ExxonMobil to expand ultra-low sulfur diesel production at Fawley Refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil said that it has made a final investment decision to expand the Fawley refinery in the United Kingdom to increase production of ultra-low sulfur diesel by almost 45 percent, or 38,000 barrels per day, along with logistics improvements, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

"ExxonMobil continues to invest in the Fawley refinery and chemical plant, Britain’s largest integrated facility," said Bryan Milton, president of ExxonMobil Fuels and Lubricants Company. "This investment will make Fawley refinery the most efficient in the United Kingdom, supporting Esso’s industry-leading logistics and fuels marketing operations."

The investment will help reduce the need to import diesel into the United Kingdom, which imported about half of its supply in 2017.

The more than USD1 billion investment includes a hydrotreater unit to remove sulfur from fuel, supported by a hydrogen plant, which combined will also help improve the refinery’s overall energy efficiency. Ultra-low sulfur fuels lead to improved air quality when powering the latest technology engines on tractor-trailers, buses, marine vessels and off-road equipment.

Detailed engineering and design is underway. Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2019, subject to regulatory approval, and startup is expected in 2021. At its peak, building activity will support up to 1,000 construction jobs.

Located on Southampton Water, the Fawley site also has strategic access to distribution logistics across southern England and export access to other markets in Europe and the Atlantic basin.

Alongside recent investments at ExxonMobil’s refineries on the US Gulf Coast, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Singapore, the project will contribute to ExxonMobil’s announced plans to significantly increase the earnings potential of its downstream production capacities.

As MRC informed previously, in October 2017, ExxonMobil Chemical Company commenced production on the first of two new 650,000 tons-per-year high-performance polyethylene (PE) lines at its plastics plant in Mont Belvieu, Texas. The full project, part of the company’s multi-billion dollar expansion project in the Baytown area and ExxonMobil’s broader Growing the Gulf expansion initiative, will increase the plant’s polyethylene capacity by approximately 1.3 million tons per year.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.

BP first-quarter profits slip despite oil price recovery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BP reported first-quarter profit largely in line with expectations on Tuesday, citing tough market conditions at the start of the year, said Cnbc.

The British oil giant posted first-quarter underlying replacement cost profit, used as a proxy for net profit, of USD2.4 billion, versus USD2.3 billion expected in a Reuters poll. That compared with a profit of USD2.6 billion a year earlier and USD3.5 billion in the final three months of 2018.

It marks the first significant setback in BP’s steady recovery over the past 18 months.

"It was a pretty resilient set of results actually given the environment we came into at the start of the year,” Brian Gilvary, chief financial officer at BP, told CNBC’s "Squawk Box Europe" on Tuesday.

Gilvary said the three-month period through to March had been particularly “tough” because of adverse weather conditions, assets being put out of action and lower oil prices in January.

"I think oil prices look pretty firm given where we are today but we are going to continue to maintain capital discipline," he added.

Shares of BP rose almost 1% during morning deals.

BP has started major upstream offshore projects in the Gulf of Mexico, Trinidad and Egypt in 2019, with final investment decisions taken for three additional upstream projects.

The company also reported “strong progress” towards its published targets for greenhouse gas emissions following reduced operational emissions in 2018, with methane intensity “remaining on target”. In March 2019, BP established a $100m fund to reduce emissions, as well as an agreement with the Environmental Defence Fund to reduce methane emissions across its operations.

BP CEO Bob Dudley said: “BP’s performance this quarter demonstrates the strength of our strategy. With solid Upstream and Downstream delivery and strong trading results, we produced resilient earnings and cash flow through a volatile period that began with weak market conditions and included significant turnarounds. ЭMoving through the year, we will keep our focus on disciplined growth, with efficient project execution and safe and reliable operations.Э

Sinopec Maoming resumes LDPE production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sinopec Maoming Petrochemical has brought-stream its low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant following an unplanned outage, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the company has resumed operations at the plant on April 26, 2019. The plant was shut on April 11, 2019 owing to shortage of feedstock.

Located at Guangdong in China, the plant has a production capacity of 120,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported earlier, in 2018, Sinopec Maoming Petrochemical shut its No. 2 LDPE unit for a brief maintenance from July 14 to July 19. Located at Guangdong in China, the No. 2 unit has a production capacity of 280,000 mt/year.

Sinopec Maoming Petrochemical Company (Maoming Company) - a subsidiary of Sinopec- is located in Maoming, Guangdong and was founded in May 1955. The company now has a crude oil processing capacity of 13.5 million t/a and an ethylene production capacity of 1 million t/a. Maoming Company has turned out to be a large-scale integrated refining and chemical enterprise with refining as the leading business and petrochemical sector as the mainstay.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, or Sinopec Limited is a Chinese oil and gas company based in Beijing, China. It is listed in Hong Kong and also trades in Shanghai and New York . Sinopec is the worlds fifth biggest company by revenue.

Poland's PKN says supply secure as Russian oil suspended

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Poland’s biggest oil refiner PKN Orlen has no plans at the moment to tap strategic state oil reserves after supplies from Russia stopped overnight, as it has enough crude from other sources, reported Reuters with reference to a board member.

Poland and Germany earlier suspended imports of Russian oil via the Druzhba pipeline, citing poor quality, triggering a rare crisis over supply from the world’s second-largest crude exporter.

"This is not our decision (to start using state oil reserves). We are secure. We do not think about using strategic reserves. Our diversification fully secures us," said Zbigniew Leszczynski.

A spokesman for Poland’s second-biggest refiner Grupa Lotos said it was not using state strategic oil reserves either, but was ready to do so if necessary.

About 50 percent of the oil PKN imports for its Polish refinery comes from Russia, while Lotos relies on Russian deliveries for 73 percent of its needs.

PKN management said during a call with analysts on Thursday that it expected Russian oil supplies to start again in one or two weeks.

The company will receive all oil by sea to the Baltic port of Gdansk until supplies from Russia via pipeline resume, it added in a written statement.

"This is a technical issue related to deterioration of oil quality and we perceive this as such," Leszczynski said, when asked whether the suspension of Russian oil supplies was a political issue related to relations between Russia and Belarus.

Leszczynski added the company was not aware of any low quality oil supplied to its Czech refinery via the Druzhba pipeline.

As MRC wrote previously, in early November 2015, Poland’s top refiner PKN Orlen took delivery of its first crude from Saudi Arabia, a shipment that marked the start of new trade relationship undermining the traditional dominance of Russian supplies.

PKN Orlen is a major Polish oil refiner and petrol retailer. The company is a significant European publicly traded firm with major operations in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, and the Baltic States. It currently (2015) ranks 353, with a revenue of over USD33.8 billion.

Mitsui & Co ITC hit with water pollution charges after Texas tank fire

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsui & Co Ltd's Intercontinental Terminals Co faces five environmental criminal charges following a March chemical fire at its Deer Park, Texas, petrochemical storage facility, reported Reuters with reference to local officials.

ITC was charged with polluting waterways that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, according to a statement by the Harris County district attorney. ITC could face penalties of up to USD100,000 for each of the five charges, according to Harris County.

ITC did not immediately return a call for comment.

After a fire caused a dike at the facility to break, "large (and still unknown) quantities" of toxic chemicals spilled into a nearby waterway for five days, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement.

"The discharge from the ITC fire into Tucker Bayou is a clear water pollution case," Alex Forrest, an environmental crimes division chief prosecutor with the district attorney's office, said in a statement.

As MRC informed previously, in late March 2019, state and local investigators began investigating a petrochemical storage company outside Houston, TX where a massive fire fed by giant tanks of fuel burned for days, darkening the skies with soot for dozens of miles. The blaze at Mitsui unit Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) in Deer Park, Texas, began on Sunday, 17 March, and was not extinguished until early Wednesday, 20 March. It destroyed 11 tanks that can hold up to 80,000 barrels of gasoline and other fuels.

Mitsui Chemicals is a leading manufacturer and supplier of value added specialty chemicals, plastics and materials for the automotive, healthcare, packaging, agricultural, building, and semiconductor and electronics markets. Mitsui Chemicals is a Japanese Chemicals company, a part of the Mitsui conglomerate. The company has a turnover of around 15 billion USD and has business interests in Japan, Europe, China, Southeast Asia and the USA. The company mainly deals in performance materials, petro and basic chemicals and functional polymeric materials.