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Global energy investment hit by financial crisis


Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:31pm EST

Nov 18 (Reuters) – The growing financial crisis and plunging energy prices have forced companies to scale back spending and delay projects, with expensive ventures in the Canadian oil sands hardest hit.

Below is a list of energy projects that have been delayed or scaled back in recent months, as well as other related news.

Nov 18 – British energy group BP Plc (BP.L: QuoteProfileResearchStock Buzz) said it will close its Australian solar-cell factory by end-March 2009 to focus on bigger, lower-cost operations offshore. The factory is the BP’s smallest solar plant.

Nov 17 – Petro-Canada (PCA.TO: QuoteProfileResearchStock Buzz) defers construction of an upgrader for its C$21 billion ($17 billion) Fort Hills oil sands project. It will not make decision on the mine until 2009 as it expects costs to fall as oil sands projects fall by the wayside. It had previously planned a go-ahead decision in December.

Nov 14 – Austrian oil and gas group OMV AG (OMVV.VI: QuoteProfile,ResearchStock Buzz) cuts oil production and gas marketing targets, also reviewing capex.

Nov 13 – Harvest Energy Trust (HTE_u.TO: QuoteProfileResearch,Stock Buzz) defers C$2 billion ($1.6 billion) expansion of Come By Chance refinery in Newfoundland. Instead of 75,000 bpd expansion, which would have boosted output to 190,000 bpd, it will work on C$300 million of de-bottlenecking projects.

Nov 6 – Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO: QuoteProfile,ResearchStock Buzz) slows spending on second phase of Horizon oil sands project for 2009 after first phase costs rise to C$9.7 billion, up 42 percent from 2004 estimate. It also scraps timelines for phase 2, which would lift output to 250,000 bpd from 110,000.

Nov 6 – ConocoPhillips (COP.N: QuoteProfileResearchStock Buzz) and Saudi Aramco halt bidding on 400,000 bpd joint-venture Yanbu refinery in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco previously sought to renegotiate contracts for equipment and a refinery venture with France’s Total SA (TOTF.PA: QuoteProfileResearchStock Buzz).

Nov 5 – Saudi Arabia may renegotiate contracts for long-term projects such as the giant Moneefa oilfield expansion and the Karan gas scheme.

Nov 5 – Sunoco Inc (SUN.N: QuoteProfileResearchStock Buzz) to save $375 million by scrapping upgrade of Tulsa, Oklahoma refinery; still looking to sell plant, which accounts for nearly 10 pct of 910,000 bpd capacity.

Nov 4 – BG postpones decision on whether to proceed with Phase III of Karachaganak field development, which aims to lift oil output to 16 million tonnes per annum (tpa) from 11 million.

Oct 30 – Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L: QuoteProfileResearchStock Buzz) to delay investment decision on second expansion of Athabasca oil sands project.

Oct 29 – Thai refiner and petrochemical company IRPC IRPC.BK reviews $1.5 billion investment plan. Has delayed a refinery expansion and cut run rate by 10,000 bpd.

Oct 27 – FPL Group (FPL.N: QuoteProfileResearchStock Buzz), the largest wind-power operator in the U.S. to slash 2009 spending nearly 25 percent to $5.3 billion and new wind-power generation to 1,100 megawatts from 1,500 megawatts.

Oct 23 – Suncor Energy Inc (SU.TO: QuoteProfileResearchStock Buzz) delays oil sands upgrader for C$20.6 billion Voyageur expansion by one year to 2013. Expansion boosts production from Suncor’s oil sands operations near Fort McMurray, Alberta, to 550,000 bpd from 350,000.

Oct 23 – Nexen Inc (NXY.TO: QuoteProfileResearchStock Buzz) and Opti Canada Inc (OPC.TO: QuoteProfileResearchStock Buzz) delay second phase of Long Lake oil sands project to 2009. Expansion would double production of synthetic crude to 120,000 bpd. First phase cost C$6.1 billion and is now just starting up.

Oct 23 – Value Creation Group’s C$4 billion Heartland upgrader near Edmonton, Alberta, reported halted. First phase would have processed 77,500 bpd of bitumen into synthetic crude. Privately held company has regulatory approval for plant with 260,000 bpd capacity.

Oct 22 – Baker Hughes Inc (BHI.N: QuoteProfileResearchStock Buzz) expects about 200 oil and gas rigs in North America to be idled during fourth quarter.

Oct 16 – Solar panel maker Evergreen Solar (ESLR.O: QuoteProfile,ResearchStock Buzz) warned it will not be able to fund a $400 million production facility needed to meet 2010 contracts if credit markets do not improve in the next nine months. (Compiled by Scott Haggett and Michael Szabo)



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