Singapore takes its role as an Asian energy hub seriously and constantly upgrades its infrastructure to support its status as the regional oil and gas center. Two projects currently undertaken by the government are an offshore hydrocarbons storage facility and an expansion in the capacity of the Singapore’s new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, which received its first commercial LNG cargo May 7 – marking the start of operations and completion of the $1.33 billion (SGD 1.7 billion) Main Terminal Project.
Singapore’s Hydrocarbons Sector
The energy sector has been a revenue contributor to the Singapore economy for well over a century, ever since oil trading activities began in 1891. Today, the domestic hydrocarbon industry has evolved, with business activity including refining, petrochemicals, storage and other related services, along with trading. Relevant data suggests that the oil and gas sector is still growing in Singapore, necessitating an expansion in infrastructure to keep pace with industry needs.
Singapore was one of the world’s top three export refining as well as oil and gas trading centers – with physical oil trade accounting for $375 billion – in 2007. It was the world’s busiest marine bunkering center and a major oil and oil product pricing center, according to “Factsheet on the Energy Industry” compiled by Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB). EDB is the lead government agency for planning and executing strategies to enhance the country’s position as a global business center.
Refining capacity in Singapore grew over 11 percent from 2007 to 1.395 million barrels per day in 2012, while oil exports from the country’s three refineries rose 4.3 percent from 68.1 million tons per annum (mtpa) to 71 mtpa over the same period, figures from BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2013 showed.
Bunker sales in Singapore jumped 35.2 percent from 31.5 mtpa in 2007 to 42.6 mtpa in 2012, with Singapore retaining its position as the world’s busiest market, figures from the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore indicated.
“All three legs of the oil industry – refining, trading and logistics – must grow in tandem for the whole industry to move to the next level,” EDB said.
To realize these objectives, the government has committed itself to growing the necessary infrastructure. Hydrocarbons storage capacity like the underground Jurong Rock Cavern (JRC) on Jurong Island – home of the country’s integrated energy and chemical industry – is being constructed, while additional LNG storage space would provide flexibility needed not just to meet Singapore’s future gas needs, but also to pursue new business opportunities in the LNG market.
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