Crude oil prices mixed, US crude futures down after COVID-19 flight cancellations

Crude oil prices mixed, US crude futures down after COVID-19 flight cancellations

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil prices were mixed on Monday, with Brent edging up while US crude futures slipped after airlines called off thousands of flights in the US over Christmas holidays amid surging COVID-19 infections, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing.

US West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 41 cents, or 0.6%, to USD73.38 a bbl by 0053 GMT. The contract did not trade on Friday because U.S. markets were closed for the Christmas holiday.

Brent crude rose 40 cents, or 0.5%, to USD76.54 a bbl after settling down 0.92% on Friday.

Both contracts jumped 3% to 4% last week after early data suggested that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 may cause a milder level of illness.

However, the highly transmissible variant is causing COVID-19 case numbers to surge across the world. In the past three days, thousands of passengers traveling during Christmas have been stranded after US airlines cancelled flights due to COVID-related staffing shortages.

In Europe, natural gas prices touched record highs last week on tight supplies, supporting Brent crude prices.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that the European Union can only blame its own policies for record gas prices, saying some of its members resell cheap Russian gas at much higher prices within the bloc.

Looking ahead, oil investors are focused on the next OPEC+ meeting on Jan. 4. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC and allies including Russia, known as OPEC+, will meet to decide whether to go ahead with a 400,000 bpd production increase in February.

Russia believes oil prices are unlikely to change significantly next year with demand recovering to pre-pandemic levels only by the end of 2022, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday.

As MRC informed before, Novatek and Uniper have just signed a term sheet on the long-term supply of large volumes of low-carbon ammonia. These supplies will be delivered to Uniper’s markets in Germany and North-West Europe. Novatek is developing a major low-carbon ammonia production facility on the Yamal Peninsula in northwestern Siberia, making use of the vast local gas reserves. Carbon dioxide formed during the natural gas-to-hydrogen production process will be captured and stored using a highly efficient underground storage infrastructure (CCS).

Solvay to supply Avio with advanced materials for space exploration

Solvay to supply Avio with advanced materials for space exploration

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay and Avio SpA have signed a long-term agreement for the supply of composite and adhesive materials to be used across a range of programs including the Vega space programs, the European Space Agency’s satellite launch vehicles designed to send payloads into low Earth orbit (LEO), as per the company's press release.

Solvay will supply Avio with ablative material, RTM resins and adhesives. Solvay has a strong legacy in the space market and has long been a leader in ablative materials for space applications, such as nozzles and exit cones. Solvay’s products have been used across many space launch programs over the years, thanks to their ability to withstand the extremely high temperatures produced by the rocket motor exhaust.

Carmelo Lo Faro, president of Solvay's Materials Segment, said: “The Long Term Agreement strengthens the relationship between our companies. It also secures the supply to AVIO of strategic products for VEGA family launchers in the upcoming years, when the demand of launchers to place satellites into LEO orbits is expected to increase,”adds Sergio Colabucci, AVIO Procurement Director.

As MRC informed before, in August 2021, Solvay announced the launch of a new grade of KetaSpire PEEK, KT-850 SCF 30, designed for precision brake system and e-mobility electronic pump components. Carbon fiber filled PEEK has traditionally been used for anti-lock brake system (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESC) components, such as tappets, poppets and plungers. The new KT-850 SCF 30 grade enables further metal (aluminum) replacement by improving the flow characteristics of the material and the surface finish of parts.

Solvay is a science company whose technologies bring benefits to many aspects of daily life. With more than 24,100 employees in 64 countries, Solvay bonds people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress. The Group seeks to create sustainable shared value for all, notably through its Solvay One Planet plan crafted around three pillars: protecting the climate, preserving resources and fostering better life. The Group’s innovative solutions contribute to safer, cleaner, and more sustainable products found in homes, food and consumer goods, planes, cars, batteries, smart devices, health care applications, water and air purification systems. Founded in 1863, Solvay today ranks among the world’s top three companies for the vast majority of its activities.

Avio has over 50 years of history designing, developing, producing and integrating space launchers for placing institutional, governmental and commercial payloads in earth orbit through its Vega rocket family.

Trinseo focuses on sustainability by expanding its portfolio with bio-based PS, ABS and SAN

Trinseo focuses on sustainability by expanding its portfolio with bio-based PS, ABS and SAN

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials solutions provider and manufacturer of plastics and latex binders, has announced that its flagship STYRON Polystyrene (PS) resins, MAGNUM acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resins and TYRIL acrylonitrile-styrene copolymer (SAN) resins now are available with renewable content, as per the company's press release.

These materials combine fossil-based polymers with renewable raw materials according to a mass balance process, resulting in a bio-attributed composition from 80 to 95%.

STYRON CO2RE BIO PS, MAGNUM CO2RE BIO ABS, and TYRIL CO2RE BIO SAN offer a drop-in solution to customers who seek to further their sustainability efforts. The materials are an equivalent replacement to their fossil-based counterparts and offer both identical performance properties and processability. The CO2RE designation indicates a measurable product carbon footprint (PCF) reduction when compared to Trinseo’s fossil-based products.

“As customers increasingly focus on sustainable products, Trinseo continues to invest in technologies that offer an alternative to traditional petrochemicals,” said Julien Renvoise, Sustainability Commercial Manager. “Using renewable raw materials as an ingredient is an important solution as we strive to preserve our fossil resources, reduce our carbon footprint, and achieve circularity.”

To produce the BIO materials, a bio-waste conversion process called feedstock cracking is used. Bio-feedstock is combined with fossil-based material resulting in material with a prescribed percentage of renewable content. ISCC Mass Balance processes and certification are involved at several points along the value chain - after raw material refining, bio feedstock processing, and bio material production.

Trinseo’s new BIO materials join its portfolio of sustainably-advantaged products. The company uses a variety of processes and methods to design materials for circularity including super clean mechanical recycling, dissolution, and chemical recycling via both depolymerization and feedstock cracking.

As MRC reported earlier, Trinseo and its affiliate companies in Europe have announced a price increase for all PS, ABS and SAN in Europe. Effective December 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 EUR50 per metric ton;
- STYRON and STYRON A-Tech and STYRON X- Tech and STYRON C- Tech high impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) - by EUR50 per metric ton;
- MAGNUM ABS resins - by EUR50 per metric ton;
- TYRIL SAN resins - by EUR50 per metric ton.

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, in Russia, for large- and middle-sized buyers, December prices of Nizhnekamskneftekhim's GPPS were in the range of roubles (Rb) 172,750-183,700/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, whereas HIPS prices were at Rb178,750-189,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT. Penoplex's limited December GPPS quantities were contracted at Rb195,000-197,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, in early December. The producer reported the absence of available quantities until the end of the month. Prices of Gazprom neftekhim Salavat's GPPS were at Rb172,500-181,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, this week.

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.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 28.12.2021

1. Crude ol prices rise over 2% on hopes Omicron to have limited impact on global demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil prices rose more than 2% on Monday to the highest level since late November on hopes that the Omicron coronavirus variant will have a limited impact on global demand in 2022, even as surging cases caused flight cancellations, reported Reuters. Global benchmark Brent crude rose USD2.46, or 3.2%, to settle at USD78.60 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose USD1.78, or 2.4%, to settle at USD75.57 a barrel. The US market was closed on Friday for a holiday. Both benchmarks rose on Monday to the highest since Nov. 26. On that day, oil plunged by more than 10% when reports of a new variant first appeared. The benchmarks gained last week after early data suggested that Omicron could cause a milder level of illness. “Though Omicron is spreading faster than any COVID-19 variant yet, a relatively relieving news is that most people infected with Omicron are showing mild symptoms, at least so far,” said Leona Liu, analyst at Singapore-based DailyFX.


Petrobras to sell its stakes in 11 onshore fields in Brazil to Carmo Energy

Petrobras to sell its stakes in 11 onshore fields in Brazil to Carmo Energy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brazilian state-run company Petrobras has signed a deal with Carmo Energy to sell its stakes in 11 producing fields located in Polo Carmopolis area for USD1.1bn, according to OGV.

Located in different municipalities in the state of Sergipe, the onshore production concessions are jointly called Carmopolis Cluster. The concessions include integrated facilities with an access to oil and natural gas processing, flow, storage and transportation infrastructure.

Under the terms of the agreement, Carmo Energy will pay USD275m as down payment and a further USD550m at the closing of the transaction. The company will have to pay the remaining USD275m to Petrobras, one year upon the closing the deal.

Petrobras stated: “This operation is aligned with the portfolio management strategy and the improved allocation of the company’s capital, aiming to maximize value and greater return to society.

“Petrobras is increasingly concentrating its resources on deep and ultra-deep water assets, where it has shown a great competitive edge over the years, producing better quality oil and with lower greenhouse gas emissions.”

As MRC reported before, Brazil’s state-controlled oil producer has taken a step closer to selling its stake in the Braskem petrochemicals business after the board approved a share offering. Rio de Janeiro-based Petrobras can sell up to 100% of its preferred Braskem shares in a follow-on offering, it said in a filing earlier this month.

We remind that Braskem is no longer pursuing a petrochemical project, which would have included an ethane cracker, in West Virginia. And the company is seeking to sell the land that would have housed the cracker. The project, announced in 2013, had been on Braskem's back burner for several years.

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 2,047,100 tonnes in the first ten months of 2021, up by 17% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,226,530 tonnes in January-October 2021, up by 26% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymers (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding stat-copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) decreased significantly.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Petrobras is an integrated energy firm. Petrobras' activities include exploration, exploitation and production of oil from reservoir wells, shale and other rocks as well as refining, processing, trade and transport of oil and oil products, natural gas and other fluid hydrocarbons, in addition to other energy-related activities.