Indonesia seizes Iranian-flagged tanker suspected of illegal oil transfer

Indonesia seizes Iranian-flagged tanker suspected of illegal oil transfer

Indonesia's coast guard said on Tuesday it seized an Iranian-flagged supertanker suspected of involvement in the illegal transshipment of crude oil and vowed to toughen maritime patrols, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The MT Arman 114 was carrying 272,569 metric tons of light crude oil, valued at 4.6 trillion rupiah ($304 million), when it was seized last week, the Indonesian authorities said. The Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) was suspected of transferring oil to another vessel without a permit on Friday, the Southeast Asian nation's maritime security agency said.

The vessel was captured after being spotted in Indonesia's North Natuna Sea, carrying out a ship-to-ship oil transfer with the Cameroon-flagged MT S Tinos, the agency's chief, Aan Kurnia, said. "MT Arman was spoofing their automatic identification system (AIS) to show its position was in the Red Sea but in reality it is here," Aan told reporters.

"So it seems like they already had a malicious intent," Aan said, adding that the vessel also dumped oil into the ocean, in violation of Indonesia's environmental law. The vessels' operators could not be immediately reached for comment.

Along with the Arman, authorities detained its Egyptian captain, 28 crew and three passengers, who were the family of a security officer on board, the agency said. After the two supertankers attempted to escape, authorities focused their pursuit on Arman, assisted by Malaysian authorities as the vessel sailed into their waters, Aan said.

The Tinos was supposed to have been scrapped in 2018, he added. It was built in 1999 while the Arman was built in 1997, according to shipping database Equasis. Separate data on Equasis and data analytics company MarineTraffic showed that one of the Arman 114's previous names was Grace 1.

The Grace 1 was seized by British Royal Marine commandos in July 2019 on suspicion of trying to take oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions. It was released the following month after a diplomatic standoff with the West. A "shadow" fleet of tankers carrying oil from sanctioned Iran, Russia and Venezuela has been transferring cargoes in the Singapore Strait to avoid detection, a Reuters analysis showed this year. The risk of oil spills and accidents is growing as hundreds of extra ships, some without insurance cover, have joined the opaque parallel trade over the past few years.

We remind, Indonesia plans to raise its mandatory palm oil-based biodiesel blending to 40% in the next few years, but for now will keep it unchanged at 35%. The world's biggest palm oil producer raised mandatory blending from 30% to 35% in February, however it has not been fully implemented in some areas.

HomeNewsOil prices up 2% to 10-week high on weaker US dollar, rising demand forecasts

HomeNewsOil prices up 2% to 10-week high on weaker US dollar, rising demand forecasts

Oil prices jumped about 2% to a 10-week high on Tuesday, boosted by a falling U.S. dollar, hopes for higher demand in the developing world and supply cuts by the world's biggest oil exporters, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Brent futures rose USD1.51, or 1.9%, to USD79.20 a barrel by 11:30 a.m. EDT (1530 GMT) . U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose USD1.61, or 2.2%, to USD74.60. Both benchmarks were on track for their highest closes since May 1, with Brent in technically overbought territory for the second time in three days.

The U.S. dollar(.DXY) dropped to a two-month low against a basket of other currencies after U.S. Federal Reserve officials signalled the central bank was near the end of its tightening cycle. A weaker dollar makes crude cheaper for holders of other currencies.

"Oil has found a floor and the only thing ... that could break that is if U.S. inflation is scorching hot and the Fed is forced to tighten this economy into a recession," said OANDA analyst Edward Moya. Markets were awaiting U.S. inflation data on Wednesday for clues on the interest rate outlook. Higher rates can slow economic growth and reduce oil demand.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said the oil market should remain tight in the second half of 2023, citing strong demand from China and developing countries combined with recently announced supply cuts including by top exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia. The IEA will publish new forecasts this week.

Top oil buyer China again requested less supply from the world's biggest oil exporter, Saudi Aramco, several sources told Reuters. The secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) told a Nigerian oil and gas conference that global energy demand is forecast to rise 23% by the end of 2045.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) was due to release its Short Term Energy Outlook on Tuesday. The market was also awaiting U.S. oil inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute (API), an industry group, on Tuesday and the EIA on Wednesday.

In a Reuters poll, analysts forecast U.S. energy firms added about 0.2 million barrels of crude into storage during the week ended July 7. That would be the first crude stock build in four weeks and compares with an increase of 3.3 million barrels in the same week last year and a five-year (2018-2022) average decrease of 6.9 million barrels.

We remind, Russia's seaborne diesel and gasoil exports in June rose by 13% from a month earlier to about 3.6 million tons as seasonal refineries maintenance eased, data from traders and Refinitiv Eikon showed. Idle primary oil refining capacity for June was estimated at 4.029 million tons, down from May, and may fall to 1.683 million tons in July, Refinitiv data and Reuters calculations showed. In August, Russia will also cut its oil exports by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd), potentially yielding more supply for domestic refining and fuel production.

Russian gasoline exports jump as Asia, Africa replace Europe

Russian gasoline exports jump as Asia, Africa replace Europe

Russia's gasoline exports rose in January to June despite the introduction of the European Union's embargo, thanks to healthy supplies of the fuel to Africa and Asia, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Gasoline production at Russian refineries rose by about 4% year-on-year in the first half of 2023 to about 21.6 million metric tons, but fuel exports jumped by 30% to almost 3.5 million tons, according to the sources' data and Reuters calculations. That was up from 2.7 million tons exported in January - June 2022.

Russia has boosted supplies of its fuel to destinations other than Europe amid the wider political crisis and after the EU slapped an embargo on imports of Russian oil products on Feb. 5. The main destination for Russian seaborne gasoline exports last year was the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp trading hub as well as Estonian and Latvian ports. This year, Russia has diverted its fuel mostly to African countries, replacing Northwest European supplies.

Based on Refinitiv data, since the start of 2023, gasoline exports via Russian ports, including a new outlet - the Arctic port of Murmansk, to Africa totaled more than 1 million tons with half of those going to Nigeria. Before the EU sanctions, Russia had exported gasoline to Africa mostly via Latvian port of Ventspils. Russia's gasoline exports via railways to Central Asian countries rose almost twice year-on-year in January-June 2023 to about 0.8 million tons. Fuel supplies to Afghanistan totaled more than 250,000 tons after almost nothing last year.

Mongolia also remains one of the biggest importers of Russian-origin gasoline with almost the same level in the first half of this year compared with the same period of 2022 - about 330,000 tons, based on data from the market sources. Russia kept cranking up fuel exports thanks to more lucrative overseas sales as retail prices on domestic oil products market are regulated by the state.

We remind, ZapSibNeftekhim produced the first batches of colored polyethylene pipe grades in Russia — blue HD 03505 RC blue and orange HD 03505 PE orange — for water and gas supply systems, said the company.
The main feature of pipes from RC grades is their bright color, which makes it easy to identify the intended purpose of the pipeline during installation or repair work. In addition, the presence of a colored layer makes it easier to detect damage to the pipe surface during installation.

Fire at Bandar Abbas refinery has been extinguished

Fire at Bandar Abbas refinery has been extinguished

A fire that broke out in petroleum product reservoirs belonging to the Aftab Oil Refining company in an industrial zone in Iran's southern port city of Bandar Abbas has been extinguished, state media reported on Monday, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The official IRNA news agency said that "eight people have been injured due to the incident", while an investigation into the causes of the fire has been initiated.

"The fire has been put out and the oil reservoirs are being cooled down," the agency added.

We remind, Iran's crude exports and oil output have hit new highs in 2023 despite U.S. sanctions, according to consultants, shipping data and a source familiar with the matter, adding to global supply when other producers are limiting output.

Technip Energies and LanzaTech to collaborate on CO2-to-ethylene tech

Technip Energies and LanzaTech to collaborate on CO2-to-ethylene tech

Technip Energies and LanzaTech Global, Inc. signed a Joint Collaboration Agreement to create a new pathway to sustainable ethylene utilizing their combined technologies, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Together LanzaTech’s carbon capture and utilization technology with Technip Energies’ Hummingbird technology transform waste carbon into ethylene, the most common building block in petrochemicals.

Ethylene is a building block for thousands of chemicals and materials, including plastics, detergents, and coatings that keep hospitals sterile, people safe, and food fresh. Its traditional production process is also one of the largest sources of carbon dioxide emissions in the chemical industry and remains one of its most challenging processes to decarbonize. This new joint process uses carbon emissions as the starting point rather than virgin fossil carbon. First, up to 95% of the CO2 in the flue gas is captured from the furnaces of an ethylene cracker and mixed with hydrogen. Next LanzaTech’s biorecycling technology transforms the captured waste carbon into ethanol. Finally, Technip Energies’ Hummingbird technology dehydrates the ethanol to ethylene.

Technip Energies and LanzaTech have collaborated on other sustainable solutions since 2020, including a partnership with Borealis and On, the Swiss running shoe company, to make EVA foam for the sole of running shoes. Technip Energies also partners with LanzaJet, an independent company formed and spun off by LanzaTech, which includes the Hummingbird technology in the LanzaJet Alcohol-to-Jet process which makes sustainable aviation fuel from ethanol.

Arnaud Pieton, CEO of Technip Energies, stated: “We are very pleased to work with LanzaTech on another sustainable solution, this time to decarbonize ethylene. This breakthrough technology will not only capture carbon but will use it to make a valuable end product."

Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech, said: “By combining and integrating our process with that of Technip Energies, we have the potential to retrofit onto ethylene crackers around the world, supporting decarbonization of a sector that has limited choices today. The sustainable production of one of the most used commodity chemicals will have an impact on the lives of billions of people daily. Through partnerships such as this one with Technip Energies, we are creating meaningful pathways to break free from virgin fossil inputs for the things we use in our daily lives.”

We remind, Technip Energies has been awarded a contract by Ningbo Juhua Chemical & Science Co., Ltd. (Juhua) for a 1,3-propanediol (PDO) plant with a capacity of 72 kta(1) and a 150 kta polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT) plant in Ningbo, Zhejiang, China.