Russia still top oil producer at 10.2 million bpd

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- Russia matched post-Soviet record oil production recorded in May this year by pumping 10.26 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude in July, according to a Reuters report. Russia also pumped 10.26 million barrels per day (bpd) in October 2010. The June rate was 10.2 million bpd.

The country remains the world's top oil producer, with rival Saudi Arabia rapidly closing the gap as increased production comes on stream.

By comparison, Saudi Arabia pumped as much as 9.8 million bpd in June, an increase of as much as 900,000 bpd in response to the loss of Libyan supply after it failed to persuade OPEC of the need for a coordinated increase, said the report.

But while the kingdom had the spare capacity to ramp up production by nearly 10 percent in a month, Russia's top oil companies are struggling to grow by just a few percent a year.


Dow plans two new sites for plastic encapsulant films

(Plastics Today) -- Dow Chemical Company introduced its Enlight polyolefin encapsulant film technology just one year ago but already demand has grown to the point the company needs new capacity, and globally. As a result, the plastics and chemicals supplier now plans to add capacity for these films in Germany and Thailand to support the extrusion line already running in Findlay, OH.

Dow (Philadelphia, PA) says the new lines will be installed at its facilities in Map Ta Phut, Thailand, and in Schkopau, Germany, with both to be built in 2012. "Converting solar energy into an efficient source of electricity is an area of expertise Dow will continue to develop," says Brij Sinha, global market manager for photovoltaics, performance plastics. "Demand for photovoltaic modules has been growing at about 30% per year, and is expected to continue at this rate for the next several years." The Findlay facility began production late last year.


HDPE film grade prices up in the Russian market.

(MRC) -- In early August, prices of HDPE film grade in Russia slightly increased after decline in July. Further pricing will depend on scheduled shutdowns for maintenance and production plans for August - September, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

In August, Kazanorgsyntez reduced quotas for the domestic market of HDPE film grade, and since September 7, the company will stop for scheduled maintenance.

Nizhnekamskneftechem shifted the start date of HDPE film grade production for the second August decade, besides pyrolysis unit will be stopped for maintenance in September, so PE film grade production will be reduced. Gazprom Neftechem Salavat continues to stand idle due to technical problems of HDPE production.

HDPE film grade offers in the market are still sufficient, but in some regions a slight price growth could be seen. Kazanorgsyntez increased price of 293 PE to RUB 57.300 - 57.500/t, including VAT, FCA Kazan. Because of nearly complete absence of proposals of RE6148S by Nizhnekamskneftechem (Tatarstan), the price increased to RUB 62.000/t, including VAT, FCA. PE offers in Moscow are more than adequate, and the price level is fixed in the range of RUB 58.000 - 58.5000/t, including VAT, FCA.

Individual market players consider that scheduled shutdown for maintenance of Kazanorgsyntez can increase HDPE film grade demand, which will directly affect the price level.


In July PET import to Russia significantly decreased

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In July, PET imports to Russia considerably decreased compared to the previous month and made about 23 KT. In June, Russian companies imported about 35 KT of granulate, according to MRC DataScope.

In the second quarter, Russian companies significantly increased PET import on the back of optimistic forecasts for demand of ready-made preforms. By the end of this quarter, the total import of granulate had exceeded 100 KT.
This season, weak sales of preforms in the segments of final consumption, such as beer and soft drinks, have not met the expectations of market players. This led to a serious feedstock increase, both the polymer and the finished product. As a result, in July PET imports decreased.

Decline in supplies of imported PET is a positive factor for the Russian producers. However, according to some market players, the granulate sales are not expected to grow because of the big amount of feedstock and ready-made preforms in the Russian warehouses of producers.


Foster Wheeler AG reported net income for the second quarter of 2011

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- Foster Wheeler AG yesterday reported net income for the second quarter of 2011 of USD 63.3 million, or USD 0.52 per diluted share, compared with USD 58.9 million, or USD 0.46 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2010.

The key Q2 stats for the Switzerland-headquartered company are: 7% increase in net income versus average quarter of 2010, 65% increase in EBITDA in Global Power Group versus average quarter of 2010, 62% increase in scope revenue in Global Power Group versus average quarter of 2010.

Commenting on the market outlook for the company's EPC and power units, CEO Umberto della Sala said, "Markets seem to be improving for both of our business groups, although the pace of that improvement is slightly better in the power sector. Even so, all of our end markets remain competitive. In our Global E&C Group, we are maintaining full-year EBITDA margin guidance of 13% to 15%, but we still expect to see quarterly volatility, with the third-quarter margin likely lower than the second quarter".