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"Belgium Oil & Gas Report Q2 2013" Published

New Energy market report from Business Monitor International: "Belgium Oil & Gas Report Q2 2013"

 

Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/12/2013 -- BMI View: Subdued oil demand growth means the prospects for refiners and fuels distributors are poor, with many already facing strong competition. The purchase and reopening of Petroplus' Antwerp plant should reduce downstream uncertainty and plans to invest some US$1bn to boost diesel production at Total's Belgian refinery are a boost for the region's battered downstream. The gas market has greater potential, both in terms of rising domestic demand and the scope to re-sell surplus LNG through regional pipeline links. While there is limited upside risk to non-existent gas production from nascent efforts to assess unconventional gas potential in the Flanders region, commercial production of coal bed methane remains uncertain and unlikely to materialise in the current 10-year forecast period.

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The main trends and developments in Belgium's oil and gas sector are:

- Although we forecast both gas reserves and production to remain at zero, we highlight efforts by Dart Energy and NVM to determine the feasibility of commercial recovery of coal bed methane. If possible, such volumes would ease the country's total dependence upon imports, yet at present, we believe it is more likely that any output would not only be outside our forecast period, but would stem rather than halt the country's dependence upon imports.
- Total announced plans in September 2012 to invest US$1.3bn in its Antwerp refinery to increase diesel production capacity. The refinery would not see a cut in its 350,000 barrels per day (b/d) output, but would produce less heavy fuel in a move that Total says could result a US$500mn boost to its refining and petrochemical earnings.
- Petroplus, Europe's largest independent refiner, announced in January 2012 that it had shut down its 107,500b/d Antwerp refinery, along with others in Europe, after a syndicate comprising 13 banks froze a US$1bn credit facility the company was using to buy crude feedstock. In May 2012, Gunvor Group said that it had successfully completed the purchase of the Antwerp refinery, along with the remaining inventory of stock located at the plant. Cyprus-registered Gunvor is one of the world's largest oil traders and exports about 30% of Russia's crude oil.
- With nuclear generation capacity to remain stagnant over the next few years, before reactors are dismantled under the proposed phase-out, new electricity generating capacity is likely to be largely gasfired, with an emphasis on renewables. We forecast that Belgian gas demand will rise from an estimated 16.3bn cubic metres (bcm) in 2012 to 17.5bcm by 2017 and 18.9bcm by 2022 - all met by increased pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports.

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