ADNOC completes first phase of AI predictive maintenance project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) announced it has completed the first phase of its large-scale multi-year predictive maintenance project to maximize asset efficiency and integrity across its upstream and downstream operations, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies such as machine learning and digital twins, ADNOC’s predictive maintenance platform helps predict equipment stoppages, reduce unplanned equipment maintenance and downtime, increase reliability and safety, and is expected to deliver maintenance savings by up to 20%. Against a backdrop of unprecedented market conditions, the adoption of new technology remains at the heart of ADNOC’s strategy in maximizing the value from every barrel of oil, while delivering the greatest possible returns to the UAE.

The predictive maintenance project, which was announced in November 2019, is being implemented over four phases and is one of the largest in the oil and gas industry.

Mr. Abdulmunim Saif Al Kindy, executive director, People, Technology & Corporate Support Directorate at ADNOC said: “We are pleased to have achieved this important project milestone, particularly given the ambitious scale of ADNOC’s predictive maintenance project. We are already seeing significant operational benefits and cost savings, and we intend to continue to embrace the power of digitalization and AI as we further enhance performance and drive value across our business.”

ADNOC’s predictive maintenance project is part of the company’s digital acceleration program, which focuses on embedding advanced digital technologies across the company’s operations.

The first phase of the project covers the modeling and monitoring of 160 major turbines, motors, centrifugal pumps and compressors across six ADNOC Group companies. All four phases of the project are expected to be completed by 2022 and the project will enable the central monitoring of up to 2,500 critical machines across all ADNOC Group companies.

The predictive maintenance platform is an integral part of ADNOC’s Panorama Digital Command Center at its headquarters and is implemented in partnership with Honeywell, using the Honeywell Asset Performance Management and predictive analytics enterprise solutions.

The predictive maintenance project is just one of many digital transformation initiatives by ADNOC to embed cutting-edge technology across its entire value chain. Other digital initiatives include its AI and big data-driven “Panorama Digital Command Center;” its smart subsurface data analytics “Thamama Subsurface Collaboration Center;” and its use of computer vision technologies, big data modeling tools for value chain optimization, and blockchain for hydrocarbon accounting.

As MRC reported previously, in early May, 2020, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) began a gradual restart of its Ruwais oil refinery complex after a scheduled maintenance shutdown. The Ruwais complex, which has capacity of 835,000 barrels per day, was shut down early this year, the ADNOC spokesman said.

And in late July 2019, ADNOC said its Ruwais refinery west cracker was offline for maintenance.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,594,510 tonnes in the first nine months of 2020, up by 1% year on year. Only high denstiy polyethylene (HDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 880,130 tonnes in the nine months of 2020 (calculated using the formula: production minus exports plus imports, exluding producers" inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply increased exclusively of PP random copolymer.

Easton acquires South Texas Pipeline System from ExxonMobil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Midstream operator Easton Energy has agreed to buy a petrochemical pipeline system that runs from Houston to Corpus Christi from oil major Exxon Mobil, moving to capitalize on South Texas' growing petrochemical market, said Chemweek.

The South Texas Pipeline System has 720 miles of pipeline and runs from Exxon's Clear Lake and Katy Gas Plants to Energy Transfer Partners' King Ranch Gas Plant and the Port of Corpus Christi. The line has historically been used to transport everything from oil and natural gas liquids, but most recently shipped refinery grade propylene.

The system will also connect to Easton Energy's 50 million barrel salt dome storage facility in Markham, Texas, which is located between the petrochemical markets in Houston and Corpus Christi.

The acquisition is anticipated to close early next year. The companies did not disclose a price on the deal.

As MRC informed earlier, Exxon Mobil Corp has also recently announced it will lay off about 1,900 employees in the United States as the COVID-19 pandemic batters energy demand and prices.

We remind that ExxonMobil has undertaken a planned shutdown at its cracker in Singapore. The company halted operations at the cracker for maintenance on September 14, 2020. The cracker is expected to remain off-line till end-October, 2020. Located at Jurong Island, Singapore, the cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 1 million mt/year and a propylene production capacity of 450,000 mt/year.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,496,500 tonnes in the first eight months of 2020, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of all ethylene polymers increased, except for linear low desnity polyethylene (LLDPE). At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 767,2900 tonnes in the eight months of 2020 (calculated using the formula - production minus exports plus imports - and not counting producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply increased exclusively of PP random copolymer.

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.

Total production slammed by OPEC+ cuts, but finances show 'resilience' in Q3

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Total's oil and gas production dropped 11% on the year in the third quarter, to 2.72 million b/d of oil equivalent and it forecast full-year output below 2.9 million boe/d on the back of OPEC+ cuts, as its third-quarter results showed financial improvement Oct. 30, reported S&P Global.

In a results statement, Total said its Q3 production had been affected by OPEC+ cuts in Angola, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Nigeria and the UAE as well as voluntary reductions in Canada and disruption in Libya, noting in particular the "reinforcement" of cuts by Nigeria.

The company's liquids production was down 16% on the year at 1.44 million b/d, although it noted OPEC+ cuts were offset by increases from the UK's Culzean gas field, Norway's Johan Sverdrup, Brazil's Iara and Italy's Tempa Rossa.

In the context of strong OPEC+ compliance and lower North American production, Total "anticipates full-year 2020 production below 2.9 million boe/d," compared with 3.01 million boe/d in 2019, it said.

However, CEO Patrick Pouyanne noted a "more favorable" business environment, and the company highlighted its July sale of the UK's Lindsey refinery, as well as its conversion of the Grandpuits refinery to a "zero-oil" producer of biofuels and bioplastics.

"The oil market environment remains uncertain and will depend notably on the speed of the global demand recovery, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic," Total said.

Europe's largest refiner added that margins in the region had recovered in the fourth quarter, averaging above $10/mt, but "remain fragile given the low demand for jet fuel that weighs on the valuation of all distillates."

It added that it anticipated a positive impact from improved fourth quarter LNG prices, expected to be over $4/MMBtu, as a result of the oil price recovery over the previous two quarters.

Total reported an adjusted profit of USD850 million, down 72% on the year, and reduced its debt gearing to 22% from the end of the previous quarter, making it again the least indebted of the European majors by far.

It reported an overall profit of USD202 million, impacted by relatively modest impairments of USD293 million, compared with an overall loss of USD8.4 billion in Q2, impacted by over $8 billion of impairments.

Noting the company's low cost of upstream production, of just USD5/boe, Total said the upstream division "carries" its corporate performance.

"The group is once again demonstrating its resilience thanks to its integrated model, by generating debt-adjusted cash flow of more than $4 billion [and] reducing gearing to 22% given its investment and cost discipline," Pouyanne said.

As MRC reported earlier, within the framework of its net zero strategy, Total will convert its Grandpuits refinery (Seine-et-Marne) into a zero-crude platform and will invest more then EUR500 mln into this project. By 2024 the platform will focus on four new industrial activities: production of renewable diesel primarily intended for the aviation industry, production of bioplastics, plastics recycling and operation of two photovoltaic solar power plants.

We remind that in November 2019, Total disclosed that itis evaluating construction of a new gas cracker at its Deasan, South Korea, joint venture (JV) with Hanwha Chemical.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,594,510 tonnes in the first nine months of 2020, up by 1% year on year. Only high denstiy polyethylene (HDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 880,130 tonnes in the nine months of 2020 (calculated using the formula: production minus exports plus imports, exluding producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply increased exclusively of PP random copolymer.

Total S.A. is a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world with business in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. The company's petrochemical products cover two main groups: base chemicals and the consumer polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) that are derived from them.

Petkim earnings rise on higher volumes, strong thermoplastics demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Turkish petrochemical company Petkim Petrokimya Holdings A.S. said that its non-consolidated net profit fell 33% on the year to 446.4 million lira (USD52.4 million/44.1 million euro) in the first nine months of 2020, said Chemweek.

Total revenue decreased by 9.4% year-on-year in the January-September period, to 8 billion lira, the company said in an interim financial statement on Thursday.

The cost of sales fell by an annual 8.8% to 6.9 billion lira. However, finance costs jumped to 2.8 billion lira in the nine months under review, from 1.8 billion lira in the like period of 2019.

Petkim, founded in 1965, manufactures more than 50 petrochemical products that are used in the construction, electricity, electronic, packaging, textile, medical, dying, detergent and cosmetic sectors.

As MRC informed earlier, Petkim, Turkey's sole polymer producer, has applied to the Ministry of Trade to open an antidumping investigation into imports from Saudi Arabia. The application centres on low density polyethylene (LDPE). Petkim alleges that Saudi Arabian prices adversely affected the value of LDPE in the first six months of 2020. Although Petkim concedes that it did not lose any sales volume during the period, it claims that its prices were damaged by an increase in Saudi-origin material.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, September estimated LDPE consumption in Russia fell to 23,930 tonnes from 47,610 tonnes a month earlier. Russian producers reduced their domestic LDPE shipments due to shutdowns for maintenance at production capacities in Ufa, Tomsk and Kazan. Russia's estimated LDPE consumption totalled about 406,500 tonnes in January-September 2020, which virtually corresponded to the last year's figure.

Petkim Petrokimya Holding A.S. is a Turkish chemical company. The controlling stake in the company (51.39%) is owned by the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR). The rest of the shares are held by TURCAS. The company produces polymers (PE, PP, PVC, PA), detergents, packaging, etc.

Brenntag posts lower third-quarter net profit, achieves YOY EBITDA growth

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brenntag, the market leader in chemical and ingredients distribution, has reported a resilient third-quarter performance and says the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic on its business is “still limited", said Chemweek.

Net profit was down in the third quarter to EUR120.6 million (USD141.1 million) from a prior-year figure of EUR128.4 million on sales of EUR2.88 billion, down 7.7% year on year (YOY) on a constant currency basis. The company achieved YOY growth in operating EBITDA, up 4.9% to EUR264.4 million. The EMEA, APAC, and Latin America regions “showed a particularly good development,” but conditions in North America were tougher, Brenntag says. Group operating gross profit slipped 0.2% YOY to EUR690.6 million.

“Brenntag achieved strong results in the third quarter of 2020,” says CEO Christian Kohlpaintner. “The COVID-19 pandemic has been with us—as with many other companies—throughout the year and has significantly impacted the overall economic environment. Nevertheless, we once again show a positive business development and our operations remained with limited effect by the COVID-19 crisis in the reporting period."

Third-quarter operating gross profit in EMEA was EUR294.8 million, up 4.8% YOY. The company says that despite restrictions due to COVID-19, its business in the region achieved operating EBITDA growth of 11.3% YOY, to EUR112.9 million.

The business environment in North America remained “challenging with the oil and gas industry particularly weak,” Brenntag says. Operating gross profit generated by Brenntag in North America was down 9.3% YOY to EUR273.9 million and operating EBITDA was EUR110.0 million, down 11.7%.

Brenntag reports robust third-quarter results for its business in Latin America on slowly recovering volumes, good margin management, and cost control. Regional operating gross profit of EUR44.5 million was up 15.7% YOY and operating EBITDA jumped 39.8% YOY to EUR15.1 million.

The company says its results in APAC reflect the recovery in the regional economy in the third quarter after strict lockdown for several months due to the pandemic. At EUR72.5 million, operating gross profit in the region was 12.0% above the prior-year level of EUR68.1 million. Third-quarter operating EBITDA leapt 35.9% YOY to EUR33.0 million.

Brenntag has confirmed its full-year outlook, which it reinstated in September after suspending guidance in April. The company expects 2020 operating EBITDA of EUR1.000–1.040 billion, compared with EUR1.001 billion in 2019. The forecast assumes “no further significant government measures to contain the pandemic and related negative effects on the economy,” the company says. It also does not envisage any special items or significant changes in current exchange rates by the end of the year. The forecast includes contributions to earnings from acquisitions. “As the COVID-19 pandemic will most likely impact the economy for the rest of this year and also in 2021, the presumed business environment continues to be volatile,” Brenntag says. The company announced details recently of its transformation program, which includes job cuts and site closures.

As MRC informed earlier, Brenntag Essentials and Brenntag Specialties. Each division will have a focus on customer- and supplier needs. The new operating model forms part of the company’s previously announced transformation program, Project Brenntag. Brenntag says that with the two new divisions it will better leverage on its strengths and sharpen its profile toward relevant industry segments.

In August 2020, Brenntag acquired the operating assets of Suffolk Solutions’ (Suffolk, Virginia) caustic soda distribution business. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclose.

We remind, Russia's September production of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) were 108,000 tonnes (100% of the basic substance) versus 99,200 tonnes a month earlier. Overall output of caustic soda totalled 945,600 tonnes in the first nine months of 2020, down by 1.6% year on year.