ADNOC to cut January oil supplies to Asia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- State-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) on Tuesday said it would cut crude supplies by 3-5% across its three export grades to meet commitments under an OPEC deal to curb output, reported Reuters.

The move is one of the first visible indicators that oil markets could be physically tighter in 2017 as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers cut production to ease a supply glut and prop up prices.

Still, ADNOC's cut is unlikely to have a large impact on the market as it is within operational tolerance limits, while some buyers have extra oil from Saudi Arabia and Iraq to replace lost Abu Dhabi supplies, traders said.

"I think it's manageable. Many (refiners) received incremental Arab Extra Light in January to cover," said a North Asian refinery official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

In a notice to term lifters, ADNOC said it would reduce Murban and Upper Zakum crude supplies by 5% and cut Das crude exports by 3%.

"In line with OPEC's latest decision to cut production, we regret to advise you that crude oil allocation for the month of January 2017 will be reduced," ADNOC said.

Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) has also notified at least two customers in Asia it "will implement its share of the reduction, which shall take effect January 2017," refining officials said.

Non-OPEC Oman will tell customers on Tuesday that it plans to cut output by 45,000 bpd and will provide details on the reduction to each customer later, a source said.

ADNOC's supply cuts will mostly hit Asia although they remain within tolerance limits of 5%, as allowed by a contract clause that lets seller or buyer adjust loading volumes based on logistics.

ADNOC's production hit a record 3.1 MMbpd in November, according to a Reuters survey. The producer's flagship crude is light sour Murban, with production of about 1.6 MMbpd and an API gravity of about 40 degrees.

Besides state-controlled ADNOC, France's Total, South Korea's GS Energy and Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC), and the Japan Oil Development Company (Jodco) are partners in producing onshore crude. Key Murban crude buyers are in Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Thailand.

The UAE's main offshore crudes are Upper Zakum and Das.

Upper Zakum, owned 28% by US oil major ExxonMobil, and 12% by Jodco, is a medium grade crude.

Das, a blend from the Umm Shaif and Lower Zakum oilfields, is a relatively light crude grade. Beyond ADNOC's 60% share, Britain's BP, Total and Jodco are partners in producing Das crude.

As MRC informed earlier, ADNOC plans to almost triple its petrochemical production to an annual 11.4 MMt by 2025 from 4.5 MMt at present. ADNOC's petrochemicals are produced by Abu Dhabi Polymers Co (Borouge), which makes polyolefins, and Ruwais Fertilizer Industries (Fertil), which produces urea and ammonia fertilisers.
MRC

Evonik to build silica plant in South Carolina


MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik Industries is building a production plant for precipitated silica in the US state of South Carolina to supply the tire industry, said the producer on its site.

The industry needs high-quality precipitated silica for producing fuel-efficient tires with good wet grip properties, which can save up to 8% fuel in comparison to conventional car tires.

In North America, the demand for tires with reduced rolling resistance and the associated higher fuel efficiency is experiencing above-average growth. Evonik is building the new plant near Charleston, South Carolina, close to the production plants of large tire manufacturers. The facility with an investment volume of around USD120 million is to be completed in 2018.

"The investment is an important part of our strategy to expand our position as a global partner for the automotive supplier industry,” Klaus Engel, Chairman of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries AG, said. “With the construction of the plant in the Southeastern United States and the planned acquisition of the silica business of Huber, we are strengthening our Resource Efficiency growth segment and are extending our leading market positon as a silica provider."

The use of silica in combination with silanes allows for manufacturing tires with significantly reduced rolling resistance that save fuel (compared to conventional car tires). Green tires therefore contribute to climate protection.

As MRC informed earlier, Evonik Resource Efficiency will invest in a capacity expansion of its performance foams business at its production site in Darmstadt, Germany.

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.
MRC

Leaked report says slack management exposed BP to high safety risk

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BP's refining operations are exposed to high safety risks that can lead to deadly accidents and pollution as a result of slack management and a lack of investment, according to a leaked internal report from 2015, reported Reuters.

The report, co-authored by BP, IBM and industry consultancy WorleyParsons, states that the British company's refining and petrochemical business is trailing rivals such as Royal Dutch Shell by up to seven years in managing information to reduce safety risks and financial losses.

"Inadequate management and use of engineering information has been a root cause or contributing factor" in 15% of 500 high-risk incidents reviewed in the report, which was provided by Greenpeace.

BP has strived to improve its safety record since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico where 11 people were killed and which led to the largest environmental disaster in US history.

In comments on the leaked report, BP said it was "committed to safe, reliable and compliant operations. With that in mind, BP regularly conducts internal assessments in an effort to make improvements to its operations."

"This particular report focused on potential enhancements to how BP manages engineering data. It is not an analysis of any operational incidents, and any suggestion that this report indicates BP is wavering from its safety commitment is wrong," a company spokesman said.

The most significant incident recorded by the authors occurred in January 2014 at the 413,500 bpd Whiting, Indiana refinery which cost BP USD258 million in lost production. The incident at the gasoil hydrotreater unit, which removes sulfur from oil, was due to "multiple deficiencies in engineering information management."

At the Hull petrochemical plant in northern England equipment that was not operated correctly led to losses of $35 million to USD45 million.

BP's safety record came in to focus in 2005 when a blast at its Texas City refinery killed 15 workers and injured 180 others. BP was fined USD84.6 million by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration between 2005 and 2012 for safety rules violations found at the refinery in investigations following the blast.

The report said highly material safety risk and financial performance issues remained due to "the lack of refining and petrochemicals-wide direction, governance, coordination and investment."

The upstream segment has further work to do, but is however significantly ahead of downstream, the report said, reflecting the big focus BP has placed on safety after the Deepwater Horizon explosion.

We remind that, as MRC informed previously, in early 2016, BP PLC agreed to sell its petrochemical complex in Decatur, Alabama, to Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd., for an undisclosed sum, as part BP's plan to restructure its global petrochemicals business. The divestment is in line with BP’s global petrochemicals strategy of pursuing a competitively advantaged portfolio through world-scale, low-cost facilities that utilize BP proprietary technology, including the production of purified terephthalic acid, or PTA, a key raw material in the production of polyester.

BP is a leading producer of oil and gas and produces enough energy annually to light nearly the entire country for a year. Employing about 17,000 people across the country, BP supports more than 170,000 additional jobs through all of its business activities.
MRC

US Avery Dennison to acquire Hanita Coatings

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Avery Dennison Corporation announced it has agreed to acquire Hanita Coatings, a pressure-sensitive materials manufacturer of specialty films and laminates from Kibbutz Hanita Coatings and Tene Investment Funds for the purchase price of USD75 million, subject to customary adjustments, said producer on its site.

Headquartered in Israel with sales and distribution facilities in the United States, Germany, China and Australia, Hanita Coatings develops and manufactures coated, laminated, and metallized polyester films for a range of industrial and commercial applications, all of which require high performance and superior quality.

Hanita Coatings’ window films are used in architecture and automotive aftermarkets; its top-coated polyester films are used in the manufacture of durable labels; and its ultra-high barrier films form part of insulation systems used in refrigeration, buildings and cold chain packaging.

"We see clear opportunities to leverage our strong global organization and established brand to help accelerate Hanita Coatings’ product commercialization around the world," said Mitch Butier, Avery Dennison president and CEO. "In addition to expanding our product portfolio and providing new growth opportunities, Hanita Coatings’ culture of innovation and long-standing commitment to R&D are a strong fit with our own company’s 80-year history of innovation in materials science."

With 2015 sales of roughly USD50 million, Hanita Coatings currently employs more than 220 employees, most of whom are located at the company’s headquarters in Israel’s Western Galilee. The 33-year-old company generates sales in more than 40 countries.

"We are excited to be joining forces with such a global industry leader and see it as a great opportunity for Hanita Coatings to realize its full potential," added Oved Shapira, CEO, Hanita Coatings. "I am convinced that Avery Dennison’s resources, distribution channels, and brand will benefit our customers across all our markets, enabling continued innovation through future investment and improved manufacturing efficiency."

Avery Dennison expects that completion of the transaction will take up to a few months, subject to customary closing conditions and approvals. Avery Dennison announced the deal in September 2016.

Avery Dennison is a global leader in labeling and packaging materials and solutions. The company’s applications and technologies are an integral part of products used in every major market and industry. With operations in more than 50 countries and more than 25,000 employees worldwide, Avery Dennison serves customers with insights and innovations that help make brands more inspiring and the world more intelligent. Headquartered in Glendale, California, the company reported sales of USD6.0 billion in 2015.
MRC

Technip and Chemetry signed cooperation agreement for EDC technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Technip and Chemetry have signed an exclusive cooperation agreement for the licensing and engineering of Chemetry’s eShuttle technology for the production of ethylene dichloride (EDC), as per Technip's press release.

EDC is a commodity chemical produced worldwide and used primarily for PVC plastic production.

The technology uses a metal halide ion process to produce high purity EDC without the generation of chlorine gas. The process reduces electrical power consumption compared to latest generation chlor-alkali processes. Power savings can be reduced by nearly half compared to older diaphragm or mercury-based processes. Additionally, the process is suited for integration with oxygen depolarized cathode technology. The technology was pioneered in Chemetry’s laboratory and integrated pilot demonstration facilities in Moss Landing, California.

Technip’s operating center in Boston, Massachusetts will manage the agreement, with support from Technip’s office in Lyon, France. Both centers are part of Technip Stone & Webster Process Technology, which looks after Technip’s expanding portfolio of onshore process technologies in petrochemicals, refining, hydrogen and syngas, polymers and gas monetization.

"Since its founding, Chemetry has been focused on redefining how chemicals are made," Dr. Ryan Gilliam, Chemetry CEO, said. "From lower energy requirements and improved margins, to less impact on the environment and safer operation, we are developing a technology platform that will have a lasting impact."

The eShuttle technology uses the same feedstocks and produces the same products (EDC, caustic and hydrogen) as conventional processes, allowing retrofitting to existing chlor-alkali/EDC plants.

As MRC wrote previously, in October 2016, Technip was awarded by Public Joint Stock Company (PJSC) Kazanorgsintez a contract to provide engineering and procurement of three proprietary SMK grassroots furnaces at Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. The furnaces will be part of the ethylene plant at the site. This project is another step in Kazanorgsintez’ ongoing cracking furnaces replacement program and confirms the long-standing relationship between the two companies.

In 2007 and 2015, Technip supplied SMK double-cell cracking furnaces to Kazanorgsintez with successful start-up and operation. This furnace type is particulary suitable for cracking high-capacity, low-cost ethane and propane gas feedstock. Technip’s operating center in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands, will execute the project, which is scheduled for mechanical completion in 2018.

Technip is a world leader in project management, engineering and construction for the energy industry.
From the deepest Subsea oil & gas developments to the largest and most complex Offshore and Onshore infrastructures, our close to 32,500 people are constantly offering the best solutions and most innovative technologies to meet the world’s energy challenges. Present in 45 countries, Technip has state-of-the-art industrial assets on all continents and operates a fleet of specialized vessels for pipeline installation and subsea construction.
MRC