Fire at India's Numaligarh refinery under control

Fire at India's Numaligarh refinery under control

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A fire that broke out at the 60,000 barrel-per-day Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) in Assam state, India, on Monday has been brought under control, the refinery said, said Reuters.

"Fire in Vessel VV-4 of hydrocracker unit of Numaligarh refinery, which started around 7.20 p.m. this evening is under control. No injuries or casualties reported," the refinery said in a statement. "Preliminary investigation on cause of fire has started."

Numaligarh refinery was shut down for maintenance in the last week of March and has been restarting operations a unit at a time since May 15, an NRL spokesperson said.

The affected hydrocracker was undergoing post-startup stabilization when part of it caught fire, the person added.

Numaligarh refinery is a subsidiary of Oil India Ltd.

We remind, McDermott has been awarded a project management consultancy contract from India Oil Corporation Limited for the Maleic Anhydride (MAH) unit at the Panipat Refinery and Petrochemical Complex, located 62 miles from New Delhi, India.

Future refineries in India may be smaller capacity

Future refineries in India may be smaller capacity

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India will look at building smaller oil refineries because of problems in acquiring land as it aims to raise its annual refining capacity to 9 million barrels per day (bpd), oil minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Tuesday, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Oil refining capacity in India, the world's third biggest oil importer and consumer, is at about 5.2 million bpd. Global oil producers see India as a stable outlet for their oil as it is expected to account for a quarter of global oil demand growth by 2040.

"Refineries are high cost. We are looking at a large number of 20 million tons per annum, smaller ones, because if I make it too big than land acquisition and other issues come in the way," Puri told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event.

He said Indian needed to draw a roadmap for expanding its refining capacity to 9 million bpd. Problems with land purchases are one of the key reasons for sluggish infrastructure development in Asia's third-largest economy.

Reuters last year reported that Indian was considering building several refineries instead of a single 1.2 million bpd plant being planned with Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), due to challenges in acquiring a 15,000-acre parcel of land for it.

Delays in acquiring the land have almost stalled the project, initially planned for 2025, and boosted costs by 36% to $60-B, according to 2019 estimates. The government did not respond to requests for comment last year on the possibility of splitting up the planned giant refinery.

Puri said new refiners would also make petrochemicals and green hydrogen among other products. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a 2070 net zero goal and is helping companies to build green projects through various incentives.

India wants to develop a green hydrogen capacity of own 5 million tons a year by 2030, besides expanding its renewable energy capacity. "India will become an energy hub but it is an energy hub that is going in green direction," Puri said.

We remind, McDermott has been awarded a project management consultancy contract from India Oil Corporation Limited for the Maleic Anhydride (MAH) unit at the Panipat Refinery and Petrochemical Complex, located 62 miles from New Delhi, India.

SABIC publishes Sustainability Report highlighting “Sustainable Growth for a Better World”

SABIC publishes Sustainability Report highlighting “Sustainable Growth for a Better World”

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SABIC marked a series of important strides in its sustainable growth in 2022, underpinned by advancements in feedstock optimization, technology, and new partnerships, said Polymerupdate.

The company debuted a string of sustainable offerings last year, including its BLUEHERO™ initiative, which helps accelerate the world’s energy transition to electric power and address the global challenge of climate change.

In recognition of the breadth of environmental challenges facing the industry and world, SABIC also scaled up its collaborations across the value chain. SABIC kicked off construction of the world’s first demonstration plant for large-scale electrically heated steam cracker furnaces with partners BASF and Linde. It also began innovative pilot projects, including one aimed at evaluating how blockchain technology can enable end-to-end digital traceability of circular feedstock in customer products.

Energy efficiency, renewable energy, initial electrification and carbon capture were confirmed as priority areas for lowering SABIC’s absolute greenhouse gas emissions per its interim 2030 targets. The report also affirms that further scaling electrification and green/blue hydrogen will be key to its long-term Carbon Neutrality Roadmap.

We remind, SABIC participated in a ceremony to announce the first package of Shareek projects involving large companies in Saudi Arabia. The event was held in the presence of several dignitaries, senior businessmen and heads of major companies participating in the program. During the ceremony, SABIC announced a strategic project to manufacture catalysts, aiming to transform Saudi Arabia into a manufacturing hub for specialized materials in line with the national industrial strategy.

Westlake Corporation declares quarterly dividend

Westlake Corporation declares quarterly dividend

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Board of Directors of Westlake Corporation declared on 12 May 2023 a regular dividend distribution of USD0.357/share for 1Q 2023, said the company.

This dividend will be payable on 8 Jun 2023, to stockholders of record on 23 May 2023.

We remind, Westlake’s Q1 net income fell 47.9% year on year to USD394m, the US-based chemicals and building products company reported. The main reasons for the decline were: Lower average sales prices and integrated margins in the company’s Performance Materials segment; Lower production and sales volumes, especially in the Housing and Infrastructure Products (HIP) segment. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 36.5%, and the EBITDA margin fell to 25%, from 32% in Q1 2022.

Westlake is a global manufacturer and supplier of materials and innovative products that enhance life every day. Headquartered in Houston, with operations in Asia, Europe and North America, we provide the building blocks for vital solutions — from housing and construction, to packaging and healthcare, to automotive and consumer.

Oil slips as economic jitters offset U.S. debt deal

Oil slips as economic jitters offset U.S. debt deal

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil prices slipped on Monday as economic worries over further interest rate hikes trumped a tentative debt ceiling deal reached in the U.S., possibly averting a default in the world's largest economy and oil consumer, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Brent crude futures slipped 68 cents, or 0.8%, to USD76.27 a barrel by 1350 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at USD72.11 a barrel, down 56 cents or 0.7%. Trade is expected to be subdued on Monday because of UK and U.S. public holidays.

U.S. President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy over the weekend forged an agreement to suspend the $31.4 trillion debt ceiling and cap government spending for the next two years. Both leaders expressed confidence that members of the Democratic and Republican parties will vote to support the deal.

Still, analysts saw any boost in oil prices from the debt deal as short lived, with earlier gains in the session now lost. The U.S. Federal Reserve may still raise interest rates in June, IG's Sydney-based analyst Tony Sycamore said. "Higher U.S. rates are a headwind for crude oil demand," he added.

Markets are leaning towards expecting the Fed to raise rates by 25 basis points next month, then keep rates steady for the rest of the year. Chinese stocks fell after data showed profits slumping at China's industrial firms.

Meanwhile, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia, known as OPEC+, is due to meet on June 4. Saudi energy minister Abdulaziz bin Salman warned short-sellers betting that oil prices will fall to "watch out", in a possible signal that OPEC+ may further cut output.

However, comments from Russian oil officials and sources, including Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, indicate the world's third-largest oil producer is leaning towards leaving output unchanged. "Traders have been left a little confused as to what we can expect," said Craig Erlam, senior markets analyst at OANDA.

"It may be that Saudi Arabia wants to keep traders on their toes, but to make these comments and not follow through could be perceived as weak and see prices drift lower again," Erlam said.

We remind, Russia is leaning towards leaving oil production volumes unchanged ahead of an OPEC+ policy meeting on June 4 because Moscow is content with current prices and output, three sources with knowledge of current Russian thinking told Reuters. OPEC+, which groups the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries with Russia and other allies, surprised the market on April 2 with further output cuts that pushed up the price of oil.