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The Times: Natural resources

ENRC, the London-listed Kazakh mining and metals group, said that it plans to offer shares on the Kazakh stock exchange in 2008. ENRC is the world’s sixth-biggest iron ore exporter by volume and produces about 16 per cent of Kazakhstan’s electricity.

Regency Mines, which is quoted on London’s junior Alternative Investment Market and focuses on exploring for copper and nickel in Western Australia and Queensland, reported a wider full-year pre-tax loss of £742,265, compared with a loss of £169,453 a year earlier, on lower turnover and increased exploration costs.

Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil’s unit Esso Exploration and Production UK have agreed to sell the Dunlin gas fields in the North Sea to Mitsubishi, the Japanese group, and Fairfield Energy, the oil and gas explorer. Under the agreement, Fairfield will take a 70 per cent stake in the project and will become the operator, while Mitsubishi will get the remaining 30 per cent. Shell expects to transfer the operator role to Fairfield early next year.

UK Coal, Britain’s largest coal supplier, has moved to dampen hopes of a possible offer from Meinl International Power, the Vienna-based investment fund, saying that “no discussions are anticipated”. Meinl had earlier approached the company over its mining and power generation businesses.

BP, the oil and gas giant, said that it is preparing to reduce its spending on future Alaskan oil developments in response to a $1.5 billion (£760 million) tax increase imposed by the Alaskan government on oil companies. The fiscal reform, which was signed into law last week, will eat into the value of BP’s huge Alaskan operation and threatens the cancellation or deferral of projects in one of America’s leading hydrocarbon provinces. BP spent more than $2 billion in the state last year, including $1.2 billion in capital expenditure.

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/article3097769.ece

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