Nigeria's NNPC now sole petrol importer

Nigeria's NNPC now sole petrol importer

MRC -- Nigeria's national oil firm NNPC Ltd has again become the sole importer of petrol because licensed local private firms are unable to obtain foreign currency, its chief executive said on Monday, four months after imports were opened up to private players, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Africa's largest oil exporter, Nigeria, imports nearly all its fuel as it does not refine nearly enough to meet the demand of its 200 million citizens. In recent years, it has swapped crude for fuel, depriving it of a source of U.S. dollars. Opening up petrol imports to the private sector was part of reforms by President Bola Tinubu to wean the country off decades-old fuel subsidies.

Some fuel companies began imports in July but Mele Kyari told an energy conference that they were now struggling to get foreign currencies to import petrol, known as premium motor spirit (PMS). "We are the only company importing PMS into the country," he said.

"None of them (fuel companies) can do it today. For them, access to foreign exchange is difficult. We create FX, therefore we have access to FX and their access to FX is limited." Petrol pump prices have not budged since July despite a more than 30% rise in oil prices, which has led to accusations that the government had reintroduced a partial subsidy.

Kyari did not directly respond to the accusation but said current prices showed that "the market is adjusting itself." Petrol is widely used by households and small businesses to power generators because millions of Nigerians are not connected to the national electricity grid.

Nigeria is in the grips of foreign currency shortages, which have seen the naira weaken to record lows on the parallel market. The new central bank governor has said that policymakers faced a nearly $7 billion backlog in foreign exchange demand.

We remind, Nigeria's average daily petrol consumption has fallen by 28% since President Bola Tinubu scrapped a popular but costly subsidy on the fuel at the end of May. Average daily petrol consumption fell to 48.43 million liters in June, down from the previous average of 66.9 million, according to figures released to Reuters by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).

Vietnam's largest refinery Nghi Son restarting after maintenance

Vietnam's largest refinery Nghi Son restarting after maintenance

MRC -- Vietnam's largest refinery, Nghi Son, is in the process of a restart after major maintenance that began late August, as per Reuters.

"Some of the units have already been restarted, and the entire restart process will take days," the source said, declining to be named as the person was not authorized to speak to media.

We remind, Vietnam's largest oil refinery has shut down some of its units, beginning a 55-day total shutdown for major maintenance. The 200,000-barrel-per-day Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical will be totally shutdown on Friday, said the source, who declined to be named as the person is not allowed to speak to media. "We have hired five contractors for the maintenance work, mostly domestic ones," the person said, declining to reveal the value of the contract.

OPEC leaders make case for fossil fuels at Riyadh climate event

OPEC leaders make case for fossil fuels at Riyadh climate event

MRC -- OPEC heavyweights said on Sunday oil and gas should not be stigmatized in the climate debate and that the industry had a role to play in an orderly energy transition, said Reuters.

Energy ministers from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq, the three largest members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), have gathered in the Saudi capital Riyadh for the U.N. MENA climate week.

"The three of us here as major hydrocarbon producers also have a responsibility to the world to provide the transition with enough hydrocarbon resources to make sure we are transitioning at a responsibly priced manner," UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said on a panel that grouped the three countries.

The UAE will host the COP28 climate summit scheduled to take place in Dubai between Nov. 30 and Dec. 12. The summit is an opportunity for governments to try to accelerate action to curb global warming to prevent the most devastating consequences of extreme weather following a year of record temperatures, wildfires and drought.

Reports so far show countries are off track to meet a U.N. target to keep the rise in global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5C. "COP28 will deliver transformational outcomes for this region, and for the world," Sultan al-Jaber, COP28 president, said in his opening remarks on Sunday.

The choice of Jaber to lead the summit has draw criticism from environmental campaigners because his country is an OPEC member and a major oil exporter, and he is the boss of state oil giant ADNOC. He has argued for a more inclusive COP that brings the oil and gas industry into the climate debate and allows it to be part of the solution through decarbonization initiatives.

Ahead of COP28, countries are divided between those demanding a deal to phase out planet-warming fossil fuels, and nations that say coal, oil and natural gas have a continued role combined with technology to capture their emissions. "We have had 27 COPs, and you might be surprised to learn that 17 of them have been hosted in fossil fuel-producing nations," Jaber said. "The fact is, energy is fundamental to everyone, everywhere."

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman also said the industry should not be stigmatized and the world still needed hydrocarbons.

We remind, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said on Thursday data-based forecasts do not support the International Energy Agency's projection that demand for fossil fuels would peak in 2030, said Reuters.
IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in an op-ed in the Financial Times on Tuesday that new IEA estimates show "this age of seemingly relentless growth is set to come to an end this decade, bringing with it significant implications for the global energy sector and the fight against climate change." OPEC, de facto led by top oil exporter Saudi Arabia, in its statement on Thursday said what made the projections "so dangerous" is they are often accompanied by calls to stop new oil and gas investments.

Russia keeps ban on gasoline exports and cross-border sales of diesel by railway

Russia keeps ban on gasoline exports and cross-border sales of diesel by railway

MRC -- Russia's ban on gasoline exports and cross-border sales of diesel by railway remains in place, as per Reuters, citing Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak.

On Friday Russia lifted a ban on pipeline diesel exports via ports, removing the bulk of restrictions imposed on Sept. 21. Speaking at a televised government meeting, Novak also mentioned other measures, such as reinstating subsidies, known as damper payments, to oil refineries in full.

"This will provide economic incentives to saturate the domestic market with fuel and, as a result, will help maintain a stable price situation on the stock exchange and in retail."

Diesel is Russia's biggest oil product export, at about 35 million metric tons last year, of which almost three-quarters were shipped via pipeline. Russia also exported 4.8 million tons of gasoline in 2022.

Russia, the world's top seaborne exporter of diesel just ahead of the U.S., has been tackling both shortages and high fuel prices in recent months, which have especially hurt farmers during the harvesting season.

Since the ban was introduced, wholesale diesel prices on the local exchange have fallen by 21%, while gasoline prices are down 10%.

We remind, Lukoil will lend Azeri state oil firm Socar $1.5 B as part of a broader deal that will allow Socar's 200,000-barrel-per-day Turkish STAR refinery to process Russian crude again. The deal will give Lukoil another customer in close proximity to Russian ports after most European refiners stopped importing its crude to comply with European Union sanctions imposed after Moscow launched what it calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine in 2022.

CPChem, QatarEnergy finalize financing on Ras Laffan, Qatar, petrochemicals project

CPChem, QatarEnergy finalize financing on Ras Laffan, Qatar, petrochemicals project

MRC -- Ras Laffan Petrochemicals, a joint venture company owned 30% by Chevron Phillips Chemical and 70% by QatarEnergy, announced that it has secured USD4.4 billion to finance an integrated polymers facility to be located in Ras Laffan Industrial City, Qatar, said the company.

The project financing comprises commercial and Islamic lenders and a group of export credit agencies. “CPChem very much appreciates the support of the export credit agencies and financial institutions that are participating in the financing of this project,” said Darren Ercolani, CPChem Senior Vice President, Finance, and Chief Financial Officer. “This financing helps support CPChem’s growth strategy and our productive collaboration with QatarEnergy.”

Finalizing the financing is a key milestone in the development of the 435-acre petrochemical project, which will include the largest ethane cracker in the Middle East and one of the largest in the world. The facility will have a capacity of 2.1 million metric tons per year of ethylene and will also include two high-density polyethylene derivative units with a total annual capacity of 1.7 million metric tons.

The polyethylene units will use CPChem’s MarTech™ loop slurry process to produce high-density polyethylene for durable goods like pipe for natural gas and water delivery and packaging applications to protect and preserve food and keep medical supplies sterile.

CPChem and QatarEnergy reached positive final investment decision for the Ras Laffan Petrochemicals project in January 2023, and startup of the facility is expected in late 2026.

The two companies also are constructing a joint venture integrated polymers facility on the Texas Gulf Coast, which is expected to be operational in 2026.

We remind, Chevron Phillips Chemical, Technip Energies and LyondellBasell are collaborating on the design, construction and operation of a demonstration unit for Technip Energies’ electric steam cracking furnace technology, designed to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the olefins production process.