Oriente crude exports suspended, Napo flowing amid force majeure

Oriente crude exports suspended, Napo flowing amid force majeure

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Exports of Ecuador's flagship Oriente crude remain suspended under a force majeure declaration as the spread of anti-government protests hurts oil output, state-run Petroecuador said, sai Reuters.

At least eight people have died and road blockades have led to food and medicine shortages. The crisis has halved oil output, the country's main source of revenue, to some 234,500 bpd while forcing reductions in fuel prices, though protest leaders have called the price cuts insufficient.

On Wednesday, the government of President Guillermo Lasso imposed a curfew and restricted transit in four provinces to restore public order, control violence, secure basic supplies and protect state property, while marking oilfields and facilities as secured zones. The energy minister said on Sunday that output could be completely halted in a matter of days over acts of vandalism.

Petroecuador has not yet rescheduled the suspended Oriente cargoes, it said in a release. The firm issued a wide force majeure declaration over oil exploration, production, transport and exports on June 18, and enforced the cargo suspension on June 28. "Once the force majeure is overcome, the company will timely notify companies about operations to coordinate the (cargo) rescheduling," it said.

Exports of Napo heavy crude have continued flowing, according to trading and company sources, as the privately held OCP pipeline, which transports that grade from oilfields, is working with "relative normality." But the state-owned SOTE pipeline remains halted since Monday due to low flows.

Customers including BP and Marathon Petroleum , which had resorted to Ecuadorian oil to try and replace cargoes of Russian crude lost due to sanctions, are now in talks with other Latin American and Middle Eastern producers, including Brazil's state-run Petrobras, to buy oil cargoes for refining, the trading sources said. U.S. refiners have increased purchases of Ecuadorian crude since Washington imposed a phased wind-down of Russian oil imports.

Peru's state-run Petroperu also had won a tender to receive Ecuadorian crude in coming weeks for its Talara refinery, which is set to restart this year after an expansion project. But cargoes were ultimately resold to BP, which is waiting for a rescheduling to get the oil delivered. BP, Petrobras and Petroperu did not reply to requests for comment. Marathon declined to comment. Lasso on Tuesday survived an attempt by opposition lawmakers to oust him after he insisted his government would not negotiate further with an indigenous leader to end more than two weeks of paralyzing protests.

As per MRC, BP is beefing up its hydrogen management team as the energy company prepares to accelerate investments in the low-carbon fuel which it believes will play a key role in the world's shift away from fossil fuels.
The revamp of the hydrogen team is the first clear sign of changes Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, a former head of RWE Renewables, has made since becoming BP's head of natural gas and renewables in March. It also comes as BP announces it has agreed to buy a 40.5% stake and become operator of an Australian renewable energy project that could become one of the world's biggest producers of green hydrogen.
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Symrise Cosmetic Ingredients enters strategic partnership with evoxx technologies

Symrise Cosmetic Ingredients enters strategic partnership with evoxx technologies

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Symrise Cosmetic Ingredients enters into a strategic partnership with German industrial biotech company evoxx technologies, said the company.

The partners intend to develop biotechnological processes for ingredients used in beauty applications. evoxx contributes its expertise in research and development as well as its global leadership in manufacturing of enzymes and probiotics. Symrise adds their knowledge and capabilities in creating innovative and sustainable cosmetic ingredients.

As a result, consumers will receive beauty products addressing their wishes for effective and responsible ingredients. Consumers today consider the ethical and environmental impact of beauty products. This has led to a general shift in consumer awareness towards choosing beauty products with full transparency. In-line with this consumer’s awareness, the demand for natural or renewable-based products is increasing. Symrise offers a wide range of cosmetic ingredients from renewable resources and based on green chemistry with a leading role in its industry.

“The partnership with evoxx technologies represents a significant step towards further developing our biotech platform. It helps accomplish our strategic goal to continuously expand our portfolio of sustainable cosmetic ingredients”, says Dr. Jorn Andreas, President Cosmetic Ingredients at Symrise. “By uniting our competencies, we will jointly advance natural, and green solutions. It will accelerate the ability to address the desires of customers and consumers for high performing and yet sustainable products”, adds Dr Michael Puls, Managing Director at evoxx.

Under this partnership, Symrise will work with evoxx to co-develop processes and ingredients for all customers that aim to integrate clean and sustainable alternatives into their cosmetic formulas. The collaboration aims at combining the proven expertise of evoxx and Symrise. evoxx is specialized in the development and production of industrial enzymes and biocatalytic processes. Symrise owns a longstanding track record of discovering and launching novel ingredients in Personal Care and beyond. Ultimately, both partners want to serve the market with powerful solutions featuring a better environmental performance than conventional ingredients with similar performance traits.

As per MRC, Symrise (Holzminden, Germany) announced changes to its executive board, effective 1 April 2021, following the departure of board members Heinrich Schaper and Achim Daub. Schaper, board member responsible for Symrise’s flavor segment, will retire and leave the company on 31 March. Jean-Yves Parisot will take over global leadership of the flavor segment in addition to his existing responsibility for the nutrition segment. This will involve combining the flavor and nutrition activities in one segment. Schaper has been a Symrise board member since 2016.
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ExxonMobil announces sale of interests in Montney and Duvernay Canadian assets

ExxonMobil announces sale of interests in Montney and Duvernay Canadian assets

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil said that its Canadian affiliates, Imperial and ExxonMobil Canada, have entered into an agreement with Whitecap Resources Inc. for the sale of XTO Energy Canada, which is jointly owned by Imperial and ExxonMobil Canada, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The sale, for a total cash consideration of about USD1.47 B, is expected to close before the end of the third quarter, subject to regulatory approvals. The sale completes the marketing effort announced in January, and is consistent with ExxonMobil’s strategy to focus upstream resources on key assets to deliver long-term value to shareholders.

The assets include 567,000 net acres in the Montney shale, 72,000 net acres in the Duvernay shale and additional acreage in other areas of Alberta. Net production from these assets is about 140 MM cubic feet of natural gas per day and about 9,000 barrels per day of crude, condensate and natural gas liquids.

RBC Capital Markets acted as exclusive financial advisor to Imperial and ExxonMobil Canada in connection with the transaction.

As per MRC, ExxonMobil, Grieg Edge, North Ammonia, and GreenH have signed a memorandum of understanding to study potential production and distribution of green hydrogen and ammonia for lower-emission marine fuels at ExxonMobil’s Slagen terminal in Norway.

As per MRC, ExxonMobil expects to add approximately 20,000 bpd of light, heavy and extra-heavy lubricant base stocks when upgrades at its Singapore integrated refining and petrochemical complex are complete in 2025.
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Sika to open new US concrete admixtures plant

Sika to open new US concrete admixtures plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sika is opening a new manufacturing plant for concrete admixtures in Stafford, Virginia, USA to help meet demand in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, said the company.

According to the company, the new plant is well positioned to support the addiitonal needs of the announced infrastructure programme of CHF200-250bn (USD209-216bn) in these two regions. The new facility in Stafford will be the second-biggest manufacturing plant for Sika concrete admixtures in the USA.

"This investment allows us to significantly expand our production capacity while creating the best possible conditions for continued growth in our North American market. Our concrete admixtures satisfy the construction sector's most demanding requirements and make it possible to produce higher-performance, resource-saving concrete. Sika admixtures enable the realisation of critical infrastructure projects, are used in state-of-the-art high-rise construction, and help increase sustainability in megacities," said Christoph Ganz, regional manager Americas.

Sika has been benefiting from the strong demand in the construction sector over recent years. The new facility in Stafford is the second-biggest manufacturing plant for Sika concrete admixtures in the USA. Together with the existing plant in Fairless Hills, Philadelphia, it enables the company to service customers in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions even more efficiently. Moreover, short transportation routes for raw materials and end products will enhance operational efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions at the same time.

As per MRC, Sika AG (Baar, Switzerland) has opened a new plant in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, thus doubling its production capacity for mortar and concrete admixtures in Bolivia. With this new facility in one of the country’s main industrial agglomerations, Sika is positioning itself for continued growth in the dynamic Bolivian construction market.

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China issues 52.56 million mt of new crude quotas to 35 refineries

China issues 52.56 million mt of new crude quotas to 35 refineries

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China's Ministry of Commerce has released 52.56 million mt (385.26 million barrels) of crude import quotas to 35 qualifying independent and non-major state-owned refineries in the second batch for 2022, said S&P.

However, the higher second batch this year brought up total crude import quotas for 2022 by only 4.9% to 159.96 million mt as of June 28, from 152.44 million mt last year. The independent refinery sources said they were less anxious about this second batch than the one last year, because most of them had sufficient quotas in hand amid low throughput during the previous months.

"Most refineries have processed less feedstock year on year as the tight COVID-19 movement controls dampened demand," said an analyst. Independent refineries in Shandong slashed their feedstock consumption by 30% year on year to 40.3 million mt (1.96 million b/d) in January-May, data from local energy information provider JLC showed.

S&P Global Commodity Insights data also showed that crude imports by the country's independent refineries dropped 21.6% on the year to 59 million mt in the first five months. Only those refineries with larger capacity than they have reported to the government could be short in quotas, sources added.

In China, refineries built and operated by state-owned companies -- CNOOC, PetroChina, Sinochem and Sinopec -- do not need quotas to import crude. All other refineries, including independents and those owned and operated by state-owned companies such as ChemChina and Norinco, require quotas.

Among the 36 quota holders for 2022, the greenfield 320,000 b/d Shenghong Petrochemical is absent from the the second batch list. The Jiangsu-based independent complex won 7.95 million mt in quota in the first batch, leaving adequate quotas as it has yet to start commercial operations.

The refinery started trial runs in early May, but is eyeing commercial operations in around August or September, sources said. At the same time, five independent refineries -- North Asphalt Fuel, Haiyou Petrochemical, Qingyuan Petrochemical, Qingyishan Petrochemical and Wonfull Petrochemical -- failed again to win any crude import quota, after failing to secure any in the first batch.

As per MRC, PetroChina has completed construction of two crude distillation units (CDUs) of its integrated refining and petrochemical complex at Jieyang in Guangdong province. The CDUs each can process 10m tonnes/year, or 200,000 bbl/day, of crude oil. Construction work of the complex, which houses a 400,000 bbl/day refinery, a 1.2m tonne/year cracker and a 2.6m tonne/year aromatics facility, has 98% completed.
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