Aramco Trading plans to absorb Motiva Trading ahead of possible IPO

Aramco Trading plans to absorb Motiva Trading ahead of possible IPO

Saudi Aramco is planning to merge two energy trading units, people familiar with the matter said, with Aramco Trading Co (ATC) due to absorb Motiva Trading ahead of a potential initial public offering of the business, said Reuters.

The move to combine the businesses is expected to give potential investors a better sense of the scale of Aramco's trading and would also allow the state oil producer to simplify financial reporting and cut duplication. The restructuring is likely to be announced before the end of the year, one of the two people familiar with the matter said. The merger would come four years after Shell Plc exited Motiva Enterprises, leaving Aramco in control of Motiva Trading and Motiva's refinery, the largest in the United States.

Saudi Aramco and other Middle East producers accelerated their trading efforts as a way to boost incomes after the 2014 collapse in oil prices. They have slowly gained market share from oil majors and Swiss commodity merchants, using access to their own feedstocks and strength in refining to compete aggressively.

Plans for the combination come amid reports Aramco plans an initial public offering of its trading business and as European countries move away from buying Russian crude over its invasion of Ukraine. The two people familiar with the situation, who are not authorized to speak to reporters, did not confirm plans for an IPO.

Motiva and Saudi Aramco spokespeople declined to comment, while ATC did not immediately respond to requests for a comment. Saudi Arabia's state oil monopoly, Saudi Aramco, is the world's top oil producer. It plans to increase output capacity to 13.4 MMbpd by 2027 from 12.4 MM currently and from May's actual 10.5 MMbpd.

Aramco's share of U.S. oil imports has declined in recent decades as it turned more to Asia and as U.S. shale output grew. However, refiner Motiva remains an important outlet for Saudi crude and its entry point into the world's biggest oil consuming market.

It was not immediately clear which of the two businesses' executives would be put in charge of the merged operation. Aramco's listing plans are part of a wider Saudi 2030 vision which encourages extracting maximum value from traditional fossil fuel industries to help diversify the economy.

ATC was set up in Dhahran in 2012 and has offices in London, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. It began by marketing refined products and petrochemicals and later expanded into crude trading that fed ventures such as Motiva and S-Oil in South Korea.

ATC is a top blender in the Arabian Gulf and India and the largest charterer of refined products in the Middle East, according to its LinkedIn profile. The bulk of ATC's traded crude belongs to third parties – Kuwaiti and UAE crudes with some Guyana and indirectly, Iraqi Basra.

Motiva Trading trades crude oil, feedstocks, refined products and bio-fuels, managing transactions covering 2.8 MMbpd, according to its website. Competition between Saudi Arabia and Russia in European and Asian markets has been heating up in recent years even as the two major producers cooperated under the OPEC+ production-limiting deal.

Since the start of the year, ATC and its parent company have signed at least two crude supply deals in northern Europe. ATC agreed to exclusively supply Klesch Group's Kalundborg refinery in Denmark and in Poland, Aramco bought refining assets and agreed to supply the country's top refiner.

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.

Neste SAF has been delivered to New York using existing petroleum pipelines

Neste SAF has been delivered to New York using existing petroleum pipelines

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) has been safely delivered to New York’s LaGuardia Airport through the Colonial and Buckeye pipeline systems – two essential pieces of American energy infrastructure, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The low-emission jet fuel will power a Delta Air Lines flight, marking a seminal moment in the ongoing development and distribution of SAF in the U.S. “SAF is the most effective tool we have to decarbonize our industry,” said Pamela Fletcher, Delta’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “These efforts show how existing infrastructure can be used to transport SAF to East Coast airports and drive down emissions – a critical step as we move toward a more sustainable future for air travel."

This partnership between Delta, Neste, Colonial Pipeline and Buckeye Partners demonstrates the long-term viability of SAF and the airline industry’s journey towards net zero. Importantly, it shows that SAF can go anywhere there is an existing pipeline currently carrying fossil jet fuel. The milestone delivery and flight is supported by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the first U.S. transportation agency to embrace the Paris Climate Agreement and a champion for accelerating the use of sustainable fuels.

“Increasing and accelerating the use of sustainable aviation fuel is a key strategic element if we are to decarbonize air travel, and the Port Authority is committed to supporting our airline partners in this transition,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “If we are to achieve a net-zero future, it is imperative that we collectively take action to enable a transition to sustainable aviation fuel."

Neste completed the final processing steps of its Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel at a Texas refinery that previously produced chemicals. The fuel was loaded into Colonial Pipeline and transported nearly 1,500 miles across 11 states to New Jersey before entering the Buckeye Pipeline and sent on to LaGuardia.

U.S. aviation (airlines, general and business aviation, as well as the U.S. military) currently accounts for 2.6% of total domestic greenhouse gas emissions and 9% of the emissions from the broader U.S. transportation sector. Increasing the accessibility of SAF will enable more airlines to make the switch, supporting the industry as it works to meet President Biden’s goal of producing three billion gallons of SAF and reducing aviation emissions by 20% by 2030.

As per MRC, Neste and ITOCHU are celebrating the first delivery of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel to Etihad Airways, one of the airlines of the United Arab Emirates, in Japan. The delivery of Neste MY SAF to Etihad marks the first time in Japan that SAF will be supplied to an overseas airline at an airport in Japan. The SAF will be delivered to Etihad’s aircraft at Narita International Airport. This milestone is a result of the recently expanded partnership between Neste and ITOCHU to grow the availability of sustainable aviation fuel in Japan. ITOCHU acts as the branded distributor of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel in Japan, making Neste’s SAF available first at the two largest Japanese international airports: Tokyo Haneda and Narita.

As per MRC, Neste and United Airlines announced that they have signed a new purchase agreement that provides United the right to buy up to 160,000 mtons (52.5 MM gallons) of Neste MY SAF over the next three years to fuel United flights at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, and potentially other airports, as well. With this agreement, United became the first U.S. airline to make an international purchase agreement for SAF.

As MRC reported earlier, Neste has a target to process annually over 1 MM tons of waste plastic from 2030 onwards. The company plans to use liquefied plastic waste as a raw material at its fossil oil refinery to upgrade it into high-quality drop-in feedstock for the production of new plastics.

Mexico president says new Pemex refinery will reach full capacity in 2023

Mexico president says new Pemex refinery will reach full capacity in 2023

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Wednesday that a new refinery owned by state-run Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) will reach full operating capacity by next year, despite industry experts saying it will take until at least 2024, said Reuters.

Lopez Obrador said in a regular news conference that the Olmeca refinery along the coast of Tabasco, set to open July 2, will go through a "trial period" of several months before beginning production next year. The president and Energy Minister Rocio Nahle said three years ago that the 340,000 barrel-a-day refinery would be up and running by 2023.

"It will already be producing at full capacity by next year," Lopez Obrador said Wednesday, dismissing critics and emphasizing that the country would be able to reach self-sufficiency and stop fuel imports in 2023 as well. "It is a huge, monumental thing ... everything must be harmonized to obtain the fuel. It will take time," Lopez Obrador said of the refinery, also known as Dos Bocas, which has gone over its initial budget of USD8 B and could reach up to USD14 B.

"The construction part, without a doubt, will end this year ... but it will not take two years (to be operational)," Lopez Obrador said. Lopez Obrador also said the country expected crude processing in six currently operating Pemex refineries to increase to 1.2 MMbpd, up from the current level of 840,000 barrels per day, without specifying a time frame.

Total capacity would reach around 1.8 MMbPD including the Olmeca refinery and the Deer Park refinery in Texas, which Pemex became sole owner of in January. That will allow Mexico to reach 800,000 barrels per day of gasoline and between 500,000 and 600,000 barrels per day of diesel in 2023, Lopez Obrador said.

As MRC informed previously, Mexico will reduce refining output at state oil company Pemex while it modernizes its oil refineries, according to President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's statement earlier this month.

We remind that n late January, 2022, Pemex signed a long-term crude supply contract with Royal Dutch Shell Plc as part of its acquisition of the Deer Park refinery in Texas. Pemex and Shell in May, 2021, announced the transaction, which is worth almost USD600 MM and will make the Mexican firm the sole owner of the refinery near Houston. The facility has capacity to process 340,000 bpd. Shell will supply about 200,000 bpd of foreign and US crude to the plant for at least 15 years.

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.

Dow publishes second annual integrated ESG Report

Dow publishes second annual integrated ESG Report

Dow Inc. released its second annual comprehensive Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report, further demonstrating its commitment to transparency in data disclosure and how the Company is working to deliver solutions to global challenges that create lasting value for all its stakeholders, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Dow's "INtersections" report reflects the interdependency between the environment and society, innovation and science, collaboration and action, and builds on 18 consecutive years of voluntary sustainability reporting and three years of inclusion and diversity reporting.

"The challenges facing our local and global communities are increasingly complex and interconnected, and demand a collaborative and integrated approach," said Jim Fitterling, chairman and CEO of Dow. "They also require game-changing ideas fueled by science. As a science and technology company, we eagerly take on the responsibility for finding answers to the most pressing challenges of our time. This is central to our purpose as a company. It is central to our growth strategy. And it is central to driving best-in-class performance and accountability."

As MRC informed before, earlier this month, Dow and Plastogaz SA announced a strategic investment which will help simplify the process of converting plastic waste to feedstock and provide another carbon-efficient option to keep plastic waste out of landfills and the environment. The collaboration marks another milestone in Dow’s ongoing mission to protect the climate and close the loop on plastic waste.

Dow combines global breadth, asset integration and scale, focused innovation and leading business positions to achieve profitable growth. The Company's ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company, with a purpose to deliver a sustainable future for the world through our materials science expertise and collaboration with our partners. Dow's portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer care. Dow operates 106 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 35,700 people.

BASF expands cathode active materials capacity in China

BASF expands cathode active materials capacity in China

BASF Shanshan Battery Materials Co., Ltd. (BSBM) is expanding its battery materials capacity in China to meet fast-growing demands of the electric vehicle industry, said BASF.

The expansion project at its sites in Changsha, Hunan province, and Shuizuishan, Ningxia province, will enable BSBM to achieve 100,000 tonnes of annual capacity for cathode active materials, the company said in a statement.

Commissioning of the new capacity will start from Q4 2022. "The new production lines are designed with high flexibility to produce an advanced product portfolio and meet customers’ diversified needs, from high-nickel and ultra-high-nickel nickel-cobalt-manganese oxide (NCM) for polycrystalline and single crystalline, as well as manganese-rich NCM products," the company said.

The manganese-rich products are already produced "on a multi-ton scale", BASF added. BSBM is 51% owned by BASF while lithium-ion battery materials supplier Shanshan holds the remaining 49% share of the company.

As per MRC, BASF completed a double-digit million euro investment to increase production capacity for Tinopal CBS optical brighteners at its Monthey site. Following phase one of the stepwise capacity increase in 2021, the recent completion of the investment program has now brought significantly increased capacity on stream to meet growing global customer demand.

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.