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BEIRUT BOURSE TRACKS LOSSES ABROAD (Lebanon)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 8, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

BlomInvest, with The Daily Star

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

BEIRUT: With the deepening world recession, the Beirut Stock Exchange (BSE) continued to mimic the performance regional Arab stock exchanges that on average have fallen around 43 percent from the start of the year.

On a weekly basis, total volume of trades increased 48 percent to 1.29 million shares as investors rushed to liquidate their portfolios. But the corresponding value decreased 33 percent to $10.29 million on declining share prices that sank the BLOM Stock Index to a 52-week low of 1,183 with a year-to-date drop of 21 percent.

Of the 26 listed stocks on the Beirut Stock Exchange, 11 stocks exchanged hands this past week, of which 2 went up and 9 decreased. Solidere stocks represented 64.9 percent of the total value traded.

The banking sector accounted for the remaining 35.1 percent. In the banking sector, BLOM GDR dropped this week by 2.08 percent to $68.4 after trading 7,830 shares at $533,187. Audi Bank’s GDR stock went down by 3.65 percent to close at $54.1 following trades of 9,460 shares with a value of $518,676. Byblos Bank’s common stock increased slightly this week by 0.61 percent to $1.65 recording a volume of 566,400 shares valued at $939,953. On the other hand, its preferred stock class 2008 dropped by 2 percent to $97.9. Solidere stocks remained vulnerable this week as its A shares dipped 4.58 percent to close at $16.66, Solidere B also dropped 2.65 percent to $16.87.

As described last week, the overall situation on the Beirut Stock Exchange remains volatile and vulnerable to the ongoing financial crisis.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘THE DAILY STAR’ (Lebanon)

Posted in ALGERIA, BANKING SYSTEMS, CENTRAL BANKS, COMMERCE, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EGYPT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FINANCIAL MARKETS, INTERNATIONAL, ISLAMIC BANKS, LEBANON, LYBIA, MIDDLE EAST, MOROCCO, RECESSION, REGULATIONS AND BUSINESS TRANSPARENCY, STOCK MARKETS, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS | Leave a Comment »

ALGERIA URGES RUSSIA, NORWAY, MEXICO TO JOIN OPEC – Energy minister calls on three countries to join cartel or cut their output to show solidarity to group

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on December 3, 2008

First Published 2008-12-02 – Updated 2008-12-02 16:05:18

PUBLISHED BY ‘MIDDLE EAST ON LINE’

ALGIERS – Algerian Energy Minister Chakib Khelil, the current president of OPEC, on Tuesday urged Russia, Norway and Mexico to join or cut their crude production to show solidarity with the group.

“What we really want is for these countries to become members of OPEC,” Khelil said on the sidelines of a conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Algiers, according to APS news agency.

“I don’t see why Russia can’t be a full-fledged member of the organisation. It’s the best way to express solidarity,” he said.

If the three countries refuse to join OPEC, they should reduce oil production, Khelil said.

“We don’t need an agreement to stand by countries that share the same goal. If they have problems (joining OPEC), they should just apply their intended reductions.”

Russia, a top world oil producer, is not a member of OPEC, but has held regular consultations with the organisation.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin last week said Moscow had prepared a draft memorandum on cooperation with the 13-member cartel.

OPEC secretary general Abdalla Salem El-Badri said Monday the cartel may decide on a “major” output cut when it meets in Oran, Algeria, on December 17.

OPEC has already slashed output twice this year by a total of two million barrels per day in response to plunging prices but fears remain that a global recession could ravage demand for energy.

Oil prices have fallen under 50 dollars a barrel.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘MIDDLE EAST ON LINE’

Posted in ALGERIA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FOREIGN POLICIES, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, MEXICO, NATURAL GAS, NORWAY, OPEC, PETROL, REFINERIES - PETROL/BIOFUELS, RUSSIA | Leave a Comment »

MELROSE TOUTS ACTIVE DRILLING PROGRAM IN EGYPT, BULGARIA & US

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 15, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Melrose Resources plc

MELROSE RESOURCES

Melrose Resources has issued its Interim Management Statement to cover the period July 1, 2008 to September 30, 2008 (“the Third Quarter”) and up to date. This information is provisional and unaudited and may be subject to further review.

Exploration

In October Melrose announced the success of the Kavarna No.1 exploration well, which was drilled approximately 7 km to the east of the Melrose-operated Galata gas field, offshore Bulgaria. The well

was drilled to total depth of 2,899 feet and encountered the top of the Paleocene reservoir target at a depth of 2,628 feet. The mud log obtained while drilling established that the reservoir formation was well developed and gas-bearing and the initial reserves estimate for the discovery is 24 Bcf.

The new discovery is located between the Galata field and the Kaliakra discovery which was announced earlier this year and which is estimated to contain reserves of up to 47 Bcf. Three future prospects exist on the same geologic trend and are candidates for drilling in 2009 and 2010.

Prior to completing the well, a strong gas influx occurred in the Kavarna No.1 well and for safety reasons it was necessary to plug the well which will now be redrilled. Subsequently an appraisal well will be drilled on the Kaliakra discovery to test for the significant reserves upside in the structure. First production is expected from the two discoveries in the second half of 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Development

Melrose is continuing with its active development program in Egypt. The West Dikirnis Phase II development project is progressing well with all initial design work complete and all major procurement contracts placed. The project is on schedule for the delivery of first LPG and gas reinjection in mid 2009. Also in Egypt, production was re-instigated from the Qantara field in October and the development projects at East Abu Khadra, North East Abu Zahra, South Zarqa and Damas are ongoing with planned first production on dates between December 2008 and September 2009.

In the USA, Melrose has continued with the development project on its fields in the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico. A total of 42 new wells have been drilled to date and injection of water as part of the secondary recovery project in the Jalmat field has commenced.

In Bulgaria, the project to convert the Galata gas field to a gas storage facility is moving forward and discussions are continuing with the Bulgarian authorities to define commercial terms. First injection in the facility is expected in mid 2009.

Production and Product Prices

Melrose’s net entitlement production in the Third Quarter totalled 6.0 Bcf of gas and 357 Mbbls of oil and condensate, representing an increase of 6% compared with the same period in 2007. Average daily net entitlement production in the quarter was 14.8 Mboepd (88.9 MMcfepd). On a working interest basis average daily production in the quarter was 34.6 Mboepd.

Financial Position

Total capital expenditure in the Third Quarter amounted to $55.4 million, of which $41.7 million was spent on development and $13.7 million on exploration activities. In the period January 1, 2008 to September 30,2008 capital expenditure amounted to $147.4 million, of which $94.4 million was spent on development and $53.0 million on exploration activities.

Melrose remains in a well funded and sound financial position and there have been no major changes in its balance sheet since the publication of the 2008 Interim Results. Group net debt at 30 September was $407.0 million. Increased bank facilities were put in place in June 2008 with the IFC and a syndicate of eight commercial banks. The senior facility has a facility amount of $440 million and the subordinated facility has a facility amount of $70 million. Both facilities remain fixed until 2012 and then amortize with final repayment due in December 2014. Availability under the borrowing base calculation for the senior facility currently exceeds the facility size and Melrose would be in a position to consider increasing the size of the senior facility in the future if required.

The existing loan facilities, coupled with good levels of cash generation from the business, will ensure that the Company is able to finance its planned investment programme going forward. The fall in the oil price has resulted in a decrease in revenue in the Third Quarter compared with the second quarter of the year. Melrose benefits from a number of advantages in the current lower oil price environment. Firstly, approximately 74% of Melrose’s net production in the Third Quarter was gas which was sold at fixed contracted prices. Secondly, under the terms of Melrose’s production sharing concessions in Egypt Melrose has a higher entitlement to production at lower oil prices. Thirdly, and most importantly, Melrose is the operator of its major properties. This gives Melrose the ability to determine the amount and timing of its capital expenditures in the light of available resources.

During the Third Quarter, the Company announced a maiden interim dividend to shareholders of 1.2 pence per share which was paid on October 17, 2008.

Outlook

In Bulgaria, pending receipt of the final approval from the Bulgarian authorities for the conversion of the Galata gas field as a gas storage facility, the Company has reduced the Galata production rate to around 11 MMcfpd and expects to cease production from the field at the end of this year to ensure sufficient gas is left in the reservoir to implement the project.

Because of this and some minor operational delays in Egypt, the Company previously announced last month that it believes it is prudent to reduce its 2008 net entitlement production guidance from 19.2 Mboepd to 18.3 Mboepd. The revised 2008 production guidance equates to 36.3 Mboepd on a working interest basis.

The result of the exploration programme in Bulgaria and reserve additions in the USA put Melrose on track for a strong performance in reserves replacement in 2008. The development projects which comprise the majority of Melrose’s capital expenditures are on schedule which is positive for production expectations in 2009 and beyond.

In the coming few months Melrose has an active drilling program. In Egypt the North Dikirnis No.1 exploration well is currently drilling and an exploration well at East Dikirnis (also known as North Tariff) is planned before year-end. In Bulgaria the re-drill of the Kavarna No.1 will be followed by an appraisal well on the Kaliakra structure. In East Texas, the Nunan No.1 well, which has multiple pay targets, is expected to spud later this month and will be followed by the Ramsey No.1 well which is twinning a well drilled by the previous operator and which discovered the target formation.

Commenting on this report, David Thomas, Chief Executive, said, “Melrose continues to make good progress in all three of our principal areas of operation. In the current environment we are seeing the benefit of our solid production base and of the established development upside in our properties. Drilling success has again demonstrated our ability to add value for the Company through exploration and with our current resources and asset portfolio we are well positioned to provide value growth for our shareholders.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘RIGZONE’

Posted in ALGERIA, BULGARIA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EGYPT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FRANCE, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PETROL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

MELROSE TOUTS ACTIVE DRILLING PROGRAM IN EGYPT, BULGARIA & US

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 15, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Melrose Resources plc

MELROSE RESOURCES

Melrose Resources has issued its Interim Management Statement to cover the period July 1, 2008 to September 30, 2008 (“the Third Quarter”) and up to date. This information is provisional and unaudited and may be subject to further review.

Exploration

In October Melrose announced the success of the Kavarna No.1 exploration well, which was drilled approximately 7 km to the east of the Melrose-operated Galata gas field, offshore Bulgaria. The well

was drilled to total depth of 2,899 feet and encountered the top of the Paleocene reservoir target at a depth of 2,628 feet. The mud log obtained while drilling established that the reservoir formation was well developed and gas-bearing and the initial reserves estimate for the discovery is 24 Bcf.

The new discovery is located between the Galata field and the Kaliakra discovery which was announced earlier this year and which is estimated to contain reserves of up to 47 Bcf. Three future prospects exist on the same geologic trend and are candidates for drilling in 2009 and 2010.

Prior to completing the well, a strong gas influx occurred in the Kavarna No.1 well and for safety reasons it was necessary to plug the well which will now be redrilled. Subsequently an appraisal well will be drilled on the Kaliakra discovery to test for the significant reserves upside in the structure. First production is expected from the two discoveries in the second half of 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Development

Melrose is continuing with its active development program in Egypt. The West Dikirnis Phase II development project is progressing well with all initial design work complete and all major procurement contracts placed. The project is on schedule for the delivery of first LPG and gas reinjection in mid 2009. Also in Egypt, production was re-instigated from the Qantara field in October and the development projects at East Abu Khadra, North East Abu Zahra, South Zarqa and Damas are ongoing with planned first production on dates between December 2008 and September 2009.

In the USA, Melrose has continued with the development project on its fields in the Permian Basin in West Texas and New Mexico. A total of 42 new wells have been drilled to date and injection of water as part of the secondary recovery project in the Jalmat field has commenced.

In Bulgaria, the project to convert the Galata gas field to a gas storage facility is moving forward and discussions are continuing with the Bulgarian authorities to define commercial terms. First injection in the facility is expected in mid 2009.

Production and Product Prices

Melrose’s net entitlement production in the Third Quarter totalled 6.0 Bcf of gas and 357 Mbbls of oil and condensate, representing an increase of 6% compared with the same period in 2007. Average daily net entitlement production in the quarter was 14.8 Mboepd (88.9 MMcfepd). On a working interest basis average daily production in the quarter was 34.6 Mboepd.

Financial Position

Total capital expenditure in the Third Quarter amounted to $55.4 million, of which $41.7 million was spent on development and $13.7 million on exploration activities. In the period January 1, 2008 to September 30,2008 capital expenditure amounted to $147.4 million, of which $94.4 million was spent on development and $53.0 million on exploration activities.

Melrose remains in a well funded and sound financial position and there have been no major changes in its balance sheet since the publication of the 2008 Interim Results. Group net debt at 30 September was $407.0 million. Increased bank facilities were put in place in June 2008 with the IFC and a syndicate of eight commercial banks. The senior facility has a facility amount of $440 million and the subordinated facility has a facility amount of $70 million. Both facilities remain fixed until 2012 and then amortize with final repayment due in December 2014. Availability under the borrowing base calculation for the senior facility currently exceeds the facility size and Melrose would be in a position to consider increasing the size of the senior facility in the future if required.

The existing loan facilities, coupled with good levels of cash generation from the business, will ensure that the Company is able to finance its planned investment programme going forward. The fall in the oil price has resulted in a decrease in revenue in the Third Quarter compared with the second quarter of the year. Melrose benefits from a number of advantages in the current lower oil price environment. Firstly, approximately 74% of Melrose’s net production in the Third Quarter was gas which was sold at fixed contracted prices. Secondly, under the terms of Melrose’s production sharing concessions in Egypt Melrose has a higher entitlement to production at lower oil prices. Thirdly, and most importantly, Melrose is the operator of its major properties. This gives Melrose the ability to determine the amount and timing of its capital expenditures in the light of available resources.

During the Third Quarter, the Company announced a maiden interim dividend to shareholders of 1.2 pence per share which was paid on October 17, 2008.

Outlook

In Bulgaria, pending receipt of the final approval from the Bulgarian authorities for the conversion of the Galata gas field as a gas storage facility, the Company has reduced the Galata production rate to around 11 MMcfpd and expects to cease production from the field at the end of this year to ensure sufficient gas is left in the reservoir to implement the project.

Because of this and some minor operational delays in Egypt, the Company previously announced last month that it believes it is prudent to reduce its 2008 net entitlement production guidance from 19.2 Mboepd to 18.3 Mboepd. The revised 2008 production guidance equates to 36.3 Mboepd on a working interest basis.

The result of the exploration programme in Bulgaria and reserve additions in the USA put Melrose on track for a strong performance in reserves replacement in 2008. The development projects which comprise the majority of Melrose’s capital expenditures are on schedule which is positive for production expectations in 2009 and beyond.

In the coming few months Melrose has an active drilling program. In Egypt the North Dikirnis No.1 exploration well is currently drilling and an exploration well at East Dikirnis (also known as North Tariff) is planned before year-end. In Bulgaria the re-drill of the Kavarna No.1 will be followed by an appraisal well on the Kaliakra structure. In East Texas, the Nunan No.1 well, which has multiple pay targets, is expected to spud later this month and will be followed by the Ramsey No.1 well which is twinning a well drilled by the previous operator and which discovered the target formation.

Commenting on this report, David Thomas, Chief Executive, said, “Melrose continues to make good progress in all three of our principal areas of operation. In the current environment we are seeing the benefit of our solid production base and of the established development upside in our properties. Drilling success has again demonstrated our ability to add value for the Company through exploration and with our current resources and asset portfolio we are well positioned to provide value growth for our shareholders.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘RIGZONE’

Posted in ALGERIA, BULGARIA, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, EGYPT, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, FRANCE, FUELS, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, PETROL, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, THE WORKERS, USA | Leave a Comment »

CRISE MANTERÁ PETRÓLEO EM BAIXA, DIZ PRESIDENTE DA OPEP – Previsão de Chakib Khelil leva em conta abalo nos mercados e baixa do dólar frente a outras moedas

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on November 2, 2008

02/11/2008 | 16h41min

O ministro da Energia argelino e presidente em exercício da Organização dos Países Exportadores de Chakib Khelil - Algerian Energy and Mines Minister, gestures during a press conference at the governmental newspaper El-Moudjahid's press center in the center of Algiers 20/10/2007. Khelil, who is the vice president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), said, then, that petrol prices would stay high until the second trimester of 2008Petróleo (Opep), Chakib Khelil, disse neste domingo que os preços da commodity podem continuar sua tendência de baixa caso persista a crise financeira e o dólar não se recupere frente a outras divisas.

— Tudo depende da situação econômica mundial. Caso continue se deteriorando fica claro que a demanda de petróleo percebida pelo mercado diminuirá, o que manterá a tendência de baixa — disse Khelil a uma rádio argelina.

No entanto, o ministro não descartou que o preço do petróleo, estabelecido em dólares, possa voltar a subir “se a moeda americana se debilitar em relação a outras”.

— É o impacto de todos estes elementos o que vai decidir o preço do petróleo a curto prazo — assinalou.

Em todo caso, o presidente da Opep previu que os preços se recuperarão em dois ou três anos, “já que há um desinvestimento e muitos projetos (no setor petrolífero) foram suspensos”.

Segundo ele, a decisão da Opep adotada na última reunião de Viena de cortar a produção “vai precisar de muito tempo para ter seus efeitos” sobre o preço do petróleo, já que o mercado não integrou ainda a redução da oferta.

Khelil explicou que vários países, entre eles Argélia, Emirados Árabes, Irã e Nigéria, anunciaram já o corte de sua produção e que se espera que os demais membros da Opep informem a seus clientes “para avaliar o impacto no mercado da decisão adotada em Viena”.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘PORTAL CLIC RBS’ (Brasil)

Posted in AFRICA, ALGERIA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, CURRENCIES, DOLLAR (USA), ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INDUSTRIES, INTERNATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, IRAN, NATURAL GAS, NIGERIA, OPEC, PETROL, THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, THE FLOW OF INVESTMENTS, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | Leave a Comment »

OPEC GATHERS IN EMERGENCY MEETING AS OIL PRICES EVAPORATE; TALK OF 2M BARREL PRODUCTION CUT (Algeria)

Posted by Gilmour Poincaree on October 24, 2008


Last update: October 23, 2008 – 1:28 PM

by George Jahn, Associated Press

VIENNA, Austria – Iran and Venezuela on Thursday urged OPEC to quickly slash output and stem a Workers check the size on pipes at the Freeze Wall test site at Shell Oil Company's Mahogany Oil Shale Research Project near Meeker, Colo., on Wednesday, May 31, 2006. Shell Exploration & Production Co., which is poised to snap up a 160-acre experimental lease on federal lands rich in oil shale, gave a delegation of senators a progress report Wednesday on its efforts to bake shale oil from the ground in western Colorado (AP Photo - Ed Andrieski)steep slide in prices that has left crude at its cheapest in 15 months — and some member countries scrambling to balance their books.

But OPEC’s power to raise prices by cutting supply may be fading amid a global economic crisis that has evaporated demand for oil.

The latest weekly report from the U.S. Department of Energy shows that demand has fallen in 38 of the past 42 weeks. U.S. demand is down nearly 10 percent during the past four weeks year on year. The U.S. still consumes one out of every four barrels of oil produced.

“This is not a supply issue,” said trader and analyst Stephen Schork. “OPEC can affect supply but they can’t touch the demand side, which right now is a house of cards.”

Iranian oil minister Gholam Hossein Nozari told reporters, on the eve of an emergency OPEC meeting to address evaporating prices, that a cut of “two million (barrels per day) will stabilize” the market. And Rafael D. Ramirez, his Venezuelan counterpart, also left little doubt on where he stood.

“We have to take some action now, now,” said Ramirez, telling reporters that the 13 OPEC oil ministers meeting Friday will reach “consensus to take a very, very, very fast action.”

Both he and Iraq’s oil minister said their nations may be forced to rethink or cut spending next year.

Other oil ministers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries also said output cuts had to be on the table during their meeting Friday — but were well aware that if production is tightened too much, the resulting price spikes could knock a wobbling global economy even further out of kilter.

CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE

PUBLISHED BY ‘STAR TRIBUNE’ (Argélia)

Posted in AFRICA, ALGERIA, ASIA, COMMERCE, COMMODITIES MARKET, ECONOMIC CONJUNCTURE, ECONOMY, ENERGY, FINANCIAL CRISIS 2008/2009, INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, INTERNATIONAL, IRAN, NATURAL GAS, OPEC, PETROL | Leave a Comment »