Venezuela gasoline queues return as refineries fail to produce

Venezuela gasoline queues return as refineries fail to produce

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Long lines for motorists at Venezuela's refueling stations are back due to repeated outages at state oil company PDVSA's refineries and a lack of diesel and gasoline imports, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

In 2020 and again in 2021, drivers had to line up for days to get gasoline and farmers halted work because of insufficient diesel. The shortages had eased earlier this year as imports of Iranian crude boosted refinery output.

But Venezuela's refining network again is operating at a fraction of its capacity due to problems with deep-conversion units essential for motor fuel production, according to workers, leading to a new round of shortages. "I had more than 100 cars before me in the line when I arrived in the afternoon. Right after midnight, the station ran out of gasoline," said Ramon Blanco, a 32-year-old who filled up the next day at another station. "I hope we don't go back to that terrible time when we had to line up for days."

Venezuela's central region has been most affected by the fuel scarcity, which has not yet reached the capital city Caracas. But lines also have reappeared in Falcon state, home of PDVSA's largest oil refineries. At many stations, hundreds of motorcycle drivers—a common way of transportation in the country—circle every morning waiting for a chance to fill up. Some motorists said they worry about the dollar-denominated prices charged for the gasoline when supplies are available.

PDVSA did not reply to a request for comment. On Thursday, it said on Twitter operations would be extended at several central-region stations. Persistent outages. The fluid catalytic cracker at Venezuela's largest refinery, the 645,000-bpd Amuay in Falcon state, has been out of service since last week. It was the plant's third outage since July on power interruptions and unplanned maintenance. The unit has been offline for a total of 23 d this year.

We remind, Venezuela has suspended new crude shipments to Europe under an oil-for-debt deal and has asked Italy's Eni and Spain's Repsol to provide it with fuel in exchange for future cargoes, three people familiar with the matter said. Venezuela's oil company PDVSA no longer is interested in the oil-for-debt deals that the U.S. State Department authorized in May, the sources said, which allowed the state company to resume shipments to Europe after a two-year suspension caused by U.S. sanctions.

BP is exiting Russia

BP is exiting Russia

MOSOCW (MRC) -- BP would like to confirm the current status of its business and interests in Russia, said the company.

On 27 February 2022, bp’s board decided that bp would exit its 19.75% shareholding in Rosneft and its other business in Russia. bp was the first international company to announce such an exit. That decision remains unchanged and bp has no intention of returning to business as usual in Russia.

bp’s nominated directors stood down from Rosneft’s board immediately and bp withdrew its international staff from the country. bp has since withdrawn businesses such as lubricants and aviation.

The decision to leave Russia had a material impact on bp.

bp’s board took the decision to exit Russia only after a thorough process and bp remains confident it was the right decision. As a result, bp took a post-tax charge of USD24.4 billion in its 1Q 2022 results – the largest such impact on any company globally. bp no longer reports any equity share of oil and gas reserves or production or of earnings from Rosneft - reducing bp’s reported oil and gas reserves by more than 50%, reported oil and gas production by around one third, and reported earnings by around USD2 billion a year.

bp has not received any dividends or other revenues nor reported any profits from Russia since its decision – and does not expect to. bp is aware of statements regarding Rosneft’s payment of dividends but it has not received any payments since its decision of 27 February. It has no expectation of receiving any in the future.

bp continues to actively pursue the disposal of its shareholding in Rosneft.

The process is complex due to both international sanctions and Russian regulations. bp is actively engaged in marketing the asset, but its ability to sell is constrained by Russian legislation and the Russian government, who have effective approval rights on any buyer, as well as by limitations resulting from international sanctions. It was anticipated that this would be – and it is proving to be – a drawn-out process.

We remind, BP has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Egyptian government with the aim of establishing a large-scale renewable hydrogen production facility in the North African country, it said in a statement Dec. 8, said the company.
BP is to evaluate the technical and commercial feasibility of developing an export hub in Egypt, exploring high-potential locations across the country for renewables.

TotalEnergies decides to withdraw its directors from Novatek

TotalEnergies decides to withdraw its directors from Novatek

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Further to its principles of conduct defined for its activities in relation to Russia, published on March 22, 2022, TotalEnergies has gradually started to withdraw from its Russian assets while ensuring that it continues to supply gas to Europe, said the company.

TotalEnergies holds a 19.4% stake in the company Novatek, a stake that it cannot sell given the prevailing shareholders’ agreements, as it is forbidden for TotalEnergies to sell any asset to one of Novatek's main shareholders who is under sanction.

In view of the European sanctions in force since the beginning of the war, the two directors representing TotalEnergies on the board of directors of Novatek are led to abstain from voting in meetings of the board of directors of this company, in particular on financial matters. They are therefore no longer in a position to fully carry out their duties on the board which might become an issue for the governance of this company.

Under these circumstances, the Board of Directors of TotalEnergies has decided to withdraw the representatives of the Company from the board of PAO Novatek with immediate effect. As a result, the criteria for significant influence no longer being met within the meaning of the accounting regulations that apply to the Company, TotalEnergies will no longer equity account for its 19.4% stake in Novatek in the Company's accounts.

This will lead to record an impairment of approximately USD3.7 billion in the accounts for the 4th quarter of 2022. In addition, TotalEnergies will no longer book reserves for its interest in Novatek, with an impact on the Company's reported proved reserves at the end of 2021 of 1.7 billion of barrels. However, the life duration of the Company's proved reserves will remain above 11 years of production.

We remind, TotalEnergies and Air France-KLM have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the delivery of more than 1 MMcm3/800,000 tons of SAF by TotalEnergies to Air France-KLM Group airlines over the 10-year period from 2023. This sustainable aviation fuel will be produced by TotalEnergies at its biorefineries. It will be made available to Air France-KLM Group’s airlines, mainly for flights departing from France (in accordance with French legislation) and the Netherlands.

Keystone oil pipeline outage to hit U.S. refiners' supplies, exports

Keystone oil pipeline outage to hit U.S. refiners' supplies, exports

MOSCOW (MRC) -- An outage on the largest oil pipeline to the U.S. from Canada could affect inventories at a key U.S. storage hub and cut crude supplies to two oil refining centers, analysts and traders said, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

TC Energy's Keystone pipeline ferries about 600,000-bpd of Canadian crude to the U.S. It was shut late Wednesday after a breach spewed more than 14,000 bbl of oil into a Kansas creek, making it the largest crude spill in the U.S. in nearly a decade.

While TC Energy has yet to say when it could restart the pipeline, a previous Keystone spill affected operations for two weeks. "The main question continues to be the duration of the potential outage...the longer the duration, ultimately, of course means potentially tighter inventories in Cushing or heavy (crude) on the Gulf Coast," said Michael Tran, a Managing Director at RBC Capital markets.

The line runs directly to the Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub, which is currently about a third full with nearly 24 MMbbl in stock. If the line is closed for more than a week, it could reduce Cushing stocks by about 2.5 MMbbl, data analytics firm Wood Mackenzie said.

If the outage last for more than 10 d, it could push Cushing storage to near the operational minimum of 20 MMbbl, said AJ O'Donnell, a Director at pipeline researcher East Daley Capital. Other pipelines between Canada and the U.S. are at or near capacity, East Daley and Wood Mackenzie estimate. "There's nowhere near enough to take 600,000 bpd. There's just not enough pipe right now," O'Donnell said. Refineries in the U.S. Midwest may be more affected depending on when the line is restarted.

The spill in Kansas took place downstream from a key junction in Steele City, Nebraska, where Keystone splits to run into Illinois. That stretch of the line could be restarted, but the other segment affected by the spill will not come back until regulators approve a restart. By contrast, Gulf Coast refiners can draw on more sources for crude, both from offshore Louisiana facilities and from countries like Colombia, Mexico and Ecuador.

Still, volumes to the Gulf from Cushing have already dropped. Volumes on TC Energy's Marketlink pipeline, which flows from Cushing to Nederland, Texas, fell by about 300,000 bpd to less than 500,000 bpd, Wood Mackenzie estimates, after the leak was discovered.

That could leave the Gulf Coast refineries short of heavy Canadian barrels. U.S. physical crude oil grade prices were mixed on Thursday and O'Donnell at East Daley Capital said he expects volatility to continue as long as Keystone remained offline. Meanwhile, a lengthy shutdown of the pipeline could lead to Canadian crude getting bottlenecked in Alberta, and drive prices lower, although the market's reaction on Friday was muted.

We remind, ExxonMobil expects to double earnings and cash flow potential by 2027, and will increase investments in lower-emissions efforts, the company said on Thursday in news release detailing plans for the next five years, said the company. The corporate plan through 2027 maintains annual capital expenditures at USD20bn-USD25bn, while growing lower-emissions investments to approximately USD17bn.

Indian fuel demand hits nearly 19 MMtpy in November

Indian fuel demand hits nearly 19 MMtpy in November

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India's fuel demand climbed to an eight-month high in November, as festivals and a pick-up in industrial activity boosted sales in the world's No. 3 oil consumer, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Consumption of fuel, a proxy for oil demand, was 2.4% higher than the previous month, and rose 10.2% year-on-year to 18.84 MMt in November, according to the data from Indian oil ministry's Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC). "The festive season has been supporting oil demand growth," said Refinitiv analyst Ehsan Ul Haq. "Demand growth might slow slightly in the next few months as present expansion has been from a low base, but since the Indian economy is robust, we'll continue to see high consumption numbers," Ul Haq added.

Retail sales always peak during October-November, when the nation of 1.4 B celebrates major festivals of Dussehra and Diwali. India's factory activity in November expanded at its fastest pace in three months to 55.7, compared with 55.3 in October, showed the Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, compiled by S&P Global.

Sales of diesel, which account for about four-fifth of India's refined fuel demand, were up 19.1% from 2021 at 7.76 MMt, while sales of gasoline, or petrol, rose 8.1% at 2.86 MMt, the PPAC data showed. The rise in diesel demand "points to a strong economy," said Ul Haq, noting a pick-up in private as well as public transport demand along with a recovery in demand from the agricultural sector after the monsoon season.

Cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sales increased 5.2% to 2.47 MMt, while naphtha sales fell 18.2% to 1.01 MMt. Sales of bitumen, used for making roads, rose 30.3% while fuel oil use edged up 8.4% in November.

We remind, there are signs that China and India are pulling back from buying Russian crude oil ahead of the Group of Seven nations' proposed price cap and a European Union ban on imports. However, the more important question for the market is whether any slowing by China and India of purchases from Russia is a temporary factor that will be reversed once participants figure out how to work with, or around, the price cap.