Singaporean Liang Ting Wee named Total Oil Asia Pacific chief, country chair

MOSCOW (MRC) -- French energy giant Total has promoted Singaporean Liang Ting Wee to president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Total Oil Asia Pacific for its marketing and services division, overseeing the Asia-Pacific and Middle East, reported The Business Times.

The marketing and services division of Total develops and markets products primarily derived from crude oil, along with all associated services. Its solutions include lubricants, liquefied petroleum gas, bitumen and special fluids.

The division has close to 6,800 employees in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East, and serves customers through its retail network of around 2,400 service stations.

Based in Singapore, Mr Liang has also been appointed the country chair to represent all of the oil and gas major's business interests in the city-state. Total has a 600-strong local workforce in Singapore.

The group has been active in the Republic for 38 years, retailing petrochemicals, marketing liquefied natural gas, petroleum products, as well as trading oil, petroleum products, natural gas and power.

In December 2019, Total opened its regional headquarters at Frasers Tower along Cecil Street, spanning about 125,000 square feet. The group said then that the Singapore office will serve as a base to manage its liquefied natural gas business in the Asia-Pacific and its renewable energy business in Asia.

Both of Mr Liang's appointments took effect from Oct 1 this year. He replaces Christian Cabrol, who has assumed the role of CEO of Total Deutschland in Germany.

Mr Liang has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the energy sector.

Since joining Total in 2012, he has taken on senior management responsibilities in strategy development in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East, as well as profit-and-loss responsibilities covering markets in China, the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific.

Before working at Total, Mr Liang began his career as a refinery engineer in Singapore, and later joined the country's Economic Development Board.

As MRC wrote 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.

Enterprise Q3 earnings rise

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Enterprise Products’ Q3 adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose slightly year on year, “despite another challenging quarter for the US energy industry” amid the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, said th company.

The performance of the company’s marketing, storage, natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionation, NGL pipeline, petrochemical pipeline and Permian gathering and processing businesses largely offset the impact of lower margins, volumes and earnings from natural gas gathering and processing assets in the Rockies, South Texas and the Haynesville. Notably, Enterprise’s petrochemical services segment reported a USD124m sequential improvement in gross operating margin, from a challenging Q2, the company said.

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. EPD stock increased nearly 2% since the partnership reported third-quarter results on Oct 28, wherein earnings met estimates. It has narrowed 2020 growth capital investment projections, while reducing the budget for 2021 and 2022.

It reported third-quarter 2020 adjusted earnings per limited partner unit of 48 cents, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The bottom line, moreover, improved from the year-ago quarter’s 46 cents per unit.

Revenues declined to USD6,922 million from USD7,964.1 million in the prior-year quarter. However, the top line beat the consensus estimate of USD6,529 million.

Increased transportation volumes in Petrochemical & Refined Products Services, and higher fee-based volumes from the Permian Basin at the partnership’s gas processing plants aided the bottom line. The positives were partially offset by lower natural gas pipeline transportation volumes, and crude oil transportation and marine terminal volumes.

As MRC reported earlier, Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPP), through one of its affiliates, has entered a long-term agreement with Marubeni Corp. of Japan, under which Marubeni will offtake polymer-grade propylene (PGP) produced from a second propane dehydrogenation plant (PDH 2) currently under construction at EPP’s operations in Mont Belvieu, Tex., for supply to global customers. Concluded on June 16, the PGP offtake agreement is part of a long-term collaboration between EPP and Marubeni that also includes the export of liquefied ethylene, the first 25-million lb vessel of which loaded and sailed from EPP and Navigator Holdings Ltd.’s 50-50 joint venture marine terminal at Morgan’s Point, Tex., in early January, EPP and Marubeni said on June 30.

We remind that Russia's output of chemical products rose in September 2020 by 6.7% year on year. At the same time, production of basic chemicals increased by 6.1% year on year in the first nine months of 2020, according to Rosstat's data. According to the Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation, polymers in primary form accounted for the greatest increase in the January-September output. Last month's production of primary polymers decreased to 852,000 tonnes from 888,000 tonnes in August due to shutdowns in Tomsk, Ufa and Kazan. Overall output of polymers in primary form totalled 7,480,000 tonnes over the stated period, up by 16.4% year on year.

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. is an American midstream natural gas and crude oil pipeline company with headquarters in Houston, Texas. It acquired GulfTerra in September 2004. The company ranked No. 105 in the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.

Shenhua Xinjiang unexpectedly shut is LDPE plant in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shenhua Xinjiang Mining Co (part of Shenhua Group) has unexpectedly shut its low density polyethylene (LDPE) due to technical glitches on its pipeline, reported CommoPlast with reference to market sources.

Thus , the company's LDPE plant, based in Xinjiang, China and with the capacity of 300,000 tons/year, was taken off-stream on 11 November, 2020, an is expected to remain off-line for seven days.

As MRC wrote before, last year, the company conducted scheduled maintenance works at this plant from 16 August to 24 September.

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.

Shenhua Group Corporation Limited was a Chinese state-owned mining and energy company. Shenhua Group was founded in October 1995 under the auspices of the State Council of the People's Republic of China. It was the largest coal-producing company in China.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 16.11.2020

1. Idemitsu chemical business swings to loss on lower margin

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japanese oil refiner Idemitsu Kosan expects higher gasoline and diesel exports in the October-March half of its financial year as its run rates are likely to recover to 85%-89% from 70% in the first half, said Chemweek. But Idemitsu also expects a weak market for petroleum products in Asia to continue over the six-month period, Munehiro Sekine, general manager of investor relations for Idemitsu, told a news conference. Idemitsu forecast its annual domestic fuel sales in the year to March 31 to fall 13.1% from a year earlier to 35.26 million kilolitres, hit by collapsed demand from the COVID-19 crisis.

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japanese oil firm Cosmo Energy Holdings on Thursday cut its net profit estimate for the year to March 31 by 41%, blaming a hefty appraisal loss on its crude inventories and slumping prices of petrochemicals, reported Reuters. It now forecasts an annual net profit of 8.5 billion yen (USD80 million), down from its May prediction of 14.5 billion yen. "Our sales of key fuels, mainly gasoline, have steadily recovered from the COVID-19 crisis, but petrochemicals markets have deteriorated more than we had anticipated," Takayuki Uematsu, Cosmo's senior executive officer, told a news conference.


Rosneft cuts upstream operating costs, Q3 results hit by pandemic, OPEC+ cuts

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Rosneft cut its third-quarter upstream operating costs by 3.4% on the quarter to USD2.8/b of oil equivalent, as liquids output continued to slide due to constraints under the OPEC+ agreement and implications from the coronavirus pandemic, the company reported Nov. 13 in its financial results, reported S&P Global.

Rosneft's Q3 liquids production was down 16.2% on the year and 2.1% on the quarter to 48.51 million mt, or 3.91 million b/d, as the company was allowed to produce more in April, when the new OPEC+ deal was not yet in force.

Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin lauded the company's ability "to work successfully in difficult conditions of crude oil output restrictions and relatively low hydrocarbon prices."

"Significant achievements of the third quarter include a reduction of upstream operating costs to US2.8/boe and a decrease in interest costs by 24% in USD terms year on year," he said in a release.

Rosneft's overall liquids output in January-September amounted to 4.19 million b/d, down 10.3% on the year, it said.

The company continued to restrain production without well suspension to retain the ability of prompt output increase, if needed.

As a result, Rosneft managed to quickly increase oil production by over 6% in August, when OPEC+ cuts were eased to 7.7 million b/d.

Rosneft's Q3 gas production constituted 14.96 Bcm, down 8.2% on the year and 1.3% on the quarter, also affected by decline in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The company's total Q3 hydrocarbon output amounted to 4.9 million boe/d, down 14.7% on the year and 3% on the quarter.

Rosneft's Q3 refining throughput increased by 6.1% on the quarter to 25.5 million mt in accordance with Russia's pledge to direct output increase to the domestic market.

However, refining volumes were still down 15.3% on the year due to lower demand for petroleum products and low refining margin due to the pandemic.

In addition, Rosneft started drafting a "carbon management" plan through 2035, which will help the company to transition to the low-carbon economy, manage climate risks and meet future energy demand.

"The plan implementation will be instrumental in strengthening Rosneft's leading position in the global energy market in the context of the energy transition process and the maximum monetization of the company's proven reserves," it said.

As MRC wrote previously, Russian state oil company Rosneft's decision to cease operations in Venezuela and sell its assets there to a Russian government-owned company was a "maneuver" made in reaction to collapsing oil prices, a US State Department official said earlier this year.

We remind that Angarsk Polymers Plant (part of Rosneft) has resumed its low density polyethylene (LDPE) production after a scheduled turnaround. The plant"s customers said Angarsk Polymers Plant brought on-stream its LDPE production on 31 July after the scheduled maintenance. The outage started on 22 June and lasted for more than one month. The plant"s annual production capacity is about 75,000 tonnes.

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.

Rosneft became Russia's largest publicly traded oil company in March 2013 after the USD55 billion takeover of TNK-BP, which was Russia’s third-largest oil producer at the time.