U.S. crude stocks jump by nearly 9 MM barrels

U.S. crude stocks jump by nearly 9 MM barrels

MOSCOW (MRC) -- U.S. crude stockpiles surged by nearly 9 MM barrels last week due to a combination of increased imports and ongoing releases from government emergency reserves, said Reuters.

Crude inventories rose by 8.8 MM barrels in the week to Sept. 2 to 427.2 MM barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 250,000-barrel drop.

The United States imported roughly 6.8 MM bpd in the most recent week while exports dropped, and a release of another 7.5 MM barrels from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve also boosted commercial stocks.

The releases, which have shrunk the SPR to its lowest in nearly four decades, are set to end in October and production growth may not be enough to prevent balances from shrinking. U.S. crude output has steadied at 12.1 MMbpd.

Refinery crude runs fell by 309,000 bpd in the last week, and utilization rates fell by 1.8 percentage points to 90.9% of overall capacity, largely due to a sharp drop in Midwest refining.

Gasoline stocks rose by 333,000 barrels in the week to 214.8 MM barrels. Overall gasoline product supplied, a proxy for demand, was 8.8 million bpd over the last four weeks, down 8% from the year-ago period.

"This crude build is showing how the market is softening. The refinery utilization has been cut materially over the past few weeks as we’re down 900,000 bpd year on year for gasoline demand," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 95,000 barrels. Refiners have been trying to rebuild distillate inventories in anticipation of winter demand, while also satisfying purchases from overseas buyers, particularly in Europe.

Net U.S. crude imports rose by 1.36 MMbpd, EIA said. Oil prices rose modestly on the data. U.S. crude was up 1.7% to USD83.33 a barrel while Brent gained 0.9% to USD88.83 a barrel.

As per MRC, North American chemical railcar traffic rose by 5.3% year on year to 44,983 railcar loadings for the week ended 3 September, marking a fourth consecutive increase. The four-week average for North American chemical rail traffic was at 46,592 railcar loadings. For the first 35 weeks of 2022 ended 3 September, North American chemical railcar traffic was up 2.2% year on year to 1,630,734 railcar loadings.


Borealis and Trexel develop new reusable and fully recyclable lightweight bottle

Borealis and Trexel develop new reusable and fully recyclable lightweight bottle

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Borealis and Trexel, a leading expert in foaming injection and blow moulded parts, announce that they have co-developed a new plastic bottle based on a grade from the Bornewables portfolio of polyolefins made using renewable feedstocks derived 100% from waste and residue streams, said the company.

The lightweight bottle – which will be showcased at the Borealis stand at the K 2022 in October (Hall 6, Stand A43) – is reusable and fully recyclable. It boasts a significantly lower overall CO2 footprint because it is composed of renewably-sourced feedstock and produced in the foaming process.

The of circular polyolefins helps reduce the carbon footprint while offering material performance equal to virgin polymers. Using Bornewables grades allows for design freedom and colour flexibility, and helps retain a premium look and feel. The grades – which are commercially available in Europe – help conserve natural resources because they are derived solely from waste and residue streams, for example from used cooking oil. Reusing waste already in circulation instead of fossil fuel-based feedstocks enhances the sustainability of applications made using the Bornewables grades.

The reusable new bottle developed by Borealis and Trexel retains its value over many life cycles thanks to the use of Trexel’s proprietary technology in tandem with Bornewables grades; as a material solution, the new bottle minimises the use of valuable raw materials. Moreover, converters consume less energy in the production process when using the MuCell® technology. The bottle thus helps close the loop on plastics circularity by way of design for recycling, the use of renewable feedstocks, and excellent material performance across multiple life cycles.

“ and recycling are core components of the integrated circular cascade model aligned with our platform, which unites committed players across the entire value chain in accelerating the move to plastics circularity,” says Peter Voortmans, Borealis Global Commercial Director Consumer Products. “This project is an excellent example of how we are working with industry partners to solve the problem of plastic waste while delivering real value to our customers. Combining our polymers and recycling expertise with Trexel’s material processing know-how enables us to re-invent essentials for sustainable living."

Trexel is a global leader in foaming thanks in part to its proprietary MuCell physical (as opposed to chemical) foaming process, which enables greater density reductions, improved mechanical properties, and attractive surface aesthetics.

The larger processing window facilitates its application to a wider range of products. MuCell foamed parts are recyclable and can thus be reintroduced into the polymer stream. The lightweighting benefits of foaming have become particularly compelling as the industry seeks to use less energy in production, minimise the use of materials, and also fulfil growing market demand for more sustainable packaging solutions.

“Having anticipated market demand for more sustainable plastic packaging, we have focused our development resources over the last several years on the circular sphere,” explains David Bernstein, Trexel Chairman of the Board and Interim CEO. “Our foaming solutions for blow moulding and thin-wall packaging enable brand owners and moulders to realise improved sustainability and enhanced product performance while delivering cost savings."

As per MRC, completion of a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant being built at Kallo, Belgium, will be delayed by at least six months into the second half of 2024 after owner Borealis announced it would retender the majority of the project’s construction contracts following termination of all contracts with the main contractor IREM Group.

Repsol sells 25% of oil and gas unit to EIG for USD4.8 bn

Repsol sells 25% of oil and gas unit to EIG for USD4.8 bn

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Spanish energy group Repsol is selling a 25% stake in its oil and gas exploration division to U.S. fund EIG for USD4.8 B, building up a warchest for renewables projects as the energy industry moves to a lower-carbon future, said Reuters.

The deal, first reported by Reuters earlier this year, values the whole business at USD19 B including debt, and may lead to a U.S. stock market listing of a stake in the unit after 2026, Repsol said in a statement.

The process started with an unsolicited offer from EIG, Reuters reported in June, sending Repsol's shares to a 14-year high.

As per MRC, Repsol will build a new plant in Tarragona, with an investment of over EUR35 M for the manufacture of Cross-linkable Polyethylene (XLPE), a polymer used in cable insulation, located between the conductor and the outer protective layers. The plant will have an annual capacity of 27 kt and is scheduled to start in mid-2024. The LSHC (Linear Short Hyperclean) new technology selected for the plant, from Buss AG, will provide a product with very competitive properties, enabling Repsol to complete its product range for cables by incorporating materials for HV (high voltage) and EHV (extra-high voltage) cables.

Repsol is currently the leading producer and consumer of hydrogen on the Iberian Peninsula, and has renewable hydrogen as one of its key transformation pillarsfor achieving its goal of being a company with zero net emissions by 2050. The multi-energy company has its own renewable hydrogen strategy to deploy projects throughout the value chain, with a planned investment of 2,549 million euros by 2030.

BASF and Samsung Heavy Industries collaborate on CCS onboard maritime vessels

BASF and Samsung Heavy Industries collaborate on CCS onboard maritime vessels

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF and Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (SHI) will carry out a collaborative feasibility assessment of capturing CO2 onboard maritime vessels using BASF’s OASE blue technology for flue gas applications, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Towards this end, both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Onboard Carbon Capture and Storage (OCCS) technology at the trade show Gastech 2022 in Milan, Italy. The scope of the collaboration includes a marinization study as well as engineering design and construction of the carbon capture unit. BASF will support with its expertise on floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) and with its well proven OASE blue technology contributing to sustainability by substantial energy savings compared with conventional technologies. SHI will evaluate the feasibility of installing the gas treatment technology onboard maritime vessels.

The joint effort is in line with the strategy of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to reduce the carbon intensity of international shipping by at least 40% by 2030. Vasilios Galanos, Senior Vice President, Intermediates Asia Pacific, BASF, said, “Leveraging our state-of-the-art OASE technology, we are pleased to expand our cooperation with SHI and support it in navigating through tightening carbon emission regulations. We will join hands with our partner to sail towards a greener future."

“Through cooperation with BASF, Samsung Heavy Industries has developed efficient Onboard Carbon Capture system, which will help gain a competitive advantage in a low carbon shipping market,” said Youngkyu Ahn, Head of Shipbuilding Sales Engineering at Samsung Heavy Industries.

“As one of the ‘accelerators’ in BASF’s portfolio, the suite of OASE technologies is perfectly tailor made to help our customers to achieve their sustainability targets. In this particular case, we have combined our knowhow and experience in both CO2 capture and motions study in offering a unique solution for OCCS,” added Lawrence Loe, Director, OASE Gas Treating Excellence, Intermediates Asia Pacific, BASF.

BASF’s accelerator products make a substantial sustainability contribution in the value chain. To assess the sustainability performance of its products and identify accelerator solutions, BASF conducts regular reassessments of its product portfolio.

We remind, BASF, SABIC and Linde have started construction of the world’s first demonstration plant for large-scale electrically heated steam cracker furnaces. By using electricity from renewable sources instead of natural gas, the new technology has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions of one of the most energy-intensive production processes in the chemical industry by at least 90% compared to technologies commonly used today.

SIBUR expects to launch Amur GCC in 2025-26, change configuration and suppliers

SIBUR expects to launch Amur GCC in 2025-26, change configuration and suppliers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SIBUR in 2025-2026 expects to launch the Amur Gas Chemical Complex that will refine liquid hydrocarbons from the Amur Gas Processing Plant, changing the configuration of technology and suppliers, the petrochemical holding's CEO Mikhail Karisalov said during the Eastern Economic Forum 2022, said Interfax.

"According to the information that we have from Gazprom , the Amur GPP has more than 80% progress, respectively, and we are in the wake of the project [to implement construction of the Amur GCC]. We will accept more than 3.5 million tonnes of liquid hydrocarbon feedstock for processing in 2025-2026. We expect that we will be able to reconfigure the processing technology on site despite the current situation, taking into account the sanctions of a number of licensors and equipment suppliers. We will be able to launch the plant and become Gazprom's reliable partner in this general line as well," Karisalov said.

We remind, SIBUR has partnered with the global engineering company Technip Energies to licence out its technology for producing 1-hexene, a co-monomer used to make LLDPE and HDPE. The technology, known as HEXSIB, was developed by NIOST – one of SIBUR’s main R&D centres. 1-Hexene can be used to make LLDPE and HDPE and is an essential component of speciality polyethylene grades that offer premium quality and boast much better properties than commodity grades. For example, 1-hexene helps reduce the amount of plastic used in each end product and lower the environmental footprint by providing the same barrier properties to a thinner film.

SIBUR Holding is the leader of the petrochemical industry in Russia and one of the world's largest companies in the sector with more than 23,000 employees. Over the past 10 years, SIBUR has implemented a number of large-scale investment projects worth about 1 trillion rubles.