Sipchem's affiliate SMSC acquired Swiss petrochemical Aectra SA

(Arabian oil and gas) -- Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) said that its affiliate, SMSC has acquired Aectra SA, a Swiss petrochemical trading and marketing company. Ahmad Al-Ohali, chairman of Sipchem and SMSC stressed that the acquisition of Aectra was an important milestone for Sipchem: ⌠Aectra SA gives Sipchem immediate access to experienced and proven marketing, logistics and trading expertise in the key European market.

Rene Fresco, Aectra CEO, reiterated that ⌠Aectra SA and Sipchem are a winning combination and confirmed that all members of the Aectra SA team were excited about working with Sipchem to grow the customer base and to provide service excellence to all customers throughout Europe, both big and small.

Aectra SA was established in 1995 and is located in Lutry, Switzerland. Aectra SA has an established network of agents and customers throughout Europe. It enjoys good professional relationships with major producers and its employees have proven experience in European logistics.


Fire outbreak at Stavrolen caused no exceedence of MPC of harmful substances

(Lukoil) -- In connection with the fire outbreak which took place at the Stavrolen petrochemical complex, a wholly-owned OAO LUKOIL subsidiary, at 2:15 pm local time on December 15, 2011 the Press Service of the Company announces that the fire outbreak was contained within two hours.

At present, in line with the EMERCOM recommendation, the residual product leaking from the production equipment of workshop No. 2 (pyrolysis gas separation and benzene production) of the ethylene production unit is being burned off. The Press Service would like to emphasize that Budennovsk residents need not worry about their health.

The fire outbreak did not cause the exceedence of the maximum permissible concentrations (MPC) of harmful substances. This fact is confirmed by the data provided by the stationary atmospheric air control station located at a 400-meter distance from the border of the sanitary protection zone of the petrochemical complex in the immediate vicinity of the residential area. The atmospheric air monitoring is conducted based on 13 criteria.

In addition, specialists of the complex conduct continuous monitoring by means of an ultraviolet open path gas detector which simultaneously estimates the concentration of 38 major pollutants in the air within an accuracy of parts per billion. The air samples are taken automatically along the perimeter of the complex.

According to the data provided by the stationary control station located in the center of Budennovsk, no cases of harmful substances exceeding the MPC have been registered in the city.

According to the latest information, eight people were injured due to the incident. Medical assistance was provided to five of them at the medical unit of the complex. Three were taken to the hospital. One of them is in moderately grave condition which poses no threat to life. The doctors say two of the patients should be able to leave the hospital by the end of the day.

The Company hopes that the fire outbreak will soon be brought fully under control. Then an ad hoc committee under the auspices of the state supervisory authorities will investigate the cause of the incident. The Company will do its best to recommission the ethylene production unit as soon as possible.


QAPCO to start operating its PE 3 plant in the second quarter of next year

(Reuters) -- Qatar Petrochemical Co (QAPCO) will start operating its polyethylene 3 plant in the second quarter of next year, it said on Wednesday, revising a previously expected launch date of end-2011. The estimated total cost of the Polyethylene 3 plant was nearly 2.2 billion riyals (USD604 million), QAPCO General Manager Mohammed al-Mulla said in a statement carried by the state news agency QNA.

The plant will increase QAPCO's total production to 720,000 tonnes per year of polyethylene, he said. Mulla had been quoted by QNA as saying in November 2010 that the 310,000-tonne plant was expected to come online by the end of 2011.

The company has said it aims to eventually produce 1.2 million tonnes a year of low-density polyethylene, which is used for plastics. Industries Qatar holds 80 percent of QAPCO, and Total Petrochemicals has a 20 percent stake.

OPEC-member Qatar said in October it is working on a 1.2 million tonnes-per-year ethylene cracker with China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc , as part of a joint refining and petrochemical complex in China.


BPCL is to sign a deal with LP Chemical for its maiden foray into petrochemicals

(Plastemart) -- Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) is to sign a deal with UK based LP Chemical for its maiden foray into petrochemicals. Negotiations are underway for the JV that plans to set up a petrochemical plant by 2015 at its Kochi refinery in Kerala.

BPCL plans to invest about Rs 13,000 crore, while Rs 6,000 crore will be contributed by LP Chemical. Talks are underway between BPCL and Kerala government for concession on the investment in the planned petrochemical unit.

This September, BPCL had announced the company's plans to spend Rs 40,000 crore in the next five years to set up a petrochemical plant at the Kochi refinery to produce niche products, expand the capacity of existing refineries, gas marketing and exploration and production.

BPCL is looking at producing 500,000 tpa of propylene derivatives. It is also working on a pre-feasibility report to set up a liquefied natural gas terminal, with an investment of around USD1 bln (Rs 4,700 crore). The terminal will have a capacity of 5-6 mln tons and it is working on two locations, one on the east coast and the other on the west. BPCL also plans to expand its Kochi and Mumbai refineries.


Aramco to take stake in Frac Tec in USD2.2 bn deal

(Arabian oil and gas) -- The acquisition would improve Aramco's fracking resources and experience base. Saudi Aramco is to join forces with two Chinese state oil companies to take a USD2.2 billion stake in Frac Tec, and American company dedicated to fracking processes and equipment.

The USD2.2 billion deal will see Aramco, Sinopec and CNOOC take up to 30% of Frac Tec, according to a Reuters report citing people familiar with the deal, who added that Frac Tech was also in advanced talks with Saudi Aramco, Repsol-YPF SA and Sinopec to establish three separate fracking joint ventures in the Middle East, Argentina and China.

The company planned to close the deals by the end of February, the sources said, ahead of a planned initial public offering targeted to raise about USD1.15 billion.