Shell likely to restart Pernis refinery unit by Sept. 25

Shell likely to restart Pernis refinery unit by Sept. 25

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell is tentatively expected to restart a hydrocracking unit at Europe's biggest oil refinery in the Netherlands by Sept. 25 after a leak forced its shutdown on Tuesday, traders said, citing a report from industry monitor IIR, said Reuters.

IIR said the Pernis refinery was forced to shut down the 25,000 barrel per day De-Asphalted Oil (DAO) hydrocracker due to a leak. Shell did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Pernis has a processing capacity of 400,000 bpd.

We remind, Shell Petroleum Company Limited, through its 100% owned subsidiary Impello Limited (“Shell”), has agreed to sell its home energy businesses, Shell Energy Retail Limited (SERL) in the UK and Shell Energy Retail GmbH (SERG) in Germany, to Octopus Energy Group.

Indian chemicals maker Epigral expects revenue from newer CPVC products to surge this year

Indian chemicals maker Epigral expects revenue from newer CPVC products to surge this year

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indian chemicals maker Epigral will keep diversifying its business and expects the share of revenue from new products to expand significantly this year, its chairman and managing director told Reuters on Thursday.

The company, previously known as Meghmani Finechem, manufactures and sells chlor-alkali and its derivatives and set up a chlorinated polyvinyl chloride compound (CPVC) manufacturing facility last month in the state of Gujarat.

"Four years ago, we were (present) only in chlor-alkali. At that time, we were catering to seven industries," Maulik Patel told the Reuters Trading India forum. The company now caters to more than 15 industries after entering segments like chloromethanes (CMS), hydrogen peroxide, chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) and epichlorohydrin, Patel said.

Epigral is the largest producer of CPVC and the first to produce epichlorohydrinin in India, with its products being used as raw materials in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals to pipes. The specialty chemicals market represents 22% of India's overall chemicals and petrochemicals market and is valued at $32 billion, according to KPMG.

Patel sees the Ahmedabad-headquartered company increasing its share of derivative products over the current and next financial year. "As of fiscal year 2023, derivative and specialty segment contributed 30% of 21.84 billion rupee ($263 million) revenue, and by the end of this financial year it should reach 45% or 50%."

Epigral plans to triple its exports, which currently contribute to 4% of sales, over the next two years, Patel said. It exports its products to more than 20 countries including South Africa and the United States.

"Few of our products have good demand in global markets, like Epichlorohydrin. We will also have an export opportunity once we commission our Chlorotoluene plant. Exports could rise between 10% to 15% over the next couple of years," he added.

We remind, India's state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp wants to eventually receive a share of crude from a Russian project it partly owns but is willing to wait because Russian oil is hard to ship right now, the head of ONGC's overseas investment arm.

ExxonMobil to develop a new class of C5-based polymers

ExxonMobil to develop a new class of C5-based polymers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil said it is advancing development of a new class of C5-based polymers expected to generate earnings of USD1 billion per year by 2040, said the company.

The thermoset resin is based on technology pioneered by Materia, Inc. (Pasadena, California), which ExxonMobil acquired in 2021.

"It's a new specialty business that transforms low-value fuels from a refinery into higher-value and high-growth materials," said Loic Vivier, senior vice president, specialty products, for ExxonMobil's Product Solutions business. "These are thermoset resins that cure faster, are stronger, more durable and lighter than existing products in the marketplace."

Company executives made the comments at a media and investor presentation on its Product Solutions business, which includes fuels, chemicals and performance products in Spring, Texas, on Wednesday.

Applications include replacement of steel in rebar, automotive materials, advanced coatings, and wind turbine blades, ExxonMobil said.

We remind, ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing LLC and Axens have signed an exclusive licensing alliance agreement allowing Axens to include ExxonMobil’s MTBE Decomposition Technology for high purity isobutylene in its portfolio. Used in the production of high-reactivity polyisobutylene and butyl rubber, this technology enables Axens’ customers to better address the growing demand for petrochemical intermediates over the next decade.

Russia cuts September seaborne diesel exports to meet domestic shortage

Russia cuts September seaborne diesel exports to meet domestic shortage

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia cut its seaborne diesel and gasoil exports by nearly 30% to about 1.7 million metric tons in the first 20 days of September from the same time in August, as local refineries went into seasonal maintenance and the domestic market faces a fuel shortage and rising prices, traders said and LSEG data showed, as per Reuters.

Idle primary oil refining capacity for September is estimated at 4.657 million tons, up 45% from August, according to Reuters calculations. Due to the domestic fuel shortage, Russia's government is considering an export duty for oil products of USD250 per ton - much higher than current fees - from Oct. 1 until June 2024, sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

"The export duty could negatively affect the refineries economy and may lead to a fuel production decrease", one trader said. In September so far, Turkey remains the top destination for diesel exports from Russian ports, though they almost halved to about 600,000 tons, LSEG data showed.

Diesel loadings from Russia to Brazil have decreased by a third month-on-month to about 260,000 tons since the start of this month, according to the shipping data.

Meanwhile, about 150,000 tons of diesel from Russian ports are destined in September for ship-to-ship (STS) loadings near the Greek port of Kalamata and final destinations for those volumes are not known yet. Russian diesel supplies to African countries totaled about 460,000 tons in the first 20 days of September, with Tunisia, Libya and Ghana among leading importers.

Another 190,000 tons of diesel loaded in Russian ports since the start of this month do not yet have a confirmed destination. All the shipping data above are based on the date of cargo departure.

We remind, Russia's Sakhalin Energy, which produces liquefied natural gas and oil, has fully resumed production following maintenance. The company has said it planned maintenance in July without providing a timeframe. Sakhalin Energy's Sakhalin-2 operating company was transformed into a Russian entity via a presidential decree amid Western sanctions against Moscow over its actions in Ukraine.

ExxonMobil on track to double chemical earnings by 2027

ExxonMobil on track to double chemical earnings by 2027

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil said earnings in its chemical business will increase to USD3.5 billion by 2027 compared with 2019 levels, doubling over the period, said the company.

Major projects are the key driver — including its cracker joint venture at Corpus Christi, Texas with Sabic, new plant startups at Baytown, Texas, a new cracker under construction in China and scale-up of advanced recycling.

Chemicals will continue to outpace global GDP growth, accounting for an increasing share of downstream output over the next few decades as energy transition plays out. Company executives made the comments on its global products business, which includes fuels, chemicals and performance products, during presentations at a media and investor event in Spring, Texas, on Wednesday.

"Long-term chemical demand is expected to grow at 20% above GDP, with chemicals resilient in a wide range of energy transition scenarios," said Mike Zamora, senior vice president, chemical products.

Chemical margins are at the bottom of the cycle but long-term growth prospects for chemicals have not been diminished, officials said. "It's hard to believe that it's only two years since we had record earnings in our chemical business," said Karen McKee, ExxonMobil Product Solutions president.

We remind, ExxonMobil announced the startup of two new chemical production units at its Baytown, Texas, manufacturing facility. The USD2-B expansion is part of ExxonMobil’s long-term growth plans to deliver higher-value products from its U.S. Gulf Coast refining and chemical facilities.