China December refined oil exports may hit record near 7 MMt

China December refined oil exports may hit record near 7 MMt

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China may close the year with record shipments of key transportation fuels in December as refiners rush to use their export quotas and maximize overseas profits to compensate for tepid domestic fuel demand caused by COVID-related curbs, said Reuters.

December exports of diesel, gasoline and aviation fuel combined are estimated at 6.5 million to 7.1 MMt, led by diesel shipments that could reach 3 MMt, according to estimates from Chinese consultancy Longzhong and JLC, Refinitiv Oil Research and several trading sources.

China's diesel exports hit an all-time high of 2.83 MMt in March 2020, followed by a record 6.5 MMt in April for all three products, according to Chinese customs data.

Bumper shipments from China will weigh on Asian refining margins, particularly for diesel, as refiners' profit from producing the fuel from Dubai crude has already shed 15%-30% month-on-month amid sufficient regional supplies and a closed arbitrage to European markets.

Beijing's abrupt relaxation of COVID rules this week aren't likely to reverse the outflows as substantial recovery in local demand may take months to materialize, market participants said.

Despite earlier expectations that part of the large set of quotas released in October could be extended into 2023, it became clear in recent weeks that refiners were being encouraged to finish them all by end-December, three trading sources said.

"Chinese refiners are still grappling with high domestic inventories, especially for gasoline and more recently gasoil," said Daphne Ho, senior analyst at consultancy Wood Mackenzie. "Healthier export margins has been a key push factor."

State refiners, which control most of the export quotas, have since November been ramping up diesel production to cash in lucrative overseas sales.

Despite recent declines, refining profits for both 10 ppm sulfur gasoil and jet fuel have more than doubled this year on tight global supplies. "State majors are very much margin-oriented and they will only redirect volumes if there is better profit elsewhere," said one China-based trading source.

Gasoline exports were pegged at 2.1 MM to 2.3 MMt for December, likely to surpass a record 1.9 MMt from April 2020.

We remind, China may close the year with record shipments of key transportation fuels in December as refiners rush to use their export quotas and maximize overseas profits to compensate for tepid domestic fuel demand caused by COVID-related curbs.
mrc.ru

TC Energy says has not found cause of Keystone oil pipeline leak

TC Energy says has not found cause of Keystone oil pipeline leak

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Canada's TC Energy said it has not yet determined the cause of the Keystone oil pipeline leak last week in the United States, while also not giving a timeline as to when the pipeline will resume operation, said Reuters.

TC shut the pipeline after more than 14,000 barrels of crude oil spilled into a creek in Kansas on Wednesday, making it one of the largest U.S. crude spills in nearly a decade.

"Our teams continue to actively investigate the cause of the incident. We have not confirmed a timeline for re-start and will only resume service when it is safe to do so, and with the approval of the regulator," TC said in an update posted to its website.

The pipeline operator said that it has more than 250 people working on the leak, including third-party environmental specialists, adding that it is continuously monitoring air quality and presently there are no indications of adverse health or public concerns.

Crews are also preparing for rain forecast to begin on Monday, TC said. The 622,000 barrel-per-day Keystone line is a critical artery shipping heavy Canadian crude from Alberta to refiners in the U.S. Midwest and the Gulf Coast.

Keystone's shutdown will hamper deliveries of Canadian crude both to the U.S. storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma and to the Gulf, where it is processed by refiners or exported.

Canadian energy company TC Energy has declared force majeure after the shutdown of the Keystone oil pipeline due to an oil leak. TC Energy previously reported a shutdown of the Keystone oil pipeline due to an oil leak into a stream in Washington County, Kansas, about 20 miles (32 km) south of Steel City, Nebraska.
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Chevron Phillips and KazMunayGas to build polyethylene plant in Atyrau

Chevron Phillips and KazMunayGas to build polyethylene plant in Atyrau

MOSCOW (MRC) -- KazMunayGas (KMG) and Chevron Philips Chemical representatives signed a license and engineering agreement for the second phase of the construction of an integrated gas and chemical complex in the Atyrau region, QazMonitor reports.

A meeting between Magzum Myrzagaliyev, Board Chair of KMG, and Venki Chandrashekar, Vice President for Research and Technology of Chevron Phillips Chemical, was held on December 11.

The contract outlines the development of a polyethylene plant to produce polyethylene using MarTECH® ADL technology, and a license to produce 625,000 tons of polyethylene a year.

The technology of the petrochemical company will make it possible to produce a wide range of products at the future Kazakh plant, including premium high-density polyethylene for which stable long-term demand growth is expected all over the world in the future.

The negotiations on the second polymerization unit with an annual capacity of 625 thousand tons of polyethylene are being finalized with another licensor and the signing of the agreement is expected by mid-December of the current year.

The two units are going to be united into one complex with a total capacity of 1,250,000 tons. The choice of the two leading licensors will ensure the production of a wide range of base and premium grades.

We remind, Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiary Chevron Munaigas Inc. (Chevron), and JSC NC KazMunayGas (KMG) have announced a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore potential lower carbon business opportunities in Kazakhstan. Chevron and KMG plan to evaluate the potential for lower carbon projects in areas such as carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS); hydrogen; energy efficiency and methane management; and carbon financial disclosure methodology.
mrchub.com

Phillips 66 to boost spending on chemicals, renewable fuels

Phillips 66 to boost spending on chemicals, renewable fuels

MOSCOW (MRC) -- U.S. oil refiner Phillips 66 will raise spending on new projects next year by about 6%, putting more into renewable fuels and pipeline businesses, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Total capital spending next year will be about USD3.14 B, up from USD2.97 B budgeted this year, with increases for a new plastics plant and to convert a refinery to produce diesel and gasoline from animal fats and cooking oil.

Energy firms have been steadily boosting investments in renewable and lower carbon fuels amid pressure from governments and climate activists. ExxonMobil Corp. and Chevron Corp this week said they would increase spending next year on lower carbon emission businesses.

Phillips' spending on refining projects would increase to USD1.12 B, from the USD896 MM budgeted for this year. Its budget for CP Chemical, a 50/50 joint venture with Chevron, will increase 29% amid work on a new polymer plant. Phillips said the capital allocation is consistent with its commitment to maintain a $2-B annual budget through 2024, excluding its joint ventures.

Including the company's proportionate share of capital spending associated with joint ventures CPChem and WRB, Phillips' total 2023 capital program is projected to be USD3.14 B.

We remind, Phillips 66 said on Wednesday, it plans to reduce its employee headcount by 1,100 to help cut costs and meet its savings target of USD500 MM by end-2022. Phillips, which had 14,000 employees in 2021 according to a company presentation, expects to cut staff to 12,900 by the end of this year.

mrchub.com

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.
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