Exxon prepares to start up USD1.2 bn Texas oil refinery expansion

Exxon prepares to start up USD1.2 bn Texas oil refinery expansion

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Exxon Mobil Corp in coming days will sharply boost gasoline and diesel production at its Beaumont, Texas, refinery, people familiar with the matter said, completing a USD1.2 B expansion first considered nine years ago, said Reuters.

Initial startup of a 250,000 bpd crude distillation unit (CDU) at the 369,000 bpd refinery is expected by Jan. 31, the sources said, making the Beaumont refinery the second largest in the United States.

It is the first major expansion to U.S. oil processing in nearly a decade, adding the equivalent of a mid-sized refinery, and coming online as scheduled at a time when U.S. President Joe Biden has been urging refiners to produce more fuels, or face penalties.

U.S. stockpiles of diesel and gasoline are near five-year lows, and profit margins for producing motor fuels in the U.S. Gulf Coast region are near record levels.

Refiners are earning about USD35.40 per barrel using the industry's crack spread, a profit measure which compares the cost of crude oil to sale prices for gasoline and diesel, according to Refinitiv.

"Right now, margins are sensational," said Garfield Miller, president of refining investment banker Aegis Energy Advisers Corp. "These margins tell you that as far as the U.S. Gulf Coast is concerned, there is plenty of demand relative to supply."

As per MRC, ExxonMobil has initiated legal proceedings against the European Union to try to stop a proposed windfall tax on fossil fuel companies, arguing Brussels has exceeded its legal authority. In September, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the plan to impose a 33% “solidarity contribution” after oil and gas companies posted record profits in 2022.

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TotalEnergies announces start-up of German LNG import terminal

TotalEnergies announces start-up of German LNG import terminal

MOSCOW (MRC) -- TotalEnergies announced the start-up on Friday of the Deutsche Ostsee LNG import terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the Baltic Sea industrial port of Lubmin in eastern Germany, at the border with Poland, said the company.

The French energy and petrochemicals major provided Lubmin with a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) and is supplying LNG to the terminal.

The FSRU has an regasification capacity of 5bn cubic metres (bcm)/year of gas, enough to cover about 5% of German demand, the company said. TotalEnergies contracted 2.bcm/year of Lubmin’s regasification capacity and has begun delivering LNG, it said.

With the project’s start-up, the company will increase its total LNG imports to Europe to more than 20m tonnes/year, or about 15% of the continent’s regasification capacity, it added. Lubmin’s official inauguration will take place on Saturday, 14 January, to be attended by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The project is privately financed and operated by Deutsche Regas. In a separate statement, Deutsche Regas on Friday confirmed that it concluded LNG supply deals with TotalEnergies and another supplier, MET Group.

We remind, LANXESS and French energy group TotalEnergies have entered into a cooperation on the supply of biocircular styrene. Unlike conventional styrene, the raw material used by TotalEnergies is based on tall oil, which is derived from a tree resin and is a by-product of pulp production. LANXESS uses the styrene to produce sustainable ion exchange resins. These products are applied primarily in the treatment of wastewater and chemical process flows as well as in the food industry.

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NCC part of biomaterials project

NCC part of biomaterials project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The National Composites Centre (NCC) in the UK has announced its participation in the Green-Loop project, which focuses on developing new bio-based materials using sustainable manufacturing methods, said Reinforcedplastics.

The project is funded by the EU as part of its Horizon Europe program, which supports research initiatives.

Plans are to implement three new materials based around multifunctional rubber panels with fire resistance and vibrational applications, bioplastic bottle closures for oil and fruit juice and wood composites bearings for plastic injection machines.

The NCC is reportedly leading the development of the multifunctional rubber panels for construction and infrastructure.

We remind, LG Chem will team up with the eco-friendly energy company GS EPS to convert heat sources into biomass fuel. The company announced on Dec. 20 that the two companies signed the main contract for establishing a biomass power plant that will produce industry-use steam and electricity using waste wood at the Yeouido LG Twin Tower with the attendance of executives from both companies. This agreement follows up the conclusion of the heads of agreement (HOA) signed by the two companies in June of last year.

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TCL Specialties to build two manufacturing facilities in West Virginia

TCL Specialties to build two manufacturing facilities in West Virginia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- TCL Specialties LLC, a subsidiary of Thirumalai Chemicals Ltd (TCL; Mumbai, India), will invest USD150 million for two manufacturing facilities in Marshall County, West Virginia, one to make malic and fumaric acids for food ingredients and the other to produce maleic anhydride, said the company.

These facilities, to be housed within the Covestro New Martinsville Industrial Park, will respectively produce and market 30,000 tons/year of food ingredients and 25,000 tons/year of maleic anhydride from butane.

Site construction will begin this month, and production is expected to be online by mid-2024. Technology, design, and engineering are provided by TCL, with more than 90% of the facilities’ energy coming from surplus process heat, enabling a low carbon footprint, the company says. TCL says the facilities will help satisfy the growing demand for these products in the US and reduce import dependence, while also exporting significant volumes to Latin America and Western Europe.

We remind, TCL Specialties LLC, a subsidiary of Thirumalai Chemicals Ltd. (Mumbai, India), has started implementation of its project to build a chemical facility in the northeastern United States. In Phase 1 of the project, TCL will manufacture Maleic Anhydride, Malic Acid and Fumaric acid with an annual capacity of about 40,000 metric tons and cater to customers in North America, Europe and Latin America.

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Venezuela earmarks a third oil cargo to Chevron under U.S. license

Venezuela earmarks a third oil cargo to Chevron under U.S. license

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA has assigned a third crude cargo to Chevron Corp under a U.S. authorization that restarted exports to the United States after a nearly four-year pause, said Reuters.

Chevron received a U.S. license in November allowing it to revive its oil output and expand operations in Venezuela, part of Washington's effort to encourage talks towards elections in the OPEC country, which has been under U.S. oil sanctions since 2019.

The third cargo represents a solid start to an agreement expected to last at least six months. U.S. Gulf Coast refiners prize Venezuela's heavy crude but have been barred from purchasing it under U.S. sanctions in recent years.

The first Chevron-chartered tanker carrying Venezuelan oil departed on Tuesday and is set to deliver the crude next week to its Pascagoula, Mississippi, refinery. The second and third tankers also are expected to deliver their cargoes this month.

Chevron separately made its first delivery of imported heavy naphtha to its Petropiar joint venture this week at PDVSA's Jose terminal. A second cargo of about 450,000 barrels of the fuel is expected to depart from a U.S. port in the coming days, the people added.

Chevron so far has taken 500,000 barrels of Hamaca heavy crude from its Petropiar oil project. That cargo is sailing to the United States on tanker Sealeo after a ship-to-ship transfer off Aruba. Another cargo of some 240,000 barrels of Boscan heavy crude is onboard the tanker Kerala after loading at Venezuela's Bajo Grande terminal and passing Maracaibo Lake's channel.

The third cargo will be carried by Chevron-operated vessel Carina Voyager, one of the people said. The ship arrived in the Caribbean Sea last week and has been awaiting a loading window at the Jose port, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

Chevron this week confirmed shipping activities under the U.S. license began this month. The company said is focused on "operating safely and reliably" at its affiliated joint ventures. PDVSA did not reply to requests for comment.

Chevron is relying on to ship-to-ship (STS) transfers to consolidate cargoes from its joint ventures in Venezuela before they sail to the United States amid infrastructure limitations that hit the South American country's exports last year.

The transfers near Aruba and at Venezuela's Caquetios area aim to overcome problems from power outages to equipment malfunctioning and a silt-clogged navigation channel, which often delay shipments.

We remind, Chevron Corp plans to export this month its first cargo of Venezuelan crude to its Pascagoula, Mississippi refinery following a U.S. license granted last year. The 500,000-barrel cargo of Hamaca heavy crude, to be loaded at state-run PDVSA's Jose port, comes from the Petropiar oil joint venture operated by both companies.

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