Chevron Lummus Global awarded new licensing contract for HPCL's integrated hydrocracker and catalytic dewaxing unit

Chevron Lummus Global awarded new licensing contract for HPCL's integrated hydrocracker and catalytic dewaxing unit

MRC -- Chevron Lummus Global LLC announced the award of a new licensing contract by Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited for the development of a grassroots integrated hydrocracker and catalytic dewaxing unit and a full catalyst reload of their existing lube oil upgrading program at the Mumbai Refinery in India, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

"Chevron Lummus Global is honored to once again work with HPCL on this transformative project," said Rajesh Samarth, Chief Commercial Officer of Chevron Lummus Global. "Our deep expertise in hydroprocessing technologies, paired with HPCL's forward-looking approach, underscores our shared commitment to advancing India's energy independence and strengthening its position in the premium base oil market."

The integrated hydrocracker and catalytic dewaxing unit will have a nameplate capacity of 550 KTPA and will facilitate the production of Gr. II+ and Gr. III premium base oils. This strategic move will enable HPCL to make a significant foray into the premium base oil market, tapping into new avenues for growth and market expansion.

We remind, Chevron expects 2024 capital expenditures (capex) of $15.5bn-16.5bn for its subsidiaries and $3bn for its affiliates. Two-thirds of its planned $14bn upstream spending is allocated to the US, including $6.5bn to develop its US shale and tight portfolio. About 80% of its estimated $1.5bn downstream spending is allocated to the US. Both budgets include about $2bn in lower carbon capex.

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Tecnimont awarded a FEED contract for a green ammonia plant in Norway

Tecnimont awarded a FEED contract for a green ammonia plant in Norway

MRC -- MAIRE announces that Tecnimont has been awarded a FEED contract by Fortescue, a global green technology, energy and metals company, for a green ammonia plant to be located in the Nordgulen fjord in Norway, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The scope of work entails the design of electrolyzer integration, the air separation unit for nitrogen production, the ammonia production plant, as well as its storage and ship loading facilities. As part of the agreement, Tecnimont will also submit an Engineering, Procurement and Construction proposal for the realization of the plant.

The facility will produce green ammonia through electrolyzers that will use renewable hydropower for the hydrogen production. Unlike other renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, hydropower is stable over time, greatly simplifying the configuration and operation of the plant as well as its efficiency.

The plant aims to ship the resulting green ammonia to domestic and European markets, contributing to the decarbonization of hard-to-abate industries. These objectives align with both Norwegian and European ambitions of accelerating the green energy market.

Alessandro Bernini, MAIRE CEO, commented: “We are proud to support Norway with this new sustainable initiative aimed at decarbonizing hard-to-abate industries, in particular the shipping sector, where ammonia is playing a pivotal role. This project is concrete evidence of our strong positioning in the energy transition thanks to our technology-driven value proposition”.


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Russia's Oil Freight Costs Decline Amid Sanctions, Weather Challenges, and Red Sea Incidents

Russia's Oil Freight Costs Decline Amid Sanctions, Weather Challenges, and Red Sea Incidents

MRC -- As the early months of 2024 unfold, Russia finds itself at the intersection of multiple challenges and intriguing developments in the realm of oil shipping, said Chemanalyst.

Despite facing security concerns in the Red Sea, disruptions from winter weather, and heightened scrutiny due to a Western-imposed price cap, the nation's oil shipping expenses to Asia from its primary Baltic ports have witnessed a noteworthy moderation.

Two reliable trading sources unveiled significant reductions in the expenses linked to shipping 100,000-ton Urals cargoes from Primorsk and Ust-Luga to Indian ports. These costs dropped to $8 million from the approximately $10 million recorded in late November. Notably, the figure had reached as low as $5 million in September, marking a considerable fluctuation within a relatively short timeframe.

The prevailing tightness in the tanker market, coupled with security concerns emanating from Red Sea attacks disrupting the crucial Europe-Asia shipping route through the Suez Channel, has exerted upward pressure on global crude oil freight rates. Despite these challenges, the impact of storms in the Black Sea and cold snaps in the Baltic—conditions that typically elevate freight costs—has been relatively limited for Russian crude. Notably, traders have observed that Russia has not yet imposed ice class restrictions for oil tankers in its Baltic ports, showcasing strategic adaptability to weather-related challenges.

Another significant factor influencing this intricate scenario is the heightened control exercised by the United States over the price cap. This cap imposes restrictions on Western companies, prohibiting them from providing maritime services, including financing, insurance, and shipping, for Russian oil transactions exceeding a predetermined price. However, the increased scrutiny has not translated into a surge in transportation costs, as indicated by traders. In November, Urals FOB (free on board) prices fell below the $60 cap, aligning with a retreat in Brent prices. This market movement prompted some smaller shipping companies to re-enter the Russian oil market, marking a noteworthy shift in dynamics.

While major Western shipping companies have not yet re-engaged with the Russian oil market, a sufficient number of participants have played a role in curbing a pronounced increase in transportation costs, according to a Urals trader. This delicate equilibrium in market dynamics underscores the resilience of the Russian oil shipping sector in navigating through an array of challenges, including security concerns, weather-related disruptions, and evolving regulatory constraints imposed by Western entities.

As the industry continues to adapt to these multifaceted challenges, the interplay of factors such as security dynamics, weather patterns, and regulatory frameworks will shape the trajectory of oil shipping costs. Moreover, these developments contribute to the broader dynamics of Russia's oil trade in the global market, emphasizing the strategic considerations and adaptability required for sustainable and efficient oil logistics operations.

We remind, in January, Bulgaria embarked on a significant shift in its oil import strategy, opting to replace Russian crude with shipments from Kazakhstan, Iraq, and Tunisia. The decision came amid changes in legislation, with the Bulgarian parliament shortening the country's derogation period from the EU-wide ban on Russian crude imports until the start of March. Furthermore, as of January, Bulgaria enacted a ban on the export of fuels produced using Russian oil.

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Energy giant BP appointed interim boss Murray Auchincloss as permanent CEO

Energy giant BP appointed interim boss Murray Auchincloss as permanent CEO

MRC -- Energy giant BP appointed interim boss Murray Auchincloss as permanent CEO on January 17, said the company.

The development came four months after Bernard Looney's sudden resignation on September 12 over undisclosed relationships with employees.

"Our strategy – from international oil company to integrated energy company, or IOC to IEC – does not change. I'm convinced about the significant value we can create," Murray Auchincloss said, according to a Reuters report. "Now, more than ever, our focus must remain on delivery – operating safely and efficiently, executing with discipline, and always focusing on returns," he was quoted as saying in the report.

Murray Auchincloss indicated that he would continue a strategy aimed at slashing carbon emissions, building up its renewables and clean fuel capacity and cutting oil and gas output by 2030. Murray Auchincloss headed BP's finances under Looney.

BP informed that Murray Auchincloss' was appointed after an extensive search process that included external candidates. Bernstein analyst Oswald Clint said, “Murray is well known and respected within the market and most importantly was one of the key architects of BP’s current strategy."

We remind, 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.

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Thailand orders traders to suspend diesel exports

Thailand orders traders to suspend diesel exports

MRC -- Thailand has ordered traders to suspend diesel exports while Thai Oil Plc repairs its No. 3 crude distillation unit in Chonburi province, a government official said on Wednesday, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

It was unclear how long the export suspension would last, but the energy ministry's director-general Sarawut Kaewtathip said it was aimed at preventing local shortages of diesel during the unit's 13-day maintenance period ending on Jan 28.

Thai Oil operates a 275,000-barrels per day (bpd) refinery located near the port of Laem Chabang in Sriracha, Chonburi province. The No. 3 CDU, the largest among the plant's three crude units, has the capacity to process 180,000 bpd of oil.

Sarawut said the ministry's energy business department had met with traders and refineries to prepare measures to prevent and solve any shortages.

There are no problems with supply of gasoline and jet fuel but high-speed diesel supply is "quite tight", he said. "The department has ordered oil traders to suspend the export of high-speed diesel, unless necessary, in order to increase domestic supply to meet demand," he said. Up to 20% of legal diesel reserves can also be sold to ensure sufficient supply, Sarawut said.

In the first 11 months of 2023, Thailand exported 5 billion liters of diesel, worth $3.6 billion or about 1.4% of total exports.

We remind, MAIRE announces that Tecnimont has been awarded a FEED contract by Fortescue, a global green technology, energy and metals company, for a green ammonia plant to be located in the Nordgulen fjord in Norway. The scope of work entails the design of electrolyzer integration, the air separation unit for nitrogen production, the ammonia production plant, as well as its storage and ship loading facilities. As part of the agreement, Tecnimont will also submit an Engineering, Procurement and Construction proposal for the realization of the plant.

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