Exxon Mobile benefits from lower feedstock prices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Exxon Mobil Corporation expects to start up 16 major oil and natural gas projects during the next three years and is on track to increase daily production to 4.3 million oil-equivalent barrels by 2017, said Process-Wordwide, citing Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer at the New York Stock Exchange.

"We remain committed to our investment discipline and maintaining a reliable and growing dividend. Our integrated model along with our unmatched financial flexibility enable us to execute our business strategy and create shareholder value through the commodity price cycle."

In 2015, the company expects to increase production volumes 2 percent to 4.1 million oil-equivalent barrels per day, driven by 7 percent liquids growth. The volume increase is supported by the ramp up of several projects completed in 2014 and the expected startup of seven new major developments in 2015, including Hadrian South in the Gulf of Mexico, expansion of the Kearl project in Canada, Banyu Urip in Indonesia and deepwater expansion projects at Erha in Nigeria and Kizomba in Angola.

In 2016 and 2017, production ramp up is expected from several projects including Gorgon Jansz in Australia, Hebron in Eastern Canada and expansions of Upper Zakum in United Arab Emirates and Odoptu in Far East Russia. "Exxon Mobil has a deep and diverse portfolio of opportunities around the world and a total resource base of more than 92 billion oil-equivalent barrels," Tillerson said. "We have unparalleled flexibility to select and invest in only the most attractive development projects."

Exxon Mobil anticipates capital spending of about USD34 billion in 2015 – 12 percent less than in 2014 – as it continues to bring major projects online. Annual capital and exploration expenditures are expected to average less than USD34 billion in 2016 and 2017.

As MRC wrote previously, Exxon Mobil Corp. shook off the chill of sanctions and continued to snap up drilling rights in Russia last year, giving it more exploration holdings in Vladimir Putin’s backyard than in the US. Taking the long view, Exxon boosted its Russian holdings to 63.7 million acres in 2014 from 11.4 million at the end of 2014, according to data from US regulatory filings. That dwarfs the 14.6 million acres of rights Exxon holds in the U.S., which until last year was its largest exploration prospect.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.

BASF acquires Seashell nanowire technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- German chemicals major BASF and Seashell Technology, a leading nanotechnology company based in San Diego, have announced that BASF has acquired Seashell's technology, patents and know-how for silver nanowires, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The acquisition extends BASF's portfolio of solutions offered to the display industry through the company's growing electronic materials unit.

"Seashell is an early pioneer in silver nanowire technology and has enabled development of multiple application areas and uses for these unique materials," said David Schultz, CEO of Seashell. "Seashell is excited to transfer the technology to BASF, which has the expertise and infrastructure to meet the growing demand for silver nanowires."

With unique properties such as higher conductivity and flexibility, silver nanowires are becoming an increasingly attractive alternative to indium tin oxide (ITO) for transparent conductive layers.

"Seashell's nanotechnology has long been regarded as best-in-class, and we are very excited to bring this technology platform to BASF," said Dr. Lothar Laupichler, senior vice president of BASF's electronic materials business.

"We will build on this platform and develop innovative, efficient next generation silver nanowires tailored to the needs of our customers in the display industry and strengthen our recognition as a leader in the electronic materials industry," he added.

We remind that, as MRC wrote before, in December 2014, BASF entered into a definitive agreement to fully acquire the business and assets in Taiwan and Mainland China of Taiwan Sheen Soon (TWSS), a leading manufacturer for thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) adhesives base material.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries. BASF had sales of about EUR74 billion in 2013 and over 112,000 employees as of the end of the year.

Wacker Chemie expands production capacity for dispersions in USA

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wacker Chemie AG is expanding its existing vinyl acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE) dispersions production facilities in the United States, said the company in its press release.

The Munich-based chemical company will add a new reactor with an annual capacity of 85,000 metric tons at its Calvert City site, investing an amount of aroundEUR50 million in the site’s capacity and infrastructure. This makes the complex the largest of its kind in the Americas. The new reactor is scheduled to come on stream by mid-2015.

WACKER’s production facility in Calvert City: The additional annual capacity of 85.000 tons of VAE dispersion will be used for applications in the paints and coatings, adhesives, construction, paper, carpet and nonwoven industries.

WACKER has further added an ethylene pipeline to the Calvert City facility for increasing the long-term reliability of raw material supply at the site. “This investment in our continuous raw-material supply is an important step: it not only makes a key contribution to supply security in the years to come, but also to the cost-efficient production of our dispersions,” explained John Fotheringham, vice president of Dispersions at WACKER POLYMERS.

As MRC reported earlier, Wacker Chemie AG launched its new production plant for ethylene-vinyl-acetate copolymer (EVA) dispersions at its Ulsan site in South Korea. The additional 40,000 tonnes from the second reactor line increases the site's EVA-dispersion capacity to a total of 90,000 tonnes per year. The production capacity of the site, thus, almost doubled, making the plant complex one of the biggest of its kind in South Korea.

Wacker Chemie AG is a worldwide operating company in the chemical business, founded 1914. The company is controlled by the Wacker-family holding more than 50 percent of the shares. The corporation is operating more than 25 production sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The product range includes silicone rubbers, polymer products like ethylene vinyl acetate redispersible polymer powder, chemical materials, polysilicon and wafers for semiconductor industry.


Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical to take off-stream HDPE/LLDPE swing plant in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical is in plans to shut its high density polyethylene/linear low density polyethylene (HDPE/LLDPE) swing plant for maintenance turnaround, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the plant is planned to be shut in mid-April 2015. It is likely to remain off-stream for around 15 days.

Located in Nanjing, China, the plant has a production capacity of 200,000 mt/year.

We remind that, as MRC informed earlier, in May 2014, SIBUR, a leading Russian gas processing and petrochemicals company, signed a contract with Sinopec to establish a joint venture for the construction of a 50,000 tpa butadiene nitrile rubber plant at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park, 50km south of Shanghai. Sinopec’s share in the joint venture will be 74.9% and SIBUR’s will be 25.1%.

Sinopec Corp. is one of the largest scale integrated energy and chemical companies with upstream, midstream and downstream operations. Its refining and ethylene capacity ranks No.2 and No.4 globally. The Company has 30,000 sales and distribution networks of oil products and chemical products, its service stations are now ranked third largest in the world.

Prices of North American PVC rose to USD900/tonne

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Export prices of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in the United States continued to grow. Offer prices for March shipment to the CIS markets came very close to USD900/tonne, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

Stable demand for North American PVC from both the domestic market and foreign markets continued to boost export prices. Offer prices for March PVC shipments from the United States to the CIS countries reached USD880-900/tonne CFR.

The March rise in prices of North American PVC was quite significant, as offer prices for February shipments of the resin were heard in the range of USD780-820/tonne CFR.

At the same time, suppliers of North American PVC said demand for resin from the CIS markets has decreased significantly in recent months. Russian and Belarusian companies completely refused from procurement of resin in the US, whereas Ukrainian companies focused on purchasing in Europe and Russia.