PP imports to Belarus rose by 4% in January-November 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of polypropylene (PP) into Belarus increased to about 90,500 tonnes in the eleven months of this year, up 4% year on year, compared to the same period of 2017. The greatest increase in imports accounted for homopolymer PP, according to MRC DataScope.

November imports of PP into Belarus reached about 7,600 tonnes, which almost the same as a month earlier. Total PP imports into the country reached 90,500 tonnes in January - November, compared with 87,100 tonnes year on year. The demand for homopolymer PP increased, but demand for propylene copolymers decreased.

The structure of PP imports by grades looked the following way over the stated period.

November imports of homopolymer PP to the Belarusian market decreased to 5,000 tonnes from 5,900 tonnes a month earlier, shipments of homopolymer PP from Russia decreased. Overall imports of homopolymer PP reached 62,200 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2018, up by 6.4% year on year. Russian producers with the share of about 88% of the total shipments were the key suppliers.

November imports of propylene copolymers to Belarus increased to 2,700 tonnes from 1,800 tonnes a month earlier, local companies increased their procurement of injection moulding statistical copolymers (PP random copolymers) in Russia. Total imports of propylene copolymers in the country reached 28,400 tonnes in January-November 2018, down 0.9% year on year.


Tellurians Driftwood LNG gets final environmental nod

MOSCOW (MRC) - Tellurian Inc's proposed Driftwood liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Louisiana took a major step forward on Friday as the U.S. federal energy regulator issued a final environmental report clearing the way for the company to seek a permit to build the export terminal, as per Reuters.

The company said it now needs an order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) allowing the construction and operation of the 27.6 million tonne per annum (mtpa) liquefaction plant aimed at meeting growing global demand for the supercooled fuel.

"Tellurian will then stand ready to make a final investment decision and begin construction in the first half of 2019, with the first LNG expected in 2023," said Tellurian Chief Executive Meg Gentle in an statement.

In the report, known as a final environmental impact statement, FERC staff concluded that the Driftwood LNG project "would result in adverse impacts on the environment; however, impacts on the environment would be reduced to less than significant levels" with avoidance and mitigation measures.

Driftwood is one of dozens liquefaction/export projects under development in the United States seeking customers so they can start construction and enter service over the next decade to meet growing global demand for the fuel.

U.S. LNG exports have quadrupled in the last two years and are expected to top 10.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) by the end of 2020, making the country one of the world's largest LNG exporters. One bcf of gas is enough to fuel about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.

In addition to the LNG terminal, Tellurian is developing pipelines to transport gas from shale formations in Texas and Louisiana to LNG terminals and other Gulf Coast customers.

Chinas 2018 oil refinery output, Dec gas production hit records

MOSCOW (MRC) - Chinese oil refiners raised their output to a record in 2018, led by state-run oil majors which maximised operations on firm profit-margins and private refiners which increased processing after being granted higher crude import quotas, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Refiners processed 603.57 million tonnes of crude last year, or about 12.07 million barrels per day (bpd), up 6.8 percent from 2017, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday. In December, crude runs rose 4.4 percent from the year before to 51.17 million tonnes, or 12.05 million bpd, hovering near a record of 52.78 million tonnes racked up in October.

Top oil and gas group CNPC said on Monday that its crude processing volume rose 4.7 percent last year from 2017 to 207.3 million tonnes, or 4.15 million bpd. New refineries including Zhejiang Petrochemical and the Sinopec-Kuwait refining complex in Zhanjiang were expected to add 32 million tonnes of new refining capacity to the world's largest energy consumer, according to the research unit of China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC).

China's crude runs are likely to grow 4.7 percent in 2019 from last year to hit a record of 634 million tonnes, or 12.68 million bpd, according to a report from CNPC's think tank on Wednesday. Crude oil output dropped in 2018 for a third straight year despite increasing capital spending from oil producers, the data showed. Annual crude production declined 1.3 percent to 189.11 million tonnes, or 3.78 million bpd.

But in December, output recorded a rare year-on-year increase of 2 percent after companies stepped up drilling, with monthly output at 16.33 million tonnes, or 3.845 million bpd, the highest daily level since June last year. For most of the last three years, China's monthly crude oil production has shown year-on-year declines amid the higher costs of operating mature fields and a lack of new discoveries.

China's CNOOC said on Friday that it aimed to double its domestic exploration work and proven oil and gas reserves in seven years.

Meanwhile, December natural gas output surged to a record 15.3 billion cubic metres (bcm), up 10 percent from a year ago, exceeding a record of 14.27 bcm in November, the data showed. For all of 2018, gas output rose 7.5 percent from a year earlier to 161 bcm.

OCTAL eyes to restart PET plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- OCTAL is likely to brought on-stream its polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plant in Salalah, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Oman informed that the company has planned to complete turnaround at the plant in early-February, 2019. The plant was shut for maintenance on early-January, 2019.

Located in Salalah, Oman, the plant has a production capacity of 850,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote before, Octal, a USD650 mln petrochemical project in Oman, is eyeing an initial public offering in 2019 as it expands its facilities globally to cater to a growing clientele for its plastics products. Octal, which was set up in 2006 in the southern port city of Salalah, is spending USD110 mln over a five-year period to produce new products, add capacity and expand its footprint into regions such as South America.

Lithuania LNG port aims to be Baltic hub, double flows

MOSCOW (MRC) - Lithuania's Klaipeda liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal will more than double its LNG volumes once gas pipelines to Poland and Finland open after 2021, turning the Baltic port into a regional supply hub, its operator said in an interview, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The import facility, named "Independence", was built in Klaipeda port in 2014 to break the monopoly of Russia's Gazprom over gas supplies to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Baltic countries formerly ruled from Moscow.

It has chiefly imported Norwegian LNG for mostly domestic consumption, using between a fifth and a third of its annual capacity of 2.7 million tonnes of LNG, but began to diversify in late 2017 with the import of its first U.S. cargo.

"We certainly see an interest from international trading houses to use this infrastructure - the terminal and the upcoming pipelines - to access gas markets in central and eastern Europe," Klaipedos Nafta CEO Mindaugas Jusius told Reuters on Friday.

"We keep getting queries whether we have capacities available for this. The nearest LNG terminal to ours, in Poland, is fully booked until 2035", he said, adding: "Our ambition is to achieve terminal utilization of 40 to 50 percent."

Poland's Swinoujscie LNG terminal, 295 miles (475 km) west along the Baltic coast, is due to expand capacity to 5.4 million tonnes per annum by 2021 hoping to capitalise on higher gas demand in central Europe and lessen the region's dependence on Russian gas.

Between the two ports lies the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad which just this month opened its own LNG import terminal for domestic needs. The GIPL pipeline to Poland is due to open in 2021, and with it the prospect that Lithuania supplies Ukraine, said Jusius.

This would bolster Ukraine's diversification of its own supplies from Russia, disputes with whom have led to major supply disruptions to the rest of Europe. Klaipedos Nafta is also participating in the development of four LNG import terminals in Europe and central and southern America, with a view to becoming a shareholder and long-term operator, Jusius said.

One of the projects could reach final investment decision (FID) this year and another by 2020, said Jusius, declining to name the projects citing confidentiality agreements. "Our ambition is to grow into the largest operator of LNG import terminals worldwide," said Jusius.

Lithuania decided last year to continue LNG imports until at least 2044. Jusius said Klaipedos Nafta will decide by late 2022 whether to buy a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) import terminal from Norway's Hoegh LNG.