Hungary seeks increased gas supplies from Gazprom

Hungary seeks increased gas supplies from Gazprom

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hungary will continue talks with Russia on additional gas supplies and expects to reach a deal with Gazprom to boost supplies further from next month, as per Hellenicshippingnews.

Szijjarto met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow last month, seeking 700 million cubic metres of gas on top of an existing long-term supply deal with Russia. Gazprom started to increase gas supplies to Hungary this month, adding to previously agreed deliveries via the Turkstream pipeline.

“Like it or not, we will continue talks with the Russians about increasing gas shipments to Hungary,” Szijjarto told a business meeting. “There is an offer to increase gas shipments, we will finetune that with Gazprom in the next few days, and we will sign an agreement under which we could get increased daily shipments."

Szijjarto did not give any details about volumes or prices. Hungary’s reserves stored 3.25 billion cubic metres of gas as of Aug. 1, more than 51% of total storage capacity, based on data from the national energy regulator.

Under a deal signed last year, before the start of the war in neighbouring Ukraine, Hungary receives 3.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per year via Bulgaria and Serbia under its long-term deal with Russia and a further 1 bcm via a pipeline from Austria. The agreement with Gazprom is for 15 years.

As per MRC, Gazprom stopped supplying Latvia with gas, the Russian gas giant announced on Saturday citing a violation of the conditions for gas withdrawal. The move comes as a response to the announcement of Latvian energy firm Latvijas Gaze, which said it was buying gas from Russia, but not from Gazprom. During the last month, approximately one terawatt-hour of natural gas was delivered to Latvia from Russia and the payment was made in euros rather than in roubles as required by Gazprom.

HPCL launches cowdung-to-compressed biogas project

HPCL launches cowdung-to-compressed biogas project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- HPCL commenced its Cowdung to Compressed Biogas Project at Sanchore, Rajasthan. This will be HPCL’s first project under Waste to Energy portfolio, said Indiatimes.

The plant is proposed to utilize 100 Tons per day of dung to produce biogas, which can be utilized as automotive fuel. The project is proposed to be commissioned in a year’s time.

The project’s ground breaking ceremony took place at Shree Godham Mahatirth Pathmeda Lok Punyarth Nyas, Village Pathmeda, Tehsil Sanchore District Jalore in Rajasthan which was attended by ED - Bio-fuel & Renewables, Shri Shuvendu Gupta and Senior officials from HPCL.

The project is being developed under GOBAR-Dhan scheme launched by Governement of India in Apr’18 as a part of the Biodegradable Waste Management componet under Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) to positively impact cleanliness and generate wealth and energy from cattle and organic waste.

As MRC informed previously, India's HPCL-Mittal Energy Limited, or HMEL, will start a new 500,000 mt/year polypropylene (PP) plant in Bhatinda in 2021. The company has an existing 440,000 mt/year PP unit at the same site.

SABIC SK Nexlene Company to expand the capacity of its plant in Ulsan

SABIC SK Nexlene Company to expand the capacity of its plant in Ulsan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SABIC SK Nexlene Company (SSNC), a joint venture between SABIC and SK Geo Centric, has announced plans to expand the capacity of its plant in the South Korean city of Ulsan to produce advanced material solutions, said the company.

The expansion, which is due to come on stream in the second quarter of 2024, targets applications in solar panels, vehicles, footwear, and flexible packaging.

Sami Al-Osaimi, Vice President of PE & Sales, SABIC, and Board Chairman for SSNC, said, “We have identified a strong trend toward customized and high-performance polyolefins, especially metallocene polyethylene materials, in several important new technology markets."

“Many of our polymers are ideally positioned to meet the needs of our global customers for enhanced toughness, flexibility, elasticity, heat-sealing properties, and optical properties, among others. The plant capacity increase will provide the operational efficiency to boost the growth of these Nexlene-based materials and give us a significant competitive edge,” he added.

Expansion supports SABIC’s 2025 growth target to increase operational efficiency, create synergies and strengthen product offerings in its Petrochemicals business.

As per MRC, SABIC is looking at building a plant in Port Arthur, Texas, with process units for polypropylene (PP), high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyethylene (PE) using SK Global Chemical’s Nexlene technology. Sabic filed a Chapter 313 application with the state of Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts for tax breaks from the local school district. According to the application, Sabic will build a 400,000 tonne/year PP unit, a 400,000 tonne/year HDPE C4/C6 bimodal unit and a 400,000 tonne/year PE unit using the Nexlene technology.

TotalEnergies sells its 49% stake in a 2.4 bcm gas field in Russia to Novatek

TotalEnergies sells its 49% stake in a 2.4 bcm gas field in Russia to Novatek

MOSCOW (MRC) -- TotalEnergies publicly shared its principles of conduct for its Russian related business, said Enerdata.

TotalEnergies reiterated its firmest condemnation of Russia's military aggression against Ukraine and stated that it would ensure strict compliance with current and future European sanctions, no matter what the consequences on the management of its assets in Russia.

TotalEnergies thus restated its duty to contribute toward securing Europe’s gas supply from the Yamal LNG plant within the framework of long-term contracts that it must honor as long as Europe's governments do not take sanctions on Russian gas. TotalEnergies also announced the gradual suspension of its activities in Russia for those which do not contribute to the security of energy supply of Europe. This included assets producing oil (Kharyaga field) and gas for the local Russian market (Termokarstovoye field) as well as other local businesses (lubricants, batteries) which were mothballed in the first half of the year.

On July 6, 2022, in line with these principles, TotalEnergies announced the sale of its remaining 20% interest in the Kharyaga oil project to Zarubezhneft. This transfer was finalized on August 3, 2022.

On July 18, 2022, TotalEnergies agreed to sell to Novatek TotalEnergies' 49% interest in Terneftegaz, which operates the Termokarstovoye gas and condensates field in Russia, on economic terms enabling TotalEnergies to recover the outstanding amounts invested in the field.

Pursuant to Russian regulations, a request to authorize this transaction was addressed to the Russian authorities on August 8, 2022. On August 25, 2022, Russian authorities issued their agreement to the proposed sale. As a result, on August 26, 2022, TotalEnergies and Novatek signed the final sale and purchase agreement of TotalEnergies’ 49% interest in Terneftegaz. Closing is expected in September 2022, subject to customary conditions.

We remind, TotalEnergies signed with Sonatrach, Occidental and Eni an extension of its Production Sharing Contract for a period of 25 years for onshore Blocks 404a and 208 in the Berkine basin, in Eastern Algeria. This contract, signed under the new Algerian Hydrocarbon Law published in 2019, will allow to develop additional liquids hydrocarbon resources, while reducing these fields carbon intensity through a dedicated carbon reduction program. The opportunity to develop and valorize associated gas resources will be studied by the partners, thus increasing export potential towards Europe.

U.S. energy secretary urges refiners not to increase fuel exports

U.S. energy secretary urges refiners not to increase fuel exports

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The U.S. Energy Secretary urged domestic oil refiners this month to not further increase exports of fuels like gasoline and diesel, adding that the Biden administration may need to consider taking action if the plants do not build inventories, said Reuters.

U.S. refiners have boosted oil product exports this month as domestic crude oil production rose and global fuel demand continued to recover. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, in a letter sent Aug. 18, urged seven refiners including Valero, ExxonMobil and Chevron, to build supplies of fuels as the United States enters peak hurricane season.

"Given the historic level of U.S. refined product exports, I again urge you to focus in the near term on building inventories in the United States, rather than selling down current stocks and further increasing exports," Granholm said in the letter sent to refiners, a copy of which was seen by Reuters.

High U.S. oil product exports have been a concern for the administration of President Joe Biden this summer as gasoline prices briefly hit a record of USD5 a gallon, helping drive inflation to 40-year highs. Gasoline prices have since fallen to about USD3.86 per gallon.

Federal weather forecasters have projected an above-average Atlantic hurricane season, which can be a perilous time for refineries. Still-high gasoline prices remain a threat to Biden's fellow Democrats ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm elections, when they hope to retain control of both chambers of Congress.

Granholm said the administration is talking with state officials along the East Coast, where gasoline levels are at their lowest in nearly a decade. It is putting the gasoline and heating oil reserves in the U.S. Northeast, which hold 2 MM barrels of fuel, on "active standby" for potential release, and preparing other emergency contingency actions, she said.

The administration hopes that companies will "proactively address this need" of building inventories, she said. If that does not happen, the administration "will need to consider additional federal requirements or other emergency measures," Granholm added, without providing details.

In a wide-ranging meeting with the same refiners in June, Granholm backed off a plan to ban U.S. fuel exports, but the idea has never fully left the table. Refiners have said a ban could swamp domestic markets with fuel and cause some plants to cut output, which could decrease supply and put upward pressure on prices. In addition, Northeast refiners import crude and fuels, trade that could be affected by an export ban.

As per MRC, North American chemical railcar traffic rose by 2.3% year on year to 46,132 loadings for the week ended 20 August. For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 501,548 carloads and intermodal units, up 0.1 percent compared with the same week last year. Total carloads for the week ending August 20 were 237,404 carloads, up 2.9 percent compared with the same week in 2021, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 264,144 containers and trailers, down 2.4 percent compared to 2021.