India's Iran oil imports surge to highest in at least 15 years

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India's daily oil imports from Iran in August surged to their highest in at least 15 years as the OPEC producer boosted its shipments to recoup market share ceded to rivals Saudi Arabia and Iraq under pressure from economic sanctions, reported Reuters.

Private refiner, Essar Oil, was the top Indian client of Iran in August, followed by Indian Oil Corp. and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd.

India received about 576 Mbpd of Iranian oil in August, up about 10% from July, according to trade sources and ship arrival data compiled by Thomson Reuters Supply Chain & Commodities Research.

The August imports from Iran are likely a record, although reliable data is available only back to 2001.

Iran used to be India's second-biggest oil supplier - a position now held by Iraq - before sanctions aimed at Tehran's nuclear program began undercutting its petroleum trade.

The sanctions were lifted in January, and in August, Iran's crude exports, excluding condensate, rose to near pre-sanctions levels at 2.11 MMbpd, with loadings headed for India surpassing those for China, Tehran's top oil client.

India's oil imports from Iran last month were nearly triple the 199 Mbpd taken in August a year ago, according to the tanker arrival data.

In April-August, the first five months of India's current fiscal year, Iran's share in its overall imports surged to 10.7%, its highest since 2010/11.

India's Iran oil purchases rose nearly 70% to 451 Mbpd over those five months from about 266 Mbpd in the same period a year ago, the data showed.

India's oil imports from Iran are set to surge to a seven-year high in the year that began April 1, with the nation's state-owned and private refiners together buying at least 400 Mbpd on average.

In the first eight months of 2016, India's oil imports from Tehran rose 84% to about 395 Mbpd, the data showed, in comparison with 214 Mbpd a year ago.

As MRC informed previously, as of 2015, number of active Iranian Petrochemical complexes were 53, with total production capacity of 59 million metric ton, producing range of polymers, chemicals, aromatics & liquid gas, located mainly at Iranian south region, next to Persian Gulf, called Assaluyeh and Mahshahr Special Economic Zones.

At the moment, there are 67 developments projects in the country which are under construction, adding 61 million metric ton on total production and estimated to fully run till 2018.

Lukoil plays down plans to sell refineries in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's second-biggest oil producer, Lukoil, played down the possibility of selling its oil refineries in Europe as margins improved, as per Reuters.

Lukoil said in June it might consider spinning off or selling its downstream assets in Europe to focus on exploration in Russia and abroad.

"At the moment, refineries in Europe are highly profitable. A year ago they were making heavy losses," Vladimir Nekrasov, Lukoil's First Vice President for Refining, told reporters.

He added that it was currently hard to say whether Lukoil could decide to sell its European downstream assets.

As MRC wrote previously, OAO Lukoil Holdings, Russia's No. 2 oil producer, will invest USD1 billion in the oil firm Samara-Nafta to increase production. Lukoil acquired Samara-Nafta from Hess Corp. this month for USD2 billion as part of a strategy to stabilize and increase oil production. Lukoil has for years fought declining output at its main, Soviet-era fields in Western Siberia. The investment in Samara-Nafta will increase production by between 5% and 7% over the next five years from 2.5 million tonnes a year, Prime news agency cited the company as saying.

Lukoil, a Russian-based company, is one of the global leaders in the production and refining of crude oil and gas resources. The world's largest privately owned oil and gas company, measured by proven oil reserves, LUKoil has operations in over 40 countries.

Iran sends 1 MMbbl of oil to Austrian OMV in spot delivery

MOSCOW (MRC) --Austria's OMV received 1 MMbbl of crude oil from Iran in a spot delivery at the Italian port of Trieste which the energy group will send to its two refineries in Austria and Romania, as per TradeArabia.

The delivery was Iran's first to OMV since 2012, when sanctions were imposed on the country. OMV is in talks with Iran about future deliveries, although no such contract has been signed yet, a spokesman said.

Friday's delivery included Iranian heavy and light crude, he added.

As MRC reported earlier, in February 2016, three supertankers with additional volumes of Iranian crude were sold to buyers in Europe and three to Asian customers for delivery in February. Iran had promised to begin regaining market share lost during years of curtailed output after European sanctions on its oil industry were lifted that month.

Besides, we remind that, in 2015, there were 67 developments projects in the country which are under construction, adding 61 million metric ton on total production and estimated to fully run till 2018.

Currently number of active Iranian Petrochemical complexes are 53, with total production capacity of 59 million metric ton, producing range of polymers, chemicals, aromatics & liquid gas, located mainly at Iranian south region, next to Persian Gulf, called Assaluyeh and Mahshahr Special Economic Zones.

BASF enhanced precision grout offers safety and application benefits

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF’s construction chemicals division has enhanced and aligned the performance and availability of MasterFlow 648 epoxy resin-based precision grout, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

MasterFlow 648 is used to secure critical equipment for proper alignment and transmission of static and dynamic loads, vibration and rotational torque in petroleum refining, chemical processing, LNG production and other industries.

BASF has applied advanced chemistry to balance the physical properties of the grout with the sometimes difficult yet also very important application enablers of flow and working time, to provide uncompromised and durable support, protecting the equipment investment by improving reliability, operating efficiency and life cycle of machinery.

MasterFlow 648 meets the requirements of relevant grout specifications, standards and practice documents in all regions of the world, such as API 686, ASTM C579 and many more international and local standards. The product delivers high early and ultimate compressive strengths to allow rapid commissioning of equipment or fast return to service in shut downs. It is formulated to also achieve additional important and related performance properties such as high effective bearing area of the grout for even load distribution, minimal shrinkage and low creep to provide full baseplate contact under load and over long periods of time to maintain machinery alignment. The grout can also withstand elevated service temperatures and chemical exposure.

Contractors appreciate the improvements in safety and installation characteristics, including reduced dust in material mixing, low odor, soap and water clean-up and superior flow. MasterFlow 648 is formulated to be poured or pumped, and a high flow mix can be used to meet challenging installation scenarios. BASF Construction Chemicals teams around the world work closely with design professionals, equipment manufacturers and plant owners to provide detailed technical assistance and independent testing results, and support contractors with guidance on the correct mixing, application, finishing and testing procedures.

As MRC informed previously, in May 2016, BASF announced that its Construction Chemicals division had started production of waterproofing solutions from the MasterSeal solutions range at its plant located in Bolshoe Tolbino, Podolsk District, Russia. BASF thus extends its portfolio of Master Builders Solutions in Russia and enhances the supply network for regional markets and customers.

BASF is the largest diversified chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF 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 generated sales of more than EUR70 billion in 2015.

TPC restarted LDPE plant in Singapore

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Polyolefin Co (Singapore) Pte Ltd (TPC), one of the largest manufacturers of petrochemical products in Asia, has restarted its low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant following an unplanned outage, reported Apic-online.

A polymerupdate source in Singapore informed that the company has resumed production at its plant last weekend. The plant was shut owing to a short supply of feedstock.

Located at Jurong Island, in Ayer Merbau Singapore, the LDPE plant has a production capacity of 180,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed before, in early September, TPC increased capacity utilisation at its ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA)/LDPE on Jurong Island to 100% after the recent resumption of production after a major overhaul. Maintenance works at the plant with the capacity of 70,000 tonnes of EVA/LDPE lasted from mid-July to 20th of August.

TPC, The Polyolefin Company (Singapore) Pte Ltd is the first major polyolefin manufacturer in Southeast Asia and has been in operations since February 1984. A plant expansion in 1997 and subsequent major modification to increase capacity in 2006 has enabled TPC to become one of the largest and most successful polyolefin producers in the region.