North American chemical rail traffic fell by 3.2%

North American chemical rail traffic fell by 3.2%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- North American chemical rail traffic fell by 3.2% year on year to 40,467 railcar loadings for the week ended 26 November – marking a 10th consecutive decline, according to the latest freight rail data by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

An increase in Canada was more than offset by declines in the US and Mexico. The four-week average for North American chemical rail traffic was at 45,860 railcar loadings.

Despite the 10th decline in a row, for the first 47 weeks of 2022 ended 26 November North American chemical railcar traffic was still up 1.2% year on year to 2,155,420 railcar loadings.

In the US, chemical railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest. In Canada, producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with some exclusively using rail.

Shipments of chemicals, coal, motor vehicles and parts, nonmetallic minerals, and oil and oil products rose for the first 47 weeks, while shipments in all other freight railcar categories fell.

In related news, the US House of Representatives on Wednesday adopted a resolution aimed at averting a rail strike.

We remind, for the week ending November 19, 2022, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 491,794 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.2 percent compared with the same week last year. Total carloads for the week ending November 19 were 235,887 carloads, down 0.6 percent compared with the same week in 2021, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 255,907 containers and trailers, down 5.6 percent compared to 2021.

Lukoil Romanian refinery has alternative crude supplies

Lukoil Romanian refinery has alternative crude supplies

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Romania's Petrotel Lukoil refinery, owned by Russia's Lukoil has found alternative fuel supplies and its petrol stations will not be affected by a ban on Russian imports, said Reuters.

A European Union embargo from Dec. 5 is banning European buyers from purchasing and transporting Russian oil.

"At the latest meeting Lukoil has assured us, alongside the other two (refineries) that it has alternative sources both for crude and oil products and that it will not have problems supplying the refinery and petrol stations," Popescu said.

We remind, Lukoil Neftochim Burgas , Bulgaria's only oil refinery, may have to shut down if the government does not follow through on plans to allow the Russian-owned business to continue exporting, said Reuters, citing Chief Executive Ilshat Sharafutdinov. The European Union has agreed to a ban on Russian crude oil imports as part of its sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine in February. The ban takes effect next month, but Bulgaria has been given an exemption and is allowed to import Russian crude until the end of 2024.

ADNOC, Petronas sign Abu Dhabi unconventional oil resources deal

ADNOC, Petronas sign Abu Dhabi unconventional oil resources deal

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) on Monday signed a deal awarding the first concession in the Middle East for unconventional oil resources, said Reuters.

The six-year agreement is the first investment by a Malaysian company in an Abu Dhabi concession, United Arab Emirates state news agency WAM said. "ADNOC will continue to responsibly unlock value from Abu Dhabi’s vast hydrocarbon resources in a reliable and sustainable manner," Minister of Industry and ADNOC's CEO, Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber said after the signing.

Petronas will retain a 100% stake in the operating rights of the concession to explore and appraise resources in "Unconventional Onshore Block 1", which covers an area of more than 2,000 square kilometers in Abu Dhabi's Al Dhafra region.

"We have driven the de-risking of Abu Dhabi’s unconventional oil resources and look forward to building on this with Petronas to realize the full potential of Unconventional Onshore Block 1,” al-Jaber added. The agreement comes after ADNOC conducted preliminary operations in the concession area, WAM said, adding that the parties can enter a production concession of 30 years after a successful appraisal phase. This starts from the date of awarding the first concession to Petronas.

ADNOC could also have the option to hold a 50% stake in the concession, which offers the potential to create significant in-country value for the UAE, WAM said.

Abu Dhabi’s unconventional recoverable oil resources are estimated at 22 B barrels of very light and sweet crude, comparable to ADNOC’s flagship lower-carbon Murban grade, WAM added. Malaysia's King Al-Sultan Abdullah, who is in an official visit to the UAE, witnessed the signing, along with President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.

We remind, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and ADQ, the majority shareholders in TA’ZIZ, launched the next phase of growth at the TA’ZIZ Industrial Chemicals Zone, in Al Ruways Industrial City, which will more than double the number of chemicals produced at the industrial hub. The centerpiece of the expansion will be a new world-scale, low-carbon footprint steam cracker to supply feedstocks for the various downstream production units, bringing multiple new product value chains to the UAE for the first time. The project is in the feasibility study phase, with the design phase set to commence in Q1 2023.

Air Liquide signs an agreement to divest its business in Trinidad and Tobago

Air Liquide signs an agreement to divest its business in Trinidad and Tobago

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Air Liquide announces that it has signed an agreement to divest its business in Trinidad and Tobago to Massy Gas Products Holding Ltd, said the company.

As a consequence of this divestiture, the approximately 30 employees of this business will be integrated within MGPHL. This transaction is part of Air Liquide’s strategy to regularly review its asset portfolio and focus on selected fast developing areas and activities.

Air Liquide is well-positioned to further grow its presence in Latin America where it intends to pursue the opportunities emerging with the clean energy transition, including hydrogen energy leveraging the area's abundant natural resources.

This agreement is subject to regulatory approvals of the Trinidad & Tobago Fair Trading Commission for completion and other customary closing conditions.

We remind, Air Liquide and TotalEnergies plan to produce low-carbon hydrogen at the Grandpuits site in France, the pair said on Tuesday, as France looks to increase its sources of renewable energy. Under a long-term contract committing TotalEnergies to purchase the hydrogen produced for the needs of its platform, Air Liquide will invest over EUR130 million in the construction and operation of a new unit producing hydrogen.

Shell plc third quarter 2022 interim dividend

Shell plc third quarter 2022 interim dividend

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Board of Shell plc announced the pounds sterling and euro equivalent dividend payments in respect of the third quarter 2022 interim dividend, which was announced on October 27, 2022 at USD0.25 per ordinary share, said the company.

Shareholders have been able to elect to receive their dividends in US dollars, euros or pounds sterling. Holders of ordinary shares who have validly submitted US dollars, euros or pounds sterling currency elections by November 25, 2022 will be entitled to a dividend of USD0.25, EUR0.2398 or 20.61p per ordinary share, respectively.

Absent any valid election to the contrary, persons holding their ordinary shares through Euroclear Nederland will receive their dividends in euros at the euro rate per ordinary share shown above. Absent any valid election to the contrary, shareholders (both holding in certificated and uncertificated form (CREST members)) and persons holding their shares through the Shell Corporate Nominee will receive their dividends in pounds sterling, at the pound sterling rate per ordinary share shown above.

Euro and pounds sterling dividends payable in cash have been converted from US dollars based on an average of market exchange rates over the three dealing days from November 30 to December 2, 2022. This dividend will be payable on December 19, 2022 to those members whose names were on the Register of Members on November 11, 2022.

We remind, Shell Chemical Appalachia LLC announced it has commenced operations of its Pennsylvania Chemical project, Shell Polymers Monaca (SPM). The Pennsylvania facility is the first major polyethylene manufacturing complex in the Northeastern United States and has a designed output of 1.6 MMt annually.