Japan's JX to shut naphtha cracker for repairs

(Reuters) - Japan's JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp, an oil refining unit of JX Holdings , said on Friday it plans to shut its Kawasaki naphtha cracker, with ethylene production capacity of 404 KTa, on June 18 for repair work. The company said the shutdown was to fix a problem and that the cracker would be restarted on June 22.


Market fundamentals only support oil at USD 75-80/bbl

(ICIS) -- Crude oil prices should just hover at USD 75-80/bbl (EUR 51-54/bbl) given current market fundamentals and cost environment, said the top executive of Malaysia's state-owned oil and gas firm Petronas on Monday. At midday, light sweet crude for July delivery was trading at USD 100.11/bbl, while Brent crude was quoted at USD 115.46/bbl.

Although high crude prices generally benefit oil companies, they also mean hefty production costs, Petronas president and CEO Shamsul Azhar Abbas told delegates at the opening ceremony of the 16th Asia Oil and Gas Conference (AOGC) in Kuala Lumpur.

While higher oil prices amid a recovery in demand have boosted capital expenditure in the industry, oil companies' production costs may hit new highs this year, he said.

Rising costs will test the industry's abilities to make its capital expenditure budgets ⌠go to their intended length, the Petronas chief said.

Meanwhile, Shamsul said that Asia must not be overlooked in upstream investments, citing that geology-based assessments have suggested that the region's mean undiscovered oil resources are in the order of about 50bn barrels.


Samsung Total Petrochemicals is seeking naphtha

(Reuters) -- South Korea's Samsung Total Petrochemicals is seeking naphtha for August 2011 to June 2012 delivery as its current term contract is about to end, traders said on Friday. The buyer is seeking open-spec naphtha with a maximum mercury content of 10 parts per million (ppm) in a tender which closes on June 10.

Samsung Total has a total of about 600 KT of naphtha in its current contract which spans from September 2010 to August 2011.

The price of the existing contract, inked in July last year, was minus USD 4.00 a tonne to Japan spot quotes on a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis.

Naphtha sentiment has slumped since May 12 after Asia's top naphtha buyer Formosa shut a cracker following a fire at its pipeline. The weak market will be favourable to buyers, as inter-month spreads, an indication of how much buyers will pay for spot cargoes, flipped into a discount for the first time in 7-1/2 months on May 31.


Formosa's four units demonstrated a decline in their combined sales for May

(Plastemart) -- Four units of Formosa Plastics Group's have seen a decline in their combined sales for May, largely because of production suspension in several plants at the group's complex in Mailiao, following two fires during the month, as per ACN. The two fires took place in the group's Mailiao complex on May 12 and May 18 respectively, prompting an immediate halt to production in the affected plants as officials investigated the cause of the fires.

In addition, the companies have attributed the fall in sales for May to slowing demand from China, which reflected mainland authorities' constant measures to tighten liquidity to combat inflation. In early June, Yunlin County ordered a phased closure of five of the complex's plants in two months due to safety concerns. The combined revenue of Formosa Plastics Corp., Nan Ya Plastics Corp., Formosa Chemicals and Fibre Corp. and Formosa Petrochemical Corp. fell 10.8% in May from a month ago to USD 4.4 bln).


Saipem and the Japanese Chiyoda Corporation reached a cooperation agreement

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- Saipem and the Japanese company, Chiyoda Corporation, have reached a cooperation agreement to develop onshore Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Upstream projects. According to the agreement, Saipem and Chiyoda will collaborate on an exclusive basis as an integrated JV to develop onshore LNG and Gas Treatment projects worldwide, excluding certain specific regions, as well as Upstream projects on a case by case basis.

Chiyoda Corporation is one of the largest global engineering companies operating in the field of onshore LNG plants, as well as upstream and downstream EPC projects. It has an impressive track record and expertise, and record especially in the field of onshore LNG plants.

Through the agreement, the two companies will be able to integrate their own skills developed in Oil & Gas contracting and, in particular, those in the gas monetization chain, to tackle the rapidly expanding LNG and Upstream sector and other strategic markets.