Indonesia asks Pertamina to limit subsidized fuel sales

Indonesia asks Pertamina to limit subsidized fuel sales

Indonesia's government has asked state energy firm Pertamina to limit its sales of subsidized fuels so as not to increase pressure on energy subsidies, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Indonesia has jacked up its energy subsidies this year to 502 trillion rupiah (USD34 billion), aiming to keep prices of some fuels and power tariffs unchanged amid rising global energy prices and the rupiah's depreciation. This has helped keep inflation in Southeast Asia's largest economy relatively low, at 4.94% last month. The central bank has also said this provided it with room to delay rate hikes.

The subsidy budget assumes sales of subsidized diesel for the entire year will reach 15.1 kiloliters, and sales of subsidized gasoline at 23.1 kiloliters, but current sales volume has already reached around those levels, said Isa Rachmatarwata, budgeting director general at the finance ministry. "That's why I have asked Pertamina to control (sales volume) so that the state budget will not face additional pressure," Sri Mulyani said in a news conference.

Pertamina plans to limit subsidized fuel sales by making consumers register their vehicles digitally so the company can identify whether subsidies have reached intended recipients, its trading unit Pertamina Patra Niaga's Corporate Secretary Irto Ginting told Reuters. However, Pertamina is still waiting for government rules on fuel sales and distribution, Ginting added.

Economists have criticized the government's decision to upsize subsidies this year, saying this would take money away from projects with bigger economic impacts. Said Abdullah, head of parliament's budgetary committee, said the government and parliament are set to discuss the effectiveness of subsidies.

As per MRC, PT Pertamina said it will jointly study carbon capture technology at its refinery in Balikpapan with a local unit of French gas company Air Liquide. 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.

India produces ethanol from rice straw

India produces ethanol from rice straw

India opened its first factory to produce ethanol from rice straw or stubble on Wednesday as part of measures to reduce its reliance on oil imports and meet its net zero carbon goal, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the project will help cut pollution in India's capital New Delhi, which has been blanketed by smog from stubble burning in recent winters, as well as in the northern states of Haryana and Punjab.India, one of the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, has set a 2070 goal for net zero carbon emissions and has expedited steps to switch to cleaner energy to cut projected emission by a billion tons by 2030.

Modi said India, the world's third biggest oil importer, could not remain insulated from disruption in global markets, adding that the Panipat project would boost farmers' incomes. A combination of oil prices rising well above USD100 per barrel and a strong U.S. dollar have piled pressure on countries which are dependent on crude imports to drive their economies.

Indian state-run oil firms have announced plans for 12 plants in several states to produce ethanol using farm waste. Commercial production from the new 9 billion Indian rupee (USD114 million) Indian Oil Corp plant would begin in three months, India's oil minister Hardeep Singh Puri said. He said India is the third country after Brazil and the United States to produce ethanol from agricultural waste.

The plant will generate 100 kiloliters of ethanol a day, equivalent to about 100 tons. India has until now used ethanol produced from sugar for mixing with gasoline. Ethanol produced from the project will help cut annual carbon emissions by about 300,000 tons, equivalent to taking nearly 63,000 cars off India's roads a year, Sukla Mistry, head of refineries at Indian Oil, said.

India rely on foreign oil suppliers for about 85% of demand, but in the last eight years it has raised the percentage of ethanol in gasoline to 10.16% from 1.4%. The government aims to raise this mix to 20% by 2025/26. India's gasoline demand is rising rapidly as people opt to travel in their own vehicles to avoid a heatwave. "We have saved foreign exchange outgo of 415 billion rupees through blending of ethanol with gasoline and reduced about 2.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions," Puri said.

Apart from financial savings, the new plant will also help in disposing of rice crop-waste, which is a major source of air pollution when farmers burn stubble. The new plant will use 200,000 tons of rice straw.

As per MRC, India's fuel demand in July rose 6.1% year-on-year. Consumption of fuel, a proxy for oil demand, totaled 17.62 million tons in July, down 5.7% from 18.68 million tons in June. "India's fuel demand outlook is improving as the economy is poised for a strong bounce back in consumption and continued momentum for the services sector," said Edward Moya, senior analyst with OANDA.

Shell lets contract for Rotterdam biofuels plant

Shell lets contract for Rotterdam biofuels plant

ABL Group has been awarded a contract to provide marine warranty survey services (MWS) for the marine transportation of components for a hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) plant, which will be part of one of Europe’s biggest biofuels facilities, in Rotterdam, Netherlands, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The project, operated and led by Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam, envisages the construction of a biofuels plant with capacity to produce enough HVO – known as a renewable diesel – to avoid 2.8 million tons of CO2 emissions a year, the equivalent of taking more than 1 million European cars off the roads. Energy and marine consultancy ABL’s scope of work is to provide MWS for all marine transportation operations from Nantong, China to Rotterdam, Netherlands relating to critical project components for the HVO plant.

The biofuels plant is part of Shell’s larger Red II Green project, which also envisages the construction of one of the world’s largest and Europe’s largest commercial green hydrogen production facilities, which will in turn be used to decarbonize the refinery process at the HVO plant.

“We are delighted to provide MWS on one part of the cutting-edge Red II Green project, which falls entirely in line with our commitment and mission to support and drive energy transition initiatives across energy and oceans,” says Jonathan Cook, ABL’s project director.

ABL’s operations in London, UK, is the contract party. The London office will be supported by ABL’s offices in China and the Netherlands, to carry out on-site attendances locally as part of the marine warranty survey scope of work. ABL, which is part of Oslo-listed ABL Group ASA, has not disclosed the value of the contract. “Our commitment is to accelerate net-zero solutions across all marine markets: renewables, maritime and oil and gas. The Red II Green project seeks to significantly accelerate alternative fuel development in Europe. It is a privilege to support Shell in this shared commitment to engineer a more sustainable world,” adds Jonathan Cook.

As per MRC, Shell posted record results, with a USD11.5 billion second-quarter profit smashing the mark it set only three months ago, lifted by strong gas trading and a tripling of refining profit. Higher feedstock and utility costs and higher turnaround activities hit Shell’s chemicals earnings in the second quarter. Shell reported an loss attributable to shareholders for the business of USD158m.

Wood to engineer innovative Europe olefin complex

Wood to engineer innovative Europe olefin complex

Wood, the global consulting and engineering company, has secured a new contract with INEOS in excess of USD100 MM to deliver engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCm) services for Project One, a new state-of-the-art petrochemicals complex in Antwerp, Belgium, which will deliver an ethane cracker with the lowest carbon footprint in Europe, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Effective immediately, the 4-yr contract will be delivered by Wood’s Projects business unit. The scope is focused on the outside battery limit facilities for the ethane cracker and follows the successful completion of front-end engineering design for the facility. Wood’s integrated project management team will also continue to oversee the project, working closely with the INEOS project team.

Giuseppe Zuccaro, President of Process & Chemicals at Wood, said: “The chemicals sector, like all industries, is forging its own path to carbon neutrality. What Project One represents is the next era of ethylene production, a key component in most plastics. Through the combination of technology and an innovative technical design approach, it will be the most sustainable and energy-efficient steam cracker in Europe.

“We are proud to have the opportunity to build on our strong relationship with INEOS by continuing to deliver on this major capital project, deploying the extensive petrochemicals expertise of our global engineering and project delivery teams."

At its peak, Wood is expected to employ around 300 people on the project across its execution centers in Reading and Milan, its global engineering center in India, and at the site in Antwerp during construction.

As per MRC, Wood has secured a new multi-million-dollar front-end engineering design (FEED) contract by Pakistan Refinery Limited (PRL) for its planned Refinery Expansion and Upgrade Project (REUP) in Karachi. PRL’s refinery, situated on the coastal belt of Karachi, is designed to process various imported and local crude oil. It is one of the principal manufacturers and suppliers of petroleum products to domestic markets.

bp to sell interest in bp-Husky Toledo Refinery to Cenovus

bp to sell interest in bp-Husky Toledo Refinery to Cenovus

bp has reached an agreement to sell its 50% interest in the bp-Husky Toledo Refinery in Ohio to Calgary-based Cenovus, its joint venture partner in the facility, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Under the terms of the deal, Cenovus will pay USD300 million for bp’s stake in the refinery, plus the value of inventory, and take over operations when the transaction closes, which is expected to occur later in 2022. bp and Cenovus will also enter into a multi-year product supply agreement.

The bp-operated refinery, which can process up to 160,000 barrels of crude oil per day, has been an important part of the region’s economy for more than 100 years, supporting jobs and safely supplying gasoline, diesel and other essential fuels and products.

Dave Lawler, chairman and president, bp America, said: “We are proud of the business we have built in Toledo, which has provided thousands of good-paying jobs and made significant contributions to Ohio’s economy and America’s energy security for decades. As our partner in Ohio, Cenovus is ideally placed to take this important business into the future."

Today’s announcement follows another recent deal with Cenovus that, taken together, will help reshape bp’s North American oil and gas portfolio for long-term profitable growth.

In June, bp entered into an agreement to sell its interest in the Sunrise oil sands project in Alberta, Canada, to Cenovus and agreed to acquire Cenovus’s interest in the Bay du Nord project offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. Following the close of that deal, also expected in 2022, bp will no longer have interests in oil sands production and will shift its focus to future potential offshore growth in Canada.

In the US, after divesting its stake in the bp-Husky Toledo Refinery, bp’s refining portfolio will reduce from three to two facilities. Going forward, bp will focus investment on its Whiting refinery in Indiana and Cherry Point refinery in Washington, which are strategically positioned to serve customers in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest.

As per MRC, BP hiked its dividend and accelerated share buybacks to the fastest pace yet after an “exceptional” result in oil refining and trading lifted profits above even the highest expectations. The oil and gas industry is boosting returns to shareholders as the cash rolls in, even while the energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine threatens the global economy. BP said it expects prices to remain high and highlighted its investments in additional supplies.