LUKOIL Board of Directors summarized company's activity in 2010

(LUKOIL) -- Today, the OAO LUKOIL Board of Directors held a meeting in Moscow to summarize the Company's performance preliminary results in 2010 and set priority tasks for 2011.

According to preliminary estimates, under the Russian classification, hydrocarbon reserves increment in 2010 reached 123 million tons of reference fuel. Six fields (in the Perm region, Uzbekistan, Egypt and Ghana) and 25 new oil deposits were discovered.

According to preliminary estimates, oil production by LUKOIL (including the share in affiliated companies' production and overseas projects) came to 96 million tons. As compared with 2009, the oil production somewhat dropped, which was due to the depletion of the Western Siberian fields.

According to the preliminary estimates, gas production in 2010 by LUKOIL Group came to about 20 billion cubic meters, which exceeded 2009 level by more than 12%.

The oil stock refining volume at the Company's refineries is expected to come to 66 million tons in 2010, including 45 million tons at the Russian refineries (including mini-refineries). The total refining volume rose by 5.7% compared with 2009.


BASF plans major expansion at Shanghai compounding plant

(Plastics News) -- After only three years of operations at its Shanghai plant, BASF SE's engineering plastics division has announced plans for expansion on a large scale.

Over the next four years, the company plans to more than double its compounding capacity in nylon and polybutylene terephthalate, creating the largest plant of its kind within BASF's global network.

The expansion, which will add 143 million pounds of additional annual capacity, is vote of confidence in the increasing sophistication and environmental consciousness of China's industry.

While BASF declined to give a specific number, investment in the expansion is said to be in the ⌠double digit million euro range.

Since it opened its doors in 2007, the BASF plant has focused entirely on nylon and PBT products. Last year, Asian consumption of nylon and PBT compounds was more than 2 billion pounds and China accounted for 50 percent of this demand. Over the next five years, demand in Asia is expected to increase by 8 percent every year.


Europe naphtha goes to Asia as petchem producers favour LPG

(ICIS) -- European naphtha continues to be sent to Asia because demand from the region's petrochemical sector remains low because economics currently favour the use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a feedstock, market participants said on Wednesday.

Traders said Asia would receive around 500,000 tonnes of naphtha in February. However, one market player said this was not an unusual amount to have gone when there was an open arbitrage between the two regions. The trader noted that around 600,000 tonnes was sent to Asia in December.

Poor economics for gasoline blending have added to the low petrochemical demand, traders said.

At 11:45 GMT, the naphtha flat price was assessed at $847-855/tonne CIF (cost, insurance and freight) NWE (northwest Europe), slightly lower compared with the previous day's range of $859-867/tonne.


Chevron Phillips plans to flare gases from Port Arthur ethylene unit

(Plastemart) -- Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. plans to flare gases from an ethylene unit at its Port Arthur facility in Texas, according to a filing with state regulators. The flaring will continue until Feb. 1, and is related to ⌠planned maintenance activity on an acetylene converter. Flaring is a safety measure that prevents excessive pressure from building up in processing units that are being shut down or started up.


Asia polysilicon prices to firm in 2011 on strong solar demand

(ICIS) -- Asian prices of polysilicon - the main material used in solar cells and panels - are expected to increase this year, as demand outstrips supply, especially in a burgeoning spot market, industry players said on Thursday.

One megawatt of photovoltaic power requires seven tonnes, or 7,000kg, of polysilicon material. Polysilicon is traded in chunks, rods and granules.

In a sign of a firm market, China's LDK Solar - which manufactures polysilicon, mono and multicrystalline ingots, wafers, modules and cells - raised its outlook for the fiscal year 2011 earlier this week.

The global solar-grade polysilicon capacity rose to 140,000 tonnes in 2010, up from 90,000 tonnes in 2009, according to an ICIS survey.