Fire extinguished at Angarsk oil refinery in Siberia

Fire extinguished at Angarsk oil refinery in Siberia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A fire broke that broke out in the early hours of Wednesday at an oil refinery in the Siberian city of Angarsk has been extinguished, the governor of the Irkutsk region where the city is located, said Reuters.

"Let me say immediately: there were no casualties," the governor, Igor Kobzev, said earlier on the Telegram messaging app. The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

We remind, Silleno LLP, a joint venture between Russia's SIBUR Holding and Kazakhstan's national oil and gas company KazMunayGas, will soon start Front End Engineering Design for a polyethylene plant in Kazakhstan, Sergei Komyshan, SIBUR's executive director of marketing and sales.

BASF awarded Best Supplier by Sharp for a second consecutive year

BASF awarded Best Supplier by Sharp for a second consecutive year

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF has again been recognized as a Best Supplier for Sharp Electronics Indonesia (SEID)’s refrigerator division 2022, having achieved the highest level of excellence and consistently exceeded SEID’s expectations in quality, delivery, and cost performance, said the company.

“This award reflects BASF’s hard work and dedication in delivering the highest quality products and materials as one of our strategic suppliers,” said Tony Endri Hariandja, General Manager Procurement of SEID. “BASF has been an instrumental partner to us with their commitment to excellence and attention to detail, and we look forward to a continued strong partnership.”

The award was presented to BASF for the second consecutive year at the SEID annual supplier meeting.

“BASF has been a supplier of high-performance polyurethane to SEID for 12 years, providing innovative and sustainable materials for refrigerator insulation. We are proud to receive this recognition from SEID and are committed to continuing our successful collaboration,” said Joshua Lau, BASF Head of Performance Materials Indonesia.

One of the innovative solutions BASF supplies to SEID is Elastocool®, a pentane-based polyurethane rigid foam system for insulating refrigerators and freezers.

We remind, BASF celebrated the opening of Europe’s first co-located center of battery material production and battery recycling in Schwarzheide, Germany. The inauguration of a state-of-the-art production facility for high-performance cathode active materials and the unveiling ceremony for a battery recycling plant for the production of black mass represent important steps toward closing the loop for the European battery value chain – from the collection of used batteries and the recovery of mineral raw materials to their use in the production of new battery materials. Major step in Europe to participate in the rapidly growing global battery market.

Pakistan negotiating for a second discounted Russia crude shipment

Pakistan negotiating for a second discounted Russia crude shipment

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Pakistan is negotiating to buy a second shipment of discounted Russian crude oil, the South Asian country's petroleum minister said on Wednesday, said Reuters.

Musadiq Malik told reporters there was no scenario where the country was "not benefiting" from Russian crude and added that Pakistan was "finalizing another cargo".

The first cargo of Russian Urals docked at Karachi port last month and was paid for in China's currency. Islamabad made the first purchase in April.

Pakistan got into Russian the deal in part to save on foreign exchange reserves, which are eaten up mainly by oil imports.

The country has been facing an acute balance of payment crisis, with its central bank reserves barely sufficient to cover a month of controlled imports.

We remind, Shell Plc has decided to exit Pakistan in a setback for the South Asian nation that is going through its worst economic crisis. The oil giant has informed Shell Pakistan Ltd. about its intent to sell its 77.42% stake and also 26% ownership of Pak-Arab Pipeline Co., it said in a statement. It is seeing strong interest from international buyers.

North America chemical rail volume continues to decrease

North America chemical rail volume continues to decrease

MOSCOW (MRC) -- North American chemical rail traffic continues to weaken, according to new data from the Association of American Railroads.

During the week ended July 8, chemical railcar volume in North America totaled 40,323 carloads, down 14.6% from the previous week and down 4.6% year over year. The four-week moving average (4wma) came to 43,658 carloads, down 2.3% sequentially and down 4.4% year over year (chart). The increment over the seasonal trendline, as represented by the average for 2014–22, fell to 0.1% — the lowest level since early April and the second lowest since late January, suggesting a weakening trend.

For the year to date, chemical railcar volume is down 2.9%, while total railcar volume is up 2%. In the US, 4wma chemical railcar volume came to 30,194 carloads, down 2.2% sequentially and down 4.4% year over year. For the year to date, US chemical railcar volume is down 4.4%.

In Canada, 4wma chemical railcar volume came to 12,591 carloads, down 2.6% sequentially and down 4.4% year over year. For the year to date, Canadian chemical railcar volume is down 0.9%.

In Mexico, 4wma chemical railcar volume came to 874 carloads, down 1.6% sequentially and down 4.4% year over year. For the year to date, Mexican chemical railcar volume is up 28.8%.

We remind, U.S. railroads originated 903,397 carloads in June 2023, down 0.2 percent, or 1,931 carloads, from June 2022. U.S. railroads also originated 988,766 containers and trailers in June 2023, down 7.0 percent, or 74,306 units, from the same month last year. Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in June 2023 were 1,892,163, down 3.9 percent, or 76,237 carloads and intermodal units from June 2022.

Venezuelan petroleum coke contract dispute fuels tanker queues, hunt for options

Venezuelan petroleum coke contract dispute fuels tanker queues, hunt for options

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The sudden suspension of a Venezuelan contract that had boosted its exports of petroleum coke has led to a bottleneck of tankers waiting to load and sent customers scrambling for alternative supplies, according to sources and data, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

A 2017 contract between Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA and Geneva-based Maroil Trading helped the country's exports of the oil byproduct to grow seven-fold between 2021 and 2022. But the deal was suspended last month amid a dispute over accounts receivable and the extension of the contract.

Venezuela's petcoke exports dropped to 56,000 metric tons in June, from more than 620,000 tons in January. So far this month, only one 70,000-ton cargo has been authorized by PDVSA to load. But as of Tuesday the vessel had not sailed, shipping data seen by Reuters showed.

Eight other vessels are near Venezuelan ports waiting to load a combined 350,000 tons, according to the data. Petcoke is largely used to fire cement kilns in countries from France to China. PDVSA did not reply to a request for comment. A law firm representing Maroil did not provide immediate comment.

Venezuela last year exported some 3.3 million metric tons of petcoke, mostly traded by Maroil, which in recent years has signed commercial agreements with other companies to reach final customers. A senior executive from a cement company in southern India said its Venezuelan petcoke supplier has canceled three contracts since last month, citing uncertainties related to its ability to deliver the product.

"We expect someone else to step in, in place of Maroil now," the company executive said, declining to disclose the name of its suppliers. PDVSA has in recent months approved new buyers and intermediaries for its petcoke sales, a move to expand its customer roster and directly reach overseas buyers. "No Indian buyer should attempt to get Venezuelan material without a guarantee that payment would only be made on discharge," said another customer, citing past delivery delays.

International petcoke prices have fallen this year amid supply-demand imbalances, according to Gujarat-based trader I-Energy Natural Resources. But a similar drop in coal prices, which is an alternative fuel, has motivated some importers in Asia to switch away from Venezuelan petcoke. Venezuela-origin petcoke sold at USD105 per ton at the end of last week. In contrast, Saudi-origin petcoke was priced at USD103 per ton, and U.S. Gulf Coast petcoke for India delivery traded at USD105 per ton in the same period, according to I-Energy.

We remind, 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. 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.