LyondellBasell expects to sell its Houston refinery in next quarter or two

LyondellBasell expects to sell its Houston refinery in next quarter or two

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell Industries expects to sell its Houston refinery in the “coming quarter or two,” said Chief Executive Bob Patel during a Friday conference call with Wall Street analysts, reported Reuters.

The chemical maker said on Sept. 8 it was considering strategic options for the refinery, located on the Houston Ship Channel. LyondellBasell tried to sell the refinery in 2016 but was stymied by unit fires and multiple unit shutdowns before it took the plant off the market in a dispute over price.

“Our aim is to move towards the transaction in the coming quarter or two,” Patel said. “We still continue to believe that the best value that this refinery can create is by being part of a system where it can be optimized from crude purchasing to logistics, to the coproduct processing.”

The Houston refinery ran at 99% of its 263,776 barrel-per-day (bpd) capacity in the third quarter of 2021, as the chemical maker continues to market the plant to potential buyers, the company said on Friday. The refinery ran at 260,000 bpd in the third quarter, 12,000 bpd more than it did in the second quarter of 2021, recording operating income of USD25 million in third quarter, up from a USD95 million loss in the second quarter, the company said.

As MRC informed earlier, three US subsidiaries of Dutch chemical giant LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (LBI) have agreed to make upgrades and perform compliance measures estimated to cost USD50 million to resolve allegations they violated the Clean Air Act and state air pollution control laws at six petrochemical manufacturing facilities located in Channelview, Corpus Christi, and LaPorte, Texas, and Clinton, Iowa, according to the Department of Justice and the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) statement.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,638,370 tonnes in the first eight months of 2021, up by 10% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 989,570 tonnes in the first eight months of 2021, up by 30% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas shipments of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

LyondellBasell is one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world. Driven by its employees around the globe, LyondellBasell produces materials and products that are key to advancing solutions to modern challenges, like enhancing food safety through lightweight and flexible packaging, protecting the purity of water supplies through stronger and more versatile pipes, improving the safety, comfort and fuel efficiency of many of the cars and trucks on the road, and ensuring the safe and effective functionality in electronics and appliances. LyondellBasell sells products into more than 100 countries and is the world"s largest producer of polymer compounds and the largest licensor of polyolefin technologies. In 2020, LyondellBasell was named to Fortune Magazine"s list of the "World"s Most Admired Companies" for the third consecutive year.

Pemex reported loss for the third quarter of 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mexican state energy producer Pemex reported a larger Q3 comprehensive loss because of unfavourable exchange rates, said the company.

Such rates resulted in a Q3 charge of Mexican peso (Ps)47.0bn ($2.3bn), versus a benefit of Ps36.2bn reported in Q3 2020, Pemex said. The company also paid more taxes, which deepened its losses. The following shows the company's Q3 financial performance. Figures are in millions of pesos.

Third-quarter gross income rose because sales grew faster than costs. Sales rose because of higher production volumes and higher sales prices, Pemex said. The following table shows the company's Q3 production statistics.

Pemex attributed the increase in oil production to new fields and to incremental increases at existing fields. Pemex expects these new fields will help increase oil production to 1.95m bbl/day in 2022, up from a forecast of 1.77m bbl/day in 2021.

Crude production is important to Mexico's petrochemical industry because much of the nation's domestic ethane is derived from the associated gas produced by the country's oil wells. All of Mexico's crackers use ethane as a feedstock.

Despite the rise in oil production, Q3 output of natural gas liquids (NGLs) fell because of a decline in natural-gas processing. That fell because of a decline in wet gas production, Pemex said.

Production of methane derivatives rose because of the restart of the ammonia VI plant, Pemex said. Production of aromatics rose because of better performance of the catalytic reformer at the Cangrejera petrochemical production, Pemex said.

Ethane derivatives fell because of problems in auxiliary services at the Morelos and Cangrejera petrochemical complexes, Pemex said. Maintenance work is being carried out to bring the affected units back into operation.

Crude oil processing reached an average of 695,000 bbl/day during the third quarter, up from 605,000 bbl/day from Q3 2020, Pemex said. Utilisation rates were 42.4%, up from 36.9%, Pemex said. Pemex attributed the increase to better performance at its Salina Cruz, Tula and Cadereyta refineries.

As MRC informed before, Pemex Petroquimica, a subsidiary of the Mexican state oil company Pemex, has resumed production of high-density polyethylene (LDPE) on line 2 in Cangrejera, Mexico after an unscheduled renovation. Earlier it was noted that Pemex postponed the restart of the second line with a capacity of 200,000 tonnes per year for the production of LDPE until August 10. It was originally planned that the launch of this production will begin at the end of July. The line was closed on 10 July.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia"s estimated PE consumption totalled 1,396,960 tonnes in January-July 2021, up by 7% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 841,990 tonnes in the first seven months of 2021, up by 29% year on year.

Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) is a Mexican state-owned oil and gas and petrochemical company. Since the nationalization of the Mexican oil industry in 1938, Pemex has remained a state-owned company and, by law, has exclusive rights to explore and produce oil in the country. Almost 60% of the company's revenues go to the state budget. Petrochemical products include, but are not limited to, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 29.10.2021

1. TotalEnergies posts sharp rise in earnings and higher output in Q3 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- France's TotalEnergies reported higher production and a sharp jump in earnings in the third quarter of 2021, predicting that surging oil and gas prices and rebounding demand will lift its performance into early 2022, reported S&P Global. Given the outlook for higher OPEC+ production quotas and seasonal gas demand in the fourth quarter, TotalEnergies said Oct. 28 it expects fourth-quarter 2021 hydrocarbon production to be in the range of 2.85 million-2.9 million b/d of oil equivalent, up from Q3 levels. After gas prices hit record levels in Europe and Asia during the quarter, TotalEnergies said, "barring an exceptionally mild winter, the low inventory level for gas and expected sustained demand are likely to keep gas prices in Europe and Asia at high levels until the second quarter 2022."


Crude oil futures rise in Asia amid ongoing deficit and Africa supply outages

Crude oil futures rise in Asia amid ongoing deficit and Africa supply outages

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures inched higher in mid-morning trade in Asia Oct. 29, as bearish pressures from US inventory builds and the resumption of Iranian nuclear talks ran up against the ongoing narrative of a severe oil market deficit, reported S&P Global.

Reports of supply disruptions in Africa also provided support to prices.

At 10:00 am Singapore time (0200 GMT), the ICE December Brent futures contract was up 21 cents/b (0.25%) from the previous close at USD84.53/b, while the NYMEX December light sweet crude contract rose 6 cents/b (0.07%) at USD82.87/b.

Crude prices have endured wild intra-day swings of close to 3% this week amid a slew of bullish and bearish reports, but were otherwise on track to end the week slightly lower by about 1%.

Analysts said that while sentiment was under pressure from large inventory builds in the US and the potential return of Iranian oil as Iran and Western powers return to the negotiating table, the ongoing narrative of a tight supply market has not gone away.

"The oil market deficit that is in place will not change anytime soon despite the recent bearish headlines of rising COVID cases across eastern Europe and Asia, potentially additional output from Iran, and expectations it won't be a particularly bad winter for the North," said OANDA senior market analyst Edward Moya.

Also putting a floor under prices were reports of outages in Libya and Nigeria. In Libya, production of the country's Es Sider crude has plunged 72% and will continue to decline for 10 days due to a pipeline leakage. Waha Oil is currently producing 77,000 b/d of Es Sider crude, down from 285,000 b/d production capacity, state-owned National Oil Corp. said in an Oct. 27 statement.

In Nigeria, Shell declared force majeure on Bonny Light crude loadings Oct. 25 due to the shutdown of the Nembe Creek Trunk line, a key pipeline for the grade, a spokesperson said Oct. 27. Bonny Light is one of Nigeria's main export grades, but the 150,000 b/d Nembe Creek Trunk Line - a pipeline feeding the grade's export terminal, operated by Aiteo Exploration and Production Limited - has come under repeated attack from militants. Loading volumes are typically around the 250,000 b/d mark, in the absence of disruption.

Meanwhile, OPEC and its allies appear set to reaffirm plans to increase crude production by 400,000 b/d in December after an advisory committee saw no major changes in the market's supply/demand outlook, despite calls from major consumers to further boost output to tame three-year high oil prices.

Nonetheless, analysts at ANZ Research noted that demand erosion from the threat of COVID-19 remained ever-present.

"There are still risks to demand. A surge in new cases of COVID-19 threatens to slow the recovery in oil demand," they said.

As MRC informed before, US commercial crude stocks fell 3.48 million barrels to 413.96 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 17, to more than 8% below the five-year average, Energy Information Administration data showed. Stocks were last lower Oct. 5, 2018.

We remind that in late August, 2021, US crude stocks dropped sharply while petroleum products supplied by refiners hit an all-time record despite the rise in coronavirus cases nationwide, the Energy Information Administration said. Crude inventories fell by 7.2 million barrels in the week to Aug. 27 to 425.4 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 3.1 million-barrel drop. Product supplied by refineries, a measure of demand, rose to 22.8 million barrels per day in the most recent week. That's a one-week record, and signals strength in consumption for diesel, gasoline and other fuels by consumers and exporters.

We also remind that US crude oil production is expected to fall by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2021 to 11.12 million bpd, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a monthly report, a smaller decline than its previous forecast for a drop of 210,000 bpd.

Trinseo raises November prices for PS, ABS and SAN produced in EMEA

Trinseo raises November prices for PS, ABS and SAN produced in EMEA

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders, and synthetic rubber, and its affiliate companies in Europe, have announced a price increase for all polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and acrylonitrile-styrene copolymer (SAN), manufactured in the EMEA, as per the company's press release.

Effective November 1, 2021, or as existing contract terms allow, a surcharge of EUR200/mt will apply to the contract and spot prices for all Trinseo STYRON PS, MAGNUM ABS resins and TYRIL SAN resins.

According to the company's statement, these surcharges are in response to unprecedented and escalating pressure from energy prices and apply to all current agreements and contracts for deliveries as of November 1, 2021 and are subject to further potential adjustments linked to fluctuating energy prices.

As MRC reported earlier, earlier this month, Trinseo announced a price increase for all PS, ABS and SAN in Europe. Effective October 1, 2021, or as existing contract terms allow, the contract and spot prices for the products listed below rose, as follows:

- STYRON general purpose polystyrene grades (GPPS) -- by EUR55 per metric ton;
- STYRON and STYRON A-Tech and STYRON X- Tech and STYRON C- Tech high impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) - by EUR55 per metric ton;
- MAGNUM ABS resins - by EUR60 per metric ton;
- TYRIL SAN resins - by EUR45 per metric ton.

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, in Russia, October prices of Nizhnekamskneftekhim's GPPS were in the range of Rb152,750-163,700/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, and HIPS prices were at Rb156,750-167,700/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT. Penoplex contracted its GPPS quantities at Rb169,000-171,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, in October, whereas last week's prices of Gazprom neftekhim Salavat's GPPS were heard at Rb152,500-156,500/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.

Trinseo is a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber. Trinseo's technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Formerly known as Styron, Trinseo completed its renaming process in 1Q 2015. Trinseo had approximately USD3.0 billion in net sales in 2020, with 17 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,600 employees.