ConocoPhillips plans USD1.1 B investment as Norway oil sector heats up

ConocoPhillips plans USD1.1 B investment as Norway oil sector heats up

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ConocoPhillips submitted on Monday a plan to develop an oil discovery in the Norwegian North Sea for 10.5 B Norwegian crowns (USD1.10 B), the first of an expected rush of new petroleum projects to be launched in Norway this year, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Known as Eldfisk North, the development is part of the wider Ekofisk area, where ConocoPhillips has pumped hydrocarbons for more than 50 years. The U.S. operator said the new reserves are expected to come on stream in 2024. The Eldfisk North reservoir contains mostly oil and some gas and is estimated to hold between 50 MM and 90 MM barrels of oil equivalent, ConocoPhillips said.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Norway introduced tax incentives for fields covered by development plans introduced by the end of 2022, part of the country's bid to extend the life of its oil and gas industry for decades. As a result, the country expects to receive "a large number" of development plans in 2022, Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland told Reuters on the sidelines of an energy conference. "This is an exciting year, and shows that the oil tax package is yielding results," he said.

Among plans likely to be presented this year is Equinor's Wisting discovery in the Arctic Barents Sea, which is set to become the world's northernmost oilfield. "I've spoken to them and they are optimistic with regards to the progression of the plans," Aasland said of Equinor. An Equinor spokesperson confirmed the company remains on track to submit a development plan in 2022. The company said late last year that Wisting could cost some 75 B Norwegian crowns to develop.

The Eldfisk North plan is meanwhile subject to customary approvals from Norwegian authorities. "We are going to process the development plan as fast as possible," Aasland said. Ekofisk is operated by ConocoPhillips, which holds a 35.1% stake, while TotalEnergies owns 39.9%, Vaar Energi 12.4%, Equinor 7.6% and Petoro 5%. Norway is western Europe's largest oil and gas producer, pumping around 4 MM barrels of oil equivalent per day, but some of its major fields face depletion in the coming decade.

As per MRC, ConocoPhillips has posted a quarterly profit that trounced market expectations as supply bottlenecks and a global economic recovery helped drive a rebound in crude prices. Oil prices have gained nearly 63% since the start of 2021, with global crude benchmark Brent rising above USD86 a bbl to its highest level in about three yr after the pandemic depressed fuel demand in 2020.
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Shenghong Petrochemical starts trial operation at its greenfield refinery in east China

Shenghong Petrochemical starts trial operation at its greenfield refinery in east China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China's private refiner Shenghong Petrochemical, a subsidiary of textile giant Shenghong Group, has started trial operation at its greenfield refining complex in east China, reported Reuters with reference to industry sources.

The refining complex, with a daily crude oil processing capacity of 320,000 barrels, was initially scheduled to begin operating in late 2021.

Shenghong, based in Lianyungang port of Jiangsu province, will be one of the two major greenfield refineries expected to start up this year.

PetroChina's Jieyang refinery and chemical complex, in the southern province of Guangdong, is expected to start trial production in the third quarter, said another industry official.

Traders and analysts expect Shenghong to enter commercial operation in the second half of this year.

The refiner has received 7.95 MMtons of crude oil import quotas from the Ministry of Commerce for 2022.

Apart from the refinery, the 66.7 B yuan (USD9.93 B) Shenghong Petrochemical complex also includes a 2.8-MMtpy aromatics unit and a 1.1 MMtpy ethylene plant, according to the company website.

As MRC informed before, initially Shenghong Petrochemical planned to start test runs at its 320,000-bpd crude unit in August or September, 2021.

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.
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SABIC donates supplies in Shanghai COVID-19 fight

SABIC donates supplies in Shanghai COVID-19 fight

MOSCOW (MRC) -- To help with the recent COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai, SABIC, a world leading diversified chemicals company, recently announced plans to donate protective equipment and basic necessities to meet the urgent need from patients and medical staff in makeshift hospitals, as well as volunteers and workforce at quarantine frontline in communities, said the company.

The donations will be delivered in batches, the total value of which will exceed 5 million yuan. Li Lei, SABIC Vice President and Regional Head, North Asia, said, “Since entering China in the 1980s, SABIC has been actively fulfilling its corporate social responsibility by leveraging our innovative materials and solutions to help as much as we can when emergencies arise. During the current COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai, we are actively making timely contributions and providing support on the ground for our customers, employees and communities, especially those most vulnerable to the pandemic. Our heart goes out to them and the entire city."

Following the briefing from Shanghai Charity Foundation, SABIC has recently conducted targeted procurement according to the latest COVID-19 situation to cover the materials supply of more than 28,000 people, reaching patients under quarantine, medical staff and community volunteers in makeshift hospitals as well as the elderly in nursing homes. In addition, 8,000 children’s masks have been provided to the Children’s Hospital of Shanghai, which will continue to receive supplies from SABIC, to bring light and companionship to the quarantined young patients.

In addition to donations, SABIC has also made full use of the company’s business capabilities to ensure the supply of raw materials through emergency deployment, providing prompt assistance to the construction of makeshift hospitals in China and supporting the production of pandemic prevention and livelihood materials. With excellent antibacterial and chemical resistance properties, SABIC’s various innovative technologies and solutions are widely used in protective and medical equipment manufacturing and cold-chain packaging of vaccines, etc., empowering COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control comprehensively.

As per MRC, SABIC has completed the acquisition of Clariant’s 50% stake in specialties company Scientific Design. The purchase makes SABIC a 100% shareholder of Scientific Design, which is a licensor of high-performance process technologies and catalysts producer.

As MRC informed previously, in January 2022, ExxonMobil and SABIC announced the successful startup of 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.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) ranks among the world's top petrochemical companies. The company is among the world's market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.
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Braskem releases EVA based sustainable 3D printing filaments

Braskem releases EVA based sustainable 3D printing filaments

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Braskem, the largest polyolefins producer in the Americas, as well as a market leader and pioneer producer of biopolymers on an industrial scale, announces the release of three new sustainable 3D printing filament product offerings for the additive manufacturing market, said the company.

These first of their kind products include 3D printing filaments produced from bio-based ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) filament derived from raw sugarcane as well from recycled polyethylene and polypropylene (PE/PP) blended filaments with, or without, carbon fiber.

These sustainable products will be displayed in conjunction with Braskem's upcoming presence at Rapid + TCT , North America's largest Additive Manufacturing conference, being held at Huntington Place, in Detroit, Michigan from May 17 to 19, 2022. The RAPID + TCT 2022 conference brings together over 100 industry leaders focused on delivering leading-edge solutions to the 3D printing and additive manufacturing industry.

Jason Vagnozzi, Braskem Global Commercial Director of Additive Manufacturing, commented, "Braskem has a longstanding history of innovating and producing more sustainable bio-based polymers, and today's launch announcement regarding green EVA and recycled polymer 3D printing filaments reaffirms our commitment to a more circular, carbon neutral future. We couldn't be more excited to present these newest additions to our 3D printing product portfolio at the RAPID + TCT 2022 conference as our clients seek more sustainability solutions for the future."

As per MRC, Lummus Technology announced a partnership with Braskem, the largest biopolymer producer in the world, to license green ethylene technology. Lummus and Braskem will license worldwide technology to produce green ethylene and accelerate the use of bioethanol for chemicals and plastics, supporting the industry's efforts towards a carbon neutral circular economy.

As MRC wrote earlier, in late 2020, Braskem announced its latest sustainability ambitions to significantly expand its efforts to eliminate plastic waste in the environment by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

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.

Braskem S.A. produces petrochemicals and generates electricity. The Company produces ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, xylenes, butadiene, butene, isoprene, dicyclopentediene, MTBE, caprolactam, ammonium sulfate, cyclohexene, polyethylene theraphtalat, polyethylene, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
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Tecnicas Reunidas wins engineering contract for INEOS Antwerp cracker

Tecnicas Reunidas wins engineering contract for INEOS Antwerp cracker

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Tecnicas Reunidas has won an engineering contract for work on INEOS’ planned Antwerp, Belgium, cracker project, said the company.

INEOS has awarded the firm a project management, engineering, procurement and project management contract for work on the development of the 1.5m tonne/year project that would be the first major new cracker in Europe for several decades.

Start-up of the facility, which is expected to cost EUR3bn-4bn, is expected in 2026. Tecnicas Reunidas expects staff demands to peak at 450 process and chemical engineers in Madrid, along with 225 players supervising construction in Antwerp.

The gas-powered cracker would be INEOS’ latest addition to its European ethylene-production footprint that can utilise lower-cost shale-derived feedstocks from the US, alongside its facilities in Grangemouth, UK, and Rafnes, Norway. The company has invested in a fleet of vessels designed to carry ethane across the ocean.

INEOS Had also mooted plans for a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit at the Antwerp site, but announced in January last year that work on that unit had been postponed to focus on the cracker project, with market appetite for ethylene cited as the driver for that decision. The value of the Tecnicas Reunidas contract was not disclosed.

As per MRC, INEOS is to develop a dedicated acetonitrile unit at its Cologne, Germany site to capitalise on anticipated pharmaceuticals sector demand for the material. The company is to develop a 15,000 tonne/year production facility at the site to enhance supplies for its European customer base, on the back of anticipated demand from the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and bioscience sectors. Acetonitrile is usually produced as a co-product of acrylonitrile (ACN) rather than as a standalone product, and is a key component in many drug and nutrition manufacturing processes.

We remind that in April 2021, INEOS Styrolution, Recycling Technologies and Trinseo announced that they had reached a significant milestone in their plans to build commercial polystyrene (PS) recycling plants in Europe. Recycling Technologies has been selected as the technology partner.

INEOS Styrolution is the leading global styrenics supplier, with a focus on styrene monomer, polystyrene, ABS Standard and styrenic specialties. With world-class production facilities and more than 90 years of experience, INEOS Styrolution helps its customers succeed by offering solutions, designed to give them a competitive edge in their markets. At the same time, these innovative and sustainable best-in-class solutions help make the circular economy for styrenics a reality. The company provides styrenic applications for many everyday products across a broad range of industries, including automotive, electronics, household, construction, healthcare, packaging and toys/sports/leisure. In 2020, sales were at 4 billion euros. INEOS Styrolution employs approximately 3,600 people and operates 20 production sites in ten countries.
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