Archive for January, 2019

Malaysia’s Petronas chief: Oil price too high, should fall to $75-$80 a barrel

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – The chief of Malaysia’s national oil company Petronas said Monday that global oil prices are too high and should fall back to between $75 and $80 a barrel.

While demand has surged, Petronas Chief Executive Shamsul Azhar Abbas said there was no real evidence of an oil shortage and that current prices above $100 a barrel appeared largely linked to speculation in crude markets.

杭州楼凤

“Given the current state of market fundamentals and the cost environment, I believe prices should remain within the range of $75 to $80 per barrel,” Shamsul told a two-day Asian oil and gas conference.

Oil prices soared from about $70 a barrel last summer to as high as $115 this spring, and currently are hovering above $100. They were driven up by turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, rising demand in developing countries and a weakening U.S. dollar.

The 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which accounts for about 40 per cent of the global crude supply, will discuss Wednesday whether to boost production to help lower prices.

Shamsul said a major long-term challenge would be to meet growing oil demand amid dwindling resources, and that companies would be relying on smaller fields and offshore fields to sustain production.

Meanwhile, Asia’s oil demand has been projected to increase by two-thirds within the next 20 years. At this rate, Asia will have consumed more than 250 billion barrels of oil by then – more than six times its current reserves of about 40 billion barrels, he said.

“There is truly no mistaking that Asia’s dependence on energy imports and investments into other resource-rice regions will grow,” he said.

Boeing says growing Asia, Mideast demand should offset stagnant Europe, US military spending

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

SINGAPORE – Boeing Co. is counting on growing demand in Asia and the Middle East for military aircraft to help offset possible spending cuts in Europe and the U.S., a top company executive said Friday.

Austerity measures to help lower government debt will likely reduce military spending in Europe and leave U.S. expenditures flat for the next several years, said Dennis Muilenberg, chief executive of Boeing’s defence, space and security unit.

杭州楼凤

“It’s certainly a challenging environment,” Muilenberg told reporters in Singapore. “Our growth prospects are somewhat muted. We anticipate steady, moderate growth in our defence business.”

Boeing is hoping to boost defence sales outside the U.S. to about 25 per cent of its revenue by 2013, up from 17 per cent last year and 7 per cent in 2006. About half of Boeing’s $64 billion of revenue last year came from defence sales.

South Korea will likely request proposals on a contract for 60 fighter jets during the first quarter of next year, and Boeing plans to bid its F-15 model, Muilenberg said.

Boeing sells a variety of fighter jets, transport planes and attack helicopters to governments in the region including Japan, Singapore, South Korea and India.

“We see strength in all of those markets,” Muilenberg said. “We expect our growth to be driven by Asia and the Middle East.”

“Saudi Arabia is a very important customer for us,” he added. “The interest in the F-15 and the Apache (helicopters) is continuing to move forward robustly.”

Based in Chicago, Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and employs 159,000 people in 70 countries.

Israeli forces on high alert for possible border unrest on anniversary of 1967 Mideast war

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

Thousands of Israeli security forces mobilized for possible border unrest Sunday as Palestinians marked the anniversary of the Arab defeat in the 1967 Mideast war and Israel’s occupation of Arab land.

Borders with Syria, Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank were quiet on Sunday morning. In Gaza, security forces from the ruling Hamas movement were keeping hundreds of protesters from approaching the border with Israel at two potential flashpoints.

杭州楼凤

Over the weekend, Palestinians in Syria and Lebanon cancelled plans to march to their frontiers with Israel.

Israel wasn’t taking any chances after thousands of Arab protesters surged to Israel’s borders with Syria, Lebanon, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank last month on another key anniversary, Israel’s 1948 creation. Hundreds breached a porous border fence at the time and entered a border village in the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967.

Fifteen people died in border clashes with Israeli and possibly Lebanese security forces.

Since that May 15 confrontation, Israel has fortified its northern frontier with trenches and land mines.

The military wouldn’t release troop deployment details Sunday. Soldiers stationed along the border fence said the northern Golan had been declared a closed military zone.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said thousands of officers were mobilized across the country in anticipation of possible disturbances, with an emphasis on the north and Jerusalem.

Israel also seized east Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan, and Gaza from Egypt, in the six-day war in 1967. Palestinians want all three territories for their future state.

Malaysia’s Najib says Asia shouldn’t have to choose between US and China

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

SINGAPORE – Asian countries shouldn’t have to choose between being allies of the U.S. or China and must avoid another Cold War-style polarization in the region, Malaysia’s prime minister said Friday.

Asia should foster co-operation between the U.S., the world’s military superpower, and emerging power China in order to tackle regional security problems such as human trafficking, terrorism, drug smuggling and nuclear proliferation, Najib Razak said in Singapore at the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, a regional security conference.

杭州楼凤

“China is our partner and the U.S. is also our partner,” Najib said in a speech. “It’s not about taking sides.”

“We must replace the old bilateralism of the Cold War, not with a new bilateralism, but with a multilateralism that can rise to the task ahead.”

U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates met Friday in Singapore with his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Liang Guanglie, amid recent signs of warming relations between the two countries.

China’s army chief of staff met with top U.S. military officials last month in Washington, and China for the first time chose to send its defence minister to the Singapore conference, now in its 10th year.

Gates will deliver a speech Saturday while Liang will address the conference Sunday.

“We face a new set of asymmetric and non-traditional security challenges that cannot be resolved in isolation or through the old security structures of the past,” Najib said. “We must meet these challenges comprehensively and with no option off the table.”

Najib also called on Southeast Asian trade pact ASEAN to develop a new rapid response team that can provide assistance when humanitarian disasters strike the region.

:China dispatches patrol boat to Singapore amid spike in South China Sea tensionsRead it on Global News: Global News:China dispatches patrol boat to Singapore

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

 

BEIJING – China has dispatched one of its largest maritime patrol ships on a
first-ever visit to the Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore amid a spike in
tensions over disputed territory in the South China Sea.

The Haixun-31 left Wednesday and will stay in Singapore for two weeks of
exchanges on search and rescue, anti-piracy and port management operations,

杭州楼凤

Chinese state media reported Thursday.

Similar ships have been accused of harassing foreign shipping in the South
China Sea, including U.S. Navy surveillance vessels.

China, Vietnam and the Philippines have traded diplomatic barbs recently over
claims to the resource-rich South China Sea and its island groups. Vietnam’s
navy conducted live-firing exercises Monday after accusing Chinese boats of
disrupting oil and gas exploration in its waters.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told a news conference
Friday that the U.S. understood the Chinese ship was making a “routine, planned
visit” to Singapore. She reiterated that the South China Sea disputes should be
resolved through negotiations.

The 3,000-ton, helicopter-equipped Haixun-31 is one of two vessels of that
size belonging to the Maritime Safety Administration, one of five nominally
civilian agencies tasked with overseeing China’s interests at sea. All of those
departments are undergoing major expansions as Beijing moves to assert its
territorial claims and economic interests in both the South China Sea and the
East China Sea, where it has territorial disputes with Japan and
Taiwan.