Saudi firm Petro Rabigh halts refinery operations after power, steam outage

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabia's Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co., or Petro Rabigh, said a sudden cut in power and steam supplies Wednesday halted operations at its refinery. The interruption from the provider Rabigh Arabian Water and Electricity Co., or RAWEC, did not cause any human causalties or damage, it said in a statement posted on the Saudi bourse website Thursday.

Rabigh said it is currently working with RAWEC on the reconnection of power and steam supplies in order to restart production at its refinery, but did not say when operations might resume.

The company, which earlier this year shut its refinery for 20 days for maintenance after it suffered a power cut, is also assessing the operational and financial impact of the interruption, it added.

Rabigh utilizes 400,000 bpd of crude oil and 1.2 million tpy of ethane as primary feedstock to produce several refined petroleum products and petrochemical products. The refinery has mainly been producing 8 million tons of heavy oil, 5.3 million tons of light oil, 3 million tons of naphtha and 2.6 million tons of kerosene each year.


Royal Dutch Shell announces Q2 2013 dividend payments

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Board of Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS), an international gas and oil major, has announced the pounds sterling and euro equivalent dividend payments in respect of the second quarter 2013 interim dividend, which was announced on August 1, 2013 at USD0.45 per A ordinary share ("A Share") and B ordinary share ("B Share"), according to the company's statement.

Dividends on A Shares will be paid, by default, in euro at the rate of EUR0.3406 per A Share. Holders of A Shares who have validly submitted pounds sterling currency elections by September 2, 2013 will be entitled to a dividend of 28.67p per A Share.

Dividends on B Shares will be paid, by default, in pounds sterling at the rate of 28.67p per B Share. Holders of B Shares who have validly submitted euro currency elections by September 2, 2013 will be entitled to a dividend of EUR0.3406 per B Share.

This dividend will be payable on September 26, 2013 to those members whose names were on the Register of Members on August 16, 2013.

As MRC reported earlier, Royal Dutch Shell has recently announced the appointment of John Abbott as Downstream Director with effect from October 1, 2013. In his new role, Mr Abbott will become a member of the Company’s Executive Committee and will take over from Ben van Beurden who, as previously announced, becomes Chief Executive Officer with effect from January 1, 2014.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.

Wuhan Petrochemical restarts HDPE plant in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wuhan Perochemical has restarted a high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed the HDPE plant restarted on September 16, 2013. It was shut for three days owing to technical issues.

Located in Hubei province, China, the plant has a production capacity of 300,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote previously, Wuhan Petrochemical delayed the start-up of a new cracker to July 15, 2013. The cracker was initially scheduled to restart on June 28, 2013. Located in Hubei province, China, the cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 800,000 mt/year. Currently, Wuhan Petrochemical has an ethylene production capacity of 200,000 tonnes/year and can process 8.5m tonnes/year of crude.

Rosneft in talks with Belneftekhim over gas supply for Belarus refineries

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Belarus's state-owned petrochemicals firm said it was in talks to receive natural gas from Rosneft, as the world's largest listed crude producer tries to expand its gas business, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Belneftekhim said its CEO, Igor Zhilin, has held talks with Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin on potential gas supplies for Belarusian refineries, as well as oil deliveries.

Gazprom is the only Russian firm allowed by law to export gas. The government is planning to allow other producers to export liquefied natural gas, but not gas via pipelines. Belarus receives its gas from neighboring Russia via a pipeline.

Rosneft has set out an ambitious plan to increase its share of the domestic gas market, currently dominated by Gazprom, as well as building an LNG plant to export to Asia.

As MRC informed previously, in May 2013, Rosneft and Mitsui signed an agreement to jointly develop the massive Far East Petrochemical Company (FEPCO) project. FEPCO, a subsidiary of Rosneft, is developing the project. Processing capacity of the petrochemical complex is planned at 3.4 million tpy of hydrocarbon feedstock, predominantly naphtha. The capacity of ethylene and propylene production unit is planned at 2 million tpy. The complex is expected to be started up in 2017.

Saudi Aramco and Total set to begin exports at new Jubail refinery venture

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemical Co., known as Satorp, has started operations at its 400,000bpd refinery in Jubail in eastern Saudi Arabia and will export its first cargo this month, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

"Start-up is progressing as per the plan. Production is starting from the refinery and first shipment will be exported before the end of September," the company said in an emailed statement. "Further to this first shipment, other products will be exported as per the start-up schedule and the production plan."

Satorp, 62.5% owned by state-giant Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known as Saudi Aramco, with the rest held by French oil company Total, was initially expected to be fully operational during the third quarter of 2013. But Total CEO Christophe de Margerie said in April that the refinery will start operating at full capacity by the end of the year.

The refinery complex is estimated to cost about USD14 billion to build and is part of a drive by the world's top oil exporter to boost refining capacity.

In December, Satorp said it will double its capital to 7.12 billion Saudi riyals (USD1.95 billion) in the first quarter of 2013 to fund the refinery. The capital increase was paid in cash by shareholders in proportion to their stakes and didn't change ownership levels.

As MRC informed previously, Advanced Petrochemical Company (APC) has recently signed an agreement with Saudi Aramco Total Refining and Petrochemicals (SATORP) to increase the supply of propylene to 30,000 tpa.

Satorp, a company that is 62.5% owned by Aramco and 37.5% owned by France’s Total S.A., plans to build a 400,000 barrel-a-day export refinery in Jubail. The refinery complex, estimated to cost more than USD10 billion to build, is part of a drive by the world’s top oil exporter to boost refining capacity by more than 1.7 million barrels a day from installed capacity of 2.1 million barrels a day now.