Saudi Aramco CEO: COP28 should focus on cutting fossil fuel emissions, not output

Saudi Aramco CEO: COP28 should focus on cutting fossil fuel emissions, not output

MRC -- The chief executive of oil giant Saudi Aramco, said on Tuesday this year's COP28 U.N. climate conference should focus on cutting emissions from hydrocarbons, rather than reducing their production, said Reuters.

CEO Amin Nasser was speaking at the Energy Intelligence Forum in London, ahead of the climate conference which is due to begin in Dubai on Nov. 30. "The focus should be on emissions. Today the focus is not purely on emissions, it is: we need to either shut or slow down big time your conventional (energy)," Nasser said.

Renewables alone cannot shoulder the burden of global energy demand, he said, adding that cuts to oil and gas production would result in energy shortages and price spikes. The focus should be on adding carbon capture and storage and improving the efficiency of hydrocarbon production to reduce their emissions, Nasser said.

On Monday, climate ministers from the European Union said they would push for a world-first deal to phase out CO2-emitting fossil fuels at COP28. However, countries are far from bridging the gap between those demanding a deal to phase out fossil fuels and nations insisting on preserving a role for coal, oil and natural gas.

Scientists say the world needs to cut greenhouse gas emissions by around 43% by 2030 from 2019 levels to stand any chance of meeting the 2015 Paris Agreement goal of keeping warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

We remind, private Russian oil producer 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.

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Automakers blast U.S. plan to hike fuel efficiency rules

Automakers blast U.S. plan to hike fuel efficiency rules

MRC -- A group representing General Motors, Toyota Motor, Volkswagen and nearly all other major automakers sharply criticized the Biden administration proposal to drastically hike fuel efficiency requirements, said Reuters.

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) proposal was unreasonable and requested significant revisions.

The industry group argued the plan would boost average vehicle prices by $3,000 by 2032 because of penalties automakers would face for not being in compliance, adding the figure "exceeds reason and will increase costs to the American consumer with absolutely no environmental or fuel savings benefits."

NHTSA in July proposed boosting requirements by 2% per year for passenger cars and 4% per year for pickup trucks and SUVs from 2027 through 2032, resulting in a fleet-wide average fuel efficiency of 58 miles (93 km) per gallon.

The American Automotive Policy Council, a group representing the Detroit Three automakers, separately on Monday urged NHTSA to halve its proposed fuel economy increases to 2% annually for trucks, saying the proposal "would disproportionately impact the truck fleet."

The group noted 83% of vehicles produced by Ford, GM and Chrysler parent Stellantis are trucks.

The White House and NHTSA did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The auto alliance said last month automakers would face more than $14 B in non-compliance penalties between 2027 and 2032.

U.S. automakers separately have warned the fines would cost GM $6.5 billion, Stellantis $3 B and Ford $1 B. Automakers also raised alarm at the Energy Department's proposal to significantly revise how it calculates the petroleum-equivalent fuel economy rating for EVs in NHTSA's CAFE program, saying it would "devalue the fuel economy of electric vehicles by 72%."

GM said on Monday it could support NHTSA's proposal if the Energy Department rescinded its petroleum-equivalent proposal.

We remind, private Russian oil producer 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.

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BASF breaks ground on new PE facility in China

BASF breaks ground on new PE facility in China

MRC -- BASF has broken ground on a new polyethylene (PE) unit at its Verbund site in Zhanjiang, China, said Amiplastics.

The 500,000-tonne/y facility, set to open in 2025, will be backward integrated. It will serve fast-growing demand in the area for products like films and pipes.

We remind, BASF SE (Lugwigshafen, Germany) and Ningbo Refining and Chemical Co. Ltd (NZRCC) have signed a technology license agreement to produce isononyl alcohol (INA) utilizing BASF’s proprietary oxo-technology, said the company. NZRCC is a joint venture between the City of Ningbo and Zhenhai Refining and Chemical Co. Ltd (ZRCC), an affiliate of China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (SINOPEC).

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BASF and NZRCC sign technology licence agreement for production of isononyl alcohol

BASF and NZRCC sign technology licence agreement for production of isononyl alcohol

MRC -- BASF SE (Lugwigshafen, Germany) and Ningbo Refining and Chemical Co. Ltd (NZRCC) have signed a technology license agreement to produce isononyl alcohol (INA) utilizing BASF’s proprietary oxo-technology, said the company.

NZRCC is a joint venture between the City of Ningbo and Zhenhai Refining and Chemical Co. Ltd (ZRCC), an affiliate of China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (SINOPEC).

The license agreement allows NZRCC to build a world-scale INA production facility at ZRCC’s integrated refinery and petrochemical complex in Zhenhai, China. The plant shall have a production capacity of 200,000 tons per year and is expected to come on stream in 2026.

BASF has extensive expertise in this INA process, as well as corresponding catalysts, and equipment. This technology was successfully developed and implemented at BASF’s Verbund site in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and subsequently adopted by BASF MPCC Company Limited (BMC), a joint venture between BASF and SINOPEC, which established the first INA plant in China in 2015.

We remind, BASF and NEVEON provide hotel with recycled mattresses. Together, the two companies have taken another step forward on their journey toward a circular economy. Using an innovative recycling process developed by BASF, it is now possible to produce polyol on a ton scale that is derived entirely from used mattresses.

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Diesel is subsidising other fuels in Asia

Diesel is subsidising other fuels in Asia

MRC -- The profit for turning a barrel of crude oil into refined fuels in Asia has slipped to the lowest in three months, even though the margin on diesel remains elevated, said Reuters.

The profit, or crack, on making products at a typical Singapore refinery from Dubai crude fell to $4.07 a barrel on Monday, the lowest since July 10 and down 74% from the recent high of $15.40 on Aug. 28.

The decline has been driven by weakness in producing fuels such as gasoline and naphtha, even as the margin on middle distillates has performed strongly.

The trend for refining in Asia is increasingly characterised by strong margins for middle distillates, which are enough to offset weakness in gasoline and even losses for naphtha. This is being driven by a variety of factors, most of which are beyond the control of the refiners.

These include output cuts by the OPEC+ group of exporters, and especially the extra 1 million barrels per day reduction by the group's de facto leader, Saudi Arabia.

We remind, Russia, a leading global oil producer, has cemented its energy ties with China, the world's No. 2 oil consumer after the United States. Beijing has rejected Western criticism of its growing partnership with Moscow in light of Russia's conflict in Ukraine. It insists the ties do not flout international norms, and China has the prerogative to collaborate with whichever country it chooses.

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