Venezuela February oil exports up on heavy crude, fuel oil sales

Venezuela February oil exports up on heavy crude, fuel oil sales

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Venezuela's exports of oil and refined products last month recovered to mid-2021 levels, boosted by sales of its flagship crude grade and fuel oil bound for Asia, according to tracking data and documents from state-run oil company PDVSA, reported Reuters.

Higher exports come as Russia's invasion of Ukraine and resulting shipping bans and financial sanctions could spur demand for Venezuela's crude and residual products, traders said. Oil importers this week have rejected Russian vessels, sending buyers searching for new crude and fuel supplies.

Venezuela's state-run PDVSA and its JVs shipped a total of 22 cargoes in February, carrying some 730,930 bpd, the highest since July 2021 and a 76%-increase over January, according to the data and company documents.

Most cargoes departed bound to China through trans-shipping hubs like Malaysia.

As MRC informed earlier, in November 2021, Venezuelan petrochemicals produced by joint ventures between state-run chemical firm Pequiven and foreign partners have arrived in the United States, despite Washington's efforts to limit trade with the OPEC oil and gas producer. At least two cargoes of methanol, a widely used industrial product whose prices have soared this year, have discharged at Houston area ports since October amid a rapid expansion of the South American country's global sales of petrochemicals and oil byproducts, according to tanker tracking and US customs data.

We remind that from January to October, 2021, PDVSA and Pequiven exported about 1.75 MM tons of petrochemicals and byproducts, putting the trade on track this year to double the 1.03 MM tons exported for the whole of 2020. Shipments of methanol this year ranged between 20,000 and 60,000 metric t per month, mostly bound for the Netherlands, Spain, Japan and China, according to the data and the three people.

Chevron invests in Carbon Clean CO2 capture technology

Chevron invests in Carbon Clean CO2 capture technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chevron announced it has made a new investment in Carbon Clean. Carbon Clean’s technology is designed to reduce the costs and physical footprint required for carbon capture compared with many existing approaches, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Carbon Clean’s technology and fully modular construction also aims to reduce site disruption and facilitate faster permitting.

“We look forward to partnering with Carbon Clean to help advance Chevron’s pursuit of lower carbon solutions,” said Chris Powers, Vice President of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) for Chevron New Energies (CNE). “Chevron has a long history of supporting innovation. We strive to apply our internal capabilities and longstanding partnership approach toward developing and commercializing breakthrough technologies, including those that enable lower carbon solutions in the marketplace.”

Chevron Technology Ventures made an initial investment in Carbon Clean in 2020. In 2021, Chevron launched CNE to accelerate lower carbon business opportunities in CCUS, hydrogen and offsets and emerging energies, as well as support Chevron’s ongoing growth in biofuels.

As part of the new investment, Chevron and Carbon Clean are seeking to develop a carbon capture pilot for Carbon Clean’s CycloneCC technology on a gas turbine in San Joaquin Valley, California. Chevron is targeting 25 MMtpy of CO? in equity storage by the end of this decade, with a focus on developing regional hubs that leverage its existing and emerging partnerships with customers, governments and industry.

As MRC reported earlier, Chevron is buying biodiesel maker Renewable Energy Group Inc for USD3.15 B, in its biggest bet so far on alternative fuels. The second-biggest US oil and gas producer said on Monday it would pay USD61.5 in cash for each share of Renewable Energy, a premium of over 40% to the company's Friday close. Renewable Energy shares rose more than 37% in premarket trading.

We remind that in September 2021, Chevron U.S.A. Inc., a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, and Bunge North America, Inc., a subsidiary of Bunge Limited (NYSE: BG), announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) of a proposed 50/50 joint venture to help meet the demand for renewable fuels and to develop lower carbon intensity feedstocks.

Headquartered in San Ramon, California, Chevron Corporation is the the second-largest integrated energy company in the United States and among the largest corporations in the world. Chevron is involved in upstream activities including exploration and production, downstream activities including refining, marketing and transportation, and advanced energy technology. Chevron is also invested in power generation and gasification processes.

ExxonMobil to exit Russia operations due to Ukraine invasion

ExxonMobil to exit Russia operations due to Ukraine invasion

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil said on Tuesday it will exit a major oil and gas project and cease investing in Russia, making it the latest western oil company to cut ties with the country following its invasion of Ukraine, reported Financial Times.

The Texas-based energy supermajor said it was “discontinuing operations” at the Sakhalin-1 project in Russia’s far east, one of the largest foreign-operated oil and gasfields in the country. Exxon follows BP, Shell and Norway’s Equinor, which have said they will dump stakes in projects and sell out of Russian state-backed energy groups after Moscow was hit with a barrage of western sanctions.

“ExxonMobil supports the people of Ukraine as they seek to defend their freedom and determine their own future as a nation. We deplore Russia’s military action,” the company said in a statement.

The move will add to pressure on a Russian oil and gas sector that has relied on outside investment and expertise. Exxon said it has more than 1,000 employees in the country where it has been operating for 25 years.

Exxon has operated Sakhalin-1, which produces around 220,000 barrels a day of oil, in partnership with state-backed Russian producer Rosneft and companies from India and Japan.

It had also been pursuing a potential USD9bn liquefied natural gas export facility in the east of Russia that would have been linked to the field, but said it was halting new investment in the country.

“In response to recent events, we are beginning the process to discontinue operations and developing steps to exit the Sakhalin-1 venture,” the company said.

Exxon did not say what the financial hit to the company would be. In recent regulatory filings it disclosed “long-lived assets” valued at around USD4bn in Russia at the end of 2021.

The US supermajor was forced to abandon a joint venture with Rosneft in 2018 after the US expanded sanctions initially imposed by former president Barack Obama in response to Moscow’s 2014 seizure of the Crimean peninsula.

As MRC informed earlier, Exxon Mobil Corporation, the world's petrochemical major, has reported Q4 FY 2021 earnings that were mixed. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) came in at USD2.05, above what analysts had forecast for the quarter and climbing to the highest levels in at least four years. However, Exxon's revenue gains, while substantial, came up short compared to predictions. Analysts had expected the company's revenue to roughly double to USD90.8 billion amid recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Exxon's revenue instead climbed by 82.6% year over year to USD85.0 billion. Additionally, the company posted its highest cash flow from operating activities since 2012, indicating a robust recovery process.

We remind that in February, 2022, ExxonMobil and SABIC successful started up Gulf Coast Growth Ventures world-scale manufacturing facility in San Patricio County, Texas. The new facility will produce materials used in packaging, agricultural film, construction materials, clothing, and automotive coolants. The operation includes a 1.8 MM metric tpy ethane steam cracker, two polyethylene (PE) units capable of producing up to 1.3 MM metric tpy, and a monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit with a capacity of 1.1 MM metric tpy.

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 2,487,450 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.

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.

Sika acquired Sable Marco

Sika acquired Sable Marco

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sika has acquired Canada’s Sable Marco Inc, which manufactures cementitious products and mortars, for an undisclosed amount, said the company.

Sable Marco is headquartered in Pont Rouge, near Quebec City, and generates annual sales of Swiss francs (Swfr) 20m (USD22m). The acquisition “should open up new opportunities for Sika in the eastern region of Canada and clearly improve Sika’s access to the retail distribution channel,” the company said.

Sable Marco’s product range includes cementitious products, mortars, polymeric sand, and other bagged materials. It operates one plant in the area of Quebec City “offering logistic and strategic benefits for Sika Canada,” Sika said.

As MRC informed earlier, Sika commissioned a manufacturing facility in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), which produces epoxy resins aimed at flooring solutions. Sika has decided to invest in the expansion of its manufacturing facilities at the Dubai site in order to increase flexibility in production, shorten delivery times, optimize cost structures, and reduce inventories.

Sika is a specialty chemicals company with a leading position in the development and production of systems and products for bonding, sealing, damping, reinforcing, and protecting in the building sector and motor vehicle industry. Sika has subsidiaries in 101 countries around the world and manufactures in over 200 factories. Its more than 20,000 employees generated annual sales of CHF 7.09 billion in 2018.

EIA inctorduces new forecasts of renewable diesel and other biofuels

EIA inctorduces new forecasts of renewable diesel and other biofuels

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In the EIA’s February Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), they introduced new forecasts of US production, consumption, and the net of imports less exports of biodiesel, renewable diesel, and other biofuels in the US, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

This new breakout provides a more detailed forecast for U.S. renewable diesel production. In previous STEO releases, the EIA forecast biomass-based diesel consumption, which combined all production and imports of biodiesel consumed in the US. with imported volumes of renewable diesel, not including domestically produced renewable diesel. Differentiating biodiesel from renewable diesel, provides a more precise accounting of biomass-based diesel.

Like biodiesel, renewable diesel is used to comply with the renewable volume obligations for biomass-based diesel in the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) administered by the US. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The two fuels also supply 95% or more of the RFS requirement for non-cellulosic advanced biofuels. The EPA’s proposed rule for 2022 calls for higher production in both of these categories. In addition, state-level programs, including California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard and Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program, have encouraged several petroleum refineries to convert to renewable diesel. As a result of these conversions and new construction of renewable diesel refineries, the EIA expects US production capacity of renewable diesel to nearly triple by the end of 2023 from the current production capacity of 77,000 bpd.

Based on renewable diesel plant construction and the EPA’s proposed rule for the 2022 RFS, the EIA forecasts that renewable diesel production will increase significantly in 2022 and 2023.

The EIA also assumes a significant ramp-up in the US production capacity of renewable diesel will add upward pressure to already high feedstock oil prices, which limits actual production growth in their forecast.

As MRC informed earlier, EIA forecasts that crude oil prices will fall in 2022 and 2023 from 2021 levels, according to its January 2022 Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). In the fourth quarter of 2021, the price of Brent crude oil, the international pricing benchmark, averaged USD79 per barrel (b). EIA forecasts that the price of Brent will average USD75/b in 2022 and USD68/b in 2023.

We remind that oil supply will soon overtake demand as some producers are set to pump at or above all-time highs, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said last Wednesday, while demand holds up despite the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.