Cepsa to invest EUR5 bn in Andalusia

Cepsa to invest EUR5 bn in Andalusia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Spanish oil company Cepsa will invest up to EUR5 billion in Andalucia to produce green energy, said Petrolplaza.

It represents 60% of the total amount (EUR8 billion) that the company will invest to lead the generation of sustainable energy in Spain and Portugal and to be a benchmark in the energy transition. The investment will place Andalusia at the forefront of Europe in the latest technologies for the generation of green hydrogen and biofuels.

Cepsa will generate 17,000 jobs, including direct, indirect and induced jobs, during the construction and useful life of the projects. Of these, 13,000 will be direct or indirect jobs and 4,000 will be induced jobs. Cepsa will install plants for the production of green hydrogen in its industrial centres in Andalusia, which will allow it to lead the production of this energy in Spain and Portugal by 2030, with a capacity of 2 GW.

By 2030, 70% of the green hydrogen produced by the company will be used to decarbonize its customers: adjacent industries, road transport and maritime transport. At the same time, Cepsa aspires to lead second-generation biofuels production with a production of 2.5 million tons per year by 2030, thus helping to advance the circular economy.

The company will develop, both in Andalusia and in the rest of Spain, the largest electric mobility ecosystem, together with Endesa, developing the most extensive ultra-fast road charging network, which will reach a minimum ratio of one 150 kW charger every 200 kilometres on the main highways and interurban roads.

Cepsa service stations, with 280 outlets in Andalusia, will be transformed into digitized spaces offering a wide variety of ultra-convenience and catering services, including fresh food, cosmetics and beauty, e-commerce, parcel collection points and sustainable vehicle washing services, as well as multi-energy solutions for roadside refueling.

As per MRC, Cepsa reported a net income at current cost of supply of EUR58 MM (USD61.97 MM) in the first quarter, up by 9.4% year on year, pushed by high crude prices and stronger refining margins. Along with sharply higher crude prices, the value of refined products like gasoline and petrochemicals have been soaring globally, fueled by a strong post-pandemic recovery and most recently by the conflict in Ukraine.

Cepsa is a Spanish petrochemical company. Full name Compania Espanola de Petroleos S.A. The company is headquartered in Madrid. Refining is one of the main activities of CEPSA. The production of asphalt and other road surfaces is another of the company's core activities; nine CEPSA factories are engaged in the production of these products.

Shell completes acquisition of Landmark fuel and convenience network

Shell completes acquisition of Landmark fuel and convenience network

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell Retail and Convenience Operations LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shell Oil Products US (Shell), has completed the acquisition of certain company-owned fuel and convenience retail sites from the Landmark group of companies (Landmark), said the company.

The acquisition also includes supply agreements for the independently operated fuel and convenience sites.

Building on the strength of its existing networks, this acquisition brings Shell closer to its customers and enhances Shell’s market presence by growing its mobility footprint in a key region in the U.S., which is one of the largest fuels and convenience retail markets in the world.

With this acquisition, Shell is advancing its Powering Progress strategy in three ways: by growing its retail footprint in a core market, by providing opportunities to offer customers expanded fuelling options (including electric vehicle charging, hydrogen, biofuels and lower-carbon premium fuels) and by allowing for the growth of non-fuel sales through an enhanced convenience offering.

As per MRC, Shell Overseas Investments B.V. and B.V. Dordtsche Petroleum Maatschappij, subsidiaries of Shell plc, have completed the sale of Shell Neft LLC, Shell’s retail stations and lubricants business in Russia, to PJSC LUKOIL.
This follows the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals. The sale agreement was announced on May 12, 2022. All people currently working for Shell Neft, more than 350 in total, will remain employed by Shell Neft, which is now owned by LUKOIL.

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.

KNOC to focus on energy security, push cleaner fuels goal

KNOC to focus on energy security, push cleaner fuels goal

MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Korea's state-run Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC) is looking to secure more oil and gas, while stepping up energy transition efforts to become carbon neutral by 2030, said Reuters.

The Asian country is the world's fourth-largest oil importer after China, India and Japan, importing nearly all of the 2.58 MMbpd it used in 2020, according to KNOC data. With global energy markets in a flux after Russia's February invasion of Ukraine, energy security has become a pressing issue for KNOC and other national oil companies.

"As a national oil company, our primary goal is energy security. We are looking to expand exploration and development in both oil and gas strategically so in emergencies we can ship them easily," KNOC CEO Kim Dong-sub told Reuters. "However, we have to be very careful in selecting appropriate projects, because we need efficient investments."

KNOC has assets in 17 different countries. Kim said KNOC is "very happy" with the performance of an Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) drilling partnership, while further investment in Tolmount gas field in the British North Sea, which recently started after delays, will depend on its performance. The CEO said KNOC is less interested in deepwater area and more on onshore projects due to cost, and is looking for assets that have a high chance of success as well as less country risk.

KNOC declined to disclose its planned investment figure. It is in the process of selling its overseas assets to reduce its elevated debt levels. KNOC's consolidated debt was 19.96 trillion won (USD15.80 B) in 2021, exceeding assets worth 18.4 trillion won.

It is planning a project to capture 400,000 tpy of carbon emissions from refineries and other industrial plants at Ulsan to be stored at its depleted gas field off the east coast of Korea, Kim said, adding that the pilot project could be completed in 2026. KNOC has started initial talks with major energy companies for CCS technology at the World Gas Conference last week, he said.

We remind, U.S. crude oil and fuel stockpiles fell last week, as demand continued to outstrip supply, with commercial crude inventories drawing down even as more strategic reserves entered the market. Crude inventories fell by 5.1 MM barrels in the week to May 27 to 414.7 MM barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.3 MM-barrel drop. The fall comes even though the U.S. government released more than 5 million barrels of reserves in the most recent week and as net crude imports rose by 83,000 bpd, the EIA said.

Alpek concludes acquisition of OCTAL

Alpek concludes acquisition of OCTAL

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Alpek, S.A.B. de C.V. announced that it has received all necessary approvals from the regulatory authorities and has finalized its acquisition of OCTAL Holding SAOC, said the company.

Pursuant to the purchase agreement, Alpek acquired 100% of the shares of OCTAL for USD620 million on a debt-free basis. Financing was secured through a mix of free cash flow generated from existing businesses and dedicated bank loans.

Alpek will assume control of OCTAL's operations starting on June 1, 2022. The Company expects an accretive EBITDA effect of approximately USD120 million from these assets throughout the remainder of 2022, largely based on the better-than-expected Polyester market conditions prevalent in recent months. This would increase the Company's Comparable EBITDA Guidance to USD1,370 million and Reported EBITDA Guidance to USD1,485 million.

"We are pleased to have concluded this acquisition ahead of the expected timeline," stated Jose de Jesus Valdez, Alpek's CEO. "We are excited to welcome OCTAL's management team and employees into our family, leveraging their long-standing relationships with customers, their diverse backgrounds, and technical proficiency to drive the Company's long-term growth."

As per MRC, Alpek reported a decline in Q4 consolidated net income because of the shutdowns at two plants and higher taxes. The company shut down its caprolactam operations in Salamanca, Mexico and its stable fibres operations in Cooper River in South Carolina state, US. Alpek shut down the plants because of an extended period of low margins that were caused by high raw-material costs.

It was previously reported that Alpek and its joint venture partners may restart construction of their polyethylene terephthalate (PET) project in Texas in 2022. Production could start in two years, which means a launch in early 2024.

Alpek is the largest petrochemical company in Mexico and the second largest in Latin America. Its business is divided into two main segments: "polyesters" (terephthalic acid, polyethylene terephthalate and polyester fibers) and "plastics and chemicals" (polypropylene, expanded polystyrenes, caprolactam, polyurethanes and other specialty and industrial chemicals). Alpek is the world's leading manufacturer of purified terephthalic acid and PET; it owns the largest expanded polystyrene plant on the continent and one of the largest polypropylene plants in North America. Alpek currently has 19 factories in Mexico, USA and Argentina. Alpek is part of the Mexican conglomerate Grupo Alfa. Alpek also owns DAK Americas.

U.S. crude, fuel stockpiles fall in tight market

U.S. crude, fuel stockpiles fall in tight market

MOSCOW (MRC) -- U.S. crude oil and fuel stockpiles fell last week, as demand continued to outstrip supply, with commercial crude inventories drawing down even as more strategic reserves entered the market, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Crude inventories fell by 5.1 MM barrels in the week to May 27 to 414.7 MM barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.3 MM-barrel drop. The fall comes even though the U.S. government released more than 5 million barrels of reserves in the most recent week and as net crude imports rose by 83,000 bpd, the EIA said.

Refining runs fell by 236,000 bpd last week, the EIA said, dropping the overall utilization rate 0.6 percentage point to 92.6% nationwide, which is still seasonally strong, as the United States moves into peak summer driving season.

"Gasoline inventories showed a draw as implied demand kicked higher, despite record prices at the pump, while distillate inventories showed a minor draw too amid a tick higher in implied demand," said Matt Smith, lead oil analyst, Americas, at Kpler.

U.S. gasoline stocks were only marginally lower, declining by 711,000 barrels in the week, while distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, dipped by 530,000 barrels.

Distillate stocks remain at all-time lows on the U.S. East Coast, which has few refineries and depends on transit from other parts of the United States and foreign imports. Refining use on the East Coast is running at more than 98%, highest in nearly four years.

Oil prices moved up after the data, with U.S. crude gaining USD1.13, or 1%, to USD116.38 a barrel, and Brent up 96 cents to USD117.27 a barrel as of 11:32 a.m. EDT (1532 GMT).

As per MRC, refiners worldwide are struggling to meet global demand for diesel and gasoline, exacerbating high prices and aggravating shortages from big consumers like the United States and Brazil to smaller countries like war-ravaged Ukraine and Sri Lanka. World fuel demand has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, but the combination of pandemic closures, sanctions on Russia and export quotas in China are straining refiners' ability to meet demand. China and Russia are two of the three biggest refining countries, after the United States. All three are below peak processing levels, undermining the effort by world governments to lower prices by releasing crude oil from reserves.