Tethys awarded 15 year extension to Kyzyloi Gas contract

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Tethys Petroleum Limited, following on from the recently announced Kazakh State Reserves Committee ("GKZ") approval, today confirmed that it has received approval from the Ministry of Oil & Gas of the Republic of Kazakhstan ("MOG") for the extension its Kyzyloi Production Contract for a further 15 years to June 2029, said The Wall Street Journal.

The Contract Area currently covers some 287 km(2) (70,918 acres), and the Company is currently producing gas from the shallow Kyzyloi sandstone in this area. This Contract extension will give Tethys significantly more time to produce natural gas from this attractive area.

The reserves attributed to the Kyzyloi Contract area, determined in accordance with National Instrument 51-101 of the Canadian Securities Administrators, are included in the Company's reserves evaluation for its oil and gas interests in Kazakhstan set out in its Annual Information Form dated March 31, 2014.

Tethys is focused on oil and gas exploration and production activities in Central Asia and the Caspian Region with activities currently in the Republics of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Georgia. This highly prolific oil and gas area is rapidly developing and Tethys believes that significant potential exists in both exploration and in discovered deposits.

As MRC wrote before, Kazakhstan plans to build a major petrochemical complex by 2016 to produce higher-value products from associated petroleum gas that is currently mainly flared, according to an official at state-run KazMunaiGaz. The government aims to go ahead with the USD6.3 bln project in order to increase utilization of associated petroleum gas as it believes the situation with gas flaring in the country is "unacceptable," as per Raushan Sarmurzina, executive secretary of the Council on Science and Technology at KazMunaiGaz.

New propylene plant to come on stream in Iran by 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A new petrochemical complex for production of propylene will come on stream by March 2017 in Iran’s Mahshahr Petrochemical Special Economic Zone, the National Petrochemical Company (NPC) has announced, reports Fibre2fashion.

The construction for the Salman-e-Farsi petrochemical complex in Iran’s southwestern city of Mahshahr started in 2010, and it will have an annual capacity to produce 450,000 tons of propylene when the plant comes on stream by March 2017, according to the report.

Iran has capacity to produce about 60 million tons of petrochemicals per year, but only 68% of this capacity has been tapped so far, according Abbas Sheri-Moqaddam, Deputy Minister for Petrochemical Affairs.

Iran has the world’s largest natural gas reserves and the third-largest proven oil reserves. The country is now aiming to become the biggest petrochemical producer in the Middle East region, and it has significantly expanded the range and volume of its petrochemical production over the past few years.

Earlier this month, Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri said the Government of Iran considers investment in the petrochemical sector a top priority and hence it would fully support both local and foreign investment in the sector.

As MRC wrote before, Iran was set to officially inaugurate three important petrochemical industry projects in the country's Mahshahr Petrochemical Special Economic Zone. The projects include the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production line at Arvand Petrochemical Complex, the oxygen and nitrogen production line at Maroon Petrochemical Plant and the second liquids loading pier at Mahshahr Petrochemical Special Economic Zone.

Ineos buys out BASF for full control of Styrolution JV

MOSCOW (MRC) --Ineos Group Holdings Inc. will buy full control of a styrene plastics joint venture with BASF SE (BAS) for EUR1.1 billion (USD1.5 billion) in a bet it can extend a move into more-profitable products for the electronics and automotive industries, said Bloomberg.

The companies plan to complete the transaction by the end of the year, they said in a statement. Rolle, Switzerland-based Ineos had a call option to buy its German partner’s share in the partnership under an agreement reached in 2011, they said.

Styrolution has set a goal of generating half of sales from specialty products and half from emerging markets by the end of the decade. It predicted in February that it may beat a 2020 deadline of reaching a profit margin of at least 10 percent of sales and outlined plans to set up its first ever production in China by then.

The Styrolution joint venture was a stop-gap solution for the Ludwigshafen, Germany-based company to exit a commoditized business with limited scope for innovation. Consumer trends moved against traditional styrene that had been used to make compact disc cases and TV shells, leading companies to engineer better performing variants.
Ineos Spending

BASF Chief Executive Officer Kurt Bock is steering the company toward more value-added products such as nutritional ingredients, high-performance plastics and cosmetic ingredients.

For Ineos, the investment highlights a return to acquisitions upon which the company is built. Ratcliffe, who formed the chemical company through a series of deals including the purchase of Innovene from BP Plc (BP/) in 2005, is betting the company can compete with Asian competitors including Chimei Materials Technology Corp. and Formosa Petrochemical Corp.


Supervisory Board of Evonik appoints new Executive Vice President

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik's Supervisory Board has appointed Mr. Christian Kullmann (45) to the Executive Board of Evonik Industries AG effective July 1, 2014, reported the company on its site.

As Chief Strategic Officer, Kullmann will be responsible for the Corporate Strategy & Corporate Performance, Legal & Compliance, Corporate Affairs, and Corporate Security Divisions.

Werner Muller, Chairman of Evonik's Supervisory Board, commented: "Mr. Kullmann made an enormous contribution to the former RAG and subsequently to preparing Evonik for the capital markets. The company's strategic development in recent years owes much to him and I am delighted that he will now be contributing his considerable experience as a member of the Executive Board."

Klaus Engel, Chairman of Evonik's Executive Board: "The Executive Board is gaining a long-standing, competent and experienced manager. As a close colleague of mine, Christian Kullmann played a trusted and decisive role in repositioning the group as a specialty chemicals company and in shaping Evonik's stock exchange listing. We look forward to continuing to work with him as a member of the Executive Board."

On December 1, 2003 Christian Kullmann became Head of Communications & Board Office at the former RAG, from which Evonik was formed in 2007. Prior to that he was Director of Public Relations and Public Affairs at Dresdner Bank. Evonik's Supervisory Board appointed him Executive Vice President effective April 1, 2013.

As MRC wrote previously, Evonik Industries, a leading specialty chemicals manufacturer, is paving the way for a new technology whose applications include automotive finishes that are more scratch-resistant than ever before. Thus, the specialty chemicals company has developed an industrial-scale method for producing silane-modified binders for automotive finishes.

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2013 more than 33,500 employees generated sales of around EUR12.9 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about EUR2.0 billion.

Eastman increases esters prices in July

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Eastman Chemical Company, a global specialty chemical company, is increasing prices on the following products on 15 July 2014, or as contracts allow, as per the company's press release.

EASTMAN N-butyl acetate, all grades: offlist price increase of USDUSD 0.03/lb (USDUSD 0.07/kf) globally.

As MRC wrote previously, earlier this year, Eastman Chemical Company, enhanced its medical packaging portfolio with Eastalite copolyester, the company’s first opaque offering, which is styrene-free and can be a sustainable alternative to high-impact polystyrene (HIPS).

Eastman (headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA) is a global specialty chemical company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With a portfolio of specialty businesses, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. Its market-driven approaches take advantage of world-class technology platforms and leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables.