Styrene to be a human carcinogen - US federal health regulators

(ICIS) -- US federal health regulators on Friday declared that styrene is ⌠reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen, a classification that sector officials have warned could have broad negative impact across multiple US industries.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued its long-expected 12th Report on Carcinogens (RoC) in which styrene is listed as a likely cause of cancer in humans.

That classification has long been anticipated by styrene industry officials who last month filed an appeal to the department seeking a review of the decision. More than 60 members of Congress also asked the department to revise or delay its styrene finding. But with publication of its Report on Carcinogens, HHS has effectively rejected those appeals.

Styrene industry groups were expected to file suit soon to seek court action to block or revoke the department's decision.

In listing styrene as a likely carcinogen, HHS said in a statement that the decision was made on the basis of ⌠human cancer studies, laboratory animal studies and mechanistic scientific information.


Shell and Qatar Petroleum sold the first shipment of GTL from JV

(ICIS) -- Shell and Qatar Petroleum said on Monday they have sold the first commercial shipment of gas-to-liquid (GTL) gasoil produced from their joint venture Pearl GTL plant at Ras Laffan in Qatar. ⌠The sale marks the start of production of GTL products when the State of Qatar and Shell, the operator of the Pearl GTL plant, begin to receive revenue from the project, the two companies said in a joint statement. No further details of the gasoil sale were immediately available.

Once fully operational, the Pearl GTL plant is expected to produce 1.6bn cubic feet of gas per day, according to the statement.

The gas will be processed to deliver an expected 120,000 bbl/day of condensate, liquefied natural gas (LPG) and ethane and an expected 140,000 bbl/day of GTL products, it said.

The GTL plant is expected to produce products such as kerosene, gasoil, base oils, n-paraffin as well as naphtha, according to the statement.


Chemoil Energy to complete expansion of its Fujairah storage terminal by 3Q of 2012

(Reuters) -- Global marine fuel supplier Chemoil Energy Ltd. expects to complete the seven-fold expansion of its Fujairah storage terminal by the third quarter of next year, the company's chief executive said on Monday.

The joint venture storage terminal with Gulf Petrol Supplies LLC at the United Arab Emirates port of Fujairah will grow to 675.000 cubic meters from 90.000 cubic meters, Thomas Reilly said at the Reuters Global Energy and Climate Summit.

Chemoil is targeting to increase bunker volume sales in 2011 to 23-24 million tonnes from around 15.5 million tonnes a year earlier.


Kuwait's QPIC to launch a new petrochemical project

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- Kuwaiti firm Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company (QPIC) is set to receive approval from the Saudi authorities for a new petrochemical project very soon, according to Issa al-Issa, vice-chairman.

Al-Issa said that the new project, to be located in Jubail Industrial City, will produce PTA and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) feedstocks. He anticipates construction work will begin by the second half 2012. Al-Issa also said that the cost of the project will be at around USD 1bn, and employ between 400 and 500 employees when complete.


US ethylene spot margins remained on an uptrend last week

(ICIS) -- US ethylene spot margins remained on an uptrend last week, lifted by higher spot prices and mostly steady feedstock costs, the ICIS margin report showed on Monday. Using ethane as a feedstock, margins were at 35.45 cents/lb (USD 782/tonne, EUR 547/tonne) in the week ended 10 June, up from 34.72 cents/lb a week earlier.

The 2% increased followed higher spot prices last week, as ethylene for June traded at 65.00-67.50 cents/lb, rising from deals done at 64.500-65.125 cents/lb in the week ended 3 June.

Market sources cited an outage at the Williams cracker in Geismar, Louisiana, early last week, as one of the reasons for the increase in spot prices. The 612 KTa unit went down following a power outage on 4 June, the company said.

Williams restarted the cracker on 9 June, a spokesperson said, adding that the unit was expected to be running at full rates within one week.

Ethylene bids and offers for June were wide apart on Monday at 65-69 cents/lb.