Iran oil arrives in Gdansk as Poland diversifies supplies

MOSCOW (MRC) - Poland's biggest oil refiner PKN Orlen said that a shipment of 130,000 tonnes of Iranian crude oil has arrived at the Baltic seaport of Gdansk, as per Reuters.

Most of the oil refined in Polish refineries comes via pipelines from Russia, but state-run PKN Orlen and Lotos are increasingly buying from other sources, including Iran and the United States.

"Delivery from Iran has become a fact. Oil from the Middle East gives us many opportunities. First of all, it enables diversification of delivery directions and increases the energy security of the state," PKN said in a statement.

The Iranian oil, which is lighter than the Russian crude and contains less sulphur, will be refined at PKN’s plant at Plock, northwest of Warsaw. PKN said that earlier tests of the Iranian oil “confirmed its significant potential".

It took a month for the Delta Kanaris tanker to transport the Iranian cargo from the Kharg island to Gdansk.

LetterOne and BASF oil deal not affected by sanctions pressure

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LetterOne chairman Mikhail Fridman does not expect recent U.S. sanctions against Russian oligarchs will hamper his company’s oil deal with BASF, as per Neftegaz.

This is according to the Russian Interfax which cited Fridman as saying L1 and BASF still planned to consolidate oil assets "despite new spiral of sanctions pressure".

LetterOne and Germany’s BASF in December 2017 signed a letter of intent to merge their oil and gas businesses into a joint venture named Wintershall DEA. Closing could be expected in the second half of 2018.

Lord Browne, former BP CEO, and currently the Executive Chairman of L1 Energy and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DEA said the deal would make Wintershall DEA will be one of Europe’s largest independent E&P Companies.

As for the sanctions, the U.S. Treasury Department last Friday designated Russian oligarchs and officials. Among the notable oligarchs designated in the U.S. Treasury list are energy industry names such as Oleg Deripaska, Suleiman Kerimov, and Kirill Shamalov. Gazprom’s head Alexey Miller is also on the list but as a Designated Russian Government Official.

Additionally, non-U.S. persons could face sanctions for knowingly facilitating significant transactions for or on behalf of the individuals or entities blocked today, the U.S. Treasury said on Friday, April 6.

LetterOne’s Mikhail Fridman is not on this list.

Petro Rabigh achieves on-spec production of Rabigh Phase II aromatics, EPR units

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Rabigh Refining & Petrochemical Co. (Petro Rabigh), a joint venture of Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical, said its Rabigh Phase II project has achieved on-spec production at the aromatics and ethylene propylene rubber (EPR) units, as per GV.

The aromatics and EPR units are the last two of 12 units to start production at the site. Petro Rabigh recently began production at the cumene, phenol, methyl tertiary butyl ether/isobutylene, metathesis, methyl methacrylate, naphtha reformer, polymethyl methacrylate, low-density polyethylene, thermoplastic olefin and polyamide 6 units.

The SAR 34 billion project also included expanding ethane production to 1.6 million t/y from 1.3 million t/y, where operations began in 2016, as well as units to produce ethylene propylene rubber, thermoplastic polyolefins, methyl methacrylate, polymethyl methacrylate, low-density polyethylene/ethylene vinyl acetate, paraxylene/benzene, cumene and phenol/acetate.

PetroRabigh, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Japan's Sumitomo Chemical, has an annual output capacity of 18 million tonnes of refined products and 2.4 million tonnes of petrochemicals. Thus, the complex currently has a cracker to produce 1.3-million t/y of ethylene and 900,000 t/y of propylene, as well as downstream production of polyethylene, polypropylene, propylene oxide, ethylene glycol and butene-1.

ExxonMobil resumes liquefied natural gas production in Papua New Guinea

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil that production of natural gas liquefied natural gas (LNG) has safely resumed at the PNG LNG project in Papua New Guinea following a temporary shutdown of operations after a severe earthquake occurred in the region on Feb. 26, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

LNG exports are expected to resume soon. One train is currently operating at the LNG plant near Port Moresby. The plant’s second train is expected to restart as production is increased over time.

During the period that production was shut-in, ExxonMobil was able to complete unrelated maintenance scheduled for later in the year to allow for more efficient operations in the months ahead.

"Resuming LNG production ahead of our projected eight-week timeframe is a significant achievement for ExxonMobil, our joint-venture partners and our customers," said Neil W. Duffin, president of ExxonMobil Production Company. “We will continue to support those communities impacted by the earthquake as we work toward fully restoring our operations. We hope our contributions and assistance will provide comfort to those in need."

ExxonMobil is supporting multiple local and international relief agencies involved in the humanitarian response to the earthquake.

In addition to the company’s previously announced USD1 million contribution for humanitarian relief, ExxonMobil crews have donated and delivered more than 37 tons of food, 14 tons of drinking water, 600 tarpaulins used as emergency shelters, 1,000 solar lights for households, 20 larger solar lighting units for institutions, as well as other essential supplies including water purification tablets, cooking aids and hygiene kits.

The company is also assisting with the restoration of health care facilities and community food gardens, and is providing resources to help the government address the significant task of restoring roads in the Highlands region.

"While a lot of work remains to be done, we are confident that with the support of all our partners and stakeholders, we can help our friends and neighbors recover from this tragic natural disaster,” said Andrew Barry, managing director of ExxonMobil PNG.

Mitsubishi Chemical starts full-scale sales of new grade of durabio bio-based engineering plastic

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC) has begun full-scale sales of a new grade of its Durabio bio-based engineering plastic designed for bottles, as per Apic-online.

Durabio is made from renewable plant-derived iso-sorbide. It features higher transparency than polycarbonate, higher strength than acrylic, and improved re-sistance to cracking, MCC noted.

The new grade allows for commercial production of bottles that are both "attractive and eco-friendly," the company added.

As MRC informed before, in December 2017, Ube Industries, JSR Corp. and Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC) received European Commission (EC) approval for the planned integration of their acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) subsidiaries. The combination involves UMG ABS, a 50-50 joint venture of Ube and MCC, and Techno Polymer Co. (TPC), a JSR subsidiary. JSR and UMG ABS plan to acquire joint control over TPC, making TPC a joint venture of the two companies. The transaction had been scheduled to take effect on 1 Oct. 2017, but was delayed due to the length of procedures stipulated in competition laws, other laws and regulations, applicable in relevant countries. The new date of the split has not been disclosed.

Mitsubishi Chemical with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, is a diversified chemical company involved in petrochemicals, polymers, agrochemicals, speciality chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The company's main focus is on three business pillars: petrochemicals, performance and functional products, and health care.