Oil prices place focus on alternative fuels

Paul Boughton

Asian players in the downstream petroleum industry have been exhorted to drive the market by rising to international standards that would prepare it for the onslaught of severe global competition with the unrestricted entry of foreign participation into Asia's domestic markets.

This was the focus at Petroworld Asia 2006 which saw the participation of majoroil and supplier companies involved in the petrol retail and fuel handling business from four continents of the world.

With the theme, The Dynamics of Change in Petrol Retail & Fuel Distribution the three-day event, which comprised a business-to-business meeting programme, a conference and an exhibition, was a pioneering effort at galvanising the industry in Asia on an international platform.

Developing an International Platform for Asia has been a clear objective of PetrolWorld since it was founded. By providing an international perspectivewe hope to facilitate the presentation of solutions to gaps on industry regulation and legislationwhich we foresee will be more market-driven. We expect the downstream petroleum industry to evolve on more independent commercial lines than the upstream industry said PetrolWorld Founder and President, David Egan

Increasing oil prices have also placed the focus on the rise of alternative fuels. In his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the conference and at the press conference that followed, Malaysia's Deputy Minister for International Trade & Industry, Dato' Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, disclosed the Malaysian government's approval of 20 bio-diesel projects with proposed investments totaling RM1.9 billion in 2006. He cited Malaysia's petroleum industry as among the most dynamic markets in the world as he underscored the country's support for the development of downstream value-added

Petroworld Asia 2006 also saw geographical presentations from Jordan, Indonesia, China and India.

Dr. Ahmed Alrefai, CEO of Jordan Petroleum Refinery Co Ltd (JPRC), shed light on the impending deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector in the Kingdom in 2008 and its implications on JPRC's crude processing capacity to meet the future petroleum products requirements of the country.

Achmad Faisal, Corporate Senior Vice-President for Marketing & Trading of Pertamina Indonesia, expounded on the era of liberalization and deregulation in Indonesia which has widely opened the oil and gas downstream business to the private sector.

Tony O'Brien spoke on behalf of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for the Petroleum Industry (CCCPI), a development organisation representing over 200 key members from China's independent oil industry. He spoke on the dynamism of China's independent privately-owned oil companies which marks China's quiet shift to net oil importer status since the country opened its upstream and downstream petroleum markets.

J M Gugnani, President for Marketing of Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. (MRPL) shared his views on India's emergence as the 3rd or 4th largest energy consumer in the world. He invited new players to India's promising liberalised economy which has opened its oil sector to private and foreign players.

The conference also tackled current developments, trends and issues relating to road fuel transport, fuel distribution and scheduling, fuel product security in transit and storage, electrostatics in petroleum plastic piping, risk prevention for underground petroleum storage systems, fuel dispensers, payment transactions and outdoor payment terminals, petrol station and C-store designs and lightning protection, among others.

For more information, visit www.petrolworldasia.com


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