BPCL signs MoU with Petrobras to diversify oil sourcing

BPCL signs MoU with Petrobras to diversify oil sourcing

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India's state-run Bharat Petroleum Corp said it had signed a preliminary agreement with Brazil's national oil company Petrobras to help it diversify its crude oil sourcing, said Hydrocarbonprocesing.

Indian state refiners rarely buy Brazilian oil. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by BPCL Chairman Arun Kumar Singh and Petrobras CEO Caio Paes de Andrade, BPCL said in a statement on Saturday.

The MoU will help the company to explore sourcing of crude oil through long term contracts "especially considering the current geopolitical situations," it added.

India recently allowed BPCL to invest USD1.6 B for developing an ultra-deep water hydrocarbon block in Brazil. The block is majority owned and operated by Petrobras.

Singh said: "Strengthening India's foothold in Brazil will further open business avenues in neighboring Latin American countries."

BPCL said the field development plan and final investment decision for the BM-SEAL-11 block is expected to be declared soon. Oil production from the block is expected from 2026/27.

BPCL is the second largest fuel retailer in India and operates three refineries in the country with a combined capacity of 706,000 bpd.

We remind, Indian Oil Refining and Marketing Company Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) plans to invest 1.4 trillion rupees (USD17.65 billion) in petrochemicals, city gas and clean energy businesses in the next five years, a new agency Press Trust of India (PTI). The investment is part of the firm’s efforts to develop its non-fuel business.
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Striking Argentina oil workers demand talks after deadly refinery blast

Striking Argentina oil workers demand talks after deadly refinery blast

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Unions representing thousands of striking oil workers in Argentina demanded talks with business leaders over job safety on Friday, a day after a walkout to protest an explosion at a refinery that killed three people, a union leader said, as per Reuters.

"From 2018 to date, 15 colleagues have died. This is a job, not a war to go and die in," said Marcelo Rucci, secretary general of the Private Oil and Gas Union of Rio Negro, Neuquen and La Pampa, the country's largest oil union.

"We can't continue to lose lives to satisfy disproportionate production targets," added Rucci, whose union represents some 25,000 workers, including some employed in the prized Vaca Muerta shale oil fields in the western province of Neuquen.

The workers downed their tools on Thursday after a fire in a storage tank led to an explosion at the New American Oil (NAO) refinery in the town of Plaza Huincul in Neuquen.

Argentina's government is investing in infrastructure projects it views as key to helping the South American country reverse a deep energy deficit that is costing it billions of dollars.

Vaca Muerta, home to the world's second-largest unconventional gas reserve and fourth-largest oil reserve, is expected to bring in USD2 B in revenue from oil exports this year, five times more than last year.

As per MRC, Argentina's largest oil union said it launched an indefinite strike on Thursday after an explosion at a refinery in the western province of Neuquen killed three. The Neuquen government said a fire broke out at dawn in a storage tank at the New American Oil (NAO) refinery in the town of Plaza Huincul, in the center of the province. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.
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Poland will only supply Schwedt refinery if Rosneft removed as shareholder

Poland will only supply Schwedt refinery if Rosneft removed as shareholder

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Poland will only help supply oil to Germany's PCK Schwedt refinery if Russia's Rosneft is completely removed as a shareholder, Poland's climate ministry said, raising pressure on Germany to completely nationalize the refiner, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Germany took control of the Schwedt refinery, which was majority owned by Rosneft Deutschland, last Friday as Berlin strives to shore up energy supplies. It put Rosneft Deutschland under a trusteeship of the German industry regulator but Rosneft still holds 54% of the company's shares.

The German economy ministry is in talks with potential buyers, including a Polish company, two government sources in Berlin said. Reuters reported last week that Poland's top refiner PKN Orlen is interested in buying a controlling stake in Schwedt, which supplies 90% of Berlin's fuel.

Berlin is aiming to meet its European Union commitment to eliminate Russian oil imports by the end of the year, a move triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The Schwedt refinery previously received most of its crude from Russia and Berlin is now looking to other countries to supply Schwedt. "In Polish-German technical talks on additional oil supplies for Germany that are underway, the Polish side is declaring that potential help is possible under condition that Rosneft Deutschland is removed from the list of shareholders of PCK Schwedt," Polish climate ministry said in response to Reuters questions.

Germany's economy minister Robert Habeck said last week that talks with Poland on supplying oil for Schwedt were very advanced. Talks with Poland continue, his ministry said on Thursday. "Our Polish friends have welcomed the decision to put Rosneft Deutschland under trusteeship. This gives us new opportunities for cooperation and we are happy to continue our talks," a spokeswoman at the economy ministry said.

Rosneft has said it could go to court to challenge Berlin's decision to take the firm's German subsidiary under trusteeship.

We remind, the German government is looking at bringing the PCK Schwedt refinery, partially owned by Russian energy firm Rosneft, under state control. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Economy Minister Robert Habeck are expected to hold a news conference on Friday presenting details of the plans, Spiegel reported, citing government sources.
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Cameroon and oil trader Vitol reach agreement over refinery debt restructure

Cameroon and oil trader Vitol reach agreement over refinery debt restructure

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Cameroon's national oil refining company, SONARA, has reached a deal with oil trader Vitol to restructure its commercial debt towards the Dutch energy and commodity trading company, said Reuters.

The deal could be a step towards improving liquidity and guarantee supply of refined products to Cameroon, which like other countries in the region, has faced shortages due to the Ukraine crisis.

Cameroon's problems have been compounded by its heavily indebted and inactive 42,000-barrel-per-day-capacity refinery, which has been offline since May 2019 after a storage tank exploded, sparking a fire and bringing down four production units.

SONARA, which operates the country's lone refinery and is also responsible for imports of refined products, owes it trading partners around USD391.80 MM out of a total debt of USD1.5 B as at Dec. 31, 2019. The deal signed on Thursday will restructure and reschedule payment of SONARA's debt towards Vitol, its biggest creditor and lead supplier of crude oil and refined products.

SONARA's two debts to Vitol stand at around USD279 MM. Under the agreement, SONARA will repay the debt over a 10-year period at an interest rate of 5.5%, according to the deal document seen by Reuters.

Cameroon's finance minister, Louis Paul Motaze, said during the signing ceremony that the arrangement will help ease the company from distress. "The insolvency of SONARA posed a risk to the country's supply of petroleum products, as well as a threat of breakdown of the national banking system with regards to the volume of commitments at stake," Motaze said.

The deal is the first phase of SONARA's debt repayment towards creditors. Similar conventions will be signed with other oil traders, Motaze said. Pierre Barbe, Vitol's director for Africa, said the deal was welcomed by the financial community.

"The putting in place of a repayment mechanism is well perceived by us and the financial community. This will contribute much to the confidence among foreign investors," Barbe said after the signing of the agreement. The Cameroon government said last week it will launch a tender soon in search of partners to build a new refinery that will include a new hydrocracking unit.

We remind, Vitol has entered into a strategic partnership with Danish company WPU, which recycles waste plastic into plastic oils. Vitol will offtake and market the recycled plastic oils generated by WPU’s new pyrolysis plant in Faarevejle in Odsherred Municipality north of Copenhagen, which is expected to open in early 2023, with an additional two plants to be opened by Q3 2023. The combined capacity of these plants will be 160,000 metric tpy of waste plastic.
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Argentine oil workers strike after refinery explosion kills three

Argentine oil workers strike after refinery explosion kills three

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Argentina's largest oil union said it launched an indefinite strike on Thursday after an explosion at a refinery in the western province of Neuquen killed three, said Reuters.

The Neuquen government said a fire broke out at dawn in a storage tank at the New American Oil (NAO) refinery in the town of Plaza Huincul, in the center of the province. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

"Fed up with the lack of commitment to the lives of workers, the board of directors of the Private Oil and Gas Union of Rio Negro, Neuquen and La Pampa, decided to launch a total strike of activities in the territorial scope of the organization," the union said, adding they are asking for greater safety measures.

The union is the largest in the country, representing some 25,000 workers. It covers activities in Vaca Muerta, the world's second-largest unconventional gas reserve and fourth-largest oil reserve. A union source told Reuters the blast also burned a fourth worker, who is out of danger, and injured two firefighters.

Ernesto Karstan, second chief of the volunteer firefighters of Plaza Huincul, said in an interview with local radio that they had to evacuate after the burning tank collapsed. "We have burned trucks outside that have already been extinguished and the tank that was on fire has just collapsed," Karstan said in the interview. "We entered and had to evacuate due to the collapse of the tank."

We remind, Argentina's state oil company YPF and its Malaysian counterpart, Petronas, inked a deal on Thursday to build a major liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and a pipeline to transport the fuel, as demand for the fossil fuel spikes globally. An agreement could be announced as soon as the end of the week, likely ahead of the Gastech conference in Milan that begins on 5 September. Confirmation from YPF and PETRONAS could not be reached before publication.
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