Total announces its second quarter 2015 interim dividend

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Board of Directors of Total met on July 28, 2015, and approved a second quarter 2015 interim dividend of EUR0.61 per share, as per the company's press release.

This interim dividend, unchanged compared to the first quarter of 2015, is payable in euros according to the following timetable: ex-dividend date - December 21, 2015; record date - December 18, 2015; payment date in cash or
shares issued in lieu of cash - January 14, 2016.

The Board of Directors will meet on December 16, 2015, to: declare the second quarter 2015 interim dividend; offer the option for shareholders to receive the second quarter 2015 interim dividend in cash or in new shares of the company; set the price of the new shares with a discount of up to 10% based on the average opening price on the Euronext Paris for the 20 trading days preceding the Board of Directors’ meeting, and reduced by the amount of the second quarter 2015 interim dividend; and confirm the payment of the dividend in cash or the delivery of shares issued in lieu of the cash dividend as from January 14, 2016.

As MRC informed earlier, Total, Europe’s third-largest oil company, intends to invest EUR160m before 2016 to adapt its petrochemical platform in Carling, in the Lorraine region of eastern France, and to restore its competitiveness.

Total S.A. is a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world with business in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. The company's petrochemical products cover two main groups: base chemicals and the consumer polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) that are derived from them.

Idemitsu to buy Shell stake in Showa Shell for USD1.4 bln

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Idemitsu has signed an agreement to acquire Shell’s 33.24% stake in its Japanese venture Showa Shell Sekiyu KK for JPY 169 billion (approximately USD1.4 billion), as per Business Standard.

Shell will retain a 1.80% holding in the company. The transaction is expected to complete in 2016, subject to obtaining regulatory and contractual approval.

"The sale is consistent with Shell’s strategy to concentrate its downstream footprint on a smaller number of assets and markets where it can be most competitive. Idemitsu is an established and successful company and is well positioned to take up Shell’s shareholding," said John Abbott, Shell Downstream Director.

Shell’s presence in Japan spans more than 100 years and it remains an important LNG market for Shell’s upstream integrated gas business. It also remains an important market for Shell’s downstream business conducted in partnership with Showa Shell, including lubricants, chemicals and trading. Shell will continue to license its brand to Showa Shell for use in its retail business.

Other recent downstream divestments include the sale of downstream businesses in Australia and Italy; a number of retail sites in the UK; and the initial public offering of, and further drop downs to, Shell Midstream Partners LP. Shell has also agreed the sale of its marketing business in Denmark and Norway and its LPG businesses in France.

We remind that, as MRC wrote before, Idemitsu Kosan shut its refinery in Japan for a one-month maintenance turnaround in April 2015.Located at Chiba in Japan, the refinery has a crude processing capacity of 220,000 bpd.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.

Idemitsu Kosan is a Japanese petroleum company. It owns and operates oil platforms, refineries and produces and sells petroleum, oils and petrochemical products. The company runs two petrochemical plants in Chiba and Tokuyama. The two naphtha crackers can produce up to 997,000 tonnes of ethylene per year.

MAGNUM ABS кesins of Trinseo approved for food contact

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber, has announced that several grades of MAGNUM ABS resins are now considered to be FDA food contact compliant as a result of a recently approved Food Contact Substance Notification (FCN), as per the company's press release.

The food contact grades are MAGNUM ABS 3453, 3904/3904 Smooth and 8391/8391 MED resins.

Determining if materials can be used safely for their intended use is one of the responsibilities of the US Food and Drug Association (FDA). Food contact compliant indicates that the materials can contact food safely, as defined by the FDA.

For some manufacturers, such as those involved with kitchen appliances, kitchenware, and food packaging, this compliance is essential. For other manufacturers, such as those of medical devices and other sensitive applications, compliance provides assurance to the customer of added safety and quality control. Trinseo’s FDA compliance is especially important to its Consumer Essential Markets (CEM) Medical Devices business. Medical customers are likely to prefer food contact compliant materials as a product enhancement beyond the compliance to biocompatibility standards alone.

Formerly known as Styron, Trinseo has completed the name change process for most legal entities around the world. Some Styron companies are still completing this process and will continue to do business as Styron until their respective name changes are complete.

Trinseo is a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber. Trinseo’s technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Formerly known as Styron, Trinseo completed its renaming process in 1Q 2015.

Total profit beats forecast as refining leads way

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Total’s second-quarter profit almost matched year-earlier results as higher margins at Europe’s biggest refining business helped the company shrug off a 50% slump in crude prices, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Net income, excluding some non-recurrent items, slid 2.1% to USD3.09 billion from a year earlier, beating the USD2.67 billion average of 15 estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The dividend will remain at 61 euro cents (USD0.67) per share, the Courbevoie, France-based producer said Wednesday in a statement.

Total confirmed a target to cut costs by USD1.2 billion while increasing output by 12% to the equivalent of 2.3 MMbopd as new projects started in Angola, the North Sea and Russia. The production gain and the highest refining margins in at least 12 years are helping Europe’s second-biggest oil company weather a crude-price crash.

"Results look robust across the board," Marc Kofler, an analyst at Jefferies Group, wrote in a report, saying he expects the earnings consensus to rise by as much as 5%. "The outlook statement also is encouraging."

The company is focused on lowering costs to "sustainably reduce its break-even and maximize cash flow," CEO Patrick Pouyanne said in a statement.

Total plans to cap spending at USD23 billion to USD24 billion in 2015, down from USD26 billion last year. The company also announced the sale of a 20% stake in the Laggan-Tormore project west of the Shetland Islands in Scotland to SSE for 565 million pounds (USD882 million).

The producer has plans for USD10 billion of asset sales through 2017, including USD5 billion this year. Total said second-quarter asset sales amounted to USD733 million, bringing those for the first half to USD3.5 billion.

As MRC reported earlier, in late December 2014, Total, Europe’s third-largest oil company, permanently shut its high density polyethylene (HDPE) line. The plant was shut permanently owing to weak margins which have arisen on account of cheap imports in the region. Located at Antwerp in Belgium, the line had a production capacity of 70,000 mt/year.

Total S.A. is a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world with business in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. The company's petrochemical products cover two main groups: base chemicals and the consumer polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) that are derived from them.

SIBUR to reduce export EPS prices in August

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SIBUR, Russia's largest producer of expandable polystyrene (EPS), will reduce its prices for the export market in August, according to ICIS-MRC Price report with reference to market sources.

Overseas buyers expect export contract prices to go down in August by USD90-100/tonne. Converters have received the preliminary prices so far. Given the last price announced by a buyer, the plant's prices will be reduced by USD90/tonne FCA the plant's warehouse, excluding VAT. Earlier, some players reported a price reduction of USD100/tonne FCA the plant's warehouse, excluding VAT. The final offer price will have been formed by the end of the week, a buyer added.

The situation in foreign markets was the reason for lower export prices. Prices of styrene monomer (SM) and EPS dropped in Europe and Asia in July. The plant had to lower prices to hold a competitive advantage in foreign markets.

SIBUR-Khimprom will also shut down its SM production in early August. Maintenance works at the plant's SM production will last during a month, whereas a turnaround at SIBUR-Khimprom's EPS plant will last for two weeks (also in August).