PVC imports into Kazakhstan decreased by 16% in January-August

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of unmixed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) into Kazakhstan decreased to about 32,300 tonnes in January-August 2018, down 16% compared with the same time a year earlier, according to MRC DataScope.

There was a significant decrease in demand for PVC in August from local companies. August imports of unmixed PVC amounted to 2,400 tonnes against 4,800 tonnes a month earlier.
Thus, overall imports of PVC to Kazakhstan totalled 32,300 tonnes in January-August 2018, compared to 38,300 tonnes a year earlier.

Due to the geographical position, the main suppliers of PVC to Kazakhstan remained Chinese producers, with the share of about 83% of the local market over the stated period.

But this year, deliveries from Russia increased significantly, Russian producers supplied more than 5,400 tonnes of PVC to the local market over eight months.

PetroChina plans to open first Indian office in Mumbai

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China’s top oil and gas producer PetroChina is preparing to open its first South Asia office in India to scout for business opportunities in oil and liquefied natural gas, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

This is another sign of China expanding its role in overseas markets after years of building refining capacity and as a refined oil product glut builds in Asia.

The company was registered as PetroChina International (India) on July 17 with a total paid-up capital of 33 million rupees (USD444,000) in Mumbai, according to the information posted on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs website.

It has three directors listed including Rajesh Sampatkumar Modani, who had been working as a principal consultant with law firm Trilegal, according to his LinkedIn profile. The others are Hongwei Xia, who is currently at PetroChina’s Singapore office, and Chi Zhang.

PetroChina plans to trade in oil products and crude oil through the Indian office, one of the sources familiar with the matter said.

“For products, India is nearer to Africa, so it makes sense to buy from India and export,” the source added. PetroChina already buys refined products from Nayara Energy and Reliance Industries, said a second source familiar with the company’s plan.

He said the company is scouting for space to open its corporate office, and is using a temporary address for registration of the Indian entity. Chinese state-owned refiners have recently been boosting shipments of oil products such as diesel to Europe, South America and West Africa as they expand their foothold outside of China.

CNPC, the parent company of PetroChina, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. PetroChina International currently has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, the United States, Kazakhstan, Japan, London, Russia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Venezuela, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia and Dubai, according to the company website.

Chennai Petroleum shuts crude unit at Manali refinery for 30 days

MOSCOW (MRC) - India’s Chennai Petroleum Corp Ltd has shut a 74,000 barrel per day (bpd) crude unit at its 210,000 bpd Manali refinery in Tamil Nadu from Oct. 6 for about month for planned maintenance, the company has said, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The company has also shut some secondary units including a 0.8 million tonne a year fluidized catalytic cracker and a 2.2 million tonnes a year delayed coker for maintenance, the company said in an email response to Reuters query.

Chennai Petroleum is a subsidiary of the country’s top refiner Indian Oil Corp and meets the fuel requirements of southern India.

“IOC has made necessary arrangements to make up the shortfall in product supplies during the shutdown period,” the statement added.

The refinery has three crude units.

Saudi Arabia to supply extra oil cargoes to India in November as Iran sanctions loom

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, will supply Indian buyers with an additional 4 million barrels of crude oil in November, reported Reuters with reference to several sources familiar with the matter.

The extra cargoes indicate a willingness by Saudi Arabia to increase crude supply to make up the shortfall once sanctions by the United States on oil exports from Iran, the third-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), start up on Nov. 4.

India is Iran’s top oil client after China, though several refiners have indicated they will stop taking Iranian barrels because of the sanctions.

Reliance Industries Ltd, Hindustan Petroleum Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Mangalore Refinery Petrochemicals Ltd are seeking an additional 1 million barrels each in November from Saudi Arabia, the sources said.

Three of the companies did not immediately reply to an email from Reuters seeking comment. MRPL replied “no comments” when contacted by email.

State-owned oil producer Saudi Aramco was not immediately available for comment.

Given their dependence on Iranian oil supplies, the Indian refiners are concerned about the loss of Iranian crude once the sanctions start and are seeking exemptions. Refiners in the country have placed orders to buy 9 million barrels from Iran in November.

One of the reasons for the additional demand for Saudi oil is that the crude arbitrage from the United States is shut so the Indian buyers have to turn to Middle Eastern barrels, said one of the sources.

India, the world’s third biggest oil importer, is grappling with a combination of rising oil prices and falling local currency, which makes imports of dollar-denominated oil more expensive. Retail prices for gasoline and diesel fuel in India are at record highs and the government has cut its excise tax on fuel to ease some of the pain for consumers.

Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Monday that he spoke with Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih last week and reminded him that OPEC and other major oil producers had promised to raise their output at a meeting in June.

India imports an average of 25 million barrels per month from Saudi Arabia.

Reuters last week reported that Russia and Saudi Arabia, the world’s two biggest oil producers, struck a private deal in September to raise output to cool rising prices and had informed the United States about the decision.

MRPL naphtha sales premium drops to over 1-year low

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd’s naphtha sales premium has slumped to the lowest in over a year as the market was awash with supplies, repported Reuters with reference to a trader who tracks the fuel.

The Indian refiner sold 35,000 tonnes of naphtha for Nov 10-12 loading from New Mangalore late on Wednesday to oil major BP at premiums of about USD6 to USD7 a tonne to Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis.

This was down by about half versus the average of USD12.75-a-tonne premium the state-owned refiner had garnered for two cargoes sold last month.

The fresh premium was also the lowest that MRPL has received for its naphtha since September 2017.

MRPL and BP do not typically comment on their deals.

As MRC wrote before, in June 2015, MRPL successfully commenced commercial production of PP from its polypropylene plant as part of its phase-III refinery expansion and upgradation project in Mangaluru. The plant has a capacity to produce 4,40,000 tonnes of PP per annum. Feedstock for the PP plant - polymer grade propylene - is being produced from upstream petrochemical fluidised catalytic cracking unit of the refinery. Technology provider for the PP plant is Novolen of Germany. The plant has been engineered and constructed by Engineers India Ltd.

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL), is an oil refinery at Mangalore and is a subsidiary of ONGC, set up in 1993. The refinery is located at Katipalla, north from centre of Mangalore city. The refinery was established after displacing five villages of Bala, Kalavar, Kuthetoor, Katipalla, and Adyapadi.