voyage last month through the strategic Malacca Straits, calling at Port Klang, Da Nang and Manila, though not extraordinary, points to a significant trend.

Slowly, India seems to be shedding what critics call its “landlocked mindset” and is surveying the vast expanse of water around it.

A country conducting maritime trade from times immemorial rarely flaunted its naval power. Its navy came into being, thanks to the British East India Company only four centuries ago. Continue reading

Is Sri Lanka Becoming A Key Player In China’s String Of Pearls?

China has offered Sri Lanka new loans for infrastructure projects, worth US$ 2.2 billion dollars. In a reply to a question, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mr. Hong Lei told the news media that in addition to infrastructure loans, both countries agreed to further deepen defence cooperation and maintain exchanges between two defence ministries, whilst they continue to carry out in cooperating defence technology, personal training and other fields. Yet, the spokesperson did not reveal further details regarding the nature of the new strategic cooperation.

Sri Lankan External Affairs Minister Professor G. L. Peiris, mentioned in an interview with Global Times that, Sri Lanka will embrace China’s rise and characterised bilateral ties as “very warm and mutually supportive”. He also mentioned that China has “stood the test of time”, referring to the military support the country extended during the last phase of the war against the LTTE, as well as the support given to Sri Lanka against a US-backed resolution at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Continue reading

UPDATE 5-U.S. to overtake Saudi as top oil producer – IEA

Believing this one might be a difficult thing to uphold. The energy resources available aren’t disputed, but the actual motive to use them are. Most of the news the last four years reflects that the Obama administration has gone out of its way to close everything up it can (i.e. available shale oil land in Colorado via making national parks out of everything) and kill Canadian imported oil. Only time will tell what will come of this anomaly.

* U.S. to become biggest oil producer by 2017

* To overtake Russia as top gas producer by 2015

* Moving to become self-sufficient in energy (Adds details, para 8-9) Continue reading

What sanctions? Top five countries buying oil from Iran.

Third-world economies have no bottom, therefore sanctions are unlikely to be as hard hitting as most believe. There will always be another customer for oil.

Iran is the third-largest exporter of crude oil in the world, behind Saudi Arabia and Russia. Its economy relies heavily on oil exports. Recent Western sanctions have targeted Iran’s oil industry in hopes of pressuring Tehran to address international concerns about its nuclear program.

However, the effect of the sanctions could be limited if Iran’s top customers keep buying oil, or even increase their imports. According to tallies from June 2011, here are the top 5 importers of Iranian oil:

1. China

2. India

3. Japan

4. South Korea

5. Turkey

Full article: What sanctions? Top five countries buying oil from Iran. (The Christian Science Monitor)

Exclusive: China buys up Saudi, Russian oil to squeeze Iran

China is scouring the world for alternative oil supplies to replace a fall in its imports from Iran, as it seeks to negotiate lower prices from Tehran, and has been drawing heavily on Saudi Arabia.

Industry sources told Reuters that Beijing had bought the bulk of an increase in crude oil supplies from top oil exporter Saudi Arabia in the last few months.

The world’s second-largest oil consumer is also importing more cargoes from West Africa, Russia and Australia to replace reduced supplies from Iran.

China is the top buyer of Iranian oil, taking around 20 percent of its total exports, but since January it has cut purchases by around 285,000 barrels per day (bpd), or just over half of the total daily amount it imported in 2011.

Full article: Exclusive: China buys up Saudi, Russian oil to squeeze Iran (Reuters)

India mulls using rupee to pay for Iran oil imports

As one expert has put it, a Pearl Harbor moment has happened. The United States is being economically attacked and yet the citizenry remains asleep at the switch.

NEW DELHI: India said Monday it may use its own currency, the rupee, to pay for oil imports from Iran in the face of a US-led sanctions campaign aimed at forcing Tehran to abandon its nuclear programme.

India has said it will continue to import oil from Iran, joining China in refusing to bow to intensifying US pressure not to do business with Iran.
India currently routes its dollar payments for Iranian crude through a Turkish bank — an avenue that might be closed off as Washington ratchets up pressure on the Persian Gulf state.
“There are different (payment) options which are being evaluated and discussed. We are also considering the rupee as an option,” Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor H.R. Khan told reporters.

Continue reading article: India mulls using rupee to pay for Iran oil imports (The Daily Star)