Philippines Petron Corp. posted double income

(Malaya Business Insight) -- Petron Corp.(Philippines), the country's largest oil refiner and retailer, yesterday said income for the first three months almost doubled from the same period last year due to stronger revenue from its petrochemical business. Petron said its first-quarter income stood at P3.4 billion, up 88.88 percent from P1.9 billion.

The company said export sales rose about 60 percent to 1.38 million barrels in the first quarter compared with only 867,000 barrels in the same period last year.

Petrochemical export volumes increased 32 percent to 774,000 barrels.

Petron said the spike in crude prices pushed up the prices of petrochemical products such benzene, toluene, and xylene, while supply tightness in propylene enabled the company to capture incremental margins from its production streams.


Indian government is formulating a policy for shale gas exploration

(Plastemart) -- The Indian government is formulating a policy to offer areas for shale gas exploration in near future and add resources in energy base. Six basins - Cambay, Assam Arakan, Gondawana, KG onshore, Cauvery onshore and Indo Gangatic basins - have been identified for offering.
Shale is a natural gas produced from shale formations and has become an increasingly important component of natural gas supply in US.

During President Barack Obama's recent visit, India and the United States signed an agreement for cooperation with respect to shale gas technology.


Fire at Formosa's naphtha cracker

(Reuters) - A fire broke out at the No.6 naphtha cracker at Formosa Petrochemical Corp's Mailiao plant in central Taiwan late on Thursday, the company said. No further details were immediately available. The plant had been hit by two fires in a month last July, raising concerns over its safety record.


Logistical problems are threatening US chemical plants

(ICIS) -- Logistical problems are threatening US chemical plants along the swollen Mississippi river as water levels continue to rise, sources said on Thursday. Already, the river along Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is at 43.1 feet (13.1m), placing it in a major flood stage, according to the National Weather Service. During such a stage, shipping and industrial activities will be "significantly affected", the National Weather Service said. Unprotected low-lying areas will be flooded.

So far, the US Coast Guard has not increased the safety restrictions imposed on Monday, which required ships to contact a traffic control centre at Baton Rouge.

The river is expected to crest at Baton Rouge on 22 May at 47.5 feet, breaking the record set in 1927, the weather service said.

To relieve pressure on the river, the US Army Corps of Engineers opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway.

The Mississippi flooding has already created delays in the hydrochloric acid (HCl) and caustic soda markets. A barge source said the disruptions along the river were anticipated to last until mid-June.


Petronas to build refinery, petrochemicals complex

(ICIS) -- Malaysian state oil and gas firm Petronas will build an integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex in the country's southern state of Johor, the company said on Friday. According to a Petronas statement, investment costs for the project have been estimated at around USD 20bn (EUR 14m), with the complex expected to be commissioned by the end of 2016.

The country's prime minister, Najib Tun Razak, on Friday outlined details of a feasibility study for the development of the refinery and petrochemical integrated development project (Rapid) in southern Johor.

The project will include a 300.000 bbl/day crude oil refinery for the production of petroleum products, such as gasoline, jet fuel, diesel and fuel oil, the company said in the statement.

The complex will also house a naphtha cracker with a combined annual production capacity of around 3m tonnes of ethylene, propylene, C4 and C5 olefins, it said.

A petrochemicals and polymer facility is also planned for the production of propylene and ethylene oxide derivatives, phenol and bisphenol A (BPA), differentiated polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE), as well as surfactants and additives for lubricants, the statement said.