Saudi Aramco Trading aims for 50% rise in oil trade volume in 2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi’s Aramco Trading Company (ATC) expects to increase its oil trading volume to 6 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2020, 50 percent higher than current levels, reported Reuters with reference to the company’s top official.

"Currently, we’re at 4 million barrels per day and with expansion think our target is 6 million barrels per day," President and Chief Executive Ibrahim Al-Buainain said at the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC).
About 50 percent of the 2.5 million bpd of oil products it trades currently are hedged, he said.

The company is also looking at building its capacity in trading liquefied natural gas (LNG), using its Singapore office as a trading hub, Buainain said.

ATC plans to set up its European office in either Geneva or London and also aims to have an office in Fujairah to manage oil storage, he said.

In Singapore, Buainain said he expects the company’s office to grow to 30 to 40 people within the next two years.

ATC also expected to benefit from a switch by ships to cleaner fuels in 2020 as mandated by the International Maritime Organization.

"The second-hand effect of the IMO is the oversupply of high-sulfur fuel oil (HSFO) which in our case is a positive because we are net short on fuel oil and that will help us in meeting our requirements (for HSFO) in power generation," Buainain said.

Buainain has headed the trading arm of Saudi Aramco since 2016.

ATC was set up in 2012 to market refined products, base oils and bulk petrochemicals. It started trading non-Saudi crude oil and refined products from its overseas refineries in the past years as the world’s largest oil exporter seeks to optimize profits.

As MRC wrote before, Saudi Aramco and France's Total are considering building a mixed-feed cracker and derivatives in Jubail, near their joint refining complex. The cracker is expected to have a capacity of 1.5 MMtpy.

Saudi Aramco is an integrated oil and chemicals company, a global leader in hydrocarbon production, refining processes and distribution, as well as one of the largest global oil exporters. It manages proven reserves of crude oil and condensate estimated at 261.1bn barrels, and produces 9.54 million bbl daily. Headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the company employs over 61,000 staff in 77 countries.

Pepperl+Fuchs introduces next-generation purge and pressurization system

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Pepperl+Fuchs, a world leader in process automation, has introduced an advanced Bebco EPS purge and pressurization system, designed for Class I or II/Div. 2 and Zone 2/22 locations, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

This innovative and compact manual or automatic system delivers all the features needed for reliable hazardous location protection within a small, streamlined solution.

The 7500 series Ex p zc/Type Z purge and pressurization system can be fully automatic or manual and purges a common enclosure of hazardous gas or dust to maintain positive pressure. It effectively reduces the classification within the protected enclosure to a non-hazardous area. The 7500 carries ATEX and IECEx certifications and is UL listed. It operates within an extremely small footprint of only 5.8" x 3.8" x 1.9".

The new, compact 7500 series is easy to use, offering absolute reliability and efficiency. When fully automated it provides excellent enclosure protection for electrical equipment like motors, drives, control panels and cabinets, and gas analyzers," said Kristen Barbour, Marketing Manager. "Whether you need gas or dust protection in the oil and gas, chemical, maritime, or offshore industry - the Bebco EPS 7500 can be used in process industries around the world for applications that previously required heavier and more expensive explosion-proof protection."

The 7500 Series includes intelligent automatic monitoring and control of enclosure pressure with dilution and continuous flow functionality. The system makes automatic adjustments and provides an alarm output for reliable protection. It is designed in marine-grade chromate aluminum - making it rugged enough to withstand the harsh conditions of many process industries. The 7500 uses universal AC/DC power and is available as both a panel mount and external mount. The large touchscreen enables quick and easy setup while also providing status LEDs, a bar graph for pressure, and multiple program selections.

Total finalizes plans to expand Texas Bayport Polymers in petrochems push

MOSCOW (MRC) -- French oil and gas major Total has made a final investment decision to expand its Texas Bayport Polymers joint venture to double polyethylene production capacity to around 1.1 million tonnes a year, reported Reuters with reference to the company's statement.

Total said it aimed to become a major player in the US polyethylene (PE) market when it announced the joint venture in March 2017 with Borealis and Canada’s Nova Chemical.

The Bayport project is in line with the company’s USD3 billion program that began a year ago with a USD1.7 billion investment to build an ethane steam cracker at its Port Arthur refining complex in Texas.

The cracker will process ethane, which is abundantly available from US shale gas at competitive prices, and will supply Bayport polyethylene units. Production is expected to start in 2021.

The new unit is expected to have a capacity of a 625,000 tonnes a year, that will added to the existing 400,000 tonnes per year unit.

The Bayport unit engineering, procurement and construction has been awarded to the company McDermott, Total said.

PE is used in packaging, pipes, bottles, plastics and other composite materials. It is also seen as a growing market, that Total is targeting with a global expansion of its petrochemicals refining units.

"The project is in line with our strategy to develop petrochemicals at our major integrated (refining) complexes and leverage competitively priced feedstocks," said Bernard Pinatel, Total’s President for Refining and Chemicals.

Pinatel said light materials are increasingly used as substitutes for metals in various industrial sectors such as transport and energy, all of which is lifting demand for plastics and polymers.

"It is a market that is growing by 3 to 4 percent per year," Pinatel said.

As part of this expansion into the polyethylene market, Total and Saudi Aramco had said in April they would invest around USD5 billion to build a petrochemical complex at their Jubail Satorp refinery.

In May, Total also signed a USD1.5 billion deal with Algeria’s Sonatrach to build a polypropylene (PP) plant in western Algeria that will supply plastic to the Algerian and wider Mediterranean market.

Last December, its South Korean joint venture with Hanwha Group had also said it would invest USD331 million in the group’s refining and petrochemicals platform to increase polyethylene output by 400,000 tonnes per year by 2019.

That increased investment was planned to deal with growing demand, particularly from China.

Total S.A. is a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world with business in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. The company's petrochemical products cover two main groups: base chemicals and the consumer polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) that are derived from them.

PP production in Russia decreased by 0.6% in January-August

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's overall production of polypropylene (PP) fell in January-August 2018 by 0.6% year on year, totalling about 954,100 tonnes. At the same time, three Russian producers increased their PP output, according to MRC ScanPlast report.

Russia's PP production in August remained practically at the July level at about 125,100 tonnes. Russia's overall PP production reached 954,100 tonnes in the first eight months of 2018, compared to 960,100 tonnes a year earlier. Nizhnekamskneftekhim, Stavrolen, Sibur Tobolsk and Tomskneftekhim reduced production figures, while other producers managed to increase production volumes.

The structure of PP production by plants looked the following way over the stated period.

Sibur Tobolsk decreased capacity utilisation in July, total polypropylene production reached 45,700 tonnes against 49,000 tonnes in July. The Tobolsk plant's total PP production exceeded 319,500 tonnes in the first eight months of 2018, down by 8% year on year. The decline in production was a result of an early shutdown in prevention this year.

Poliom (Titan Group) last month produced about 19,400 tonnes of polypropylene, compared with 18,700 tonnes in July. Total PP production at the plant over the reported period was about 148,000 tonnes, up 3% year on year.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim produced 18,800 tonnes of propylene polymers in August versus 18,600 tonnes a month earlier. The producer's PP production in January-August decreased by 2% from last year's level to 142,400 tonnes.

Tomskneftekhim produced about 8,300 tonnes of propylene polymers in August against 9,800 tonnes in July, the low indicator of in the last two months was caused by the shutdown for scheduled maintenance works, which started on 19 July and lasted just under a month. The Tomsk plant's PP output exceeded 91,800 tonnes in the first eight months of 2018, compared to 94,800 tonnes a year earlier.

August PP production at Ufaorgsintez reached about 11,300 tonnes from 10,600 tonnes a month earlier. Overall output of polymer at the Ufa plant rose to 88,500 tonnes in January-August 2018, compared to 85,100 tonnes a year earlier.

Neftekhimiya (Kapotnya) in August produced about 11,800 tonnes of PP, compared with 11,000 tonnes in July. The plant's overall PP output reached 89,700 tonnes over the stated period, up 40% year on year. A low indicator of the current year was a result of a long scheduled maintenance works in March-April.

Stavrolen (LUKOIL) in August worked with a high capacity utilisation, the total production figure was 9,800 tonnes against 7,500 tonnes in July (the enterprise stopped production for a week). Overall production of propylene polymers at the Budenovsk plant reached 74,100 tonnes in the first eight months of 2018, down by 10% year on year.


PE production in Russia rose by 3% in Jan-Aug 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's production of polyethylene (PE) grew in the first eight months of 2018 by 3% year on year to 1,215,500 tonnes. Output of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) increased, according to MRC's ScanPlast report.

August total PE production rose to 142,800 tonnes, whereas this figure was 141,200 tonnes a month earlier, local producers raised their HDPE output. Overall PE production reached 1,215,500 tonnes in January-August 2018, compared to 1,179,700 tonnes a year earlier. HDPE and LLDPE output increased, whereas production of low density polyethylene (LDPE) decreased slightly.

The PE production structure by grades looked the following way over the stated period.

August total HDPE production grew to 81,500 tonnes, compared to 79,600 tonnes a month earlier, Gazprom neftekhim Salavat and Stavrolen increased their capacity utilisation. Russian plants' overall HDPE output reached 652,500 tonnes in the first eight months of 2018, up by 1% year on year.

Last month's total LDPE production was slightly over 42,500 tonnes versus 42,700 in July, low output for the last two months of the summer were caused by the shutdown for maintenance at Angarsk Polymers Plant, Gazprom nefthim Salavat and Tomskneftekhim. Overall LDPE output exceeded 430,100 tonnes over the stated period, down by 1% year on year.

Overall LLDPE production reached 133,000 tonnes in the first eight months of 2018, up by almost a third year on year.