Axens wins tech contract for SOCAR aromatics plant in Turkey

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SOCAR Turkey Energy has selected Axens’ ParamaX Technology Suite for its project of aromatics & PTA (Purified Terephthalic Acid) complex in the future petrochemical site in Aliaga, Turkey, as per Axen's press release.

When the final investment decision is taken, this future complex will aim at satisfying domestic market needs in PTA.

For this project, Axens offered its second generation energy efficient ParamaX Suite of technologies for cost-effective production of benzene, paraxylene and orthoxylene, in combination with its Pygas hydrogenation technology for steam cracking gasoline treatment.

ParamaX Suite consists in the following technologies:

- Eluxyl, 1.15 paraxylene purification technology originally developped by Axens
- Morphylane, aromatics Extractive process originally developed by ThyssenKrupp Uhde Engineering Services
- XyMax-2, C8 aromatics isomerization technology originally developed by ExxonMobil Chemical Technology Licensing
- TransPlus-5, aromatics transalkylation technology originally developed by ExxonMobil Chemical Technology Licensing.

Axens second generation energy efficient ParamaX Suite delivers superior products yields while greatly reducing plant energy consumption and enabling to control investment for cost-advantaged aromatics production.

In addition, Axens will provide catalysts, adsorbents, equipment and full services offer from plant personnel training to plant successful start-up, followed by plant performances monitoring services.

The future aromatics complex is expected to produce 1,162,000 tons per year of paraxylene, orthoxylene and benzene.

SOCAR Turkey is a subsidiary of SOCAR, the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic, and is Turkey’s largest international investor with multiple investments in the energy area. SOCAR Turkey’s investments include PETKIM, Turkey’s leading petrochemicals manufacturer, STAR Refinery, which is due to begin operations in 2018, and PETLIM, the largest container port on Turkey’s Aegean Sea coast. SOCAR Turkey intends to construct a new Aromatics/PTA unit adjacent to the newly constructed Star refinery located in Aliaga. SOCAR Turkey expects to take a final investment decision on the new petrochemicals site in 2019.

Output of chemical products in Russia grew by 4.3% in January-February 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's production of chemical products rose in February by 3.9% year on year. This figure increased by 4.3% in January-February 2018, according to Rosstat's data.

According to the Federal Service of State Statistics, last month's production of basic chemicals grew by 3.9% year on year. Output of mineral fertilizers, particularly, of nitrogen fertilizers, increased significantly, whereas production of some positions, on the contrary, decreased. Overall, production of chemical products grew in January-February 2018 by 4.3% year on year.

245,000 tonnes of ethylene were produced in February, compared to 274,000 tonnes a month earlier. About 514,000 tonnes of this olefin were produced in the first two months of the year, up by 2.7% year on year.

Last month's production of benzene dropped to 125,000 tonnes from 130,800 tonnes in January. Overall output of this product reached 225,800 tonnes over the stated period, up by 3.9%year on year.

February production of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) was 104,000 tonnes (100% of the basic substance) versus 113,000 tonnes a month earlier. Overall output of caustic soda grew to 217,000 tonnes in January-February 2018, up by 3.3% year on year.

Last month's production of mineral fertilizers was 1,967,000 tonnes (in terms of 100% nutrients) versus 2,019,000 tonnes in January. Overall, Russian plants produced about 4,000,000 tonnes of mineral fertilizers in the first two months of 2018, up by 8.2% year on year. Nitrogen fertilizers accounted for the greatest increase - up by 14.9% year on year.

Qatar Petroleum awards FEED Contract for the North Field Expansion Project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Qatar Petroleum (QP) has selected Chiyoda Corporation of Japan to execute the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) of the onshore facilities of the North Field Expansion, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The facilities will produce an additional 23 MMtpy of LNG, which will raise Qatar’s production from 77 to 100 MMtpy, as was announced by Qatar Petroleum last July.

Mr. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatar Petroleum President & CEO, expressed great pleasure at the award, and said "The award of the front end engineering and design contract to Chiyoda Corporation, is a significant milestone in our journey to deliver the first LNG from this new project by the end of 2023."

Mr. Al-Kaabi added: "The addition of 23 MMtpy of LNG will not just enhance Qatar Petroleum’s position as the world's largest LNG producer and exporter, but also its international image as a reliable and trustworthy energy provider."

In concluding his remarks, Mr. Al-Kaabi said "The expansion of Qatar’s LNG production from the North Field is an important landmark in Qatar Petroleum's strategic growth plan and objectives of becoming one of the best national oil & gas companies in the world. We are continuing discussions with potential international joint venture partners for this strategic project to determine an optimized arrangement with the objective of delivering maximum value to the State of Qatar and contribute to the optimal utilization of Qatar’s natural resources."

The FEED scope of work will provide the basic design for the addition of 3 x 7.8 MMtpy mega-trains of LNG production with associated pre-investment to add a 4th LNG train in the future.

The onshore facilities will receive approximately 4.6 billion standard cubic feet per day of feed gas from the southern sector of Qatar’s North Field, which is the largest single non-associated gas field in the world.

The processing of the feed gas will also produce approximately 3,000 tons/day of ethane as feedstock to a petrochemical development in the State of Qatar, 185,000 barrels/day of condensate, and 8,500 tons/day of LPG for sale into world markets, in addition to approximately 12 tons per day of pure helium.

Qatargas has been entrusted with executing this mega-project on behalf of Qatar Petroleum. Qatargas, which has a well-proven history in delivering such major projects, also has an established and long-term successful relationship with Chiyoda Corporation.

As MRC informed before, in July 2017, QP successfully completed the integration of Qatar Vinyl Company (QVC) into Qatar Petrochemical Company (Qapco), six months before the deadline of last year end.

New hydrogen plant utilizing Technip FMC technology in full operation

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In 2015, CHS, a global agribusiness diversified in energy, grain and food ingredients, selected TechnipFMC to provide steam reforming technology and engineering, procurement and construction for a 40 million standard cubic feet-per-day hydrogen plant at the CHS refinery in Laurel, Montana (USA), as per Hydrocarbonprocesing.

The hydrogen plant, which will provide CHS with the hydrogen needed to boost efficiency and increase production at its refinery, is now in full operation and has met its performance targets.

To increase worker safety and reduce operating costs, TechnipFMC’s project team deployed the use of a drone to access the inside of the radiant box. The drone, which captured a high-quality video of the tube surfaces, allowed the project team to safely inspect the condition of the reformer tubes after installation.

Stan Knez, Senior Vice President, Onshore Process Technology, stated: “TechnipFMC is pleased to continue our long-term relationship with CHS through this strategic project, which not only utilized our steam reforming technology as a key differentiator, but was delivered with no recordable incidents."

TechnipFMC’s operating center in Claremont, California (USA) executed the project, which included advisory services for commissioning and start-up. Previously the operating center provided a steam reformer and a parallel reformer for the CHS refinery in Laurel and completed two hydrogen projects for the CHS refinery in McPherson, Kansas (USA).

PetroChina pays out full profit as oil rally counters writedowns

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PetroChina Co., the country’s biggest oil and gas company, once again rewarded shareholders by paying out its entire net income as dividends, as per Bloomberg.

After a surprise payout from its half-year results in August, the Beijing-based company said Thursday it will send investors dividends that amount to slightly more than its 22.8 billion yuan (USD3.6 billion) in 2017 net income.

"Shareholders should be happy that PetroChina once again paid out all of its profit as dividend," said Anna Yu, a Hong Kong-based analyst at ICBC International Research Ltd. State-owned China National Petroleum Corp. holds almost 83 percent of the company.

PetroChina is recovering from its worst-ever performance the previous year as a rally in oil prices bolstered its exploration and production segment. Global benchmark Brent crude averaged 21 percent higher in 2017 than a year ago as OPEC and its allies cut output. And while the state-owned giant took a 23.9 billion yuan hit from reselling imported gas domestically below cost, those losses are seen having peaked.

As the country’s biggest natural gas producer and importer, PetroChina is key to President Xi Jinping’s campaign to replace coal with the cleaner-burning fuel. The nation’s gas use surged 15 percent last year, with imports satisfying around 40 percent of that demand, pushing up global prices this winter while leaving some parts of the country short of supply.

PetroChina will hand out dividends totaling 0.06074 yuan per share, including special payments. Given that free cash flow hit a record $24 billion, the dividend payout was "uninspiring," Aditya Suresh, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Ltd. in Hong Kong, wrote in research note.

Profit in 2017, which almost tripled, compares with the 23.1 billion yuan median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 10 analysts and the company’s forecast of as much as 23.9 billion yuan in January.

Impairments more than doubled as the company wrote down the value of petrochemical and pipeline assets. Spending, which rose for the first time in five years, overshot its target by 13 percent.

"Profit could have been very impressive if not for the large asset writedowns," said Laban Yu, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Jefferies Group LLC. "Efficiency still looks to be an issue, as total production has fallen even as spending exceeded the budget it set at the beginning of last year."