Friday, July 10, 2020

Oil Refinery News

New Zealand Refiner to Shrink. May Turn into Fuel Import Terminal

Image Credit: Refining NZ

Refining NZ said on Thursday it is considering shutting New Zealand's only oil refinery and turning it into a fuel import terminal in the long run, but first will reduce its operations to cut costs and breakeven into 2021.Refining NZ's Marsden Point refinery has been under pressure due to competition from mega refineries in Asia and rising power and gas costs in New Zealand. Its woes worsened this year as COVD-19 lockdowns hammered fuel demand for planes and ships.In an update on a strategic review on the plant's future, the company said it would cut costs and shrink to focus on markets where it is most competitive relative to imports…

Sinopec Starts Up $6B Zhanjiang Refinery Complex

Image Credit: bobo1980/AdobeStock

Top Chinese state refiner Sinopec Corp said on Tuesday it had started up a $6 billion new refinery and petrochemical plant in south China, making it the country's third integrated complex to start operations in the past 18 months or so.The Sinopec venture, situated in coastal city of Zhanjiang, comprises a 200,000 barrel per day (bpd) crude oil refinery and an 800,000 tonne-per-year ethylene facility, built at a cost of 44 billion yuan ($6.2 billion), Sinopec said in a statement.Two other complexes with combined refining capacity of 800,000 bpd have started up since early 2019, one built by privately-controlled Hengli Petrochemical Corp and the other by Zhejiang Petr

PetroChina Resumes Guangdong Refinery Construction

© Alexey Novikov / Adobe Stock

Asia'a largest oil and gas firm PetroChina resumed construction of its oil refinery and petrochemical project in southern Chinese province of Guangdong, as the number of new coronavirus cases fell for a second straight day.In an attempt to curb the spread of the virus, China had extended Lunar New Year holidays and asked companies to put workers returning from their hometown into a 14-day quarantine.With workers and machineries gradually in place, the $10 billion refinery project in Jieyang city is expected to fully restart construction by end-February, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.The project is scheduled to be fully completed by June 2022, with the

Fire-Damaged Philadelphia Oil Refinery Heads for Auction

© skyNext / Adobe Stock

The fate of the largest East Coast oil refinery is set to be decided on Friday in an auction that could determine whether the Philadelphia plant is restarted or used for a different purpose for the first time in over a century.The refinery's owner, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, is scheduled to reveal the winning bidder on Wednesday during a hearing at the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, which will need to approve the sale.PES fell into bankruptcy on July 21, a month after a fire and explosions destroyed a portion of its 335,000 barrel-per-day oil refinery complex.

Fire Breaks Out at Lukoil-Owned Ukhta Oil Refinery

A blaze ripped through the small-scale Ukhta oil refinery, controlled by Russian oil major Lukoil, the emergency ministry said on Thursday.It said the fire hit a diesel processing unit and that one man had been injured. Lukoil declined any immediate comment.Video footage posted on social media purported to show a huge ball of fire over the refinery. The ministry said the fire has spread through 1,000 square metres.Interfax news agency, citing an unnamed source, said staff had been evacuated from the plant.The refinery processed around 2 million tonnes of oil in January to November.

Petronas Quarterly Profit Halves

© Sergey Smeilov / Adobe Stock

Malaysia's state energy firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd said on Tuesday its third-quarter profit nearly halved due to lower demand and impairment charges, and warned of further risks to demand.Profit for the July-September period at Petronas, as the company is better known, dropped to 7.4 billion ringgit ($1.77 billion) from 14.3 billion ringgit a year before.Net impairment charges totaled 2.6 billion ringgit, while revenue fell 14% to 55.1 billion ringgit, hurt by lower prices and reduced sales volume for crude oil and condensates."The outlook for the industry remains challenging.

Oil Rises on U.S. Crude Stocks Fall

© FerrizFrames / Adobe Stock

Oil rose on Thursday after industry data showed a surprise drop in U.S. crude inventories, while comments from OPEC about lower-than-expected U.S. shale production in 2020 also provided some support.Prices were capped by mixed signs for oil demand in China, the world's biggest crude importer. Industrial output rose more slowly than expected in October, but oil refinery throughput hit the second-highest level on record.Brent futures were up 65 cents, or 1.04%, at $63.02 per barrel at 1442 GMT, while West Texas Intermediate crude gained 47 cents…

India to Invite Foreign Investment in State-owned Oil Companies

© NAKORN P / Adobe Stock

International energy firms will be invited to participate in India's privatization of state-owned oil companies, the country's Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said late on Monday.Pradhan said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently met with the chief executives of energy firms in Houston, including those from Exxon Mobil Corp, BP Plc, Royal Dutch Shell, Rosneft Oil Co, Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc).This is the first time Pradhan has signaled the government's intent bring foreign investment into the country's state-owned oil companies."We are inviting oil majors…

Pertamina, Aramco Extend Cilacap Refinery Talks

(File photo: Fluor)

Indonesia's PT Pertamina and Saudi Aramco have extended negotiations regarding an upgrade to Pertamina's Cilacap oil refinery December, State-Owned Enterprise Minister Erick Thohir said on Tuesday.The two sides have extended their negotiations a few times since last December as they struggle to agree on a valuation for the project.

China Issues More Crude Oil Import Quotas

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

China has lifted its crude oil import quotas to allow mostly private refiners to bring in a further 12.9 million tonnes this year, a document seen by Reuters showed on Tuesday, feeding a new generation of huge refineries.The third batch of quotas was allocated to 19 companies, including private refiner Zhejiang Petroleum & Chemical Co (ZPC), which was awarded 3.5 million tonnes, the document showed.Prior to this, China had issued a crude import quota of 153.1 million tonnes, according to Huatai Futures Co, bringing total allowed imports so far this year to 166 million tonnes…

Does the Answer to Our Energy Problems Lie in Tiny Microbes?

© Dmitry Knorre / Adobe Stock

Such are the dire predictions about climate change these days that there seem to be only two courses open for human society: either we fail to act and the planet keeps heating up, or we restrict ourselves, leave our cars at home, give up hamburgers and stop flying on vacation.Either way, it would seem, the future is dead set on making our children’s lives worse than ours.But there is a third way and it lies in new forms of energy. One of the most promising involves the use of microorganisms to generate electricity.The research in this…

Vitol Builds Refinery for New Ship's Fuel

Vitol, the world's largest independent oil trader, has started building a small oil refinery at its storage terminal in Malaysia that will provide low-sulfur fuel for ships, a senior company official said on Monday.The project consists of a crude distillation unit that can process 30,000 barrels per day of crude and is located on the same site as Vitol's oil storage terminal at Tanjung Bin in the southern Malaysian state of Johor, Vitol Asia's President and Chief Executive Officer Kho Hui Meng said.A construction unit under China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) is handling the project which will involve moving a second-hand CDU from China to the site…

Fire burns out of control at Philadelphia refinery

A fire was burning out of control at an oil refinery in Pennsylvania on Friday morning, a Philadelphia fire department official said, as local media reported a series of explosions on site.NBC Philadelphia said the "massive" blaze at the 335,000 barrels per day Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery was visible from miles away and triggered explosions that were felt as far away as South Jersey.The crude section at the Girard Point portion of the refinery was shut down due to the fire, intelligence provider Genscape said.There were no immediate reports of casualties at the complex, which the NBC affiliate said employs around 1,000 people.A company spokeswoman was not

India to Evacuate Thousands as Cyclone Nears West Coast

Indian authorities are preparing to evacuate 300,000 people along the western coast as a severe cyclone is expected to make landfall on Thursday morning in the state of Gujarat.Storm Vayu, which formed in the Arabian Sea, is likely to cross the Gujarat coast with gust speeds as high as 135 kmph (84 mph), the India Meteorological Department said in a statement.It also warned the cyclone could further delay the progress of the annual monsoon rains over the rest of India, as the storm was drawing rain clouds from over the sea.The arrival…

Pemex Requests $8bn Loan Amid Heavy Uncertainty

Pemex CEO Octavio Romero Oropeza (Photo: Pemex)

Petróleos Mexicanos’ (Pemex) US$8 billion bank loan comes amid heavy investor uncertainty over the oil company’s debt load, but lenders wanting to maintain links with Pemex and the left-wing administration overseeing the firm may have little choice but to commit to the financing.The state-backed oil producer is tapping its relationship banks to refinance a chunk of liabilities, a big ask when there is minimal visibility over Pemex’s refining capabilities and doubts over future revenue for a company that was once a darling among fixed-income investors.“No one is excited about it,” said a senior banker following the transaction.“The credit is very difficult.

Svitzer: 5 year Contract with Oil Refinery

Svitzer Caribbean Dominicana won a 5-year contract with Limetree Bay Refining, LLC, commencing June 15, 2019.The company expands its market coverage providing tugboat services to some of the key oil refineries and terminals in the region – South Riding Point Terminal in Bahamas, Nustar Terminal in Statia, Buckeye Terminal in St. Lucia and now Limetree Bay Refining in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.Svitzer Caribbean Dominicana adds this contract for two tugs to the company’s portfolio and believes Limetree Bay Refining will benefit from adding these young vessels to their operation, providing increased capabilities and overall service offerings.

Hyundai Heavy Sells Oil Stake to Saudi Aramco

Group photo of Saudi Aramco and HHIH executives and team members after the signing ceremony. Photo:  Saudi Arabian Oil Co.

South Korean shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries sells its share of oil refinery Hyundai Oilbank to Saudi Arabian oil giant Saudi Aramco.According to a press release, Saudi Aramco’s subsidiary,  Aramco Overseas Company B.V (AOC) will purchase a 17% stake in South Korea's Hyundai Oilbank, a subsidiary of Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings.The investment is valued at approximately $ 1.25 billion, it said.AOC’s’s investment in South Korea’s Hyundai Oilbank will support Saudi Aramco’s crude oil placement strategy by providing a dedicated outlet for Arabian crude oil to South Korea.Abdulaziz Al-Judaimi…

Strikes Impact Shell's Pernis Oil Refinery

Striking workers at Royal Dutch Shell's Pernis plant in the Netherlands have taken offline a thermal gasoil installation, a Dutch union said on Monday, in the first sign of any impact from industrial action on Europe's largest oil refinery.Shell said earlier in the day that the unit had been shut. It later clarified that it had only repeated what the unions had said and would not comment on the status of the refinery.The refinery, near Rotterdam, has the capacity to process 404,000 barrels per day of oil.The CNV union also said strike…

IMO 2020: Shell, HES to Resurrect Refinery

Royal Dutch Shell has struck a deal with Dutch tank terminal firm HES International to partially restart a German oil refinery mothballed since 2011 in response to new restrictions on marine fuels, two trading sources told Reuters.A new cap set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that will cut the sulfur content in shipping fuel to 0.5 percent from 3.5 percent from next year is set to be one of the biggest fundamental events to hit oil markets in years.HES Wilhelmshaven Tank Terminal is in the process of reinstalling the vacuum distillation unit (VDU) at Wilhelmshaven to produce low-sulfur bunker fuels ahead of the implementation of the IMO rules…

Mexico to Invite 4 Firms to Bid on Pemex Oil Refinery

The Mexican government will invite four companies to bid in a restricted tender for work building the new Dos Bocas refinery for state oil company Pemex, Energy Minister Rocio Nahle said at a news conference on Monday.Dos Bocas would be Pemex's seventh domestic refinery and is intended to help wean Mexico off growing fuel imports, a major campaign promise of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office in December.Nahle said that the refinery, slated to be built in the Gulf Coast state of Tabasco, has already been granted all required government permits…