Global fossil fuel production plans far exceed climate targets, U.N. says

Global fossil fuel production plans far exceed climate targets, U.N. says

MRC -- Global fossil fuel production in 2030 is set to be more than double the levels that are deemed consistent with meeting climate goals set under the 2015 Paris climate agreement, the United Nations and researchers said on Wednesday, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The United Nations Environment Program’s (UNEP) report, assessing the gap in fossil fuel production cuts and what’s needed to meet climate goals comes ahead of the global COP 28 climate meeting which starts on Nov. 30 in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE).

"Fossil fuel phase out is one of the pivotal issues that will be negotiated at COP 28," Ploy Achakulwisut, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) scientist and a lead author of the report said in a press briefing. "We need countries to commit to a phase out of all fossil fuels to keep the 1.5C goal alive," she said.

Under the Paris pact, nations have committed to a long-term goal of limiting average temperature rises to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to attempt to limit them even further to 1.5C. While scientists say fossil fuel use must be reduced to meet the goal, countries have failed to reach any international agreement on set phase out dates for unabated coal, gas or oil use.

The report analyzed the 20 major fossil fuel producers and found they plan to produce, in total, around 110% more fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting the degree of warming to 1.5C, and 69% more than is consistent with 2C. None of the 20 countries have committed to reduce coal, oil, and gas production in line with limiting warming to 1.5°C the report said.

It said 17 of the countries have pledged to reach net zero emissions but most continue to promote, subsidize, support and plan the expansion of fossil fuel production.

We remind, Russia is considering lifting an export ban on some grades of gasoline. Shulginov said the lifting of export bans on Ai 92 and Ai 95 gasoline was under consideration. Russia introduced a ban on fuel exports on Sept. 21 to tackle high domestic prices and shortages. The government eased restrictions on Oct. 6, allowing the export of diesel by pipeline, but kept measures on gasoline exports in place.

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Russia considers lifting gasoline export ban

Russia considers lifting gasoline export ban

MRC -- Russia is considering lifting an export ban on some grades of gasoline, Interfax news agency quoted Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov as saying on Wednesday, as per Reuters.

Shulginov said the lifting of export bans on Ai 92 and Ai 95 gasoline was under consideration. Russia introduced a ban on fuel exports on Sept. 21 to tackle high domestic prices and shortages. The government eased restrictions on Oct. 6, allowing the export of diesel by pipeline, but kept measures on gasoline exports in place.

Officials have said that the ban would be lifted once the domestic market stabilizes. Analysts had expected the restrictions to be scrapped after the completion of the recent grain harvesting season.

Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Sunday that Russia will continue an additional voluntary supply cut of 300,000 barrels per day from its crude oil and petroleum product exports until the end of December 2023, as previously announced.

Interfax cited an unnamed fuel market source as saying that the Kirishi oil refinery, owned by Surgutneftegaz, has already put forward a request for gasoline exports in the middle of November. The energy ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

We remind, Kazakhstan is ready to transport more Russian oil and gas, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev told the Russian daily Izvestia in remarks published early on Wednesday, a day before President Vladimir Putin was set to visit his country. After initially trying to distance itself from Russia following Moscow's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the central Asian country seems to be warming to a "gas union" idea that Putin proposed last year and which would also involve Uzbekistan.

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Petrobras technology enables Riograndense refinery to process 100% renewable feedstocks

Petrobras technology enables Riograndense refinery to process 100% renewable feedstocks

MRC -- The Riograndense Petroleum Refinery has accomplished a historic achievement by successfully processing 100% soybean oil in a Fluid Catalytic Cracking Unit at the Refinery, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

This milestone was made possible through innovative technology developed by the Petrobras' Research, Development, and Innovation Center processing 100% renewable feedstocks, adopting process and catalyst innovations, and generating fully renewable petrochemical products. This trial represents a groundbreaking achievement, marking the first of its kind worldwide.

With the successful outcome of the test, RPR, located in Rio Grande (RS), is prepared to initiate the production of petrochemical feedstocks and renewable fuels. These products include bio-LPG, renewable marine fuels, renewable propylene, and bio-aromatic hydrocarbons (BTX – benzene, toluene, and xylene), crucial to produce synthetic rubber, nylon, and PVC. Moreover, it was determined that the BTX concentration levels achieved in the gasoline through a novel catalyst utilization can meet the necessary criteria for formulating high-performance ultra-low sulfur gasoline.

The catalysts used in the test are from the ReNewFCC line and were produced in partnership with Fabrica Carioca de Catalisadores (FCC SA), a joint venture between Petrobras and Ketjen, which produces catalysts and additives for the refining industry.

For Petrobras' President, Jean Paul Prates, the energy transition is an irreversible path for the company: "We are producing typical petroleum products from vegetable oil. It's a combination of innovation and energy transition that benefits Brazil. Petrobras is once again leading significant processes of technical, economic, and social transformation, with global impact."

The test became possible through a cooperation agreement signed in May 2023 among RPR's shareholder companies, Petrobras, Braskem, and Ultra. The agreement allowed for the utilization of the refinery’s facilities to conduct the test with technologies developed by CENPES.

The industrial test commenced in the last week of October, when RPR received a shipment of two thousand tons of soybean oil. A maintenance turnaround was performed to prepare the fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit to receive and process this feedstock in accordance with CENPES specifications and instructions. On November 1st, the processing of the 100% renewable load began, confirming the feasibility of the operation.

A second test is already scheduled for June 2024, involving the co-processing of a mineral load with advanced non-food biomass feedstock known as bio-oil, or biomass pyrolysis oil. This process will produce propylene, gasoline, and diesel, all renewable. Petrobras is investing approximately BRL 45 million to finalize the development of these technologies. This investment in these tests complies with the Research, Development, and Innovation (RD&I) clauses of the Brazilian National Petroleum Agency (ANP).

We remind, Petrobras remains eager to repurchase a refinery from Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala despite antitrust barriers, and a new biofuels partnership could open the door to future talks. Petrobras on Monday announced a memorandum of understanding with Mubadala for potential investment in a biofuel refinery under development in Bahia state by Mubadala-owned Acelen.

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Rural Texas chemical plant fire contained

Rural Texas chemical plant fire contained

MRC -- A fire at a rural chemical distribution plant northeast of Houston was contained by 1 p.m. CDT, a county emergency services official said on Wednesday, as per Reuters.

County officials told residents within one mile of Sound Resource Solutions located 61 miles (99 km) northeast of Houston to shelter in homes and businesses as crews sprayed foam to extinguish burning chemicals contained in trucks and buildings in a rural area near Shepherd, Texas.

"We think the worst of this is done," said Emmitt Eldridge, emergency management coordinator for San Jacinto County where the plant is located. Schools north of the fire kept students inside during the morning because of the large black column of smoke that rose from the blaze.

The shelter-in-place zone was originally five miles, but was later reduced in size. The fire began following an accident involving a fork lift, said Geoff Harfield, owner of Sound Resource Solutions. The fork lift operator was being treated at Houston hospital for burns, Harfield said.

"He's going to be home with his family this evening," he said. Officials said about 19 people were working at the facility when the fire began shortly after 8 a.m. All had been accounted for. Sound Resource Solutions blends, packages and distributes oilfield and other industrial chemicals including sulfuric acid, acetone and petrochemicals like xylene and toluene, according to the company's website.

U.S. Highway 59 was closed between Shepherd and Livingston, Texas because of the fire, according to media reports. Rural Texas communities have been frequent sites of chemical plant explosions and fires.

We remind, in 2013, 15 people were killed and 160 injured in a fertilizer storage facility explosion in the town of West, Texas. In 2017, industrial peroxide at an Arkema storage site in Crosby, Texas exploded during Hurricane Harvey. Four towns in east Texas were evacuated when a TPC Group butadiene plant exploded in Port Neches, Texas in 2018.

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OMV in talks with ADNOC on chemicals business merger

OMV in talks with ADNOC on chemicals business merger

MRC -- OMV is actively in negotiations with the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company about a possible merger of their chemicals business, the Austrian firm's chief executive said on Tuesday, after third-quarter results were released.

The company would be listed on the stock exchange, added Chief Executive Alfred Stern.

The deal, if realized, would include a merger of petrochemicals group Borealis - which is owned by OMV and ADNOC in a 75:25 split - and Borouge, which is 54:36 owned by ADNOC and Borealis.

Stern added that he expected a difficult fourth quarter and possibly a difficult first quarter of 2024 for the chemicals business.

We remind, OMV’s polyethylene (PE) indicator margin for Europe stood at €308/tonne in Q3 2023 versus €312/tonne in Q3 2022 and €320/tonne in Q2 2023, said the Austrian oil, gas and petrochemical group. For the polypropylene (PP) indicator margin for Europe, the figures were €330/tonne, €357/tonne and €372/tonne, respectively.
For the propylene indicator margin for Europe, the figures were €330/tonne, €574/tonne and €459/tonne, respectively. For the ethylene indicator margin for Europe, the figures were €455/tonne, €614/tonne and €567/tonne, respectively.

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