MOSCOW (MRC) -- A limited reopening of Libyan oil terminals could allow the export of some crude oil and condensate stored at Es Sider, Brega, Zueitina and Hariga, but leaves a months-long blockade of the ports in place, oil engineers say, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.
East Libyan authorities said on Wednesday they would permit exports of the stored products in an effort to ease an electricity supply crisis that has resulted in increasingly lengthy power cuts. The ports have been blockaded since January by east Libyan factions as part a wider conflict, leading to the loss of most of Libya’s oil production and billions of dollars in income.
A build-up of gas by-products at the terminals and a drop in local refining has led to shortages of fuel for local power generation. The possible export of condensate and crude stored at Brega and Zueitina ports would allow some oil and gas production by Sirte Oil Co to supply power stations, a local engineer said. Several petrochemical products would also be exported, he said.
Ongoing diplomatic pressure and appeals from the National Oil Corporation (NOC) in the capital Tripoli over lost revenue and damage to idled facilities has failed to lift the oil blockade. NOC, which handles all exports, is yet to comment on the move. It has also previously warned of a risk of accidents or attacks at the ports amid military mobilisation in the area.
Officials at Ras Lanuf told Reuters this week that products including highly flammable ethylene were safely stored, even though many workers have left the port due to the blockade and restrictions to counter the new coronavirus. It was not immediately clear how much crude and condensate is stored at the ports. The NOC has struggled to maintain infrastructure in the area during years of fighting and past blockades.
Es Sider has 19 tanks with a storage capacity of 6.2 million barrels of oil, and Waha Oil Co has been working to repair previously damaged tanks and expand storage capacity, an official from the company said.
Earlier this year, BP said the deadly coronavirus outbreak could cut global oil demand growth by 40 per cent in 2020, putting pressure on Opec producers and Russia to curb supplies to keep prices in check.
And in September 2019, six world's major petrochemical companies in Flanders, Belgium, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and the Netherlands (Trilateral Region) announced the creation of a consortium to jointly investigate how naphtha or gas steam crackers could be operated using renewable electricity instead of fossil fuels. The Cracker of the Future consortium, which includes BASF, Borealis, BP, LyondellBasell, SABIC and Total, aims to produce base chemicals while also significantly reducing carbon emissions. The companies agreed to invest in R&D and knowledge sharing as they assess the possibility of transitioning their base chemical production to renewable electricity.
Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia dropped in January-June 2020 by 7% year on year to 328,000 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the main decrease in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia rose in the first six months of 2020 by 21% year on year to 105,300 tonnes. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.