Arkema reinforces its commitment to the climate

Arkema reinforces its commitment to the climate

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema has set itself an ambitious target, based on an SBT (Science Based Target) approach, to reduce its scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and its scope 3 emissions by 46% by 2030 relative to 2019, said the company.

Thus, the Group is raising its level of commitment from well below 2°C to 1.5°C, and now also includes all scope 3 emissions. This decarbonization target is based on energy efficiency and the evolution of the energy mix of Arkema’s industrial activities for scopes 1 and 2. Regarding scope 3, it includes the reduction of the most emissive activities, innovation contributing to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and suppliers’ commitment upstream of the value chain.

It will be supported by an increase in investments contributing to decarbonization, which could reach EUR400 million by 2030 and which will be included in the Group's recurring capital expenditure envelope.

"As a responsible manufacturer, Arkema is strongly mobilized to address the major societal challenge of decarbonization. With this new ambitious climate plan, the Group is taking a new step forward in its action for the fight against global warming. In particular, our cutting-edge expertise and innovation benefit our partners and customers in their own quest for sustainable performance, and we act on a daily basis to limit our carbon footprint," highlights Luc Benoit-Cattin, Executive Vice President Industry and CSR.

We remind, a graduate of Chimie ParisTech and Ecole Nationale Superieure du Petrole et des Moteurs, Emmanuelle Bromet has been appointed Sustainable Development Vice President at Arkema effective 28 July 2022.

Also, Nippon Shokubai and Arkema are joining forces to launch feasibility studies and establish a joint venture for the construction of an industrial plant for the production of LiFSI (Lithium bis(fluorosulfonyl)imide) ultrapure electrolyte salts, a key component of battery cells for electric mobility.

North America chemical rail volume increased by 2.7%

North America chemical rail volume increased by 2.7%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- For the year to date, chemical railcar traffic in North America is up 2.7% from 2021 and up 7.6% from 2020, said AAR.

U.S. railroads originated 1,157,555 carloads in June 2022, down 1.5 percent, or 17,970 carloads, from June 2021. U.S. railroads also originated 1,323,119 containers and trailers in June 2022, down 4.6 percent, or 63,483 units, from the same month last year. Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in June 2022 were 2,480,674, down 3.2 percent, or 81,453 carloads and intermodal units from June 2021.

In June 2022, eight of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with June 2021. These included: crushed stone, sand & gravel, up 7,028 carloads or 7.3 percent; grain, up 4,794 carloads or 4.5 percent; and motor vehicles & parts, up 3,839 carloads or 6.2 percent. Commodities that saw declines in June 2022 from June 2021 included: coal, down 10,226 carloads or 3.1 percent; all other carloads, down 7,532 carloads or 23.1 percent; and primary metal products, down 5,388 carloads or 11.6 percent.

“As conjecture grows about the direction of the U.S. economy, June rail traffic doesn’t offer definitive answers on whether a recession is looming or not,” said AAR Senior Vice President John T. Gray. “Like many other economic indicators today, rail traffic is a mix of red, yellow, and green with some traffic lines, such as automotive, providing generally positive indicators while others, such as chemicals, being a bit more subdued than they were earlier in the year."

Excluding coal, carloads were down 7,744 carloads, or 0.9 percent, in June 2022 from June 2021. Excluding coal and grain, carloads were down 12,538 carloads, or 1.7 percent. Total U.S. carload traffic for the first six months of 2022 was 5,993,917 carloads, down 0.1 percent, or 8,823 carloads, from the same period last year; and 6,878,726 intermodal units, down 6.2 percent, or 453,282 containers and trailers, from last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first 26 weeks of 2022 was 12,872,643 carloads and intermodal units, a decrease of 3.5 percent compared to last year.

We remind, for this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 493,374 carloads and intermodal units, down 4.4 percent compared with the same week last year. Total carloads for the week ending June 25 were 229,857 carloads, down 3.1 percent compared with the same week in 2021, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 263,517 containers and trailers, down 5.5 percent compared to 2021.

EIA estimates show a decrease in global surplus crude oil production capacity in 2022

EIA estimates show a decrease in global surplus crude oil production capacity in 2022

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The EIA's new report, titled Global Surplus Crude Oil Production Capacity, provides estimates of global surplus crude oil production capacity in both OPEC countries and non-OPEC countries, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Preliminary estimates for these data show that, as of May 2022, surplus capacity in non-OPEC countries decreased by 80% compared with 2021. The data show that, in 2021, 1.4 MMbpd of surplus production capacity was available in non-OPEC countries, about 60% of which was in Russia. As of May 2022, we estimate that all surplus production capacity in Russia was eliminated due to the sanctions implemented after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. We determined that excess oil production capacity declined in other non-OPEC producing countries as well. We estimate that, as of May 2022, producers in non-OPEC countries had about 280,000 bpd of surplus production capacity.

We define surplus capacity as the maximum existing capacity that can be brought online within 30 days and sustained for at least 90 days. Our assessment of surplus crude oil production capacity does not include volumes of oil that are offline because of unplanned outages and disruptions, including sanctions, because these volumes cannot be brought to market voluntarily. For that reason, we exclude crude oil production that is offline in Iran, Libya, Venezuela, and now Russia, from surplus capacity estimates.

Since 2003, we have tracked OPEC surplus capacity in a separate publication: the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). Global Surplus Crude Oil Production Capacity includes information about surplus production capacity located in both OPEC and non-OPEC member countries, based on STEO data. Our estimates of global surplus crude oil production capacity now date back to 1970 and provide a longer history of this measure. We define OPEC in terms of its current membership.

In our June STEO, we estimate that OPEC surplus capacity declined to 3.0 million b/d by May 2022 from 5.4 million b/d in 2021. As a result of the declines of surplus production capacity located in both OPEC and non-OPEC countries, global surplus crude oil production capacity in May 2022 was less than half of its 2021 average.

We remind, more than 5 MM barrels of oil that were part of a historic U.S. emergency reserves release to lower domestic fuel prices were exported to Europe and Asia last month, according to data and sources, even as U.S. gasoline and diesel prices hit record highs.The export of crude and fuel is blunting the impact of the moves by U.S. President Joe Biden to lower record pump prices. Biden on Saturday renewed a call for gasoline suppliers to cut their prices, drawing criticism from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Shell gets USD1 bln refining boost, upgrades oil and gas assets

Shell gets USD1 bln refining boost, upgrades oil and gas assets

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell said surging demand for oil products that had almost tripled refining profits in the second quarter would boost earnings by up to USD1.2 bn, said Reuters.

In an update before second quarter results on July 28, Shell also said it would reverse up to USD4.5 B in writedowns on oil and gas assets after it raised its energy prices outlook following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Earnings from oil and refined products trading were expected to be strong in the quarter but lower than the first quarter of 2022, Shell said.

Shell's indicative refining margin rose in the second quarter to USD28.04 per barrel from USD10.23 in the first quarter and USD4.17 a year earlier, driven by a recovery in demand after the pandemic, limited global refining capacity and lower fuel exports from Russia to Western economies.

The increased refining margin is expected to boost the division's earnings by USD800 million to USD1.2 B in the second quarter compared with the first quarter. Shell shares were up 2.7% at 1040 GMT, lower than the 3.3% gains to the broader energy index.

Shell, which posted a record quarterly profit of more than USD9 B in the first quarter, said its cash flow in the second quarter was hit by an outflow of about USD6 B. It said current market volatility would hit cash flows. "We see the statement as neutral given a number of offsetting impacts to results, with the main uncertainty being around the magnitude of working capital outflows," RBC Capital Markets analyst Biraj Borkhataria said in a note.

Oil and gas prices remained elevated in the quarter, with benchmark Brent crude averaging about USD114 a barrel. Shell increased its assumed price for Brent to USD80 a barrel in 2023, up from USD60 in its 2021 annual report. For 2024 and 2025, the Brent price was rose to USD70 a barrel compared with USD60. The long-term price was USD65, compared with USD63.

The upgrade will result in post-tax impairment reversals of USD3.5 billion to USD4.5 billion. Shell wrote down more than USD22 billion in 2020 when the pandemic led to an oil price collapse. Shell said it completed its USD8.5 B share buyback program during the second quarter.

Shell's oil and gas production, expected to reach as much as 2.93 MM barrels of oil equivalent per day, would be its lowest in at least seven years because of maintenance issues. Shell, the world's largest trader of liquefied natural gas (LNG), said its quarterly LNG production was expected to be in a range of 7.4 MM to 8 MM tons.

The figure reflects the removal of LNG volumes from the Sakhalin-2 plant in eastern Russia which Shell plans to exit. Shell's larger rival Exxon Mobil signaled last week that skyrocketing margins from fuel and crude sales could generate a record quarterly profit.

As per MRC, Shell and Dow have started up an experimental unit to electrically heat steam cracker furnaces at the Energy Transition Campus Amsterdam, The Netherlands. This represents a key milestone in the companies’ joint technology program to electrify steam cracking furnaces, bringing the companies one step closer to decarbonizing one of the most carbon intensive aspects of petrochemical manufacturing.

Axens to begin licensing Plastic Energy TAC process for advanced plastic recycling

Axens to begin licensing Plastic Energy TAC process for advanced plastic recycling

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Following the signature of the strategic partnership between Plastic Energy and Axens in 2021, Axens is pleased to announce that Plastic Energy’s TAC process has now been fully integrated into Axens’ technology portfolio, thanks to a hardworking collaboration between the technology experts at both Plastic Energy and Axens, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Plastic Energy’s advanced recycling technology will now be licensed by Axens. Axens will provide its customers with associated services that includes basic engineering, supply of proprietary equipment, and technical assistance for start-up and operation of the plant, leveraging the expertise of Plastic Energy at each step.

Axens may also deliver the licensed technology as a complete modular unit. Plastic Energy’s TAC process for plastic waste is a unique, patented and industrially proven advanced recycling technology, processing end-of-life mixed plastic waste into TACOIL, which can be used to create virgin-quality plastics. Plastic Energy and Axens are the exclusive licensors of the TAC process.

Axens can license Plastic Energy’s recycling technology either independently or combined with its Rewind Mix purification process. “This is a major milestone in the cooperation between Plastic Energy and Axens, allowing Axens to now deploy Plastic Energy’s recycling technology worldwide, answering the strong demand of the market for robust and proven technological solutions to industrially develop advanced recycling of mixed plastics waste” said Stephane Fedou, Vice-President Plastic Circular Economy of Axens.

“We are delighted to be able to move to the next phase of our strategic partnership with Axens in the licensing of our unique and patented advanced recycling technology. This will provide endless opportunities worldwide to recycle more plastic waste and to provide more food-grade post-consumer recycled content to the marketplace for incorporation into products and packaging.” said Carlos Monreal, Founder and CEO of Plastic Energy.

As per MRC, Borealis and Axens have recently signed a license agreement for the Rewind Mix process in order to purify and upgrade 50 KTA of pyrolysis oils produced from plastics wastes at the petrochemical plant of Borealis in Stenungsund, Sweden. The unit is planned to be in commercial operation in 2025, subject to FID, and will produce a virgin-like recycled feedstock to be further processed in the existing steam cracker unit for the production of recycled polymers, which could be used for food-grade packaging and other high-value applications.