PeMex to sign agreements with international companies

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Petroleos Mexicanos, Mexican state-owned oil producer, expects to sign its first exploration and output agreements with international companies by end of 2014, after Mexico abolished its 75 year monopoly, as per Bloomberg.

This will allow foreign companies to produce crude in the largest supplier to the U.S. after Canada and Saudi Arabia. The overhaul may bring an additional USD20 bln in foreign direct investment as soon as 2015, according to Bank of America Corp. Associations in refining, transportation and petrochemicals can be done once congress approves so-called secondary legislation, which is expected in April. Pemex will initially focus on mature and deep-water fields to establish the ventures, Chief Executive Officer Emilio Lozoya said.

Pemex is exploring deep waters in the Gulf of Mexico in a bid to replicate U.S. success by companies including Chevron Corp. (CVX), Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) and Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC). The Mexican company is also seeking partners to help it maximize reserves in older fields. Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB), Petrofac Ltd. (PFC), and Alfa SAB (ALFAA) were among the winners to develop four mature oil fields in a 2012 auction. Foreign crude producers have to wait about two years before they will be allowed to bid on their own fields for exploration and production without Pemex, as per Deputy Energy Minister Enrique Ochoa. Prior to granting operating licenses, the legal framework has to be determined and Pemex must select the fields it plans to continue to develop.

As MRC informed before, Pemex Petroquimica and Mexichem entered into a joint venture, which will enable greater competitiveness of the domestic petrochemical industry in the global market through the integration of a new company, which will create value to the chlorine-vinyl Chain. The joint venture includes a cash investment and assets contribution up to the amount of USD518 million, of which PEMEX will participate with USD228 million in assets while Mexichem will contribute with both, USD90 million in assets and USD200 million in cash in order to modernize the Pajaritos complex.

Pemex, Mexican Petroleum, is a Mexican state-owned petroleum company. Pemex has a total asset worth of USD415.75 billion, and is the world's second largest non-publicly listed company by total market value, and Latin America's second largest enterprise by annual revenue as of 2009. Company produces such polymers, as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS).

SIBUR joins responsible care programme

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dmitry Konov, SIBUR's CEO, and Viktor Ivanov, President of the Russian Chemists Union, signed an agreement for SIBUR to join the Responsible Care programme, said the producer in its press release.

Responsible Care is a global, voluntary initiative of companies committed to continuous improvement of their health, safety and environmental (HSE) practices. The mission of the programme is to drive corporate responsibility in the chemical industry and to create a favourable environment for its sustainable development.

Members of the programme are required to report their HSE performance to a national professional body (the Chemists Union – in Russia), carry out HSE audits, including those performed by international auditors, implement social development projects and enhance their social responsibility. Responsible Care members follow the Responsible Care guidelines in their business practices.

Responsible Care has been acknowledged by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as an initiative that contributes towards sustainable development targets for chemical companies and the chemical industry as a whole.

56 countries and 90% of chemical manufacturers around the world are part of this global initiative. 28 Russian companies have joined the programme so far.

As MRC wrote before, Fitch Ratings has affirmed Russia-based petrochemical group JSC SIBUR Holding's (SIBUR) Long-term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'BB+' with stable outlook.

SIBUR is a uniquely positioned vertically integrated gas processing and petrochemicals company. SIBUR owns and operates Russia’s largest gas processing business in terms of associated petroleum gas processing volumes, and is a leader in the Russian petrochemicals industry. As well as thermoplastic elastomers for the road construction sector, SIBUR also produces polymer-modified geosynthetics.

Jurong Aromatics likely to start trial runs at Singapore complex by April

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Jurong Aromatics Corporation (JAC) could start trial runs at its USD2.4 billion petrochemical complex in Singapore by April, said Businesstime.

The project includes a 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) condensate splitter and an aromatics complex and it will be mechanically complete in February, the sources said.

The company spokesman declined to comment.

The splitter, one of three to start operation in Asia this year, will tighten supply of condensate, a super light oil produced from gas fields, while adding more oil products and petrochemicals in Asia, trade sources said.

The plant will produce 1.5 million tonnes per year (tpy) of aromatics and 2.7 million tpy of petroleum products a year, JAC had said. The oil products will comprise 783,000 tpy of jet fuel, 662,000 tpy of ultra-low sulphur diesel, 647,000 tpy of naphtha, 283,000 tpy of naphtha and 195,000 tpy of fuel oil.

SK Group and Jiangsu Sanfangxiang Group are the project's largest shareholders.

As MRC wrote before, ExxonMobil officially opened its multi-billion dollar Singapore chemical plant expansion on Jurong Island, to serve growth markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The expansion included a second 1-million-t/y steam cracker, two 650,000-t/y polyethylene plants, a 450,000-t/y polypropylene plant, a 300,000-t/y specialty elastomers unit, an aromatics extraction facility to produce 340,000 t/y of benzene, and a 125,000-t/y oxo-alcohol expansion.

Dow reports fourth Quarter and full-year results

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow earned USD1.05 billion last quarter, compared with a loss of USD631 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 3.4% to USD14.4 billion, exceeding targets from analysts for USD14.13 billion, volumes increased 2%, said the producer in its press release.

"We generated significant earnings growth, margin expansion and return on capital improvement through Dow-specific actions that gained momentum throughout 2013," Dow CEO Andrew Liveris said in a statement.

Liveris has come under pressure in recent weeks from activist investor Dan Loeb, who has called on Dow to spin off its petrochemical business, which he said may be a "significant drag on profitability." Last week, the billionaire hedge fund giant revealed taking a USD1.3 billion stake in Dow.

Dow generated sales growth in nearly all of its operating segments during the fourth quarter, highlighted by a 13% leap in agricultural sciences and a 10% jump for coatings and infrastructure solutions.

The company said performance plastics sales increased 5% basis, while performance materials revenue was up 1%. However, Dow said feedstocks and energy revenue dropped 6% year-over-year due to a 6% decline in prices and flat volume.

As MRC wrote before, Dow Chemical plans to separate chlorine-related assets including its epoxy business as the company focuses on higher-margin activities. The chlorine assets account for as much as USD5 billion of annual revenue and include plants at 11 sites employing almost 2,000 people, Midland, Michigan-based.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber.


DuPont reports 4Q and full-year 2013

MOSCOW (MRC) -- DuPont Co. said that strong seed and insecticide sales, lower taxes and cost controls helped double its fourth-quarter net income, said the producer in its press release.

DuPont's agriculture business usually posts a fourth-quarter seasonal loss, but this time benefited from earlier than expected seed sales in Brazil and North America and strong demand for insecticides in Latin America. Profit in the company's electronics segment jumped on stronger demand for Solamet paste and Tedlar films in photovoltaics used for solar electricity.

DuPont also pointed to better profitability in its safety and protection business driven by more demand for Kevlar fiber used in body armor and fire-resistant Nomex material. And higher pricing and stronger demand for nutritional items such as probiotics boosted earnings in that division.

Lower prices for titanium dioxide (used for white pigments in paint and cosmetics) and refrigerants, as well as higher raw material costs, weighed on profits in the performance chemicals business. DuPont is in the process of spinning off that segment, which generates significant cash but is subject to highly volatile markets.

DuPont earned USD185 million, double the USD92 millio that it reported for the final months of 2012.

Sales rose 6% to USD7.75 billion from USD7.33 billion last year, slightly below the USD7.8 billion analysts expected. Volumes rose in all regions, including double-digit gains in Asia and Latin American markets. That offset lower local selling prices and foreign exchange fluctuations.

For the full year, DuPont earned USD4.8 billion, on sales of about USD35.7 billion, compared with 2012 net income of about USD2.8 billion, on sales of about USD34.8 billion.

According to MRC, DuPont's pure grade titanium dioxide (TiO2) was the most recognizable and popular grade in the Russian market in 2013. Total imports of DuPont's TiO2to Russia was 14,300 tonnes in 2013.

DuPont is an American chemical company that was founded in July, 1802. The company manufactures a wide range of chemical products, leading extensive innovative research in this field. The company is the inventor of many unique plastics and other materials, including neoprene, nylon, Teflon, Kevlar, Mylar, Tyvek, etc. DuPont was the developer and main producer of Freon used in the production of refrigeration equipment.