Hungary demands energy investment before backing EU ban on Russian oil

Hungary demands energy investment before backing EU ban on Russian oil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hungary on Monday stuck to its demands for energy investment before it agrees to a Russian oil embargo, clashing with EU states pushing for swift approval of more European Union sanctions against Russia for invading Ukraine, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The EU commission early this month proposed the new package of sanctions against the Kremlin but the measures have not yet been adopted, with Hungary being among the most vocal critics of the plan. "Solutions first, sanctions afterwards," Hungary's Justice Minister Judit Varga told journalists ahead of ministerial talks in Brussels on Monday.

That clashed with calls from several governments for a deal before a summit of the EU's leaders on May 30. Hungary, which is heavily dependent on Russian oil, has said it would need about 750 MM euros (USD800.8 MM) in short-term investments to upgrade refineries and to expand a pipeline bringing oil from Croatia.

It has also indicated that in the longer run the conversion of its economy away from Russian oil could cost as much as 18 B euros. The Commission last week offered up to 2 B euros in support to land-locked central and eastern European countries that lack access to non-Russian supply - effectively Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

These states have also been offered a longer transition period to wean themselves off Russian oil. To address longer-term concerns, the Commission has published a 210 B euro plan meant to end Europe's reliance on Russian fossil fuels by 2027, but has not indicated how the new investments would be shared among EU states.

One of the key stumbling blocks remains the amount the EU is ready to pay to Hungary to adapt two refineries that at the moment can only process Russian crude, an official told Reuters on Monday, confirming one of the key issues causing the deadlock.

At a meeting of EU diplomats last week, several envoys, including those from France, Lithuania, Belgium and Ireland, urged a compromise before the EU summit next week to avoid a political escalation of the controversy, diplomats said.

We remind, Poland is appealing to the EU to impose additional import tariffs on Russian oil and gas. The European Union wants to mobilise around EUR 300 billion by 2030, including around EUR 72 billion in subsidies and EUR 225 billion in loans, to end its reliance on Russian oil and gas, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

As per MRC, the price of Brent crude oil, the world benchmark, has increased in 2022, partly as a result of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. In addition, a strong U.S. dollar means that countries that use currencies other than the U.S. dollar pay more as crude oil prices increase.

INEOS Styrolution presented new PS grade containing mechanically recycled post-consumer waste

INEOS Styrolution presented new PS grade containing mechanically recycled post-consumer waste

MOSCOW (MRC) -- INEOS Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics, has announced the introduction of its new Styrolution® PS ECO 260 MR85 grade containing mechanically recycled post-consumer waste, said he company.

This grade is available across markets in Asia at commercial scale with immediate effect. The new Styrolution PS ECO 260 MR85 contains 85 percent recycled post-consumer content from waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). It offers identical mechanical properties as virgin HIPS equivalent, including very good mechanical performance, consistency and high fluidity, making it an excellent drop-in solution for application developers in the household and electronics industries.

Produced at INEOS Styrolution’s Foshan site in China, this new grade is currently available in standard black and grey, and in commercial quantities to customers across Asia. HyoungJoon Kim, Polystyrene Business Director APAC, comments: “We are very pleased to be able to offer our high-quality recycled PS grade to our customers in Asia, helping them reduce their carbon footprint and achieving their sustainability goals."

Johnson Lin, Research Development Centre & Technical Service Director APAC, adds: “We are very excited to introduce our first recycled PS grade produced here in Asia. This new grade can be used without any change in our customers’ processes or equipment, making it a convenient drop-in solution for our customers."

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.

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.

Air Liquide CO2 reduction decision validated by the Science Targets Initiative

Air Liquide CO2 reduction decision validated by the Science Targets Initiative

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Air Liquide’s target to reduce its Scope 1 & 2 CO2 emissions by 2035 has been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as qualified and aligned with climate science, said the company.

The Group is the first in its industry to obtain validation from the Science Based Targets Initiative. This approval represents an important milestone towards the Group’s ambition to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

The Science Based Targets initiative is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The SBTi defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses companies’ targets.

Air Liquide's 2035 Climate Objectives address Scope 1 & 2 emissions. The Group aims at global carbon neutrality by 2050, and has therefore initiated an extensive review of its Scope 3 emissions. This is further illustrated by its participation in the SBTi-led project to develop a Sector Decarbonization Approach (SDA) for the chemical sector. This project sets out to develop standardized methods and best practices for emissions accounting, with a focus on critical Scope 3 categories for the chemical industry.

As per MRC, Air Liquide and Lhoist have signed a MoU with the aim to decarbonize Lhoist’s lime production plant located in Rety, in the Hauts-de-France region, using Air Liquide’s innovative and proprietary Cryocap carbon capture technology. In this context, Air Liquide and Lhoist have jointly applied for the European Innovation Fund large scale support scheme. This partnership is a new step in the creation of a low-carbon industrial ecosystem in the broader Dunkirk area.

We remind, Pertamina and Air Liquide Indonesia, signed a joint study agreement on capturing carbon emissions from its Balikpapan hydrogen production facility and storing the carbon in the Kutai basin area off East Kalimantan province. Some of the emissions would be converted into products like methanol, which can be used to produce low-carbon fuels, Pertamina said in the statement. Indonesia, which relies heavily on fossil fuels for its energy, aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2060 and aims to nearly double the proportion of renewables in its energy mix to 23% by 2025.

Shell has left the joint venture with Gazprom Neft in Gidan

Shell has left the joint venture with Gazprom Neft in Gidan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell withdrew from the authorized capital of the Gydan Energy joint venture with Gazprom Neft on the Gydan Peninsula, according to the data of the Unified State Register of Legal Entities.

How specified in the document, on May 19, Gazprom Neft became the only participant in Gydan Energy with a 100% share. Previously, the partners each owned 50% in the authorized capital of the enterprise. Shell and Gazprom Neft set up a joint venture in November 2021 in the Yenisei project on the Gydan, which includes two license blocks, Leskinsky and Pukhutsyakhsky.

Commercial production at the Yenisei project is scheduled to begin in 2028. The Leskinsky site belongs to the Taimyr district of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. The hydrocarbon resources of the site may exceed 100 million tons of oil equivalent. The Pukhutsyakhsky block adjacent to Leskinsky is located in the Tazovsky district of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, its resources are estimated at 35 million tons of oil equivalent. Proved reserves will be known based on the results of exploratory drilling.

Recall that at the end of February, Shell announced that it was withdrawing from the joint venture with Gazprom Neft Gydan Energy, from Salym Petroleum Development (50%) and from the Nord Stream-2 and Sakhalin-2 projects. As for the latter, a Chinese corporation could become the new owner of Shell’s 27.5% stake in this LNG project.

In particular, according to Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the situation, CNOOC, CNPC and Sinopec are currently holding joint negotiations with the Anglo-Dutch corporation. Negotiations include the possible sale of a stake in one of the Chinese companies, two or a consortium of all three. Consultations are at an early stage, and there remains the possibility that the deal will not be agreed upon. Shell is also open to talks with other potential buyers outside of China, one of the agency’s sources said.

As per MRC, Shell has agreed to sell over 400 retail fuel stations and a lubricants blending plant in Russia to Lukoil.
Known as Shell Neft, the business operates fuel stations in central and northwest Russia, while the Torzhok blending plant is around 200km northwest of Moscow. Shell has committed to gradually withdrawing from all Russian hydrocarbon activities. Deal terms were not disclosed.

In addition, Shell in its reporting for the first quarter of 2022 recognized the cost of leaving Russian assets at USD 3.9 billion after taxes. Earlier, she informed that the losses could amount to USD 4-5 billion.

Shell is a British-Dutch oil and gas concern engaged in the extraction, processing and marketing of hydrocarbons in more than 70 countries.

Aramco CEO warns of global oil crunch due to lack of investment

Aramco CEO warns of global oil crunch due to lack of investment

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The world is facing a major oil supply crunch as most companies are afraid to invest in the sector as they face green energy pressures, the head of Saudi Aramco told Reuters, adding it cannot expand production capacity any faster than promised, said Reuters.

Amin Nasser, head of the world's largest oil producer, said on Monday he was sticking to the target of expanding capacity to 13 MM barrels per day from the current 12 MM by 2027, despite calls to do it faster. "The world is running with less than 2% of spare capacity. Before COVID the aviation industry was consuming 2.5 MM bpd more than today. If the aviation industry picks up speed, you are going to have a major problem," Nasser told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"What happened in Russia-Ukraine masked what would have happened. We were going through an energy crisis because of a lack of investment. And it started to bite following the pandemic," he added. Nasser said COVID restrictions in China would not last long and global oil demand would therefore resume its growth.

Saudi Arabia is currently producing 10.5 MM bpd, or every tenth barrel in the world, and will likely raise output to 11 MM bpd later this year when a broader pact between OPEC and allies such as Russia expires. Riyadh has faced calls from the West to raise output more quickly and expand capacity faster to help combat the energy crisis.

"If we could do it (expand capacity) before 2027 we would have done it. This is what we tell policymakers. It takes time". Nasser also said dialogue between the oil industry and policymakers over the transition from fossil fuels to energy which does not result in carbon emissions has been problematic.

"I don't think there is a lot of constructive dialogue going on. In certain areas we are not brought to the table. We were not invited to COP in Glasgow," he said referring the last year's U.N. climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.He also said last year's message from the International Energy Agency that world oil demand was set to fall and no new investment in fossil fuel was needed had a profound impact. "We need a more constructive dialogue. They say we don't need you by 2030, so why would you go and build a project that takes 6-7 years. Your shareholder will not allow you to do it".

The energy transition process was therefore often proving chaotic and disruptive, he said. "There is no good plan... When you don't have plan B ready, don't demonise plan A," he said. "The pressure and the rhetoric is -- don't invest, you will have stranded assets. It makes difficult for CEOs to make investments." So-called stranded asset theory is the notion that significant oil and gas reserves are left unused because they are longer required.

Nasser said missteps during the global energy transition would only encourage greater use of coal by many Asian countries. "For policymakers in those countries the priority is to put food on the table for their people. If coal can do it half the price they will do it with coal". He said Aramco, where Saudi Arabia is the main shareholder, was different as it was investing in both fossil fuel and energy transition.

As per MRC, Saudi Aramco posted a record first-quarter net profit of riyal (SR) 148bn (USD39.5bn), up by about 82% year on year, thanks for strong crude oil prices and sales volumes, as well as improved downstream margins.
The energy giant’s total hydrocarbon production in the first three months of the year stood at 13m boe/day (barrels of oil equivalent per day), Saudi Aramco said in a statement on 15 May. Capital expenditure in January-March 2022 was USD7.6bn, it said.

As per MRC, Aramco is exploring further collaboration with Thailand’s national oil company PTT, as it expands its downstream presence in Asia. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding at a ceremony in Bangkok on May 11. The companies aim to strengthen cooperation across crude oil sourcing and the marketing of refining and petrochemical products and LNG. Other potential areas of activity include blue and green hydrogen and various clean energy initiatives.

Saudi Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, is a Saudi Arabian national oil and natural gas company based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco's value has been estimated at up to USD10 trillion in the Financial Times, making it the world"s most valuable company. Saudi Aramco has both the largest proven crude oil reserves, at more than 260 billion barrels, and largest daily oil production.