News Wrap

IN THIS morning's News Wrap: British oil worker kidnapped in Yemen; BP Australia redundancies loom; and falling Indian LNG demand.

Yemeni kidnapping

The kidnapping of a British oil worker by four armed men in the Yemeni capital Saana was witnessed yesterday - hours after three explosions rocked the city.

According to the Daily Mail, a police source said a report of the abduction identified the victim as a Briton working for an oil services company.

He was reportedly kidnapped in the upscale Hadda district.

"It was not immediately clear if Islamist militants or tribesmen, who often use foreign hostages as bargaining chips to pursue demands against the government, were behind the attack," the British newspaper reported.

A German man was recently kidnapped by Yemeni tribesmen on Friday, with Reuters since revealing they wanted to pressure authorities into releasing their jailed relatives.

The three explosions consisted of two roadside bombs near the Central Bank and Defence Ministry, plus a mortar round that landed in the district that houses former Yemen president Ali Abdullah Saleh and the French embassy.

Redundancies loom at BP Australia

Fairfax Media reported in November that almost 300 of BP Australia's staff were told their jobs were "disestablished".

The Australian Financial Review has reported this morning that hundreds of workers were forced to reapply for positions with process changing several times.

They reportedly needed to submit a five-year personal development plan, a photo of themselves and a CV.

"Redundancies are expected to start rolling out this month, as the first ‘re-established' jobs are expected to be appointed as early as next week," the newspaper claimed.

"The process has been focused on BP's downstream divisions, and some sources have suggested that applications have only been accepted for roles within each employee's existing pay bracket."

Petronet spreads LNG risk

India's leading LNG importer Petronet will reportedly lease out half of the big Dahej LNG import terminal's capacity to state companies from 2017 as higher gas prices cut demand.

Reuters reported that Petronet signed 20-year deals to lease a total of 6 million tonnes per annum capacity from 2017 to India's gas pipeline player GAIL, Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corp and the GSPC Group in western Gujarat state.

Petronet reportedly aims to lease out another 1.25Mtpa for 20 years to GSPC from April once a second jetty at the terminal is complete.

The terminal in Western India has 10Mtpa of capacity but there are plans to expand it to 15Mtpa by late 2016 and there is reportedly further approval to expand to 20Mtpa if required.

About 7.5Mtpa of LNG is imported from Qatar with the rest under spot deals. Petronet reportedly regassified about 12% less LNG year-on-year in the December quarter as higher prices impacted demand.

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