USD 20 bln to be invested in future oil processing in Azerbaijan

(Trend) -- About USD 20 billion will be invested in future oil processing in Azerbaijan, the Minister of Energy and Industry Natig Aliyev said during a roundtable on Tuesday titled "Azerbaijan's State Independence: Industrial and Energy Complex on the Way to New Heights."

"After gaining independence, the Azerbaijani oil and gas sector has reached great achievements," the minister said. "The development was observed in all sectors, particularly in oil and gas production, processing, and chemical production."

The country's oil production amounted to about 9 million tons per year in the early 1990s. The figure exceeded 50 million tons last year, with an increase in growth of 5.5 times.

Aliyev said that success was achieved in gas production. Earlier Azerbaijan imported gas to meet its own needs but at present the country exports gas to several countries. Azerbaijan has an extensive gas transmission infrastructure.


Rexam to build a new beverage can plant in Finland.

(Rexam) -- Rexam PLC, the global consumer packaging company, is to build a new beverage can plant in Finland. The plant will be located in Mantsala in south west Finland some 60km north of Helsinki. When completed, it will have two lines and a capacity of approximately 1.35bn 330ml and 500ml aluminium cans. The first line is expected to be operational by the start of 2013 while the second line is planned for start up in January 2014.

The building of the new plant will allow Rexam to serve growing customer demand in Finland and the Baltic states in coming years, to optimise logistics and to further enhance plant efficiency across its European beverage can network.


Chevron gave go ahead for its Wheatstone LNG project in Western Australia

(Gulf Times) -- Chevron Corp gave the go ahead for its USD 28.4bn Wheatstone liquefied natural gas project in Western Australia, seeking to tap into growing Asian demand with its second LNG export project in the country.

The project is due to initially produce 8.9mn tonnes per annum (mtpa) of LNG and have a domestic gas plant, eventually expanding to 25 mtpa. First gas is planned for 2016.

Chevron is positioning itself to become one of the largest LNG producers in Australia, with the construction of the USD 37bn Gorgon project, also off the coast of Western Australia, which is set to produce 15 mtpa by 2014.

Apache Corp, Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC), Royal Dutch Shell, and Kyushu Electric are all equity participants in Wheatstone, and hold 13%, 7%, 6.4% and 1.83%, respectively while Chevron holds the rest.


Topaz Marine adds OSV vessel in support of BP contract

(Arabian oil and gas) -- Topaz Marine, a division of Topaz Energy and Marine recently acquired the Caspian Provider, an advanced Platform Supply Vessel (PSV), to join the company's fleet on a four-year contract in Azerbaijan with a value in excess of USD 40m.

The Caspian Provider will be working out of Baku, Azerbaijan, on a contract with oil and gas major BP won by Topaz Energy and Marine, in 2008. The Caspian Provider joins four sister ships already under the management of the Topaz Marine Azerbaijan unit.

The Caspian Provider is the fourth vessel delivered to the company after construction in the Simek Yard in Norway. The vessel was ordered in 2010 at a cost of USD 32m and is expected to generate exceptional value for the fleet.

The Caspian Provider will commence a charter with BP on completion of restoration works. Topaz Energy and Marine is strategically positioned in the Caspian Sea where the company benefits from a market share of 55% in Azerbaijan.


HDPE prices hit new records in the Russian market

(MRC) -- HDPE shortages in the Russian market have led to the bullish sentiments. Russian producers corrected their plans depending on maintenance stops in order to smooth current situation, but it is impossible now to cut back the deficit and stop the price growth yet, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

HDPE shortage in the Russian market keeps growing, pushing up spot prices. In order to stabilize the situation in the domestic market, the Russian producers have changed their schedules of turnarounds in September - October. Stavrolen that previously had planned 45 days maintenance, reduced a stop duration to 10 days. Stavrolen's production capacities are expected to be shut from October, 10th.

Nizhnekamskneftechem postponed its regular turnaround to the end of October. Kazanorgsyntez also cut the terms of maintenance by one week. HDPE production in Kazan is planned to restart in October, 5-6. Gazprom neftechem Salavat plans to begin HDPE production in early October. 1 September accident forced the company to stop its capacities for maintenance beforehand.

The Russian ruble devaluation against major world currencies significantly reduced attractiveness of PE purchases in the external markets over last two months. September export prices of European HDPE make EUR 1.080 - 1.120/t, FCA. Last export HDPE deliveries of Shurtansk GKhK were traded within USD 1.520 - 1.620/t, FCA. Asian and American PE for September shipment was offered at average for USD 1.480 - 1.560/т, CFR St. Petersburg.

By the end of last week, Kazanorgsyntez and Stavrolen had declared increased prices of HDPE under the pressure of both external and internal factors. Contract prices increased by RUB 2.360-4.250/t, depending on PE grade and producer.

Price growth is also observed in the spot market. By the end of last week, the quotation for film and injection grades of HDPE in the spot market was recorded in a fairly wide range: RUB 60.500-67.000/t, including VAT, FCA, depending on PE grade. Blow-molding grade of HDPE was offered an average for RUB 61.000-66.500/t, including VAT, FCA.

The only exception is pipe HDPE market, where weak demand for pipe material keeps the price down. Last week the coloured PE100 prices were fixed in the range of RUB 63.000-66.000/t, including VAT, FCA Kazan. Uncoloured PE100 was offered at average for RUB 62.000-63.000/t, including VAT, FCA.