THE SLOWEST INDIA'S OIL DEMAND
BLOOMBERG - India's oil consumption in 2017 expanded at the slowest pace in four years as a surprise ban on high-value currency notes and a new national sales tax weakened the economy.
The nation's consumption of petroleum products rose 2 percent to about 200 million tons, the Oil Ministry's Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell said Wednesday. That's the slowest since 2013, when demand grew 1.7 percent while global oil prices averaged about $109 a barrel, almost double last year's level.
"The cash ban had a bigger impact on oil demand in the first half, while the goods and services tax impacted the second half," Nevyn Nah, an oil products analyst at Energy Aspects, said by phone from Singapore, adding that good rainfall during the monsoon season also lowered diesel demand.
Growth slowed down in the world's second-most populous nation after Prime Minister Narendra Modi's unprecedented cash ban in 2016 and the chaotic rollout of a goods and services tax last year. India forecast its economy will expand 6.5 percent in the year through March, the slowest pace since Modi came to power in 2014.
India's slowdown last year followed the 11 percent surge in 2016, the biggest gain on record, spurred by rising income levels that propelled greater use of cars, trucks and motorbikes.
The cash ban and the new tax hit truckers the hardest, affecting demand for diesel as they are the largest consumers of the fuel in India. Diesel accounts for almost 40 percent of the country's oil products use.
The International Energy Agency, which expects the country to be the fastest-growing oil consumer through 2040, cut its 2017 demand forecast for India at least three times, following sharp fluctuations in monthly consumption. The agency estimated India's oil demand growth at 135,000 barrels a day in 2017 and 275,000 barrels a day in 2018.
India's total oil products consumption grew 7.5 percent in December, the most in three months. The country consumed about 17 million tons of oil products last month, up from about 16 million tons a year earlier.
"The worst is over," Nah said. "As the government embarks on pro-growth policy to revive the economy and consolidate electoral support before the 2019 general election, Indian oil demand growth is likely to pick up strongly."
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WNA - Apart from adding capacity, utilisation of existing plants has improved markedly since 2000. In the 1990s capacity factors averaged around 60%, but they have steadily improved since and in 2010, 2011 and 2014 were above 81%. Balakovo was the best plant in 2011 with 92.5%, and again in 2014 with 85.1%.
WNA - India has a flourishing and largely indigenous nuclear power programme and expects to have 14.6 GWe nuclear capacity on line by 2024 and 63 GWe by 2032. It aims to supply 25% of electricity from nuclear power by 2050.
WNA - Mainland China has 38 nuclear power reactors in operation, about 20 under construction, and more about to start construction. The reactors under construction include some of the world's most advanced, to give a 70% increase of nuclear capacity to 58 GWe by 2020-21. Plans are for up to 150 GWe by 2030, and much more by 2050.
PLATTS - "The domestic uranium mining industry needs US government assistance to survive the foreign onslaught -- particularly from Russia and Kazakhstan -- that has undermined the US uranium industry while new players -- particularly China -- will soon make the situation worse," Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy said in a petition they jointly filed with the department.