LyondellBasell subsidiary to purchase 200 miles from BP

(Plastemart) -- Equistar Chemicals- a LyondellBasell subsidiary, has signed an agreement to purchase approximately 200 miles of pipeline near Houston from BP. The pipelines and metering stations comprise a Houston area olefins distribution system transporting ethylene and propylene production from Channelview, Texas to Equistar's storage terminal at Mont Belvieu, Texas and facilities in Deer Park, La Porteand the Bayport Industrial District in Pasadena, Texas. The purchase also includes a natural gas liquids (NGL) feedstock supply line into Channelview.

Equistar currently holds a long-term lease for use of the pipelines, which are owned and operated by BP. Acquiring the pipelines provides Equistar with a secure, cost-effective transportation system for its ethylene and propylene production in the Houston area.

Equistar's pipeline group currently operates and maintains approximately 1.200 miles of pipeline in Texas, and transports approximately 20 bln lbs product and 80 million barrels of feedstock annually. An undetermined number of BP pipeline employees will join Equistar with the purchase.


Oil prices dropped below USD 99 in Asia

(Plastemart) -- Oil prices have dropped below USD 99 in Asia, amid signs of OPEC raising its crude production quotas at a meeting in Vienna. Oil for July delivery fell to USD 98.6 on the Nymex, while in London, Brent crude for July delivery dipped to USD 116.1 on the ICE Futures exchange.

OPEC leaders have been split this week over whether they should raise production. Saudi Arabia, the group's biggest supplier, has supported a price between USD 70-80 while Iran, the second-largest producer in OPEC, is against any output hike.


Dow is ⌠very excited about opportunities for increased production and exports

(ICIS) -- New and abundant supplies of shale gas have triggered the largest petrochemical investments seen in North America in a generation, a top Dow Chemical official said on Wednesday, and will drive a surge in jobs, domestic business and exports.

Seth Roberts, director of energy and climate change policy at Midland, Michigan-based Dow, told a conference on the impact of shale gas for North America that Dow is ⌠very excited about opportunities for increased production and exports based on what appears to be a long-term prospect for natural gas feedstock supplies.

US petrochemical producers and downstream chemical makers are heavily dependent on natural gas as both a feedstock and power supply, and much of US general manufacturing relies on gas for production energy as well.

With domestic US natural gas prices forecast to hold in the range of USD 4-5/MMBtu into 2012 and beyond, US chemical manufacturers enjoy a significant feedstock cost advantage over most other countries' chemical sectors that are dependent on higher-priced naphtha derived from increasingly costly crude oil. Roberts said that the huge new resources represented in growing shale gas developments ⌠could lead to what many are calling a renaissance in the American chemicals industry.


PolyOne to open a new polymer distribution warehouse and sales facility

(Plastics Today) -- PolyOne will open a new polymer distribution warehouse and sales facility focused on serving healthcare customers in Shanghai on July 1 - the first PolyOne Distribution unit outside the U.S. Announced at MD&M East, PolyOne officials said the new center, which will be collocated with an existing PolyOne color and engineering materials manufacturing and sales facility, will shorten lead times for its customers in China to days, not weeks.

Michael L. Rademacher, president PolyOne Distribution, told PlasticsToday that his company made the move to follow its customers within the medical segment. "[PolyOne] has a significant presence in the distribution segment of the healthcare market here in the U.S.," Rademacher said, "and many of our customers here have opened up, or will be opening up, operations in China, and they really wanted to get us engaged and involved over there".

PolyOne's existing 90,000-sq-ft facility is located in the Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone. Based in the northeast of Pudong New Area, the free-trade zone, which will allow PolyOne to import materials for its customers duty free, is adjacent to the mouth of Yangtze River and about 20 km from downtown Shanghai. PolyOne plans to broaden its distribution service to customers in other industries over the next twelve months.


Pakistan to build the country's first aromatics facility

(ICIS) -- Byco Oil Pakistan Ltd (BOPL) is building the country's first aromatics facility, which is expected to come on line by the middle of 2013, a senior company executive said on Thursday. The facility will produce about 100 KTa of benzene, 92 KTa of paraxylene (PX), 80 KTa of isomer-grade mixed xylene (MX) and 50 KTa of orthoxylene (OX), said Mohammad Wasi Khan, president of chemical manufacturing at BOPL.

The plant will be located at the same site in the Hubco coastal area of the Arabian Sea, which is about 50 km from Karachi, where Byco operates a 35.000 bbl/day refinery.

BOPL is also building a 120.000 bbl/day refinery at the same site and expects to bring it on line in the fourth quarter of 2011, Khan said.

The new refinery will provide the naphtha feedstock needed for its aromatics facility.