KBR awarded contracts for world-scale methanol plant project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- KBR, Inc. announced it has been awarded a reimbursable Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM) contract by Methanex Corporation for providing Front End Engineering Design (FEED) services for a 5000 MTPD world-scale methanol plant to be located adjacent to their existing Geismar, Louisiana facilities, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Under the terms of the contract, KBR will work closely with Methanex to provide FEED services for a third methanol operating plant at the site. The FEED work, which will be executed from KBR's Houston Operations Center, is expected to be completed over the next 12 months with Final Investment Decision expected by mid-2019.

Pending a Final Investment Decision to proceed with the potential third plant in Geismar, KBR will then have the opportunity to provide detailed EPCM services for the new facility.

"This significant award demonstrates KBR's integrated engineering, procurement and construction management offerings, from the front end engineering, through project completion," said Farhan Mujib, President, Hydrocarbons Services Americas. "The award of this project demonstrates KBR's strength and capabilities in Gas Monetization projects. I am delighted for this opportunity to further KBR's partnership with Methanex and look forward to supporting Methanex on this major potential project."

For more than 40 years, KBR has designed, constructed and maintained hundreds of petrochemical plants across the globe.

Estimated revenue associated with this project will be booked into backlog of unfilled orders for KBR's Hydrocarbons Services Business Segment in Q3 2018.

Sinopec expects best quarter in years boosted by oil revival

MOSCOW (MRC) - China Petroleum and Chemical Corp expects to report its best quarter since 2013, based on Reuters calculations on a company forecast, boosted by a "favorable" downstream refining business and resurgent crude oil prices, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The state oil major and China's top refiner, usually known as Sinopec, said in a statement it expects first-half net profit to rise by 50 percent from 27.1 billion yuan ($3.98 billion) in the same period a year ago.

That would be 40.65 billion yuan, according to Reuters calculations and the highest on records back to 2013. On a quarterly basis, that would be 21.9 billion yuan, the highest for Sinopec since the third quarter 2013, records show.

"The global crude oil prices increased year-on-year in H1, and company's upstream business improved substantially," the company said in the statement, adding that it has seen favorable mid- and downstream business results.

Oil topped $80 a barrel in May for the first time since 2014, boosted by OPEC-led output cuts and falling Venezuelan and Libyan output, as well as by an imminent drop in Iranian exports as U.S. sanctions return.

The bumper results also come as state oil refiners have exported record volumes of diesel and gasoline, grabbing a bigger share of the market as smaller independent refiners struggle with tough new taxes, a government-led environmental crackdown and crippling costs from the higher crude oil.

Sinopec, offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd and China's largest oil producer PetroChina will publish their final first-half results in August.

Jizzakh petroleum to build new refinery in Uzbekistan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Honeywell announced that Jizzakh Petroleum JV LLC will use Honeywell UOP technologies to build a new refinery capable of processing 5 million tons per year of crude oil to produce clean-burning gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. The refinery is being built in the Jizzakh region of Eastern Uzbekistan, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Honeywell UOP will provide licensing and basic engineering design services to Jizzakh Petroleum for CCR Platforming, Par-Isom, Distillate Unionfining, Unicracking and Merox processes. When completed, the refinery will produce 3.7 million tons per year of Euro V-quality motor fuels, 700,000 tons per year aviation fuel and 500,000 tons per year of other products, including LPG and bitumen.

"Jizzakh Petroleum is building this refinery to increase production of high-quality motor fuels and meet growing domestic demand for those fuels," said John Gugel, president of Honeywell UOP. "The company chose Honeywell UOP due to the suitability of its technologies and its experience working in the region."

The Jizzakh refinery is part of the Uzbekistan government’s multi-year development plan to achieve national energy independence and increase the country’s export potential. With 33 million people, Uzbekistan is the most populous country in Central Asia.

Honeywell UOP’s CCR Platforming process converts low-quality naphtha to high-octane blending components for gasoline and a feed for aromatics production. Its Unicracking process provides deep refining of crude oil feedstocks, which enables it to produce transportation fuels that adhere to more stringent emissions regulations from a wider range of feedstocks than has previously been possible.

The UOP Par-Isom process upgrades light naphtha into high-value isomerate for gasoline blending, and the UOP Merox process treats jet fuel and LPG to meet product specifications. UOP distillate Unionfining is a middle distillates hydrotreating process that removes contaminants from feed streams.

The Jizzakh Refinery is a project of Jizzakh Petroleum JV LLC, a joint venture of JSC Uzbekneftegaz and Gas Project Development Central Asia (a subsidiary of Gazprom International).

Wood secures new contract for planned polyolefin plant in Uzbekistan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wood has been awarded a new contract by Surhan Gas Chemical Operating Company FC LLC (SGCOC) to provide a feasibility study for the exploitation of the ‘Mustakillning 25 yilligi’ (M25) field, which includes the construction of a new gas-to-chemical complex, in the Surkhandarya region of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The M25 natural gas reserves are estimated at about 100 billion cubic meters.

The gas field will process 4.0 billion Nm3/y of raw natural gas, containing a high amount of sulfur and carbon dioxide. The raw natural gas will be treated in a gas processing plant (GPP) for purification, mainly to remove water and sour components to eventually produce a stream of treated natural gas. The treated natural gas will be partly used for direct sale on the domestic or export market and partly used for the production of polyolefins (polyethylene and polypropylene) in a dedicated Gas-to-Chemical Complex (GCC).

"The oil and gas industry is one of the main drivers of the economy of Uzbekistan. We are pleased to be working with SGCOC on the implementation of this project, which will have a significant impact both on the development of the region where it is being pursued and on the entire gas chemical industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan," Bob MacDonald, CEO, Specialist Technical Solutions, Wood said.

This contract supports Wood’s strategic focus on expanding its activities in the region and strengthens its in-country experience in Uzbekistan.

Petrobras targets larger China market share with new crude oil

MOSCOW (MRC) - Brazil’s state-controlled energy company Petrobras plans to push more crude oil to top importer China by marketing a new medium-sweet grade that could be shipped from October, two sources with knowledge of the matter said, as per Reuters.

Petrobras expects to start pumping pre-salt oil from new platforms in the fourth quarter that would add to output from Latin America’s biggest producer and lift its exports.

The new supply could enlarge Brazil’s market share in China as buyers there cut oil imports from the United States following Beijing’s announcement it would impose tariffs on U.S. crude in retaliation against similar moves by Washington.

"Petrobras’ oil export curve is increasing and China is currently the company’s main market,” a Petrobras spokesman said in an e-mail.

"With (Chinese) refineries’ growing interest in buying oil directly from producers ... Petrobras will grow its presence with these refiners."

Petrobras started production in April at its wholly-owned Buzios pre-salt field in the Santos basin from platform P-74, located about 200 km off the Rio de Janeiro coast in water depths of 2,000 meters, according to the company’s website.

Two more platforms, P-75 and P-76, are to come online in the fourth quarter. Total Buzios output is expected to grow to 750 Mbpd by 2021, once an additional four platforms come online, the company said.

Buzios crude has API gravity of 28.4 degrees and contains about 0.31 percent sulfur, similar in quality to Brazil’s Lula crude, one of the most popular oils in China, the company said.

The new supply could help lift Petrobras’ crude oil exports, which dropped 53.8 percent in June from a year ago to 696,000 barrels per day (2.86 million tonnes) as the company hiked its refinery output.

Petrobras’ overall production in June stood at 2.03 MMbpd, down 1.5 percent from May.

Brazil’s oil liquids output, including biofuels, is expected to rise by 200 Mbpd to 3.5 MMbpd in 2019, after holding steady in 2018, according to consultancy Energy Aspects.