Shell sells Danish upstream assets to Noreco for $1.9bn

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal Dutch Shell has agreed a USD1.9bn deal to sell its Danish upstream oil and gas assets to Norwegian Energy Company ASA (Noreco), as the company streamlines its business through a USD30bn divestment programme, reported Financial Times.

The deal, which is still subject to regulatory approval, includes producing assets of some 67,000 barrels of oil-equivalent a day, and a stake in the majority of Danish infrastructure in the North Sea, Shell said in a statement.

Noreco will take over Shell’s Danish subsidiary, known as SOGU, which holds a 36.8 per cent non-operating interest in the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC). The DUC is joint venture between Denmark’s Maersk Oil, Shell, Chevron and Nordsofonden for recovering oil and gas in the Danish North Sea.

Noreco will take on all of Shell’s commitments, including decommissioning, and will assume its role in the redevelopment of the Tyra gasfield, Denmark’s largest.

Andy Brown, Shell’s upstream director, said: "’Today’s announcement is consistent with Shell’s strategy to simplify its portfolio through a USD30 billion divestment programme, and contributes to our goal of reshaping the company."

Under the deal Shell’s trading division will retain lifting rights to the crude and gas the assets produce for a period after completion, helping it retain its position as the largest trader in the North Sea.

Shell’s other assets in Denmark, including the Fredericia refinery, will be unaffected by the sale, the company said.

As MRC wrote before, in March 2016, Royal Dutch Shell Plc began lining up assets for a USD30 billion divestment program that might be extend from the US and Trinidad to India following its record takeover of BG Group Plc.

Royal Dutch Shell, commonly known as Shell, is an Anglo–Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in the Netherlands and incorporated in the United Kingdom.Created by the merger of Royal Dutch Petroleum and UK-based Shell Transport & Trading, it is the fourth largest company in the world as of 2014, in terms of revenue, and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors".

Bangladesh tenders for up to 1.425 mln T of oil products for H1 2019

MOSCOW (MRC) - Bangladesh Petroleum Corp (BPC) issued an international tender to import up to 1.425 million tonnes of refined oil products in the first half of 2019, according to a tender document from the company, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The state-owned company is seeking 1.06 million tonnes to 1.18 million tonnes of gasoil with a sulphur content of 500 parts per million, 80,000 to 120,000 tonnes of 180-centistoke high-sulphur fuel oil, 110,000 tonnes of jet fuel and 15,000 tonnes of 95-octane gasoline.

The tender closes on Oct. 25 and is valid up to Feb. 25, 2019. Delivery will be carried out in phases over the first half of 2019, a senior BPC official said.

Some volumes will also be imported through separate term deals, he told Reuters, without giving details. BPC resumed issuing tenders for long-term contracts in February 2016 after a 15-year hiatus, during which it negotiated directly with suppliers of fuel products.

The company wants to move away from direct deals and instead buy at cheaper rates through international tenders. A shortfall in supplies of natural gas has forced the South Asian country to burn oil, a costlier option, to generate electricity.

Bangladesh typically imports about 3.2 million tonnes of diesel and 2.5 million tonnes of fuel oil annually, making it one of the top 10 such importers in the region.

Currently, BPC has term contracts with eight companies for refined oil product imports. Suppliers for Bangladesh’s middle distillates contracts include Kuwait Petroleum Corp, Malaysia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd, Emirates National Oil Co, Philippines National Oil Co, Indonesia’s Bumi Siak Pusako and PetroChina.

Bangladesh has also signed a 15-year deal with India’s Numaligarh refinery to supply diesel, its first long-term contract with any Indian supplier.

BPC also buys 700,000 tonnes of Murban crude from Abu Dhabi National Oil Co annually and another 700,000 tonnes of Arab Light from Saudi Aramco for its only refinery.

Bangladesh started operations at the country’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in August, to offset falling domestic gas production.

ELIX Polymers launches product line for consumer sectors with special requirements on safety of use

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ELIX Polymers is launching a new line of ABS products under the brand name Chemical Compliance (CC) for applications that include toys, cosmetic containers, and products that come into contact with food, as per the company's press release.

The aim of the new range is to satisfy the requirements of consumers increasingly concerned about the safety aspects of materials that day-to-day products are made from. Reinforced standards applied during production of CC grades will enable ELIX to offer additional guarantees on regulatory compliance during the lifetime of finished products.

The CC line comes with a package of extended services that will help OEMs carry out their product verification and stewardship processes. These services include the provision of documents indicating regulatory compliance for different national and international sectors, and the application to final parts of results from additional tests on the safety of the material in contact with food. ELIX will also conduct product quality and safety tests based on the requirements to which OEMs may be subject.

Grades have been formulated for individual applications, enabling customers to select them according to their specific needs. Injection moulding grades ELIX ABS P2H-CC and ELIX ABS P3H-CC, based on each requirement, are just two of many offerings in the new CC line. They are easy to process and have a high level of brightness as well as intense colours, backed up by a service that will facilitate the product stewardship tasks for the OEMs.

Single-dose coffee makers are an example of the type of application that ELIX is aiming at with the new CC grades. Launching a new machine onto the market requires a large number of tests to be carried out on component materials to guarantee compliance with laws on the safety of their use in contact with food. Such tests can take a considerable amount of time and resources to carry out, with possible effects on the course of development projects.

Ignacio Buezas, Business Development Manager of ELIX Polymers said: "This new package of food contact materials and services provides a level of compliance support above that generally available from materials suppliers, for clients who have a particular commitment to the safe use of their products and who require that materials exceed the standards required by law."

“With our new product line and consulting service, we take care of a large portion of the work involved in verifying and guaranteeing that not only our ABS materials, but also all the components present in our materials - pigments and additives for example - are compliant with the law."

Buezas added: "Other aspects related with the characteristics of the manufacturing process will also be reviewed and may be adapted to the specific requirements of our clients. Having a thorough knowledge of the client's application and usage allows us to offer them products that best meet their needs."

ELIX Polymers has a vast experience supplying materials to industries subject to strict safety of use regulations for plastic materials; these include medical devices, cosmetic containers, and the toy industry where the use of ABS has been traditionally high. "As a result of this experience, we have reviewed and improved our processes to reinforce the safety of our products targeted at markets where these regulations apply," said Buezas.

This innovative product line further increases ELIX Polymers' services portfolio, which already includes a wide range of specialities for the different segments of the plastics industry. "The combination of products and services together with our knowledge and experience has made the company unique and positions us on the market as one of the leaders in the manufacturing and sale of ABS and derived materials," Buezas concluded.

As MRC reported before, in June 2018, ELIX Polymers announced a new investment amounting to 4 million euros, whose objective is to optimize its ABS powder production facilities.

Located in a major chemical park in Tarragona, Spain, ELIX Polymers operates one of the largest ABS production sites in Europe. The operation starts in 1975, when the Tarragona ABS and SAN production plant was inaugurated. Its operations include five ABS compounding lines producing over 40 specialty grades, with more than 300 colour options. The company is also becoming more global in its operations: in late 2016, it took an important step in improving its services to North American customers when it opened a central warehouse for the region in New Jersey and reinforced the team at its main office in Florida. In China meanwhile, distribution partner Yixin Resources Co., which also provides technical and logistic services for customers, is helping ELIX Polymers gain new business with major local and international companies.

Japan refiner Idemitsu finalizes deal to buy out Showa Shell

MOSCOW (MRC) - Japanese oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan (5019.T) on Tuesday finalized a deal to buy out Showa Shell Sekiyu (5002.T) through a share swap in a deal worth about USD5.6 billion, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Shares in the two companies, which had run up strongly ahead of the integration, initially fell sharply on details of the deal before closing down around 3 percent in a firmer overall market. The new firm will target annual savings of around 60 billion yen (USD535 million) in 2021/22 from the integration, up by 10 billion yen from a previous projection, the two companies said.

The refiners announced in July they had finally reached a deal to merge, in April next year, after Idemitsu’s founding family dropped its long-standing opposition to the plan. Idemitsu, Japan’s No.2 oil refiner by sales, has long been keen to merge its operations with fourth-ranked Showa Shell in response to shrinking gasoline demand in the country.

The combined firm would account for about 30 percent of Japan’s domestic gasoline sales, second only to JXTG Holdings (5020.T), which controls about half the market.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, the companies said 0.41 Idemitsu shares would be exchanged for each Showa Shell share. Idemitsu will be the surviving entity with Showa Shell shares to be delisted March 27.

Based on the ratio and Idemitsu’s closing price on Monday, Showa Shell is valued at 2,431.3 yen per share, a slight discount to its 2,441 yen close on Monday. That puts the deal value at about 630 billion yen (USD5.6 billion) for the nearly 69 percent of Showa Shell that Idemitsu does not already own.

Idemitsu shares fell as much as 9 percent before ending down 3.2 percent, while Showa Shell shares fell as much as 8 percent before closing down 2.6 percent.

Idemtisu President Shunichi Kito, who will serve as president of the combined firm, ruled out combining the group’s seven refineries in Japan with total crude refining capacity of 1.088 million barrels per day (bpd) as all were competitive with room for exports.

The new firm has a higher ratio of residue cracking capability at its refineries than rivals, he said. The group could raise the capacity of heavy oil processing units at Idemitsu’s 190,000-bpd Chiba refinery in response to the International Maritime Organization’s move to ban use of high sulfur fuel, he added.

Japan Inpex sells second condensate cargo from Ichthys project

MOSCOW (MRC) - Inpex Corp, Japan’s top explorer, sold its second condensate cargo from the Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Australia, industry sources said, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The company sold the late October-loading cargo to commodities trader Trafigura for delivery into the latter’s Papua New Guinea refinery at Napa Napa, one of the sources said.

Inpex has provisionally chartered the vessel “Sea Vine” to ship 80,000 tonnes of the condensate to Napa Napa, shipping fixtures showed.

Inpex last sold its maiden cargo from the project - 350,000 barrels of Ichthys condensate - to load between Sept. 28 and Oct. 8 to Exxon Mobil Corp, traders have said.

Inpex this week is also set to load the first LNG cargo from the project in northwestern Australia. An Inpex spokesman in Tokyo said production had been going smoothly and that shipments of LNG and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) were set to begin, but he declined to comment on commercial matters including the schedule for shipments.

Trafigura could not be immediately reached for comment. Ichthys has seen multiple delays and cost overruns of billions of dollars due to technical difficulties. It was originally slated to start in 2016.

At full operation, Ichthys is expected to produce 8.9 million tonnes of LNG a year, along with about 1.7 million tonnes of LPG and about 100,000 barrels per day of condensate, an ultra-light form of crude oil. The company expects to take two to three years to reach full production.