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."

ExxonMobil considers polypropylene production expansion along US Gulf Coast

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil said it has started detailed engineering work on a potential US Gulf Coast project to expand polypropylene (PP) manufacturing capacity by up to 450 Mtpy to meet growing demand for high-performance, lightweight durable plastics. A final decision on the investment, anticipated to be several hundred million dollars, is expected later this year, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Facility startup could come as early as 2021.

The new facility will be capable of producing advanced polypropylene products which can be used in high performance automotive, appliance, and packaging applications. The potential project will create more than 600 jobs during peak construction and more than 60 permanent jobs when production starts.

“ExxonMobil is well positioned to take advantage of the growing global demand for higher-value products, in both North America and the high-growth Asia Pacific region,” said John Verity, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company. "Abundant supplies of domestically produced oil and natural gas have reduced energy costs and created new sources of feedstock for U.S. chemical manufacturing. Most of our planned investment in the Gulf Coast region is focused on supplying emerging markets like Asia with high-demand products, which ultimately will spur new economic growth locally."

These advanced polypropylene materials are key to reducing vehicle weight, which helps improve fuel efficiency and reduces carbon emissions. Modern plastics and polymer composites, which can replace steel in many applications, typically comprise about 50 percent of a new car’s volume but only 10 percent of its weight.

"Polypropylene delivers performance and sustainability benefits to produce a wide variety of consumer products," said Cindy Shulman, ExxonMobil’s vice president of plastics and resins. "It’s a versatile material providing high impact resistance and high stiffness to lightweight applications. It is safe, can be recycled and requires less energy to produce when compared with other plastics."

This investment is one of 13 new facilities planned to grow ExxonMobil’s chemical manufacturing capacity in North America and Asia Pacific by about 40 percent. These investments, including two world-class steam crackers in the United States, will enable the company to meet increasing demand in Asia and other growing markets.

As MRC informed earlier, in November 2016, Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. announced it received a contract from ExxonMobil Chemical Company to provide engineering, design and construction management services as part of a new 650 kTa polyethylene facility to be located at ExxonMobil’s Beaumont polyethylene plant.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.

Sinopec Engineering profits fall for second straight year

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sinopec Engineering, the oil refinery and chemical plant-building unit of state-owned energy giant Sinopec Group, has reported its second year of declining profits, as per Caixinglobal.

Sinopec Engineering (Group) Co. Ltd. saw its attributable profit for 2017 fall to 1.13 billion yuan (USD178 million), down by 32.4% from 2016’s 1.67 billion yuan, according to its annual report.

The Hong Kong-listed company previously reported a profit of 835 million yuan for the first six months of 2017, 22.6% lower than the profit of 1.08 billion yuan for the same period in 2017, meaning that Sinopec Engineering’s profit decline accelerated in the second half of the year.

In 2016, the company faced a serious drop of nearly 50% in its attributable profit, due to falling revenues from the coal-to-chemical industry, and a lower number of projects reaching their peak income-generating stage that year.
A continued slump in the coal-to-chemical and petrochemical industries caused Sinopec Engineering’s income from related projects to fall in 2017, contributing to its overall profit decrease, according to the company’s announcement.
Coal-to-chemical plants use coal as a raw material for liquid fuels and for chemicals used in plastics production.
In contrast, the company’s revenue from oil refining projects grew by 28.6%, due largely to major contracts signed by Sinopec Engineering entering their peak procurement and construction seasons, slightly offsetting the revenue decline in other sectors.

"In 2017, facing the new normal economic development, the new cycle of international oil prices, the new market competition, and the new task of state-owned enterprises reform, the Company faced difficulties and challenges," Sinopec Engineering Chairman Ling Yiqun said in a statement.

Looking ahead, Sinopec Engineering expects continued slow growth in global investment in refineries and chemical plants, although the "production and management situation in domestic refining (and) chemical engineering industry will be significantly improved," the company said on Monday.