Ineos opens 1 million ethylene terminal in Belgium

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ineos has opend one million tonne deep-sea ethylene terminal at Ineos Oxide, Zwijndrecht, Belgium, according to the company's statement.

The new deep-sea terminal, at the heart of the second largest petrochemical region in the world, is now fully operational.

Hans Casier, CEO Ineos Oxide says: "This is a major step for INEOS which will secure the long term viability of its business located at the Antwerp site and connected along side the ARG pipeline. The terminal allows us to access ethylene from world markets at competitive costs, which means we can continue to compete successfully on a global basis."

Capable of unloading shipments of ethylene from the world’s largest ethylene vessels, the terminal directly supplies the needs of both those INEOS ethylene derivative plants located directly at the Antwerp site and those which are connected along the ARG ethylene pipeline, which links Antwerp to Koln and the Ruhr industrial areas.

Ineos has a very large demand for ethylene, supplied substantially by its own production from several steam crackers across Europe. To balance the shortfall the company has traditionally bought ethylene from other companies that sit on the ARG pipeline. The new one million tonne deep sea terminal now presents an opportunity for INEOS to import competitively priced ethylene from around the world, thereby improving its flexibility.

Ineos Oxide, part of the INEOS Group of Companies, is a leading producer of ethylene oxide and ethylene oxide derivatives, propylene oxide and propylene oxide derivatives, plus a range of solvents and speciality chemicals, with production facilities in Antwerp Belgium, Koln Germany, Lavera France, Plaquemine Louisiana, Freeport Texas and Hull in the United Kingdom.

As MRC wrote previously, las year chemicals major Ineos signed an agreement to secure ethane from the US that it will use as a feedstock to operate its steam crackers in Europe. It agreed a long-term deal with Range Resources Corp. for the lifting of ethane from the Marcus Hook facility, located near Philadelphia, from 2015.

INEOS Group Limited is a privately owned multinational chemicals company consisting of 15 standalone business units, headquartered in Rolle, Switzerland and with its registered office in Lyndhurst, United Kingdom. It is the fourth largest chemicals company in the world measured by revenues (after BASF, Dow Chemical and LyondellBasell) and the largest privately owned company in the United Kingdom. Ineos operates steam crackers in Grangemouth in the UK, Cologne in Germany, Lavera in France and Rafnes in Norway.

Petronas 'close' to Canada shale sale

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Malaysian state-owned Petronas is reported to be close to selling a stake in its Canadian shale gas assets to an Indian company in a move to offset the costs of a proposed LNG export scheme, said Upstreamonline.

The company aims to spend USD35 billion to exploit shale gas assets in north-east British Colombia, acquired through its USD5 billion takeover of Canadian player Progress Energy Resources last year, and build a liquefied natural gas export terminal to supply gas-hungry Asian markets. Earlier this year, Petronas was in talks to sell 10% of its Canadian shale gas assets to Indian Oil Corporation.

The Malaysian company has already sold a 10% stake in the integrated shale gas development and LNG project to Japan Petroleum Exploration. Petronas had previously said it would spend USD20 billion to build two LNG trains on Canada’s West Coast. This includes a pipeline to be built by TransCanada from the fields in the shale-rich Montney region. The trains are expected to be ready by the end of 2018 or 2019.

Petronas has previously stated that a final investment decision on the entire project will be taken by the end of 2014.

Shamsul was more cautious about the fate of an USD850 million deal to buy a stake in two Brazilian offshore oil blocks controlled by the ailing Brazilian oil company OGX, saying it would wait for a court decision on OGX's bankruptcy filing last month before deciding on the plan. OGX has said that it expected to end up in arbitration over the deal with Petronas.

For the three months ended September, Petronas posted a 16% rise in net profit from a year ago to 14.47 billion Malaysian ringgit (USD4.52 billion), helped by higher demand for crude and a return to production in South Sudan.

Total quarterly domestic and international output reached 2.06 million barrels of oil equivalent, up from 1.90 million a year ago, as the Fortune 500 company resumed operations in South Sudan and ramped up output in Malaysia, Iraq and Canada.

In the first nine months of the year, production was up 6% from the corresponding year-ago period.

As MRC wrote before, Petronas signed an agreement with Eni-controlled Versalis to jointly own, develop, construct and operate elastomer plants within Petronas' proposed refinery and petrochemical integrated development (RAPID) complex in Pengerang, Johor. The proposed joint venture will produce and market synthetic rubbers using Versalis' technology license and technical know-how.

Gazprom Neft lifts profit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russian Gazprom Neft beat analyst forecasts with a 3% year-on-year increase in third-quarter net profit, said Upstreamonline.

The oil-producing arm of state gas export monopoly Gazprom reported a net result of 57.5 billion roubles (USD1.75 billion), compared with 55.95 billion roubles a year earlier, while a Reuters poll of analysts had expected the company to earn 52.3 billion roubles in the latest quarter.

Gazprom Neft, which has set itself the target of doubling oil production to 100 million tonnes (2 million barrels per day) by 2020 reported turnover of 402.3 billion roubles, which was also better than expected.

Quarterly earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were up 40.3% over the year to 96.1 billion roubles.

Its capital expenditure in the first nine months increased 11.4% year on year, driven mainly by new project development and use of new technology to maintain production at mature fields, the company stated.

As MRC wrote before, Gazprom Neft has signed an agreement with France-based Total to form a joint venture to produce and sell modified bitumen and bitumen emulsions on the Russian market. Each partner will have a 50% stake in the joint venture, which will build a special production facility at Gazprom Neft's Moscow oil refinery.

Gazprom Neft, is the fourth largest oil producer in Russia and ranked third according to refining throughput. It is a subsidiary of Gazprom, which owns about 96% of its shares. The company is registered and headquartered in St. Petersburg after central offices were relocated from Moscow in 2011.

Petronas to secure another JV partner for Rapid Project in Johor

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Petronas plans to secure another joint venture (JV) partner for the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) project in Pengerang, Johor, as per Plastemart.

To date, Petronas has inked agreements with Italy's Versalis SpA, Japan's Itochu and Bangkok-listed PTT Global Chemical as JV partners, to build specialty chemical plants.

CEO and Executive VP-Downstream Business, Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said the national oil company was currently working towards finalising a few shareholders' agreement with existing JV partners. "We will announce the final investment decision regarding the project by the end of the first quarter next year," he added.

As MRC wrote before, the RM60 billion Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project will not be completed on time due to delays by the Johor government. The mega project was previously slated to start operations in 2016, but Petronas announced today that the date has been pushed to early 2017.

The RAPID project is on track to secure its final investment decision (FID) in March 2014, Petronas said.
The RAPID project is set to occupy over 2.43 hectares of the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex’s (PIPC) 22,500 acres, which is home to some 28,000 Pengerang parliamentary constituents in the southernmost tip of Johor.
PIPC is a massive RM170 billion project that is expected to turn Malaysia into a mega petrochemical hub.


Dow plans maintenance at Texas polyethylene plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- An estimated 1,000 pounds of ethylene was released Friday at Dow's Freeport, Texas, site, the company said in a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, as per Plastemart.

The release occurred when workers were performing maintenance on the plant's Polyethylene 4 unit, the company told TCEQ. The incident lasted one minute.

As per Dow, the maintenance was necessary to purge the reactor prior to restarting. It was unclear if the reactor had been restarted Monday or if any production had been lost as a result of the maintenance.

The Freeport facility has a total polyethylene capacity of 1.4 bln lbs, producing 445 mln lbs/year of low density polyethylene, 562 mln lbs/year of linear low density polyethylene and 410 mln lbs/year of high density polyethylene.

As MRC reported earlier, in March this year, Dow Chemical signed a long-term ethylene off-take agreement with a new Japanese joint venture that will allow the chemical producer to enhance its performance plastics franchise. The joint venture is being formed between Japanese companies Idemitsu Kosan and Mitsui & Co. to construct and operate a Linear Alpha Olefins unit on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Dow - the world's second-largest chemical producer by revenue - is a large consumer of linear alpha olefins and utilizes them within its performance plastics franchise for the production of high-performance materials.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene (PS), polyurethane, polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and synthetic rubber. In 2012, Dow had annual sales of approximately USD57 billion. The company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 36 countries across the globe.