India will buy Venezuelan oil, says minister

India will buy Venezuelan oil, says minister

MRC -- India will buy Venezuelan oil as some refiners in the country have the capability to process heavy crude oil, Oil Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Friday, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Indian refiners have already resumed Venezuelan oil purchases, with Reliance Industries, Indian Oil Corp and HPCL-Mittal Energy securing cargoes of Venezuelan oil after the United States lifted sanctions in October. India last imported Venezuelan crude in 2020.

"Many of our refineries, including Paradip, (are) capable of using that heavy Venezuelan oil. And we will buy (Venezuelan oil)," Puri told reporters at a press conference. India is the world's third-biggest oil importer and consumer, shipping over 80% of its oil needs from overseas. It wants to cut its crude import bill and is looking to expand its refining.

India is willing to buy oil from any country that is not sanctioned, the minister added. Puri said India currently refines 5 million barrels per day of oil and the country's refining capacity is rising. "...if Venezuelan oil comes to market we welcome it," he said.

The minister also said some Indian money is locked up in Venezuela, referring to India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp , which has more than $500 million in dividends pending since 2014 for its stake in Venezuelan projects.

We remind, India has decided to allow sugar mills to divert up to 1.7 MMt of sugar for ethanol production, government and industry officials said on Friday, as New Delhi aims to reduce disruptions in its ambitious biofuel program. As the world's second-biggest sugar producer, India had previously directed sugar mills not to use cane juice or syrup for ethanol due to concerns over production as drought hit key producing states like Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Solvay marks new era after successful Syensqo spin-off

Solvay marks new era after successful Syensqo spin-off

MRC -- Solvay has successfully finalized the separation of its speciality businesses to Syensqo. While Syensqo will concentrate on speciality materials, Solvay will prioritize commodities, said the company.

The implementation of this partial demerger officially took effect on 9 Dec 2023. Both Syensqo and Solvay commenced independent trading on Euronext Paris and Brussels using their respective ticker symbols, starting from 11 Dec 2023.

Solvay is set to consist of specialized businesses, encompassing areas such as Peroxides, Soda Ash, Coatis, Silica, and Special Chem, generating approximately EUR 5.6 bn in net sales for 2022. Syensqo aims to explore unexpected perspectives, facilitate groundbreaking innovations, and discover the future of science.

The company will include advanced business segments such as Composites, Specialty Polymers, Aroma, Novecare, Oil & Gas, Technology Solutions, as well as growth platforms in green hydrogen, batteries, renewable materials & biotechnology, and thermoplastic composites. In 2022, these entities collectively achieved net sales of around EUR 7.9 bn.

We remind, Solvay will conduct a feasibility study into building the world’s first carbon neutral soda ash plant in NEOM, the city under development in Saudi Arabia. Following the completion of plans to split the business into two companies, with the core business still known as Solvay and the specialties operations now known as Syensqo, the firm is partnering with NEOM energy and water utility ENOWA on the project.

Sumitomo Chemical to establish innovative and highly efficient technology for producing methanol from CO2

Sumitomo Chemical to establish innovative and highly efficient technology for producing methanol from CO2

MRC -- Sumitomo Chemical has completed the construction of a pilot facility to establish a highly efficient process for producing methanol from CO2 at its Ehime Works, located in Niihama City, Ehime Prefecture, Japan, and has commenced operations at the facility, said the company.

This facility was built with the support of NEDO’s Green Innovation (GI) Fund. The Company aims to complete the demonstration of this technology by 2028, as well as start commercial production using the new process and license the technology to other companies in the 2030s.

Carbon capture and utilization (CCU) technology is expected to serve as a game-changing solution to halt global warming and achieve a circular economy for carbon by recovering CO2 and utilizing it in products, and Sumitomo Chemical is accelerating the development and spread of various new CCU processes. Among them is a technology that uses CO2 to produce methanol, a raw material for a wide range of products, from plastics to adhesives, chemical agents, and paints. It is often cited as a key example of CCU technology. However, conventional CO2-to-methanol conversion processes have faced challenges, such as low yield due to the reversible nature of the reaction and catalyst degradation caused by byproduct water.

Sumitomo Chemical has resolved these issues through joint development with Professor Koji Omata of Shimane University Interdisciplinary Faculty of Science and Engineering, leveraging the internal condensation reactor (ICR), a technology that Professor Omata has been developing. The ICR enables the condensation and separation of methanol and water within the reactor, which is impossible with conventional technologies. This helps to improve yield, downsize equipment, and achieve higher energy efficiency, while it is also expected to prevent catalyst degradation.

We remind, Sumitomo Chemical has decided to close down its production facilities for cyclohexanone (also known as anone) at its Ehime Works located in Niihama City, Ehime, Japan and exit the business, said the company. The closure of the production facilities is scheduled for the end of March 2024.

BP restarts pipeline after gasoline spill in Washington state

BP restarts pipeline after gasoline spill in Washington state

MRC -- bp has restarted its Olympic Pipeline that had leaked roughly 25,000 gallons of gasoline near Mount Vernon in Washington state, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The pipeline was restarted following repairs, integrity testing, and regulatory approval of the restart plan, the source said. The company has been cleaning up the spill since Sunday with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and local officials.

Nearly 7,000 gallons had been recovered, according to the latest update from bp and the EPA on Wednesday, which added that at least one American beaver, one pine siskin bird, and one mallard duck died due to the spill.

The leak was caused by a tubing failure inside a concrete vault that connected one of the pipelines to a pressure sensor, and the main pipeline was shut down by Monday after detecting a loss in pressure.

Gasoline was 2 cents stronger at 5 cents a gallon under NYMEX January gasoline futures in the Pacific Northwest market, traders said on Thursday.

Around 2,100 feet (640 meters) of boom remained deployed to contain the spill and no gasoline or sheen has been seen on the Skagit River, while State Route 534 reopened to one-way traffic, according to bp and the EPA.

The Olympic Pipeline had ruptured in June 1999, spilling over 230,000 gallons of gasoline that caught fire near Bellingham, Washington, and killed three young people.

The explosion of bp's Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 led to the largest oil spill in U.S. history that left 11 rig workers dead and caused $70 billion in damages.

We remind, bp has been working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and local officials since Sunday to clean up a roughly 25,000-gallon gasoline spill from its Olympic Pipeline near Mount Vernon in Washington state. Nearly 7,000 gallons had been recovered, according to the latest update on Wednesday, which added that at least one American beaver, one pine siskin bird, and one mallard duck died due to the spill.

Singapore November petrochemical exports fall 7.4%

Singapore November petrochemical exports fall 7.4%

MRC -- Singapore’s petrochemical exports in November fell by 7.4% year on year to Singapore dollar (S$) 1.16bn ($872m)), reversing the 3.4% expansion in the previous month, official data showed on Monday.

The country's overall non-oil domestic (NODX) for the month inched up by 1.0% year on year to S$14.5bn, reversing the 3.5% decline in the preceding month, Enterprise Singapore data showed.

Non-electronic NODX, which includes pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals, rose by 5.2% year on year to S$11.6bn in November.

Overall NODX to Singapore's top 10 markets declined in November, with shipments to Taiwan and the EU recording the steepest year-on-year falls of 40% and 21.7%, respectively.

Singapore is a major petrochemicals manufacturer and exporter in southeast Asia. Its petrochemicals hub Jurong Island houses more than 100 global chemical firms, including energy majors ExxonMobil and Shell.

Its trade-reliant economy is projected to post a 2023 growth of around 1%, the midpoint of the previous forecast of a 0.5-1.5% expansion, according to the country’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI). For 2024, Singapore’s GDP growth is projected at 1%-3%.

We remind, Singapore's middle distillates inventories fell marginally week-on-week as net exports of both gasoil and jet fuel/kerosene grew. Gasoil and jet fuel/kerosene inventories at the key oil storage hub were at 10.422 million barrels in the week ended Nov. 22 from 10.423 MMbbl a week earlier, data from Enterprise Singapore showed. Net exports of gasoil posted a week-on-week gain for the first time in two months.