Wacker expands technical centre in Singapore

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wacker Chemicals (South Asia) Pte. Ltd., a regional sales subsidiary of Munich-based chemicals group Wacker Chemie AG, has recently inaugurated its expanded technical centre in Singapore, said the producer on its site.

As part of the expansion, lab space has more than doubled: A new laboratory for silicone elastomers has been established to serve fast-growing industries in the region, such as ­electronics, healthcare, automotive, and household.

Additionally, the labs for construction silicones and dispersible powders, which are used in dry-mix mortars for construction applications, have been enlarged.

Spanning an area of more than 1,500 m2, the regional competence centre now houses under a single roof both customer development, applications technology, and a training facility for silicones and polymers applications.

As MRC wrote previously, in March 2016, Wacker Chemie said that it was establishing a new subsidiary in Bogota and opening a new technical center for construction applications. The technical facility serves as a development and testing laboratory for dispersible polymer powders, which are used as binders in the regional building industry.

Earlier, in October 2015, Wacker started operating its new logistics center in China. The facility is located on WACKER’s Zhangjiagang production site in Jiangsu province. Used as a distribution center for downstream silicone products manufactured on site, the new facility enables the company to supply its customers in the region even faster and with even greater flexibility. A total of EUR6 million has been invested in this new logistics center.

And in last October, Wacker expanded the service portfolio at its technical center in Mexico City, Mexico. The local facility now comprises state-of-the-art applications technology and test equipment for polymer dispersions needed as binders for architectural coatings and adhesives.

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.

PetroChina Q1 2016 profit falls to lowest on record as oil declines

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PetroChina Co., China's largest oil and gas producer, has posted its lowest quarterly profit on record as weaker oil prices took their toll on earnings. The result missed some analysts’ estimates and its shares dropped, reported Bloomberg.

Net income at China’s biggest oil and gas producer fell 82 percent to 6.15 billion yuan (USD991 million) from 34.2 billion yuan a year ago, the company said in a statement.

"We expect this to mark the low point for the year,” Neil Beveridge, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said in an e-mail. "As oil prices recover in 2015, so should earnings," he said, noting that the result was lower than the consensus forecast.

Beijing-based PetroChina joined Cnooc Ltd., China’s biggest offshore oil and gas explorer, in reporting a decline in earnings after Brent, the benchmark for half of the world’s crude trading, tumbled 42 percent over the past ten months. PetroChina’s profit was the lowest since 2007, when Bloomberg started compiling quarterly data on the company.

Sales fell 22 percent to 410.3 billion yuan while the average realized crude price dropped 51 percent to USD48.87 a barrel from a year ago, according to the statement. Oil and gas output rose 4.9 percent to 381.2 million barrels of oil equivalent in the quarter.

As MRC wrote previously, PetroChina commissioned a new crude oil refinery in China in late 2015. Located at Anning in Yunnan province of China, the refinery has a crude processing capacity of 260,000 bpd.

Besides, we remind that on 9 April 2015, PetroChina Co. passed Exxon Mobil Corp. as the biggest energy company by market value for the first time since 2010. Exxon’s capitalization was USD352.6 billion compared with PetroChina’s USD352.8 billion as of 1:36 p.m. on Thursday, 9 April, in Shanghai. The Chinese company’s A shares surged about 61 percent the past year, versus Exxon’s 14 percent drop. PetroChina was larger by value most recently at the close of trading on June 25, 2010.

PetroChina Company Limited, is a Chinese oil and gas company and is the listed arm of state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation, headquartered in Dongcheng District, Beijing. It is China's biggest oil producer.

Phillips 66 Q1 income drops 57%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Phillips 66 released earnings for first quarter that lost ground compared to the same period last year. The company said its earnings came in at USD360 million, or USD0.67 per share. This was lower than USD834 million, or USD1.51 per share, in last year's first quarter, as per company's press release.

Analysts had expected the company to earn USD0.87 per share, according figures compiled by Thomson Reuters. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Quarterly revenues of USD17.8 billion were significantly lower than the year-ago quarter level of USD23.4 billion. The top line, however, beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of USD16.9 billion.

In the reported quarter, Phillips 66 generated USD258 million of cash from operations. It also returned capital worth USD687 million to shareholders. Of this, USD296 million was disbursed as dividends, while USD391 million was used to repurchase 5 million shares of common stock.

As MRC informed earlier, Phillips 66 and Chevron Phillips Chemical are teaming up with the Sweeny Independent School District in Texas to help fund the creation of a petrochemical academy.

Phillips 66 Company is an American multinational energy company headquartered in Westchase, Houston, Texas. It debuted as an independent energy company when ConocoPhillips executed a spin-off of its downstream and midstream assets. Taking its name from the 1927 "Phillips 66" trademark of ConocoPhillips predecessor Phillips Petroleum Company, Phillips 66 began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on May 1, 2012, under the ticker PSX. The company is engaged in producing natural gas liquids (NGL) and petrochemicals. The company has approximately 14,000 employees worldwide and is active in more than 65 countries.


ExxonMobil Q1 profits dive 63%, but still top forecasts

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil, the largest US oil group that was recently stripped of its prized triple A rating, saw its profits plunge 63 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter, but managed to top Wall Street forecasts as it slashed capital expenditure and flogged assets, said The Financial Times.

The Texas-based company reported profits of USD1.8bn or 43 cents per share, compared with USD4.9bn or USD1.17 per share in the year ago period. That was well ahead of analyst forecasts of 23 cents per share earnings.

Sales fell 28 per cent to USD48.7bn, but nonetheless glided past analyst forecasts of USD44.2bn. The oil group bumped its dividend up 5.8 per cent to 73 cents per share. Its shares have climbed 1.1 per cent to USD89.00 in pre-market trading.

Hunkering down to ride out this period of low oil prices, Exxon said it cut first quarter capital expenditure 33 per cent year-on-year to USD5.1bn, and raised USD177m through asset sales.

In response to the precipitous decline in crude prices since mid-2014 that has weighed on profits of energy companies, ExxonMobil said in February that it was lowering its annual capital expenditures by 25 per cent to USD23.2bn in 2016, from a year ago — its slimmest budget since 2007.

"The organization continues to respond effectively to challenging industry conditions, capturing enhancements to operational performance and creating margin uplift despite low prices," said Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive.

Earlier this week ratings agency Standard & Poor’s stripped ExxonMobil of its triple-A rating, citing growing debt at the fourth-largest publicly traded company and analysts’ view that it would have to boost capital spending to maintain production. ExxonMobil’s shares have advanced 13 per cent so far this year.

As MRC informed earlier, ExxonMobil is shipping a cargo of crude produced from its deepwater Julia field in the Gulf of Mexico to its refinery in Rotterdam, Netherlands, marking the first export of offshore oil to leave a US port since a ban was lifted.

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.


Chevron Q1 downstream profit falls 48%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chevron reported mixed quarterly results on Friday, as the oil giant reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly earnings loss but beat estimates on revenue. The oil company posted first-quarter loss of 39 cents, compared to USD1.37 earnings per diluted share in the year-earlier period, said CNBC.

Revenue for the quarter came in at USD23.55 billion, against the comparable year-ago figure of USD34.56 billion.

"First quarter results declined from a year ago," John Watson, Chevron's chairman and CEO, said in a statement. "Our Upstream business was impacted by a more than 35 percent decline in crude oil prices. Our Downstream operations continued to perform well, although overall industry conditions and margins this quarter were weaker than a year ago."

Chevron's downstream segment fell USD688 million for the quarter year over year, while its upstream segment posted a loss of USD1.46 billion for the quarter. He also said "our efforts are focused on improving free cash flow."

The company's stock closed down 0.21 percent. Analysts expected Chevron to report a loss of 20 cents per share on USD21.43 billion in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates.

As MRC informed earlier, ethylene unit 1592 at Chevron Phillips Chemical's Cedar Bayou, Texas, plant tripped on April 2, because of a loss of boiler feedwater to the furnace area. Operators restarted the furnaces within minutes, according to a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality report. Benzene, butane, ethylene, propane, propylene, toluene and xylenes were routed to the flare.

Chevron Phillips Chemical, headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas (north of Houston), US,l is one of the world’s top producers of olefins and polyolefins and a leading supplier of aromatics, alpha olefins, styrenics, specialty chemicals, piping, and proprietary plastics. Chevron and Phillips 66 each own 50% of Chevron Phillips Chemical.