We may raise LNG output: Shell Malaysia

Royal Dutch/Shell’s Malaysian refining unit, Shell Refining Co (SRC), has indicated it is mulling over plans to increase LNG output by at least 5% this year and in 2005 in order to meet increasing demand from Japan and South Korea.

Malaysia is the third largest producer of LNG in the world.

In a statement SRC Chairman Jonathan Chadwick said, “The Japanese and Koreans are taking more LNG than they did a year ago [and] Shell [has] increased production in East Malaysia and started production from two new fields.”

“We see margins in this area being maintained till the end of the year. Thereafter, it’s a little bit more uncertain whether demand in certain countries in the region will be maintained. We see the supply-demand gap narrowing next year,” he added.

In related news Chadwick revealed the Group was investing up to US$800 million per annum in the country.

“About 45 per cent of Shell’s spending on exploration and production in the Asia Pacific region is in Malaysia. The business of refining crude oil into gasoline, kerosene and other types of fuel has become more profitable in Asia this year because of greater demand for fuel by expanding economies such as China, Japan and South Korea,” said Chadwick.

“Supply this year has also been cut by a number of unplanned shutdowns at other refineries,” he added.