WorleyParsons signs framework agreement with Shell for EPCM services

MOSCOW (MRC) -- WorleyParsons announces today that it has been awarded a 5-yr Framework Agreement by Shell Global Solutions International, B.V., for the provision of engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services for Shell downstream projects worldwide, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The inclusion of the management and technical consulting services of Advisian helps WorleyParsons Group provide 360 degree solutions to its clients.

"We are looking forward to working with Shell and delivering success. We appreciate the continued confidence shown in WorleyParsons’ capabilities" said Andrew Wood, CEO of WorleyParsons.

Shell reported a 136 percent surge in the profit for the first quarter, boosted by stronger oil and gas prices and improved refining margins.

Adnoc and OMV sign agreement

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) will work together with the Austrian producer OMV to help grow Adnoc’s downstream businesses.

The memorandum of understanding, signed in the presence of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and the Austrian chancellor Christian Kern, covers cooperation on new downstream projects, refining operations, refinery-petrochemical integration and optimisation, and technical and maintenance support.

"This agreement provides the opportunity to work with OMV to identify areas for mutual collaboration that will contribute to our plans to maximise the value from our assets and operations. It will provide access to the in-depth knowledge and experience of OMV, in refining operations and petrochemicals, enhancing our own experience and skills, as we focus on delivering the company’s strategic objectives," said Sultan Al Jaber, the Adnoc chief executive and Minister of State.

Adnoc has set a target to grow domestic petrochemicals production capacity to 11.4 million tonnes per annum by 2025 from 4.5 million tonnes last year. "Together...we have the opportunity to expand our cooperation across the entire value chain, from upstream to downstream, including petrochemicals. We will have a close exchange of expertise that will enable us to make our outstanding, long-term partnership with Adnoc even stronger," said Rainer Seele, the chief executive of OMV, which produces petrochemical products as well as oil and gas.

Earlier this month, Mr Al Jaber toured the Shanghai manufacturing plant of Borouge, a joint venture between Adnoc and Borealis, which is part owned by OMV.

The plant produces up to 90,000 tonnes of value-added compounds a year for the Chinese automotive industry. Mr Steele said in January that OMV planned to increase its investments with Adnoc.

The Austrian company, in which Mubadala Investment Company has a 25 per cent stake, is a partner in the exploration of Abu Dhabi’s offshore oil and gasfields. Earlier this month, OMV reported that its refinery utilisation rate reached a high of 96 per cent thanks to its "petrochemical business and Borealis strongly contributed to this favourable result".

Upstream production in the first quarter hit a 10-year high at 335,000 barrels of equivalent per day on gains from operations in Libya and Norway.

LyondellBasell increases quarterly dividend

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell has announced that its Supervisory Board has authorized the company's Management Board to declare a dividend of USD0.90 per share, representing a 5.9% increase over the company's first quarter 2017 dividend, as per the company's press release.

The interim dividend will be paid June 12, 2017 to shareholders of record June 5, 2017, with an ex-dividend date of June 1, 2017.

"This dividend increase represents the eighth increase since we began paying dividends in 2011," said Bob Patel, LyondellBasell CEO. "The increase announced today reflects our commitment to provide strong returns to our shareholders and the confidence we have in our ability to consistently generate strong cash flows through market cycles."

The company also announced that at its Annual General Meeting on May 24, 2017, shareholders approved a new share repurchase program authorizing the company to repurchase up to 10 percent of the company's shares over the next 18 months. The repurchases will be executed from time to time through open market or privately negotiated transactions.

The amount and timing of future share repurchases and dividends will depend on, and be subject to, market conditions, general economic conditions, applicable legal requirements and other corporate considerations. The share repurchase program and dividend policy may be suspended or discontinued at any time. This share repurchase program does not obligate LyondellBasell to acquire any particular amount of shares. LyondellBasell had approximately 401 million shares outstanding as of May 22, 2017.

As MRC reported earlier, in August 2016, LyondellBasell made the final investment decision to build a high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant on the US Gulf Coast. The plant will have an annual capacity of 1.1 billion pounds (500,000 metric tons) and will be the first commercial plant to employ LyondellBasell's new proprietary Hyperzone PE technology. The start-up of the new plant is scheduled for 2019.

LyondellBasell is one of the world's largest plastics, chemical and refining companies. The company manufactures products at 57 sites in 18 countries. LyondellBasell products and technologies are used to make items that improve the quality of life for people around the world including packaging, electronics, automotive parts, home furnishings, construction materials and biofuels.

PE imports to Ukraine down by 12% in the first four months of 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Overall imports of polyethylene (PE) into Ukraine dropped in the first four months of 2017 by 12% year on year to 76,800 tonnes. Demand for low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) subsided, according to MRC's DataScope report.

April PE imports to Ukraine continued to decrease and went down to 17,500 tonnes from 19,500 tonnes a month earlier. Local companies reduced their purchasing of HDPE because of weak demand for finished products in the domestic market. Overall PE imports reached 76,800 tonnes in January-April 2017, compared to 87,500 tonnes a year earlier, only shipments of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and ethylene-vinyl-acetate (EVA) increased.

The structure of PE imports looked the following way over the stated period.

HDPE imports to the Ukrainian market dropped last month, oversupply of polymer in the market and weak demand for finished products forced local companies to reduce their purchasing in foreign markets. April imports were 7,700 tonnes, compared to 9,000 tonnes in March. Overall HDPE imports reached 24,000 tonnes in the first four months of 2017 versus 43,500 tonnes a year earlier, shipments of film grade and injection moulding HDPE fell by almost a third, demand for PE in the pipes extrusion sector subsided by 20%.

April LDPE imports fell to 4,100 tonnes from 4,500 tonnes a month earlier, a major reduction in export quotas from Russian and European producers was the main reason for lower shipments. Overall LDPE imports exceeded 20,400 tonnes over the stated period, down by 10% year on year.

Last month's imports of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) were 4,300 tonnes, compared to 4,100 tonnes in March, with films producers accounting for a slight increase in demand. Overall LLDPE imports grew to 19,200 tonnes in January-April 2017 from 18,400 tonnes a year earlier. Producers of film and cabling and wiring products accounted for the main increase in demand.

Imports of other PE grades, including EVA, totalled 5,400 tonnes over the stated period, compared to 3,000 tonnes a year earlier.


Clariant completes expansion to compound high-temperature fluoropolymers at Lewiston

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant has recently completed a significant expansion at its plant in Lewiston, ME, adding equipment that increases its capacity to compound high-temperature fluoropolymers, which include FEP, ETFE, and PVDF, as per Plastemart.

These materials are important for the production of medical catheters because of their flexibility, lubricity and chemical resistance. Demand for these polymers and for specialized masterbatches, which Clariant markets for medical applications under its MEVOPUR brand, continue to grow worldwide.

Another expansion at the Lewiston plant, planned for completion in 4Q 2017, will add another compounding line featuring a 70-mm extruder. This line will enable the plant to more rapidly produce larger batch sizes of MEVOPUR pre-colored medical plastic compounds (e.g.: 3000 to 6000kg /6000 to 12000lbs or larger).

Clariant already operates several smaller lines - in Lewiston and Clariant’s other MEVOPUR facilities - which produce masterbatches and pre-colored compounds in lot sizes ranging from 25 to 2500kg/50 to 5000 lbs. In addition, production capacity for compounds is also being added during the first half of 2017 in Singapore, to handle increasing demand of color compounds for local and international customers. These small- and medium-sized lots are in high demand, especially in the medical market, since many resin producers have discontinued or severely curtailed their custom-color offerings in anything smaller than full-truck or railcar quantities.

Clariant’s MEVOPUR materials are offered for applications in medical devices and pharmaceutical packaging, where strict regulations on materials and change control apply. The Lewiston plant is one of three global sites designed and operated to produce materials used in medical devices and pharmaceutical packaging. The other two facilities are located in Malmo, Sweden, and Singapore. All are certified to EN:ISO13485 (2012) and can use the same validated raw-material ingredients and processes so that the same products can be produced at any of the sites. Raw materials are pre-tested to standards commonly required for device and drug filings, e.g.: USP <87><88> (‘USP Class VI’) and ISO10993.

As MRC reported earlier, in mid-March 2017, Clariant was awarded a contract by Dongguan Grand Resource Science & Technology Co. Ltd. to develop a new propane dehydrogenation unit in cooperation with CB&I. The project includes the license and engineering design of the unit, which is to be built in Dongguan City, Guangdong Province, China.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints. Clariant India has local masterbatch production activities at Rania, Kalol and Nandesari (Gujarat) and Vashere (Maharashtra) sites in India.