Iran in talks to establish JVs with Asia petchem companies at Chabahar

(Platts) -- The Iranian government is in talks with investors across Asia to establish petrochemical joint ventures in the southeastern port city of Chabahar, a source close to the matter said Sunday. "The Iran government wants to develop Chabahar on the lines of Pars special economic zone in Assaluyeh," the source said. "The plan is to establish methanol, urea and olefins projects in Chabahar in association with foreign partners." The government has already marked a free trade zone in the Chabar for establishing the petrochemical plants, the source said, adding that no major plants are currently located in that city.

At the 9th Iran Petrochemical Forum in Tehran in May, the country's deputy petroleum minister Abdolhossein Bayat had said that petrochemical projects to be located in Chabahar will be given a tax holiday of 15 years.

The establishment of the projects in Chabahar is in line with Iran's plan for the port city to achieve a petrochemical production capacity of 15 million mt/year over the next five years, the source said. This will require investments totaling $20 billion, he added.


LyondellBasell researcher wins prestigious Giulio Natta Award

(LyondellBasell) -- Retired LyondellBasell researcher Professor Ludwig Bohm has received the 2011 Giulio Natta Award for the successful development and commercialization of the company's Hostalen Advanced Cascade Process (ACP) technology. Named for the renowned LyondellBasell predecessor company scientist whose discovery of crystalline polypropylene earned him the 1963 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the annual award is given to a senior scientist whose discoveries have substantially improved quality of life through chemistry.

Winnners are selected by a distinguished panel of industry experts representing the plastics and chemicals community in Ferrara, Italy, the birthplace of numerous industrial discoveries. At the awards ceremony in June, the committee stated that ⌠Professor Bohm and his team significantly contributed to the creation, development and commercial success of the Hostalen ACP process technology for the production of HDPE, resulting in a material of superior quality and properties, achievable at competitive economics.


UBS upgraded its share rating for German LANXESS

(ICIS) -- UBS upgraded its share rating for Germany-based chemicals group LANXESS to ⌠neutral from ⌠sell, based on expectations that demand for high-performance tyres will grow, the investment bank said on Tuesday. ⌠We believe high-performance-efficiency tyre take-up will gather momentum from next year, driven by EU labelling, Switzerland-based UBS said.

In August LANXESS said that it expects the US, China and Brazil to introduce regulations on tyre labelling within the next two to three years that will boost the earnings of high-performance synthetic-rubber producers.

UBS said that the price of butadiene, which strongly correlates to the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of LANXESS' Performance Polymers division, is likely to remain high because of tight supply driven by low levels of additional naphtha capacity.


Asian ABS resin prices remain under pressure

(ICIS) -- The downward pressure on the prices of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resin in Asia still remains because of the continuing weak demand in the key Chinese market, traders and producers said on Tuesday.

⌠The uncertainty about the US and eurozone economies has dampened demand for Asian exports and consequently consumption of ABS has also weakened, said a trader in Hong Kong. The weak economic outlook in the US and the ongoing debt crisis in the eurozone reduced orders for finished goods flowing to Chinese factories this year.

Spot ABS prices dipped below USD 2,200/tonne (EUR 1,562/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) China in late August, from around USD 2,270/tonne CFR China in the early part of the month. However, the lower prices failed to attract buyers who mostly kept to the sidelines.


SARB offshore project given 2016 production target

(Arabian oil and gas) -- ADMA OPCO's Satah Al Razboot (SARB) full field development has been approved by ADNOC to proceed with high priority in order to start production by early 2016, according to the offshore production company's annual review.

The SARB Project Team was formed under the sponsorship of ADMA-OPCO's CEO Ali Al Jarwan, and the Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) was awarded in 2010.

The annual report reveals the target was to complete the FEED activities by April 2011. The developed scheme is based on building two artificial islands for drilling instead of the conventional Wellhead Towers approach and directs the well fluid through subsea pipelines to a new facility to be installed on Zirku Island for processing, storage and export of the SARB production of 100 MBD of crude oil. An option to export crude through Jabbel Al Dhanna is being studied. This facility will also handle the Umm Lulu production of 105 MBD in addition to the Gas and Water Injection requirement for SARB Field.

ADNOC is scheduled to complete the artificial islands construction by end 2012. The layout of the falcon shaped islands has been finalized and an optimum well location for drilling and SIMOPS has been identified. The current plan is to drill 44 wells from SARB 1 and 42 wells from SARB 2.