LUKOIL conducted anti-terror exercises at petroleum tank farm

(LUKOIL) -- LUKOIL conducted an anti-terror exercise aimed at the disposal of an explosive device and response to a terrorist attack at the petroleum tank farm facility in Sofrino (the Moscow region).

All technological operations at the facility were suspended, the employees and transportation vehicles were evacuated to a safe distance, and the area of the hypothetical explosion was closed off by the security services of the tank farm.

The results of the maneuvers testified to the fact that LUKOIL, as well as all respective law enforcement, rescue and emergency organizations and services, possessed sufficient forces and means to prevent and respond to the consequences of terrorist attacks at petroleum product supplying facilities.


Silgan buys closure molder Ipec Global Inc.

(Plastics News) -- Plastic packaging manufacturer Silgan Holdings Inc. announced Nov. 16 that it acquired Ipec Global Inc., a plastic closure molder that specializes in the North American dairy and juice markets. Terms were not disclosed. Ipec, based in New Castle, Pa., had sales of about $35 million for the last twelve months, according to Silgan.

Ipec, founded in 1994, has plants in New Castle and Brewton, Ala., and it operates KraussMaffei, Husky and Sandretto presses. From 2002-05 Ipec was publicly traded, until its owners took the company private once more. Now, as part of Silgan, the company will once again be part of a publicly traded company.

The Stamford-based Silgan makes blow molded bottles and injection molded closures, and it also makes metal food containers. Company had 2009 sales of about $3.1 billion, including $541.5 million in North American blow molding sales and an estimated $138 million in injection molding, from the Silgan White Cap Americas unit.


Europe styrene prices fall in line with crude despite firm demand

(ICIS) -- European styrene prices this week have dropped significantly, in line with falls in crude prices, despite healthy demand in the fourth quarter ahead of an anticipated quiet December and lengthening supply, market sources said on Wednesday.

Following the steep drop in crude values that began late last week and a subsequent dip in styrene prices in Asia, styrene prices in Europe have fallen by up to $40/tonne (┬30/tonne).

After styrene prices closed last week at $1,220-1,240/tonne FOB (free on board) Rotterdam, November spot values were at $1,180-1,200/tonne on Wednesday.

Crude values have fallen by almost $5/bbl since last week as the US dollar gained ground against the euro, which was suffering from concerns about Ireland's debt crisis.

Even before crude prices began to fall, sources said styrene prices were already fundamentally too high. Several buyers said that they had been content to remain on the sidelines, believing there was still room for prices to come down even further.


US November propylene contracts fall 1 cent/lb

(ICIS) -- US November propylene contracts settled down by 1 cent/lb ($22/tonne, ┬16/tonne) after a hold-out supplier, which had previously pushed for a rollover, agreed to the decrease, market sources said on Monday.

The drop puts November polymer-grade propylene (PGP) at 57.50 cents/lb and chemical-grade propylene (CGP) at 56.00 cents/lb, as assessed by ICIS.

Market participants had initially expected November propylene contracts to fall by 2-4 cents/lb, but that outlook changed early in the month as a result of cracker outages and a jump in crude oil prices.

A recent increase in refinery-grade propylene (RGP) spot prices was also cited as having limited the drop on the contract side. November RGP traded last week at 47.25-48.25 cents/lb, up from 46.00 cents/lb a month earlier.

RGP accounts for around 60% of US propylene supply.

Market participants said RGP prices were rising in response to a downtrend in refinery-sourced propylene inventories, which in early November fell to their lowest level in 15 months.


TAIF plans to sell stake in refineries and chemical plants

(Plastemart) -- TAIF, an investment group based in Russia's Tatarstan region, is to decide on plan to sell shares in its refineries and chemical plants to help fund 347 billion rubles (US$11 bln) of investments. The group is considering selling equity in the TAIF-NK oil refinery and petrochemicals units OAO Nizhnekamskneftekhim and OAO Kazanorgsintez to fund the investment plan through 2016. The three plants are estimated to have net income of 15.6 bln rubles on revenues of 248 bln rubles this year.

Talks are underway with banks, and a decision will be reached on the best way to do this - via loans, bonds, or an IPO. TAIF is planning 88 bln rubles of investment in the TAIF-NK oil refinery, which processed 7.75 mln tons of oil (about 155,000 bpd) last year. The investment will be used to improve the plant's refining depth to 98.5% from 72% now and increase capacity to 10.1 mln tpa year in 2016, according to the group's annual report.