ExxonMobil shuts Fos-Sur-Mer refinery in France due to strike

ExxonMobil shuts Fos-Sur-Mer refinery in France due to strike

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil is gradually shutting down its 235,000 barrel per day (bpd) Fos-Sur-Mer refinery in France as a result of ongoing strike action, the company said in an emailed statement, as per Reuters.

Walkouts caused the gradual shut down of Exxon's 240,000 bpd Port Jerome-Gravenchon oil refinery and Notre Dame de Gravenchon (NDG) petrochemical site in France on Sept. 20 before spreading to Fos-Sur-Mer 24 hours later.

French unions CGT and Force Ouvriere called for a strike on Tuesday following wage negotiations with Exxon Mobil related to rising inflation in Europe.

"We are gradually shutting down the Gravenchon refinery and petrochemical plant and we have started preparations to gradually shut down the Fos refinery," an Exxon Mobil spokesperson said in the statement.

"This unfortunate situation may impact our customers, contractors, suppliers, and employees, and affects the international reputation of Exxon Mobil activities in France," the statement said.

We remind, PETRONAS Chemicals Group Berhad (PCG), the petrochemical arm of PETRONAS, and ExxonMobil have signed a memorandum of understanding to assess the potential for large-scale implementation of advanced plastic recycling technology to help create a circular economy for plastics in Malaysia.

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W. R. Grace & Co to introduce new UNIPOL PP technology licensee in Egypt

W. R. Grace & Co to introduce new UNIPOL PP technology licensee in Egypt

MOSCOW (MRC) -- W. R. Grace & Co, the leading independent supplier of polyolefin catalyst and polypropylene (PP) technology, has licensed its UNIPOL PP technology to Red Sea National Petrochemicals Co., said the company.

As a leading force driving further development of the petrochemicals industry in Egypt, Red Sea Co is establishing a state-of-the-art, integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex to produce polyolefins, as well as PET polyester.

The UNIPOL PP technology plant will have the industry's largest single PP reactor line with the greatest KTA capacity to produce homopolymers and random copolymers.

W. R. Grace & Co, the leading independent supplier of polyolefin catalyst and polypropylene (PP) technology, has licensed its UNIPOL PP technology to Red Sea National Petrochemicals Co. As a leading force driving further development of the petrochemicals industry in Egypt, Red Sea Co is establishing a state-of-the-art, integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex to produce polyolefins, as well as PET polyester. The UNIPOL PP technology plant will have the industry's largest single PP reactor line with the greatest KTA capacity to produce homopolymers and random copolymers.

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Singapore manufacturing PMI declines to 49.9 in September

Singapore  manufacturing PMI declines to 49.9 in September

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Singapore's factory activity in September contracted for the first time in more than two years, as external demand continued to be weighed down by the impact of high inflation and interest rates hikes, said the company.

The Singapore purchasing managers' index (PMI) fell to 49.9 in September from 50.0 in August, falling below the 50.0 threshold for the first time since June 2020, data from the Singapore Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (SIPMM) showed late on Monday.

A reading above 50.0 indicates overall expansion while a reading below that threshold indicates overall contraction in activity. The decline in overall factory activity was weighed down by the contraction in the electronics sector PMI.

The latter fell for the second straight month to 49.4 in September, after dipping into contraction in August for the first time since July 2020. Many of the sub-indices within the PMI report fell below 50.0 in September.

The index of new orders came in at 49.9 from 50.1 in August, the first sub-50 print since August 2020, while the production index inched further below 50.0 with a print of 49.8. The new exports index eased to 50.0 from 50.2 in August.

The other negatives came from the indices of inventory (49.8, from 49.6 in August), imports (49.6, from 49.8 in August) and notably, order backlog, which came in at 49.7 (from 50.1 in August), the first sub-50 print since June 2020, after more than two years of continuous expansion.

We remind, VSIP, a joint venture between Singapore's Sembcorp and Vietnam's Becamex, is planning to develop its second industrial park in Quang Ngai province next year. In a meeting with the central province's authorities this week, Kelvin Teo, CEO of the Singapore-based Sembcorp Development and co-chairman of VSIP Group, said they hoped to receive support from Quang Ngai for the new plan.

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Canada releases draft guidance on new oil and gas project emissions

Canada releases draft guidance on new oil and gas project emissions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Canada has released draft guidelines on how new oil and gas projects should demonstrate "best-in-class" greenhouse gas emissions performance, following up on a government announcement first made in April, said Reuters.

The guidance, released late on Tuesday, is intended to clarify for industry what is expected of projects going through federal regulatory assessment, said Environment Canada spokesperson Oliver Anderson. Canada, the world's fourth-largest oil producer, has pledged to cut carbon emissions 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2030, and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government is trying to balance its climate ambitions with the interests of the oil and gas sector, which makes up around 5% of Canadian GDP, but is also the highest-polluting sector of the economy.

Environment Canada first promised requirements for new projects to demonstrate best-in-class emissions standards on the same day it approved Equinor's huge Bay du Nord offshore project. At the time, there was uncertainty among industry players what best-in-class meant.

The draft guidance outlines how companies should identify the best emissions performance of similar projects globally, within different categories including offshore oil, liquefied natural gas or oil sands upgrading. Then the company needs to show regulators how their project will match that best-in-class performance, or explain what circumstances would prevent them from doing so. Companies also need to demonstrate how they would aim to get projects towards net-zero emissions.

"This is not saying net zero is a standard requirement, but when project approvals are being made what we want to see is a plan to get there, or what circumstances may not make it possible," Anderson said. The federal government is also consulting on a separate oil and gas emissions cap.

Environment Canada is accepting comments on the guidance until Dec. 3 and expects to publish a final version in 2023.

As per MRC, a fire and explosion at an idled oil refinery in Canada's Newfoundland and Labrador province injured eight people before the blaze was contained, Canadian police said. All eight people went to hospital, some with serious injuries, said Royal Canadian Mounted Police spokesperson Corporal Jolene Garland. All other employees have been accounted for.
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Oil and gas methane emissions could be solved this decade, experts say

Oil and gas methane emissions could be solved this decade, experts say

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from oil and gas infrastructure could be stamped out within the next 10 years, said Reuters.

Speaking at the Reuters IMPACT climate conference in London, they noted that technology to detect leakages from oil and gas had been ramping up in the last five years, making mitigation feasible.

"Those technologies when deployed ... can fix the methane emissions very quickly," said Julien Perez, vice-president of strategy and policy at the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, a consortium of CEOs from a dozen large oil and gas companies. Last year, more than 100 countries pledged to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030. Methane is about 80 times more powerful at trapping heat than carbon dioxide during a 20-year timeframe.

"The launch of the Global Methane Pledge will create momentum," Perez said. "Money will flow." Currently, oil and gas extraction, processing and distribution is responsible for 23% of global methane emissions, according to a 2021 assessment by the World Meteorological Organization. Landfills account for about 20% of emissions, and roughly one-third come from the agricultural sector.

Methane from oil and gas "is one part of (global greenhouse gas emissions) that can be solved this decade," said Georges Tijbosch, CEO of MIQ, a methane emissions certification standard.

Scientists and industry are now using sensors attached to aircraft and satellites to detect methane leaks. This allows oil and gas companies to quickly address the potent plumes, said Deepak Anand, chief revenue officer at GHGSat, a global emissions monitoring company.

"Methane is a fuel. It can be captured and used," he said. "What we try to do is help the oil and gas industry find treasure." Recently, GHGSat measured the methane leaking from the damaged Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. They found the amount of emissions was equivalent to those from 630,000 pounds of coal burning every hour.

"If we're going to maintain gas a transition fuel ... we have to focus on how we can reduce the footprint of gas in the energy system, particularly when it comes to methane," said Perez.

As per MRC, Strike action and unplanned maintenance has taken offline more than 60% of France's refining capacity - or 740,000 bpd - forcing the country to import more when global supply uncertainty has increased the cost. A walkout by hard-left CGT trade union members at TotalEnergies has disrupted operations at two refineries and two storage facilities, and two Exxon Mobil refineries have faced similar problems since Sept 20.
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