Japan's Eneos shuts crude distillation unit at Sakai oil refinery

Japan's Eneos shuts crude distillation unit at Sakai oil refinery

MRC -- Japan's biggest oil refiner, Eneos Corp, shut the 141,000 bpd crude distillation unit at its Sakai refinery on Oct. 16 after a glitch, a company spokesperson said on Tuesday, as per Reuters.

The refiner, which is a unit of Eneos Holdings Inc, expects to restart the unit later this month, she said.

Eneos permanently closed its 120,000 b/d Wakayama refinery on 16 October on the back of shrinking domestic oil product demand. The firm's refining capacity has now fallen to 1.62mn b/d with nine refineries, about half of Japan's total of 3.21mn b/d.

The company's 150,000 b/d Mizushima A plant has also begun a turnaround from 1 September.

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Mexico restricts imports of dozens of petroleum and petrochemical products

Mexico restricts imports of dozens of petroleum and petrochemical products

MRC -- Mexico has put restrictions on the import of dozens of refined petroleum and petrochemical products to curb fuel theft and adulteration, its official gazette showed on Monday, including certain types of gasoline and diesel, jet fuel and additives, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Despite being an important crude oil producer, the country imports refined petroleum and petrochemical products because its ailing refineries struggle to process the heavy crude oil state energy company Pemex produces.

Mexico said the measures were meant to tackle the rampant black market of stolen and adulterated fuel, which poses a risk to human health, the environment and vehicles. "This is very serious," said Julia Gonzalez, an energy lawyer who specializes in Mexican constitutional law. "Because they're restricting the import of a lot of products that are used for multiple processes."

The decree covers jet fuel as well as certain types of gasoline and diesel, including biodiesel, that are not widely used. It also covers certain naphthas, alcohols, waxes and mineral oils, and additives including methyl tert-butyl ether.

A Reuters review of Mexican import data showed that the most important refined petroleum and petrochemical products the country imports - premium and regular gasoline, and conventional diesel - were not affected. However, it was not immediately clear what impact the measures would have on the many industries that use them.

The decree, published in the late edition of the official gazette, will be effective a day after publication and lasts indefinitely. Marcial Diaz, a former Pemex official turned consultant at Qua Energy, warned that while the measures could help clamp down on rampant black market practices, they "affect other industries that use these inputs in their processes."

The energy ministry can issue special import permits, the decree said, adding that other government entities will also make adjustments to processes.

We remind, Russian wholesale gasoline prices declined on Tuesday, while diesel was stable, with both remaining far below the levels seen on Sept. 21 when Russia introduced a ban on fuel exports to tackle high prices and shortages. Gasoline Ai-92 grade prices were down 1.68% on the day to 50,143 roubles ($536.86) per metric ton, data from the St Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX) showed.

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Sherwin-Williams lifts profit forecast as higher prices boost Q3 results

Sherwin-Williams lifts profit forecast as higher prices boost Q3 results

MRC -- Sherwin-Williams (SHW.N) raised its annual profit forecast on Tuesday after reporting better-than-expected quarterly results, as price hikes helped offset lower sales volumes across its businesses, sending its shares up 2% in premarket trading, said Reuters.

Paints and coatings makers have been able to offset the impact of slower-than-expected recovery of key end markets by raising prices of their products.

CEO John Morikis said though the company delivered a strong quarter it was against the backdrop of "an environment where demand remained highly variable by end market and region, and against a challenging prior year comparison."

We remind, Sherwin-Williams elects new CEO. The board of US paint and coatings company Sherwin-Williams has elected Heidi Petz as the company’s new CEO, effective 1 January 2024. Petz has been president and chief operating officer (COO) since 1 March 2022. She will take over as CEO from John Morikis while retaining her role as president. Morikis, who has been CEO since 2016, will continue as executive chairman of the board.

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Russian wholesale gasoline prices decline, diesel stable

Russian wholesale gasoline prices decline, diesel stable

MRC -- Russian wholesale gasoline prices declined on Tuesday, while diesel was stable, with both remaining far below the levels seen on Sept. 21 when Russia introduced a ban on fuel exports to tackle high prices and shortages, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Gasoline Ai-92 grade prices were down 1.68% on the day to 50,143 roubles ($536.86) per metric ton, data from the St Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX) showed. Diesel prices were up 0.07% on the day to 58,089 roubles per metric ton, the exchange data showed.

Traders said demand for fuel has been subdued, pushing gasoline prices down. "Nobody needs gasoline anymore, November (the delivery month) is always disastrous for it. They waited until prices collapsed today, and only then they started to buy it," a trader said.

Russia eased its restrictions on Oct. 6, allowing the export of diesel by pipeline, but kept a lid on gasoline exports. Russia, the world's top seaborne exporter of diesel, just ahead of the United States, exported 4.8 million tons of gasoline and almost 35 million tons of diesel last year.

We remind, Belarus expects to receive $640 MM from Russia in 2024 to compensate for losses sustained by its oil refineries, Russian state news agency RIA reported on Monday, citing the Belarusian Finance Ministry. Belarus used to import discounted oil from Moscow for years and resold some of it, as well as oil products refined from the Russian crude, on to Europe. Russia stopped the practice in 2019 amid changes to its tax policy, resulting in costs of $330 million to Belarus that year, according to Minsk's estimates.

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ExxonMobil licenses fluid bed methanol-to-gasoline technology to Aramco

ExxonMobil licenses fluid bed methanol-to-gasoline technology to Aramco

MRC -- ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing LLC has licensed its advanced fluid bed Methanol-to-Gasoline technology to Aramco for a demonstration scale unit to be located in NEOM’s Hydrogen Innovation and Development Center (HIDC), said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emission across the transportation sector is an essential component of the global energy transition and requires a portfolio of solutions. ExxonMobil’s fluid bed MTG technology can play an important role in helping deliver in this area,” said Tricia L. DeLaney, President of EMCL.

Commissioning of the licensed MTG units is expected in 2025. The unit is planned to utilize methanol feedstock derived from green hydrogen and carbon dioxide (CO2) to produce a synthetic, high-octane, drop-in blend stock for potential use on/off road and racing applications.

ExxonMobil scientists developed the methanol-to-gasoline chemistry in the 1970s. After years of studies and advancements, ExxonMobil analysis suggest that the fluid bed MTG process is advantaged in terms of capital expenditures, operation cost, operational reliability, and consistent product quality, when compared to a fixed bed process.

“We are excited that Aramco has selected ExxonMobil’s MTG technology for this important project which is another step towards a lower carbon emissions future,” said DeLaney.

“Aramco is exploring the production of low-carbon synthetic fuels that have CO2 reduction potential,” said Ali A. Al-Meshari, Aramco’s Senior Vice President of Technology Oversight & Coordination. “By leveraging innovative technologies, like the fluidized-bed MTG, we aspire to develop drop-in synthetic fuels that can potentially rolled-out seamlessly into existing vehicles.”

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.

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