Repsol introduces polyolefins portfolio for the healthcare market

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Repsol announced the launch of its new Healthcare portfolio, including a total of 28 grades comprised of polypropylene, polyethylene and EVA copolymers, according to GV.

Repsol says the new product offering is based on its existing strengths, including its experience in manufacturing products with the maximum cleanliness, in food contact packaging as well as its commitment to continuous improvement.

In addition, the company’s propylene glycol USP/EP (pharmaceutical grade) is qualified for use as an excipient in pharmaceutical products.

For Repsol, adding the "Guarantee, Commitment and Service component" (GCS) to its products is key to supplying to the pharmaceutical packaging and medical devices segments, adapting to their respective levels of risk through specific service packs. The company’s "Pharma facilities" are located in the Tarragona and Puertollano sites in Spain.

As MRC reported earlier, in Q2 2016, Repsol completed the construction work of its new metallocene polyethelene plant at its Tarragona site. Repsol also started up the plant and began production and marketing of this new product in Q2 2016. Metallocene linear low density polyethylene (mLLDPE) offers very appealing features when transformed into film, such as high transparency and high gloss. Due to its extraordinary tear and puncture resistance it is ideal for packaging applications. Metallocene linear low density polyethylene enhances the wide range of products already offered by Repsol adding to its low and high density polyethylene, EVA and EBA copolymers as well as polypropylene grades. With this new investment, Repsol reinforces its commitment to its customers by offering differentiated products that provide high added value and boosts their strengths to increase their competitiveness.

Repsol S.A is an integrated Spanish oil and gas company with operations in 28 countries. The bulk of its assets are located in Spain.

Brazilian government blocks Petrobras sale of Braskem stake

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Petrobras’s (Rio de Janeiro) minority stakes in Braskem and Deten Quimica have been excluded from Petrobras’s divestment program, according to a government decree published in Brazil’s Official Gazette last week, as per Borderless.

The decree prevents Petrobras from immediately selling its minority stake in Braskem, which had been announced this year. A new decree will be required to release the stock sale.

Petrobras’s board earlier approved a strategic plan for 2017-21 that included the divestment of all petrochemical interests.

Petrobras began negotiations with Odebrecht (Salvador, Brazil) in July to promote the revision of the terms and conditions of the Braskem shareholders’ agreement, Petrobras said in a securities filing at that time. The shareholders’ agreement dates from February 2010. Odebrecht holds 50.1% of Braskem’s voting capital and 38.3% of the total capital. Petrobras holds 47% of Braskem’s voting capital and 36.1% of the total capital.

Braskem’s shares also trade on stock exchanges in Brazil and the United States. "The revision aims to improve Braskem’s corporate governance and the corporate relationship between all of the parties," the filing stated.

As MRC informed before, in January 2016, it became known that Brazil's state-controlled oil producer Petrobras was seeking to sell its 5.8 billion Brazilian real (USD1.4 billion) stake in petrochemical producer Braskem SA. Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) hired Brazilian bank Banco Bradesco SA as a financial adviser and started to pitch the sale to foreign investors. Petrobras owns a 36 percent stake in Braskem, Latin America's largest petrochemical producer.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Petrobras is an integrated energy firm. Petrobras' activities include exploration, exploitation and production of oil from reservoir wells, shale and other rocks as well as refining, processing, trade and transport of oil and oil products, natural gas and other fluid hydrocarbons, in addition to other energy-related activities.

Braskem S.A. produces petrochemicals and generates electricity. The Company produces ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, xylenes, butadiene, butene, isoprene, dicyclopentediene, MTBE, caprolactam, ammonium sulfate, cyclohexene, polyethylene theraphtalat, polyethylene, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Venezuela graft probe claims another top executive at oil firm PDVSA

MOSCOW (MRC) — A top executive at Venezuela's PDVSA and 10 other oil executives were arrested as part of growing graft investigations that are ridding the state energy company of much of its top brass, as per Reuters.

Orlando Chacin, who led the subsidiary for joint ventures with foreign partners, was arrested at PDVSA's Caracas headquarters on Tuesday, sources told Reuters on Thursday. He was the right-hand man of the company's former president, Eulogio Del Pino, who is now the nation's oil minister.

Ten other executives were arrested, including at the Petropiar and Petrozamora joint ventures with US major Chevron Corp and Russia's Gazprombank, respectively, for alleged wrongdoing including overpricing and non-execution of planned projects, prosecutor Tarek Saab said in a press conference.

PDVSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment. President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government and PDVSA, which is formally known as Petroleos de Venezuela SA, have repeatedly vowed to take steps to combat corruption, which has affected the nation and its oil industry for decades.

Opposition leaders say PDVSA has been crippled by malfeasance under 18 yr of socialist rule. They say sporadic arrests are the result of infighting among rival government factions.

Sources close to PDVSA say the arrests owe more to turf wars for control of the company, which is the financial motor of Venezuela's ailing economy, than a wholesale effort to clean up graft. The cash-strapped company, whose oil production has tumbled close to three-decade lows, has recently undergone a leadership change, with veteran oil executive Nelson Martinez replacing Del Pino in August.

Other once-prominent PDVSA executives under Del Pino have since been detained, including Pedro Leon, a powerful executive who led the company's Orinoco Belt development, and Gustavo Malave, the company's boss for the western region.

Saab, who in August replaced a dissident prosecutor who had split with Maduro, told Reuters last month he expected further arrests in widening oil-sector bribery scandals. The opposition dismisses Saab as a stooge, alleging he illegally replaced former prosecutor Luisa Ortega, who was removed after she broke with Maduro over human rights and has since fled the country.

A former Socialist Party governor in oil-rich Anzoategui, Saab says he has done more in a few months than Ortega did in years and has vowed not to back down. "We still think there's a long road to go," Saab said in the press conference announcing the arrests.

Gulf Coast refinery runs approaching pre-hurricane levels

MOSCOW (MRC) -- For the week ending Oct. 20, gross inputs to petroleum refineries in the US Gulf Coast averaged 8.8 MMbpd, or about 324,000 bpd higher than the previous five-year range for mid-October, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing with reference to data in EIA’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report (WPSR).

Gross inputs, also referred to as refinery runs, in the Gulf Coast had been higher than the five-year range for much of 2017 until Hurricane Harvey made landfall in the Houston, Texas, area on August 25.

A little more than half of all US refinery capacity is located in the US Gulf Coast region (defined as Petroleum Administration for Defense District 3). Texas, where Harvey made landfall, represents 31% of all US refinery capacity according to data from January 2017. Gulf Coast refineries supply petroleum products to domestic markets in the Gulf Coast, East Coast, and Midwest, as well as to international markets.

Hurricane Harvey’s most significant effect on petroleum markets was the curtailment of some refinery operations in Texas. Refinery operations rely on a supply of crude oil and feedstocks, electricity, workforce availability and safe working conditions, and outlets for production. As a result of Hurricane Harvey, many refineries in the region either reduced runs or temporarily shut down.

For the week ending Sept. 1, the first WPSR data point after Harvey’s landfall, gross inputs to refineries in the Gulf Coast fell 3.2 MMbpd, or 34%, from the previous week. For the week ending Sept. 8, Gulf Coast gross inputs to refineries fell by another 263,000 bpd to 5.9 MMbpd, the lowest weekly value since Hurricanes Gustav and Ike disrupted refinery operations in September 2008.

After several weeks of increasing refinery runs following Hurricane Harvey in late September and early October 2017, Gulf Coast refinery runs fell again during the week ending Oct. 13 because of additional disruptions caused by Hurricane Nate. Overall, the magnitude and duration of Hurricane Harvey’s impact on Gulf Coast refinery runs has been similar to what happened following Hurricanes Katrina in 2005 and Gustav and Ike in 2008.

SNC-Lavalin signs master service agreement with Chevron

MOSCOW (MRC) — SNC-Lavalin announced it has signed a master services agreement with Chevron, for systems completion support on all Chevron’s major capital projects worldwide, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

SNC-Lavalin strives to be Chevron’s preferred system completion provider.

The scope of the agreement includes, but is not limited to, providing resources to support planning and execution of systems completion scope on Chevron’s projects, ensuring systems have been completed correctly and confirming the facility is ready for start-up.

SNC-Lavalin will help manage the transfer of care, custody and control of facilities under construction as well as schedule, coordinate and participate in systems completion activities with Chevron, EPC contractors, construction contractors and subcontractors.