TotalEnergies to stop funding new Russia projects

TotalEnergies to stop funding new Russia projects

MOSCOW (MRC) -- TotalEnergies condemned what it called Moscow's military aggression in Ukraine but stopped short on Tuesday of joining rivals Shell and BP in planning to exit positions in resource-rich Russia, reported Reuters.

The French oil major, which holds a 19.4% stake in Novatek, Russia's largest producer of liquefied natural gas, said it "will no longer provide capital for new projects in Russia".

"TotalEnergies supports the scope and strength of the sanctions put in place by Europe and will implement them regardless of the consequences (currently being assessed) on its activities in Russia," it said in a statement.

"We are somewhat surprised that TTE didn't follow Shell and BP and signal intentions to exit Russia," said RBC equity analyst Biraj Borkhataria.

TotalEnergies announced in January it was pulling out of Myanmar almost a year after a coup there. In 2018 it had to drop its involvement in Iran's South Pars gas field after it failed to receive sanctions waivers for the project.

Earlier, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire had said he would be holding discussions with the heads of TotalEnergies and energy company Engie about their business interests in Russia.

"I believe there is a question of principle in working with any political or financial person close to Russian power," Le Maire told France Info radio.

Russia constituted 24% of TotalEnergies proven reserves and 17% of its oil and gas production in 2020. The Yamal LNG project in northern Russia launched production in late 2017.

As MRC informed previously, Total Petrochemicals and Refining USA, the US petrochemical major and part of TotalEnergies, restarted all of its three polypropylene (PP) units in La Porte as of 17 June 2021. At the same time, the force majeure (FM) at this plant with an annual capacity of 1.15 million tons/year remains in place as the company attempts to stabilize operating rates and build inventories ahead of the hurricane season. Previously, Total Petrochemical declared FM on its PP output after an abrupt loss of electricity supply during a severe weather condition on 18 May, 2021.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 1,494.280 tonnes, up by 21% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whreas.shipments of PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

Total is a major energy player, which produces and markets fuels, natural gas and low-carbon electricity. Our 100,000 employees are committed to better energy that is safer, more affordable, cleaner and accessible to as many people as possible. Active in more than 130 countries, our ambition is to become the responsible energy major.

Shell to pull out of Russia due to war in Ukraine

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Global oil and gas giant Shell said Monday that it is pulling out of Russia as President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine continues to cost the country’s all-important energy industry foreign investment and expertise, reported TIME.

Shell announced its intention to exit its joint ventures with Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom and related entities, including a 27.5% stake in a key liquefied natural gas project as well as 50% stakes in two projects that are developing oil fields in Siberia.

Shell also said it intends to end its involvement in Nord Stream 2, a controversial pipeline built to carry Russian natural gas to western Europe. German Chancellor Olaf Sholz halted certification of the project after Russia invaded Ukraine.

“We are shocked by the loss of life in Ukraine, which we deplore, resulting from a senseless act of military aggression which threatens European security,” Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said in a statement.

Shell’s most important investment in Russia is its stake in the Sakhalin-II project in the waters near Sakhalin Island off Russia’s east coast. Japan-based Mitsui owns 12.5% of the project, and Mitsubishi holds 10%.

Shell also holds 50% stakes in two joint ventures with Gazprom that are developing oil fields on the Gydan Peninsula in northwestern Siberia and for the Salym Development project in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District of western Siberia.

In addition to investment, Shell provided expertise that helped develop Sakhalin-II, Russia’s first offshore gas project. It began year-round production in 2008 and includes three offshore platforms designed to withstand earthquakes and crashing ice sheets in the frozen seas.

The project supplies about 6% of the liquefied natural gas used in the Asia-Pacific region and is “one of the world’s largest integrated, export-oriented oil and gas projects,” Shell said.

As MRC informed earlier, on Sunday, Shell’s U.K. rival BP announced plans to shed its almost 20% stake in Rosneft, which is controlled by the Russian state. Norway’s Equinor said Monday that it would halt new investment in Russia and begin selling its holdings in the country.

We remind that Shell Chemicals expects its new petrochemical complex in southwest Pennsylvania to come online by the end of 2022, Royal Dutch Shell CFO Jessica Uhl said February 3, during the company's Q4 2021 earnings call.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.

Encina to produce circular chemicals from plastic waste in North America using Technip pyrolysis reactor

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Technip Energies announces that it has signed an agreement with Encina Development Group, LLC (Encina) to deliver the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) of the fluidized bed catalytic pyrolysis reaction section for Encina’s commercial Plastic Fluid Catalytic Cracking (PFCC) unit to produce circular chemicals from plastic waste in North America, according to SpecialChem.

Encina utilizes a proprietary process to convert post-consumer scrap plastic to valuable circular chemical products. The process, called Plastic Fluid Catalytic Cracking (PFCC), converts mixed hard-to-recycle plastics into petrochemical feedstock such as light olefins and BTX aromatics.

These circular feedstock chemicals can be seamlessly dropped into the fabrication process of new consumer products, reducing the need for virgin materials, and significantly reducing waste plastics.

This FEED will leverage Technip Energies’ industry credentials and know-how in fluidized design, established in the Process Technology FCC program. Technip Energies has an extensive portfolio of licensed and engineered FCC units, including more than 60 grassroots and 250 revamps, demonstrating its process and mechanical design experience.

The company’s development team is committed to ongoing development initiatives in providing technology and engineering solutions to support the industry and its energy transition targets.

As MRC wrote before, Encina (The Woodlands, Texas) was founded to produce benzene, toluene, and xylenes (BTX) from coal, but the company made a sharp change in direction in October, 2019, after discovering that an alternative feedstock - plastic waste - dramatically improved the economics of its process. Advanced plans to build a coal-based facility in Wyoming have since been scrapped, and Encina will soon announce the location for a USD255-million, 100,000-metric tons/year plastics-to-BTX facility. “Our business plan is to have at least five operating facilities with expansion capabilities (located) globally to tackle the plastic problem,” says David Schwedel, founder and executive director in July, 2020. “We’re looking to do an IPO in about two years, and we’re positioning ourselves to be the go-to waste-plastics-to-chemical/fuels company in the world. That is our focus.”

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,265,290 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2021, up by 14% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,363,850 tonnes in January-November, 2021, up by 25% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

Westlake reports record Q4 and full year 2021 results

Westlake reports record Q4 and full year 2021 results

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Westlake Corporation’s 4Q net income rose more than fivefold year on year on the back of stronger sales prices and higher margins across most of its businesses, said the company.

Profitability during the quarter was driven by an over sevenfold increase in net income for Westlake’s performance and essential materials business year on year, rising to USD821m due to higher pricing and the impact of hurricane outages in Louisiana during the same period in 2020.

Housing and infrastructure products division 4Q net income rose USD21m year on year to USD86m on the back of healthy housing and remodelling demand.

Westlake Chemical Partners – a limited partnership formed by Westlake Chemical to operate and acquire ethylene production facilities and related assets – recorded net income of USD29.5m during the quarter compared to $15m during the same period a year earlier.

"Market conditions continue to look favourable in 2022," said Westlake CEO Albert Chao. "As the market leader in Performance and Essential Materials including PVC, polyethylene, epoxy, chlorine and caustic soda, we are well positioned to continue to provide value to our customers and investors. The outlook also remains favourable in our Housing and Infrastructure Products with strong market indicators in 2022," he added.

We remind, Westlake Chemical Corp will officially change its name to Westlake Corp, effective 18 February. The new name would reflect the company’s more diversified business portfolio stemming from recent acquisitions and organic and strategic growth, it said. Westlake recently concluded four key acquisitions valued at about USD3.8bn.

Also, Westlake Corporation announced its target to reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 CO2 equivalent emissions per ton of production by 20% by 2030 from a 2016 baseline.To further reduce its carbon footprint, Westlake’s strategy is to optimally allocate capital to both proven and emerging technologies, including additional product and operational innovations. This strategy includes energy-efficiency projects, increasing power from less carbon-intensive electricity providers, adding more hydrogen as a fuel gas, and other continuous operational improvements.

Westlake is a global manufacturer and supplier of materials and innovative products that enhance life every day. Headquartered in Houston, with operations in Asia, Europe and North America, we provide the building blocks for vital solutions — from housing and construction, to packaging and healthcare, to automotive and consumer.


BASF net profit falls by 15% in Q4

BASF net profit falls by 15% in Q4

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF’s fourth-quarter net profit fell by 15% year on year to EUR898m, as higher raw material prices and increased energy and logistics costs weighed across all business segments, said the company.

At its European sites, higher natural gas prices translated to about EUR800m in additional cost in the fourth quarter, which was more than half the full-year total of EUR1.5bn. For the whole of 2021, however, BASF swung into a net profit on the back of higher prices and sales volumes.

Sales prices were raised by 25%, while volumes increased by 11% compared with 2020 levels. “All segments achieved price and volume growth in 2021,” Brudermuller said.

Over the next five years to 2026, BASF’s capital expenditures (capex) will be EUR25.6bn, up by EUR2.7bn compared with 2021-2025 levels. “The main reasons for this are our two major growth projects: the new Verbund site in Zhanjiang in China and our battery materials activities," company chief financial officer Hans-Ulrich Engel said.

“These two projects are key to drive BASF’s future growth,” he added. For 2022, BASF forecasts sales to reach between EUR74bn and EUR77bn, with operating profit projected at between EUR6.6bn and EUR7.2bn.

As MRC wrote before, Air Liquide, BASF and Shell are joining Calpine, Chevron, Dow, ExxonMobil, INEOS, Linde, LyondellBasell, Marathon Petroleum, NRG Energy, Phillips 66 and Valero to collectively evaluate and advance emissions reduction efforts in and around the Houston industrial area. Three additional companies have announced their support for exploring the implementation of large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology in and around the Houston industrial area. The 14 companies are evaluating how to use safe, proven CCS technology at Houston-area facilities that provide energy and products for modern life, including advanced manufacturing for plastics, packaging, motor fuels and power generation.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,487,450 tonnes in 2021, up by 13% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 1,494.280 tonnes, up by 21% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whreas.shipments of PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.