Saudi Aramco unveils record USD48.4 bn profit in Q2

Saudi Aramco unveils record USD48.4 bn profit in Q2

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Aramco's second-quarter net profit surged to a record riyal (SR) 181.6bn (USD48bn), on the back of higher crude oil prices and sales volumes, said the company.

The quarterly earnings were the biggest since the energy giant’s initial public offering (IPO) in 2019. Aramco's overall hydrocarbon production totalled 13.6m barrels of oil equivalent per day in the second quarter, it said in a statement on 14 August.

The integration of petrochemicals major SABIC into Aramco is "progressing ahead of schedule and the company continues to capture synergies in multiple areas", the company said.

Aramco’s refining and petrochemical joint ventures with PETRONAS in Malaysia, namely, Pengerang Refining Company Sdn Bhd and Pengerang Petrochemical Sdn Bhd (collectively known as PRefChem), started operations in May and will reach full capacity of 300,000 barrels per day by the end of the year, it said.

"We expect oil demand to continue to grow for the rest of the decade, despite downward economic pressures on short-term global forecasts," Aramco president and CEO Amin Nasser said.

"But while there is a very real and present need to safeguard the security of energy supplies, climate goals remain critical, which is why Aramco is working to increase production from multiple energy sources -- including oil and gas, as well as renewables, and blue hydrogen," he added.

We remind, Saudi Arabian Oil Company (“Aramco”) inaugurated the Aramco Research Center at KAUST (ARC KAUST), which aims to accelerate the development of low-carbon solutions for the energy industry using advanced analytics. Strategically located within the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the newly established research hub deploys artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop innovative ways to advance low-carbon solutions and enable a Circular Carbon Economy.

PetroChina, Sinopec to delist from NYSE

PetroChina, Sinopec to delist from NYSE

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Five major Chinese companies including two of the country's largest oil producers will delist from the New York Stock Exchange, said Ndtv.

Sinopec and PetroChina -- two of the world's biggest energy firms -- will apply for "voluntary delisting" of their American depositary shares, the companies said in separate statements. The Aluminum Corporation of China, also known as Chalco, as well as China Life Insurance and a Shanghai-based Sinopec subsidiary, announced similar moves on Friday.

The delisting plans come as tensions between Beijing and Washington climb over US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit last week to Taiwan, which China claims as part of its territory. Beijing has raged against the visit, staging unprecedented military drills around the self-ruled island and suspending cooperation with the United States on issues ranging from climate change to fighting drug smugglers.

The five companies are on a list of firms published by the US Securities and Exchange Commission that faced delisting from Wall Street if they did not comply with new audit requirements. All five companies said in separate statements that they expected to stop trading on the NYSE by early September.

The new requirements came into effect late last year, at a time when Chinese authorities were expressing reservations about China-based companies listing in the United States. The five companies on Friday all pointed to the costs of maintaining the US listings as well as the burden of complying with reporting obligations as factors behind the decision.

China's securities regulator on Friday said the moves were made by the companies "out of their own business considerations". The delistings "will not affect the companies' continued use of domestic and foreign capital markets for financing and development", the regulator said in a statement.

As per MRC, PetroChina Urumqi Petrochemical is planning to revamp and upgrade its refining facilities by adding some new refining as well as petrochemical units. A 450,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP), a 300,000 tonne/year styrene monomer (SM), a 200,000 tonne/year polystyrene (PS), and a 1.2m tonne/year purified phthalate acid (PTA) unit will be installed as the petrochemical part. The refining part will mainly include a new 1.2m tonne/year solvent deasphalting (SDA), a 2.2m tonne/year fluid catalytic cracking (FCC), and a 1m tonne/year gas fractionation units.The company is seeking environment approval for proceeding the project.

Songwon doubles EBITDA and operating profit in Q2

Songwon doubles EBITDA and operating profit in Q2

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Songwon more than doubled its operating profit for the second quarter, benefiting from high demand, said the company.

The company’s earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) more than doubled to hit South Korean won (W) 62.9bn (USD48.2m), echoing the strength of the first quarter results. Songwon’s Industrial Chemicals segment increased revenue by almost 50%, as buyers benefited from favourable exchange rates in the region, and aimed to offset potential logistics issues from alternative suppliers.

Its key Polymer Stabilizers business recorded higher sales despite the negative impact from lockdowns in Asia and the war in Ukraine. Fuel and Lubricant Additives within this segment marked particular strength, as consumers bought ahead of typical patterns to ensure prompt deliveries of material.

Coatings also performed well due to high demand in the US, Europe and domestically due to ongoing industry recovery and the firm was able to pass down price increases to customers. The Performance Chemicals division also behaved similarly, with tin intermediate sales in line with maximum plant output and raw material prices for tin easing later in the quarter.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) sales suffered from logistics constraints outside of Asia but remained profitable as increased pricing was accepted downstream. Songwon’s polyurethane (PU) businesses also reported an increase in revenue, despite lower sales volumes, as thermoplastic PU demand was strong in the wire and cable market across global markets. The South Korean firm is cautious on predicting how the company will perform in the second half of the year against inflationary pressure, macroeconomic volatility, and supply chain constraints.

As per MRC, in October 2021, Gazprom Neftekhim Salavat LLC (GNS) signed an agreement for the development of a basic design and a license agreement for the use of Songwon Industrial technology. The contract makes it possible to organize the production of superabsorbent polymers (SAP) based on acrylic acid at the enterprise. The new production will be a continuation of the chain of processing of acrylates into superabsorbent polymers. In the manufacture of products will be used its own raw materials - butanol and propylene.

Songwon Industrial Co., Ltd. - the second in the world in terms of production of polymer stabilizers. The company's product range includes polymer stabilizers, alkylphenols and alkylcresols, PVC stabilizers, plasticizers, organotin, polyurethanes, flocculants. The company's headquarters is located in Ulsan, Korea.

HIP Petrohemija declares FM on PE supplies from Pancevo

HIP Petrohemija declares FM on PE supplies from Pancevo

MOSCOW (MRC) -- HIP Petrohemija declares FM on PE supplies from Pancevo, said Nctww.

According to a letter sent to its customers, Serbia’s HIP Petrohemija declared a force majeure on all of its products from Pancevo, Serbia. The company had to declare the force majeure on July 28 due to unexpected issues at the company’s ethylene plant.

In its integrated petrochemical complex, HIP PetroHemija produces more than 600,000 tons/year of petrochemical products, while the company’s Pancevo complex houses a 200,000 tons/year steam cracker, a 90,000 tons/year HDPE plant and a 60,000 tons/year LDPE plant.

As per MRC, at the HIP Petrohemija oil complex, on September 3, a fire broke out in process equipment at the ethylene plant at the petrochemical site in Pancevo (Pancevo, Serbia). The fire was brought under control. During the evacuation from the plant, one employee received minor injuries. In a letter to customers, the company informed that production at this enterprise with a capacity of 200,000 tons of ethylene and 85,000 tons of propylene per year was stopped. The company in a letter announced force majeure for the supply of its products from this site.

Indonesian government warns of fuel price hike

Indonesian government warns of fuel price hike

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indonesians must prepare for a potential hike in fuel prices as the government looks to control its ballooning energy subsidies amid high global oil prices, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Southeast Asia's largest economy has tripled this year's energy subsidy budget to 502 trillion rupiah (USD34.22 billion) in order to keep some fuel prices and power tariffs unchanged and manage inflation. However, this may not be enough, as nearly all of the subsidized fuel quota has already been used, according to the finance ministry.

Indonesia's Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia said if the government has to increase the quota for subsidized gasoline to 29 million kiloliters from 23 million kiloliters, and assuming oil prices stay elevated and the rupiah weak, the subsidy bill could rise to up to 600 trillion rupiah.

"Please convey to the people that my feeling is we have to get ready in case a fuel price hike happens," Bahlil told a news conference, noting that it was fiscally unwise to spend 25% of government revenues on subsidies. "The burden on the state is high. Maybe this is momentum for us to work together to keep our fiscal (position) healthy," he added.

Indonesia's Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati on Thursday said she has asked state energy firm Pertamina to limit sales of subsidized fuels. Economists have criticized the government's decision to increase subsidies this year, saying this would take money away from projects with bigger economic impacts.

Critics have also said a widening price disparity between subsidized and unsubsidized fuels has incentivized a shift in domestic consumption patterns and smuggling to neighboring countries, leading to increased sales of subsidized fuels. A fuel price hike is sensitive in the world's fourth-most populous country and such a decision is usually taken by a head of government. Previous government moves to raise fuel prices have sparked street protests.

As per MRC, Linde plc (Woking, U.K.) announced it has signed a long-term agreement to supply high-purity industrial gases to PT Freeport Indonesia, a leading mining company in Indonesia. Linde will build, own and operate an air separation unit (ASU) to supply oxygen and nitrogen to PT Freeport Indonesia’s new copper smelter and refinery in Manyar, Indonesia. The new copper smelter, the largest copper processing site in the world, will process concentrates from PT Freeport Indonesia’s Grasberg mine. The new on-site facility is expected to start up in mid-2024 and will be one of the largest ASUs in Indonesia.