Chevron 5th and 6th cargoes of Venezuelan oil soon to depart

Chevron 5th and 6th cargoes of Venezuelan oil soon to depart

Two tankers chartered by Chevron Corp are loading Venezuelan heavy crude at the South American country and should depart in coming days for the United States, according to shipping documents and sources, said Reuters.

The Greece-flagged Amalthea is loading some 250,000 barrels of Boscan crude at the Bajo Grande terminal, while the Bahamas-flagged Caribbean Voyager is scheduled to load 500,000 barrels of Hamaca crude at the Jose port this week, the documents showed.

The vessels will carry Chevron's fifth and sixth cargoes of Venezuelan crude since the U.S. Treasury Department in November authorized the company to reanimate and expand operations in the sanctioned country.

Tankers Kerala, Sealeo, Carina Voyager and ICE Fighter set sail earlier this month for Chevron's Pascagoula, Mississippi, refinery and plants in Freeport and Corpus Christi, Texas, according to Refinitiv Eikon data, marking a strong start to the renewed business relationship between PDVSA and Chevron.

Chevron's supply contract is among a few that have not been suspended since a new administration at PDVSA this month ordered a freeze to most contracts until a general audit is done.

Chevron also is sending its second cargo of U.S. heavy naphtha to Venezuela to dilute for export its Petropiar project's crude, on tanker Hamburg Star, the sources said.

The U.S. oil company this month confirmed shipping activities in Venezuela have commenced and said it is focused on "operating safely and reliably" after restarting operations at its affiliated joint ventures in December.

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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Spolana to modernise sulphuric acid production

Spolana to modernise sulphuric acid production

Spolana on Thursday announced a koruna (Kc) 1bn (USD45.6m) project to modernise it sulphuric acid production over the next three years, said the company.

Main benefits would include increased field reliability and security and reduced electricity and natural gas consumption, the company said. “The modernisation will be performed on a step-by-step basis because it can take place only during planned production shutdowns. That is why we have split the project over three years,” said Piotr Kearney, a Spolana executive representative.

He added: “The crucial project parts include migrating steam production needed for the entire manufacturing process to the sulphuric acid unit and installing more modern and thus more energy-efficient production equipment.”

The project will be implemented from September by India-based industrial conglomerate Nuberg Industries. Spolana, located in Neratovice, Central Bohemia, said that among its liquid sulphur customers are car battery producers.

Concentrated sulphuric acid, it added, is used in Spolana’s caprolactam (capro) production.

We remind, Spolana Neratovice, a member of the refinery and petrochemical Unipetrol Group, has commissioned a new heating plant to generate steam needed for its operations. The investment totalled CZK 200 million.

Spolana, owned by ORLEN Unipetrol Group, is the sole Czech manufacturer of capro and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

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Operations at ExxonMobil in Baytown, Texas refinery normal after storms

Operations at ExxonMobil in Baytown, Texas refinery normal after storms

ExxonMobil Corp said operations at its Baytown, Texas refining and petrochemical complex were normal on Wednesday following severe storms including at least one tornado on Tuesday, said Reuters.

Sources familiar with plant operations said the 560,500 bpd refinery was operating at planned rates on Wednesday, but the small gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracker (FCC), a catalytic light ends unit and an alkylation unit were shut for an overhaul planned before the storms.

"There was no significant damage to our facilities at Baytown from the storm yesterday. Our systems at Baytown are safe and operations are normal," Exxon spokesperson Julie King said.

The 90,000-bpd FCC 2 is the smaller of two FCCs at the Baytown refinery. FCCs use a fine powder catalyst to convert gas oil to unfinished gasoline.

Alkylation units convert refining byproducts into additives that boost octane in gasoline.

We remind, 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. 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.

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ExxonMobil evaluating options for new world-scale PAO unit

ExxonMobil evaluating options for new world-scale PAO unit
ExxonMobil is currently evaluating options for a new world-scale metallocene high-viscosity (mHiVis) polyalphaolefin (PAO) unit to serve the Asia Pacific market, said the company.

The plans for building a mHiVis PAO unit, which ExxonMobil announced on its website, “supports ExxonMobil’s commitment to deliver its leading SpectraSyn Elite™ mHiVis PAO into growing global markets while further strengthening supply reliability to our customers globally."

The SpectraSyn Elite mHiVis PAO base stocks are designed to help finished lubricants offer greater energy efficiency, better performance across a wider temperature range and longer drain intervals for a broad range of applications across the industrial and transportation lubricant sectors.

“The world-scale mHiVis unit would further strengthen supply reliability to customers and would be in addition to our recent 20% expansion of our Baytown, Texas, mHiVis PAO plant.” said Alistair Westwood, Synthetics global marketing manager, ExxonMobil Product Solutions Company.

The announcement reinforces ExxonMobil’s market leadership position within the high viscosity PAO market via diversifying its global footprint and enabling increased supply reliability of innovative products to help customers develop finished lubricant formulations that can offer sustainability benefits, the company said.

We remind, 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. 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.

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Phillips 66 achieves ISCC PLUS certification to turn oil from waste plastics into feedstocks

Phillips 66 achieves ISCC PLUS certification to turn oil from waste plastics into feedstocks

Phillips 66 announced it has received International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS certification for its Sweeny Refinery in Texas to process oil made from waste plastics into feedstocks for new plastics, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

“Phillips 66 is committed to keeping plastics out of the environment and driving toward a more circular economy where plastics packaging is reused, recycled or recovered,” said Zhanna Golodryga, Executive Vice President of Emerging Energy and Sustainability at Phillips 66. “The ISCC PLUS certification highlights the company’s resolve to create sustainable streams for waste materials and to support the growth of advanced recycling in plastics.”

ISCC is a globally applicable and industry recognized sustainability certification system that covers all sustainable feedstocks, including circular feedstocks produced from plastic waste. Its ISCC PLUS certificate covers bio-based and recycled, or circular, raw materials.

The certification for the Sweeny Refinery is the latest example of how Phillips 66 is working to play a key role in building a lower-carbon future by capitalizing on its core competencies and integrated assets.

The ISCC PLUS certification verifies the refinery meets the standards to process pyrolysis oil made from hard-to-recycle waste plastics into circular ethane, circular propane, circular propylene and other sustainable feedstocks and petrochemical building blocks. The products will be used to support polymer producers — including Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, Phillips 66’s 50-50 joint venture — that are advancing a circular economy for plastics.

Chevron Phillips Chemical already produces Marlex Anew™ Circular Polyethylene at its Cedar Bayou complex in Baytown, Texas, and is targeting an annual production volume of 1 billion pounds of the circular polymer by 2030.

Sweeny Refinery, which is located in Old Ocean, Texas, on the Gulf Coast, is the second Phillips 66 refinery to achieve an ISCC PLUS certification and the first for the processing of waste plastic pyrolysis oil into circular feedstocks. Its Humber Refinery in the U.K. is ISCC PLUS certified to process used cooking oil, food waste and other circular feedstocks.

We remind, QatarEnergy and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC announced they will proceed on construction of a USD6 B integrated polymers complex in Ras Laffan Industrial City, Qatar. An agreement marking the positive final investment decision for the project was signed by His Excellency Mr. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, the President and CEO of QatarEnergy, and by Bruce Chinn, President and CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical, at a ceremony in Doha. The companies created a joint venture, Ras Laffan Petrochemicals, in which QatarEnergy owns a 70% equity share and Chevron Phillips Chemical owns 30%.

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