Reliance Industries restarts Hazira cracker

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has brought on-stream its cracker in Hazira (India), according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source informed that the company has completed the maintenance at the cracker in end-April 2017. The cracker was taken off-line on March 24, 2017.

Located at Hazira near Surat in Gujarat, the cracker has a production capacity of 1.1 mmt/year.

As MRC informed previously, RIL has delayed the start-up of its new monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant until Q2 2017. The company scheduled to commence operations at the plant in Q2 2017. As per the earlier plans, the plant was to be started in December 2016. Located at Jamnagar, Gujarat in India, the plant has a production capacity of 750,000 mt/year.

Reliance Industries is one of the world's largest producers of polymers. The company is engaged in a wide range of activities, ranging from oil and gas production to production of polyester and polymer goods, including the production of polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and textiles.

Unipetrol Q1 net profit rises to CZK 2.83 billion

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Unipetrol says Q1 net profit CZK 2.83 billion (USD114.86 million), versus loss CZK 25 million in Q4/16 and CZK 2.62 billion profit in Q4/16, said Reuters.

Unipetrol says Q1 revenue CZK 29.85 billion, up 69 percent y/y, driven by higher crude prices and higher petrochemical products sales.

Unipetrol says Q1 EBITDA LIFO CZK 3.62 billion, versus CZK 350 million in Q1/16 and CZK 3.26 billion in Q4/16.

Unipetrol says company should be in a position to recover CZK 14 billion from insurer in steam cracker accident, amount of CZK 7.9 billion was recognized in 2016 financial results.

Unipetrol says company should be in a position to recover CZK 1.2 billion from insurer in FCC unit incident, amount of CZK 1.0 billion was recognized in financial results for Q1.

Unipetrol says volume of processed crude oil up by 35 percent y/y thanks to stable operation of both refineries.

Unipetrol says refining sales volumes up 3 percent to 1.6 mt says net cash amounted to CZK 4.5 billion at end-Q1.

Unipetrol resumed production at steam cracker damaged by fire in October 2016, following a more than year-long shutdown.

Unipetrol on Wednesday proposed paying a CZK 8.30/share dividend, total CZK 1.51 billion, up 50 percent y/y.

Unipetrol, majority owned by Poland's PKN Orlen, last year paid its first dividend since 2007.

"We are focusing on long term and stable shareholder value growth in order to ensure a stable dividend pay-out and create the possibility for continuous dividend growth in the future. Dividend proposal is in line with our strategic target of a systematic increase of DPS ratio (dividend per share), reflects liquidity position and profitability combined with increased share valuation," says CEO Andrzej Modrzejewski.

As MRC informed earlier, technology, engineering and project management company Neste Jacobs and refinery and petrochemical group Unipetrol have signed an agreement for Neste Jacobs to perform a comprehensive energy efficiency study of Unipetrol's Litvinov oil refinery in Czech Republic.

Unipetrol , a.s. is a group of companies operating in the petrochemical industry in the Czech Republic. In 2005 Unipetrol became a part of the PKN ORLEN Group, the largest oil processor in Central Europe. The UNIPETROL Group is oriented mostly towards oil processing, fuel distribution and petrochemical production. In all of these business areas the Unipetrol Group is among the key players both in the Czech Republic and on the Central European market. The Group ranks among the leading firms in the Czech Republic in terms of its revenues, and employs almost 4,000 people.

Gas leak at chemical firm Ineos contained at Grangemouth

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A gas leak inside petrochemicals firm Ineos's Grangemouth site in Scotland was successfully contained on Tuesday after emergency services rushed to the scene, reported Reuters with reference to the police's statement.

The incident forced the evacuation of non-essential staff and the closure of local roads. There were no reports of any injuries.

"The incident was caused by a leak on a pipe carrying ethylene gas which has been identified and is being isolated," Ineos said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

Earlier, the company said it had detected the leak on a pipeline inside its Kinneil Gas manufacturing plant at noon, prompting it to close a number of access gates and allow only essential personnel to enter the south side of the site.

Police said in a statement the incident had now been "contained on site", adding: "Officers would advise members of the public to go about their normal business."

Operations at the oil refinery were not impacted by the incident, Ineos said.

Scotland's Fire and Rescue Service sent eight fire engines to the scene.

The Grangemouth site covers about 1,700 acres and employs more than 1,300 people in an oil refinery and petrochemical plant by the estuary of the River Forth in central Scotland.

As MRC informed before, at Grangemouth, Ineos operates a 1 million mt/year Kinneil Gas (KG) gas cracker using mainly ethane and propane to feed its 330,000 mt/year linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant and 235,000 mt/year PP plant.

Ineos Group Limited is a privately owned multinational chemicals company consisting of 15 standalone business units, headquartered in Rolle, Switzerland and with its registered office in Lyndhurst, United Kingdom. It is the fourth largest chemicals company in the world measured by revenues (after BASF, Dow Chemical and LyondellBasell) and the largest privately owned company in the United Kingdom.

Saudi Aramco to dilute stake in Dow JV via IPO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- National oil firm Saudi Aramco plans to cut its stake in Sadara Chemical Co, a joint venture with US company Dow Chemical, via an initial public offer of shares, Sadara chief executive Ziad al-Labban said on Wednesday, reported Reuters.

"Aramco has a stake of 65% in Sadara - they want to become equal with Dow, which has a 35% stake. The 30% I believe will be IPOed by Saudi Aramco," Labban told reporters on the sidelines of a petrochemical industry conference.

He did not give a timeline or other details. Executives first raised the possibility of an IPO for Sadara years ago; a source familiar with the matter told Reuters this year that it would occur after the planned IPO of Aramco itself, which is due to take place in 2018.

As MRC informed before, in June 2016, Saudi Arabian Oil Co. and Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic) became one step closer to building their first plant to process crude directly into chemicals, cutting out a link in the production chain from hydrocarbons to the finished products that go into plastics and other consumer goods. The state-owned companies signed an agreement to study such a project to be located in Saudi Arabia. A joint venture is possible if the companies decide to move ahead after the study is completed by early 2017, they said. Oil companies normally refine crude into transportation fuels including gasoline and diesel and leave byproducts such as naphtha to be processed separately into chemicals.

Saudi Aramco is an integrated oil and chemicals company, a global leader in hydrocarbon production, refining processes and distribution, as well as one of the largest global oil exporters. It manages proven reserves of crude oil and condensate estimated at 261.1bn barrels, and produces 9.54 million bbl daily. Headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the company employs over 61,000 staff in 77 countries.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber.

Phillips 66 says refineries to run at mid-90% in 2Q 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Phillips 66 expects its refineries to run in the mid-90% range of their combined capacity in the second quarter, according to a document prepared for a Friday morning conference call with Wall Street analysts to discuss first quarter earnings, said Reuters.

Phillips 66 is the sole owner of nine US refineries with a combined crude oil throughput capacity of 1.6 MMbpd and co-owns two other US refineries with a combined capacity of 336 Mbpd. Phillips 66's refineries ran at 84% of capacity in the first quarter, primarily due to overhauls at refineries in California, Illinois, Louisiana and New Jersey.

The company expects members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to agree to extend crude oil production cuts at the group's May 25 meeting, Chairman and Chief Executive Greg Garland said in a Friday morning conference call. "I think our base case assumes that there's extension in May in terms of OPEC," Garland said.

Looking to the long-term, Garland said refiners like Phillips 66 can expect growth in mid-stream operations like pipelines and terminals along with petrochemical production.

"Refining is a good business," he said. "It's just long term, we don't see it growing."

The company thinks demand for motor fuels will decline in the United States over the next few years due to changes in automobile efficiency, Garland said. Refiners will likely focus on expanding exports to balance declines in US demand.

"To invest in refining to add capacity still doesn't make sense to us," he said. "I think to invest to reduce your cost structure, gain access advantage to crudes and some yield, those are all good investments that we should be making."

Complying with federal renewable fuel requirements continues to drag on margins, Chief Financial Officer Kevin Mitchell said during the call, even though the cost for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) have fallen this year.

"RINs are still a reduction to the realized margin. It's just less of a reduction with RIN prices coming down over the period," Mitchell said. The company has been able to find replacement supply for a drop in Canadian crude exports.

"I think from our viewpoint operationally it's been a minimal impact," Garland said.

As MRC informed earlier, Phillips 66 expects a permit will be granted to build an oil pipeline under the Missouri River near Native American land in North Dakota.

Phillips 66 is an American multinational energy company headquartered in Westchase, Houston, Texas. It debuted as an independent energy company when ConocoPhillips spun off its downstream assets and midstream assets. 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.