Japan's Toa Oil shuts 70,000 bpd Keihin CDU due to glitch

Japan's Toa Oil shuts 70,000 bpd Keihin CDU due to glitch

MRC -- Japanese refiner Toa Oil, a unit of Idemitsu Kosan, has shut a 70,000 bpd sole CDU at the Keihin refinery, near Tokyo, on Dec. 3 due to a system glitch, an Idemitsu spokesperson said on Friday, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

It is not clear for now when the unit will restart, he said.

We remind, U.S. gasoline and distillate inventories posted large builds last week as demand slipped, while crude stocks fell more than expected, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday, news that sank prices for crude, gasoline and heating oil. U.S. gasoline stocks rose by 10.9 million barrels, the largest build since May 1993, to 237 million barrels in the week to Dec 29, the EIA said, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 215,000 barrel drop.

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Phillips 66 in talks for non-core assets sale

Phillips 66 in talks for non-core assets sale

MRC -- U.S. refiner and petrochemical manufacturer Phillips 66 is in active discussions for a sale of its non-core assets, Chief Executive Mark Lashier said on Thursday during an energy conference, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Last year, the company said it would monetize $3 billion in non-core assets in 2024 as part of a plan to boost returns by cutting costs and assets. Lashier, however, said there was no fixed timeline when such potential sales may occur.

"We don't have (a) sense of urgency... It's really going to be a function of whether someone puts a greater value on these assets than we do."

The refiner has lagged behind its rivals at a time when the industry benefited from higher fuel demand and saw a surge in margins. The company has also come under fire from activist investment firm Elliott Investment Management for its refining operations.

About the refining business, Lashier said inventories continue to be low, but he sees strength going into next year. The CEO was also optimistic about the long-term prospects of CP Chemical, a 50/50 joint venture with Chevron, that some Wall Street analysts have pegged as a potential divestiture.

"We still have good, strong conviction around the long-term benefits of chemicals business but we did hit bottom in 2023... we see fundamentals continue to improve."

We remind, Phillips 66 announced a 2024 capital budget of $2.2 B, including $923 MM for sustaining capital and $1.3 bn for growth capital. Excluding joint venture debt repayments due in 2024, the company’s 2024 capital budget is $2 bn.

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Air Europa to fly to Havana with Cepsa's second-generation biofuels

Air Europa to fly to Havana with Cepsa's second-generation biofuels

MRC -- Cepsa and Air Europa have sealed an alliance whereby the energy company will supply 14.4 tons of SAF to the airline for one year to cover the first monthly Madrid-Havana flight, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

This is the first time that two companies in Spain have established a regular supply of this sustainable fuel for a specific air route. During the period of collaboration between Cepsa and Air Europa, the emission of around 50 tons of CO2 will be avoided, equivalent to planting 575 trees.

The trips, which will feature 2% SAF in aircraft tanks, will serve as a test run ahead of the targets set by the European Union in its "ReFuelEU Aviation" legislative initiative, developed to boost sustainability in the airline industry. While there is no current obligation for airlines to use SAF, the new regulation requires European airlines to fly with 2% of sustainable fuel beginning in 2025, increasing to 6% in 2030 and 70% in 2050.

Jesus Nuno de la Rosa, CEO of Air Europa, said: "This agreement fulfills the commitments made in terms of sustainability, one of the backbones of the airline's 2023-2025 Strategic Plan. Likewise, by using this fuel on the route to Havana, the company is highlighting its strategic role in air connectivity with the Americas."

Tobi Pardo, Cepsa's Aviation Director, expressed the company's satisfaction at closing an agreement of this nature: "We strongly believe that these types of initiatives are fundamental to moving towards more environmentally friendly aviation. We are proud to join forces with Air Europa in its commitment to the decarbonization of air transport, helping Spain to become a benchmark for sustainable tourism. We will continue to invest in innovative technologies that will enable us to offer more efficient solutions to facilitate the sector’s energy transition and a cleaner, safer future for all."

Cepsa produces second generation (2G) biofuel at its La Rabida Energy Park in Palos de la Frontera (Huelva) from organic waste and used cooking oils. These second-generation biofuels, in addition to reducing aircraft emissions by up to 90% compared to conventional kerosene, promote the circular economy as they are produced using waste that would otherwise end up in landfills.

Cepsa is promoting the decarbonization of aviation as part of its Positive Motion strategy, which aims to lead the production of SAF in Spain and Portugal with an annual production capacity of 800,000 tons in 2030, an amount of sustainable fuel sufficient to fly over the planet 2,000 times.

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Nexeo Plastics appoints michelle boven as new vice president

Nexeo Plastics appoints michelle boven as new vice president

MRC -- Nexeo Plastics announced that Michelle Boven has joined the company as Vice President and General Manager, Commodities and Packaging, said Polymerupdate.

With this strategic hire, Nexeo Plastics continues to strengthen its leadership team and position itself for continued growth and success in the dynamic plastics distribution industry.

Ms. Boven brings a wealth of industry knowledge and experience to Nexeo Plastics. With more than 25 years of proven leadership in the market, she has a demonstrated track record of developing a growth strategy to capitalize on changing market dynamics, specifically in flexible and rigid packaging applications. Ms. Boven has held key leadership roles at Dow, Inc., ranging from business development leader to polyethylene product director, to North America excellence leader, and her most recent role of Commercial Director, North America.

In her new role at Nexeo Plastics, Ms. Boven will be responsible for the Commodities and Packaging Division. She will collaborate closely with the current leadership team to drive the company’s vision and help shape the future of plastics distribution, including the execution of standard operating plans designed to deliver financial goals, build cross-functional processes and improvements.

“We are thrilled to welcome Michelle to the Nexeo Plastics family,” said Paul Tayler, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nexeo Plastics, LLC. “Her extensive industry knowledge, leadership skills, and passion for innovation make her the ideal candidate to lead our Commodities and Packaging Division. We believe that her vision and experience will help us continue to deliver outstanding products and services to our customers and suppliers, while driving growth in this vital sector of our business.”

“I am honored to join Nexeo Plastics at this exciting time. The company’s commitment to delivering high-quality plastics solutions, combined with its strong customer focus, is truly impressive. I look forward to leading the Commodities and Packaging Division in pursuit of our growth ambitions and to ensure we continue to meet and exceed the expectations of our customers and suppliers.”

We remind, Nexeo Plastics, a global leader in thermoplastics resin distribution, is pleased to announce a significant expansion of its collaboration with Americhem, a pioneer in tailored compound solutions. Effective on November 1, 2023, Nexeo Plastics has become the preferred distributor of Americhem's full range of Engineered Compounds in North America, encompassing Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the United States.

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U.S. fuel inventories surge as refiners boost runs, post holiday lull

U.S. fuel inventories surge as refiners boost runs, post holiday lull

MRC -- U.S. gasoline and distillate inventories posted large builds last week as demand slipped, while crude stocks fell more than expected, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday, news that sank prices for crude, gasoline and heating oil, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

U.S. gasoline stocks rose by 10.9 million barrels, the largest build since May 1993, to 237 million barrels in the week to Dec 29, the EIA said, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 215,000 barrel drop.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 10.1 million barrels, the most since January 2019, to 125.9 million barrels, versus expectations for a 588,000 barrel rise, the EIA data showed.

Gasoline futures fell to 2.9%, while heating oil futures fell 1.3% and crude benchmarks eased more than 1%. Brent futures were down $1.25, 1.6%, to $77 by 12:18 p.m. ET (1718 GMT), while U.S. crude futures eased $1.04, or 1.4%, to $71.69.

Gasoline supplied, an indicator of demand, fell 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), the largest drop since December 2022, to about 8 million bpd. Distillate fuel oil supplied fell to 2.7 million bpd, the lowest since 1999.

"Weaker implied demand makes sense, given the post-holiday lull after the front-running of demand ahead of the holiday period, nonetheless, such chunky product builds will weigh on sentiment," said Kpler analyst Matt Smith.

Crude inventories fell by 5.5 million barrels in the last week to 431.1 million barrels, driven by stronger refinery runs and higher year-end exports as companies looked to avoid a year-end storage tax.

Analysts' had expected a 3.7 million-barrel drop, in a Reuters poll. Refinery crude runs rose by 121,000 barrels per day in the last week, EIA said. Refinery utilization rates rose by 0.2 percentage points in the week to 93.5%.

Crude exports climbed 1.4 million bpd to 5.3 million bpd. Net U.S. crude imports fell last week by 758,000 barrels per day, EIA said.

We remind, U.S. refiner and petrochemical manufacturer Phillips 66 is in active discussions for a sale of its non-core assets, Chief Executive Mark Lashier said on Thursday during an energy conference. Last year, the company said it would monetize $3 billion in non-core assets in 2024 as part of a plan to boost returns by cutting costs and assets. Lashier, however, said there was no fixed timeline when such potential sales may occur.

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