EU countries to meet to discuss proposed vehicle emissions law

EU countries to meet to discuss proposed vehicle emissions law

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Czech Republic has invited transport ministers from 11 European Union counties to meet in Strasbourg on Monday to discuss emissions-cutting policies amid a dispute over the bloc's landmark policy to shift to electric vehicles, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Invited to the meeting are Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Finland, an EU official told Reuters. It is not yet confirmed which ministers will attend.

The meeting was initially planned to discuss a proposed EU law to tighten limits for vehicle emissions of health-harming pollutants like nitrogen oxides - a policy known as Euro 7. The Czech Republic, some other countries and industry groups have said they want to change it, calling it unrealistic and questioning the environmental benefits the law would bring.

But some EU officials said they now expect the meeting to discuss the countries' stance on the EU's law to end sales of new CO2-emitting cars in 2035. The bloc's main policy to speed up Europe's shift to electric vehicles got put on hold after Germany declared last-minute opposition to it.

Czech transport Minister Martin Kupka said last week, after meeting his German couterpart Volker Wissing in Berlin, that the country wanted changes to the 2035 ban on new CO2-emitting cars. "We will not support the limitation of combustion engines after 2035, unless there will be a clear and binding exemption for synthetic fuels," Kupka said on Twitter.

Germany's transport ministry last week demanded reassurances that sales be allowed of new cars with internal combustion engines after 2035, if they run on CO2-neutral fuels. The intervention surprised policymakers, since the European Parliament, the Commission and EU member states already agreed the car CO2 law last year after months of negotiations.

The policy was set to enter into force after a final vote this week, which was cancelled after Germany's opposition and has not yet been rescheduled.

Other opponents of the car CO2 law include Italy, Poland and a handful of other countries whose ranks have swelled since Europe's biggest economy signalled its opposition, EU officials said - raising the possibility of enough support to block it.

We remind, Synthos has announced that it will cease production of emulsion styrene butadiene rubber (E-SBR) at its Kralupy plant in the Czech Republic in the second quarter of 2023. The company said it had made the decision due to unpredictable utility costs, which have led to an unsustainable market environment for E-SBR for European producers; a direct result of the geopolitical situation and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to a company press release on 2 March.

French protests are disrupting fuel supplies

French protests are disrupting fuel supplies

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Workers striking over proposed changes to France's pension system continued to block fuel deliveries and reduce electricity production at several sites on Thursday, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

About 7% of French refueling stations lacked at least one product as of Wednesday, but "there is no supply problem for service stations and the situation is improving", said Olivier Gantois, president of the French Union for Petroleum, Energy and Mobility Industries UFIP.

TotalEnergies said there were again no fuel deliveries from its French refineries due to the strike. There were also no deliveries from ExxonMobil unit Esso's Fos-sur-Mer refinery in southern France, although operations had returned to normal at Port Jerome in the northwest, a union representative told Reuters.

The disruption at Fos is expected to last until 9 p.m. (2000 GMT) on Thursday as per a strike protocol agreement signed late Wednesday, a spokesperson for Esso said. Regionally, fuel stations in Ile-de-France, where capital city Paris is located, were about 15% dry and some areas in the west of the country also had supply disruptions, UFIP said.

During previous pay strikes in the autumn, it took about a week of sustained action disrupting fuel refining and deliveries before major shortages were noticed. The autumn is also refinery maintenance season, which further contributed to problems.

While the price of diesel product contracts in Europe has edged up in recent days, "overall the market doesn't seem to be reacting to the strikes in the same way it did during October 2022", said Pamela Munger, senior market analyst at energy analytics firm Vortexa.

On the power side, supply was reduced by 8.2 gigawatts (GW), or 13% of overall production, across some of the country's nuclear, thermal and hydropower sites due to the strike, EDF data showed. France is not currently importing electricity, data from grid operator RTE showed, suggesting domestic supply is meeting demand.

Opinion polls show a majority of voters oppose President Emmanuel Macron's plan to delay the state pension age by two years to 64, but the government says the policy change is essential to ensure the system does not go bust.

We remind, TotalEnergies is developing its renewable activities in Poland by acquiring the country’s main biogas producer, Polska Grupa Biogazowa (PGB), and a 200-megawatt (MW) development pipeline of solar projects. With 130 employees in nine Polish regions, PGB is mainly involved in generating renewable heat and power from biogas sourced from organic waste. It owns and operates 17 facilities in production and one under construction, for a total power generation capacity of 166 GWh per year1. PGB's portfolio also includes a development pipeline of 23 projects.

QatarEnergy and CPChem begin construction of USD8.5 bn petrochemical facility

QatarEnergy and CPChem begin construction of USD8.5 bn petrochemical facility

MOSCOW (MRC) -- QatarEnergy and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company (CPChem) marked the groundbreaking of the Golden Triangle Polymers Plant in Orange County, in Texas, U.S., marking the beginning of construction of the USD8.5-B world-scale petrochemical facility, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The landmark event was attended by Senior QatarEnergy Executives as well as Mr. Bruce Chinn, the President and CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical, Mr. Mark Lashier, the President and CEO of Phillips 66, in addition to several local elected and appointed officials.

Delivering remarks on behalf of His Excellency Mr. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, the President and CEO of QatarEnergy, Mr. Ahmad Saeed Al-Amoodi, QatarEnergy’s Executive Vice President, Surface Development & Sustainability, said, “For over two decades, we have worked hand in hand with Chevron Phillips Chemical to satisfy the growing demand for innovative petrochemical products, which not only constitute a significant portion of our daily lives, but also play a role in shaping how we live. In this partnership, we are also working together to enable balanced growth and to facilitate human development in a responsible and sustainable manner."

Highlighting the local impact of the new facility, Mr. Al-Amoodi, said, “The Orange community is a direct beneficiary of this strategic partnership. We are investing USD8.5 B to build this world-scale facility, which is QatarEnergy’s second largest investment in the U.S. after the more than USD11-B investment in the Golden Pass LNG production and export facility, which is currently under construction about 35 miles from here in Sabine Pass, Texas. This plant will also be, by far, the most significant economic investment in the Orange community in decades, creating jobs and supporting economic growth."

Mr. Al-Amoodi concluded his remarks by thanking the local community, CPChem, the local and federal bodies and agencies, and all the stakeholders in the city of Orange who have made this project a reality, and to all the contractors who will build the projects.

Located about 180 kilometers east of Houston, the plant will include an ethylene cracker unit with a capacity of 2.08 MMtpy, making it the largest in the world, and two high-density polyethylene units with a combined capacity of 2 MMtpy, also making them the largest derivatives units of their kind in the world. The plant is expected to startup in 2026 and will be owned by Golden Triangle Polymers Company LLC, a joint venture in which QatarEnergy holds a 49% equity interest with 51% held by CPChem.

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%.

Chevron and JERA sign MOU to explore carbon capture and storage projects in United States and Australia

Chevron and JERA sign MOU to explore carbon capture and storage projects in United States and Australia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chevron and JERA sign MOU to explore carbon capture and storage projects in United States and Australia, said the company.

Chevron New Energies (Chevron), a division of Chevron U.S.A. Inc., and JERA Co., Inc. (JERA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that provides a framework for their collaboration on carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects located in the United States and Australia. This MOU has the potential to expand the significant liquid natural gas (LNG) relationship that Chevron and JERA have, and further demonstrates the commitment and dedication both companies have to advancing lower carbon solutions.

This MOU furthers the collaboration between the companies in the lower carbon space, following the November 2022 announcement of their collaboration on the potential co-development of lower carbon fuel in Australia and the study of liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC) in the United States.

“We have deep experience and capability in subsurface and are actively developing CCS projects around the world,” Chris Powers, vice president of Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage at Chevron, said. “We understand that without long-term relationships like the one we have with JERA, we wouldn’t be able to develop these resources and move at the pace we have been moving to further our energy transition goals.”

Gaku Takagi, executive officer, head of the Resource Procurement & Investment Division of JERA, said the company has been working to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its domestic and overseas businesses to zero by 2050.

“JERA and Chevron have worked together to bring stable and reliable LNG to our customers over the years, and this CCS collaboration further demonstrates our strong commitment to advance lower carbon solutions,” Takagi said.

We remind, Chevron Corp. posted a record USD36.5 bn profit for 2022 that was more than double year-earlier earnings but fell shy of Wall Street estimates, undercut by an asset writedowns and a retreat in oil and gas prices.
The second largest U.S. oil producer's adjusted net profit for 2022 beat by about USD10 billion its previous record set in 2011. But USD1.1 B in writedowns in its international oil and gas operations in the fourth quarter left earnings short of forecasts for adjusted net profit of USD37.2 B.

BP CEO: Fuel efficiency has a bigger impact on demand vs. EVs

BP CEO: Fuel efficiency has a bigger impact on demand vs. EVs

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Fuel efficiency in new light vehicles is having a bigger impact on fuel demand than rising sales of electric vehicles, BP Chief Executive Bernard Looney said at an energy conference on Tuesday, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

As old vehicles in the world's 1.4 billion fleet of light vehicles are scrapped, newer vehicles with higher mileage per unit of gasoline have taken their place.

"That is locked in, and that's having a bigger impact on oil demand than electric vehicles," Looney said at the CERAWeek energy conference. Around 3% of the global vehicle fleet is EVs, he said.

The world's vehicle fleet is expected to grow to 2.2 billion vehicles by 2040, with much of the growth coming from China and India, he said.

With more efficient vehicles and many more electric vehicles on the road, fuel demand could fall by 5 MMbpd to 10 MMbpd by 2040, Looney said. The existing global light vehicle fleet consumes about 32 MMbpd, he said. That accounts for around a third of global oil demand.

We remind, BP has decided to end the publication of its statistical review of world energy after 70 years. The task has now fallen to the industry body the Energy Institute, which kicks off IE Week in London today – and is the same organisation that BP UK country head Louise Kingham used to head up. BP’s statistical energy review was first published in 1952, providing key data on global oil, gas and coal consumption.