Novak confident that discount on Russian oil to Brent will decrease; market will calm down

Novak confident that discount on Russian oil to Brent will decrease; market will calm down

MRC -- Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak is confident that the oil market will calm down and the discount on Russian oil to the Brent benchmark will decrease again, said Interfax.

"We have already had two such surges in discount growth, in 2022 and then at the beginning of 2023. This is of course currently associated with the sanctions package imposed at the end of last year. This is a natural market reaction to insure the risks. I am sure that as the chains improve and the market calms down, the discount will decrease," Novak told reporters.

Argus data reviewed by Interfax shows that, for 30 days in January, the discount on Urals oil in the port of Primorsk (FOB) was USD18.38 per barrel to Brent compared to USD18.22 per barrel in December. The price of Urals in Primorsk in January increased to USD61.77 per barrel from USD59.6 per barrel in December 2023.

The highest discount last year was USD40.05 per barrel (FOB Primorsk) in January, when sanctions on the purchase of Russian oil came into full effect, while the lowest was in September, at USD13.71 per barrel, when Russia and Saudi Arabia announced an extension their cuts in production and exports, respectively, until the end of the year amid expectations of an oil deficit in Q4.

In the summer of 2023, the price of Russian oil exceeded the price cap established by the G7 countries, which did not allow their companies to transport Russian oil, and therefore discussions began about lowering the ceiling. However, the G7 countries decided to tighten control over compliance with sanctions and issued appropriate clarifications in the fall and the US Treasury imposed sanctions on several tankers and ship owners in November. In October, the discount was USD13.73 per barrel, and in November, it grew to almost USD16 per barrel.

Discounts for Urals oil in the port of Novorossiysk are traditionally slightly lower, at USD17.9 in January 2024 versus USD18 per barrel in December 2023, while the price in January was USD62.2/bbl in January versus USD59.6/bbl in December. Thus, the average price of Urals for 30 days in January was almost USD62 per barrel, which is 3.8% higher than in December, while Brent (North Sea Dated) increased by 3%.

Argus data show that the cost of Russian Urals in Indian ports (DAP West Coast India) in January 2024 increased to USD76.36 per barrel from almost USD74 per barrel in December, and the discount to Brent decreased slightly from USD3.87 per barrel in December to USD3.79 per barrel in January.

The price of another grade of Russian oil, ESPO, sold from the eastern port of Kozmino, increased in January to USD73.4 per barrel, compared with USD72.2 per barrel in December, and the discount decreased from USD5/bbl. to USD4.46 per barrel in January 2024.

The Urals price for calculating taxes as of January 2024 is selected from the highest of two - Brent with a certain discount (USD15 per barrel, set forecast) or the Urals quote in Russian ports + the cost of transport to European ports. The cost of transport is set according to the Federal Antimonopoly Service method (to use Argus data, but the method has not yet been approved), and if it is not available, then USD2 per barrel.

We remind, Imports of polymer feedstock to Russia may grow in 2024, Petr Bazunov, General Director of the Russian Plastics Processors Association (RPPA). A number of processors in our Association have decided to increase imports, as imported raw materials in Russia are sold at prices equal or close to those of SIBUR. The principle of import parity or so-called netbacks is in effect. Refiners choose the raw materials that are more profitable for them. No one is holding on to SIBUR because in quality of production - due to failures with American catalysts - and in the terms of purchase SIBUR is no better than imports, and often turns out to be worse.

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Russian plastic processors to boost imports of polymer feedstock in 2024

Russian plastic processors to boost imports of polymer feedstock in 2024

MRC -- Imports of polymer feedstock to Russia may grow in 2024, Petr Bazunov, General Director of the Russian Plastics Processors Association (RPPA), told Interfax.

"A number of processors in our Association have decided to increase imports, as imported raw materials in Russia are sold at prices equal or close to those of SIBUR. The principle of import parity or so-called netbacks is in effect. Refiners choose the raw materials that are more profitable for them. No one is holding on to SIBUR because in quality of production - due to failures with American catalysts - and in the terms of purchase SIBUR is no better than imports, and often turns out to be worse," he said.

Thus, he said, there are reasons to believe that imports will grow amid diversification of feedstock supplies by companies.

"In 2023, imports are up 11%. We think the trend will continue this year. Or SIBUR will begin lowering prices. We will understand the outcome at the beginning of 2025 based on the results of statistics. So far we are talking about processors' plans, which are reflected in the forecasts of consumption of Russian raw materials," Bazunov added. He did not disclose absolute figures on planned volumes of imports, but noted that this concerns tens of thousands of tonnes.

"A lot of feedstock came from Iran. This is becoming advantageous, and the quality is good," the RPPA chief said. Besides Iran, he noted China and Azerbaijan among the main suppliers.

Earlier, it was reported a 12% increase in imports of large-tonnage polymers to 1 million tonnes by the end of 2023. RPPA President Mikhail Katsevman then pointed out that the import growth figure was prompted by the low base of 2022: "This is mainly due to the fact that 2022 was a shock year, when we were denied many deliveries".

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Air Liquide and TotalEnergies announce the launch of TEAL Mobility

Air Liquide and TotalEnergies announce the launch of TEAL Mobility

MRC -- On the occasion of Hyvolution 2024, Air Liquide and TotalEnergies announce the creation of TEAL Mobility. Equally owned by the two companies, TEAL Mobility will accelerate the development of hydrogen for heavy duty trucks by offering a network of 100 stations on major European corridors, said Polymerupdate.

This approach contributes to reinforce the momentum given to the entire industry, from truck manufacturers to transport operators.

TEAL Mobility aims to develop more than 100 hydrogen stations over the next decade, creating the first transnational European network of this size - under the TotalEnergies brand. TEAL Mobility will be operating around 20 stations in France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg and Germany from 2024.

TEAL Mobility provides a solution for transport and logistics operators committed to reducing their CO2 emissions. Hydrogen is particularly well-suited to long-distance road transport, as it enables rapid refueling - in about 15 minutes - and a long range - around 800 km - while preserving vehicle loading capacity.

The joint venture combines the expertise of its two founding companies: technologies and mastery of the entire hydrogen value chain on the one hand, and the operation and management of station networks and the distribution of energy to BtoB customers on the other.

TEAL Mobility markets hydrogen to transportation customers through a network of stations that the joint venture develops, operates and supplies.

We remnd, TotalEnergies, a globally recognized energy corporation, recently announced a delay in the reboot of its mixed-feed ethylene cracker facility situated in Antwerp, Belgium. This facility, which boasts an annual production capacity of 580,000 metric tons, has had its restart schedule pushed to the second half of January, a move that signifies the intricate challenges inherent in such large-scale operations.

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GAIL and ADNOC gas ink a long-term lng contract fuelling India’s natural gas industry growth

GAIL and ADNOC gas ink a long-term lng contract fuelling India’s natural gas industry growth

MRC -- GAIL (India) Limited, India's largest Natural Gas company, has successfully concluded a long-term LNG purchase agreement for purchase of around 0.5 MMTPA LNG from ADNOC Gas, said Polymerupdate.

This is pursuant to an MoU dated 30.10.2022 between GAIL and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) P.J.S.C wherein Parties agreed that, in potential areas of collaboration both parties shall explore opportunities including purchase of LNG by GAIL from ADNOC for a tenure ranging from short term to medium and long-term. This significant development between GAIL and ADNOC will reinforce the robust cultural and economic bonds between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Under this agreement, the deliveries will commence from 2026 onwards for a duration of 10 years, across India. This arrangement is believed to further aid in India’s rising energy security requirements and, simultaneously, also fuel GAIL’s strategic growth objectives to cater to its downstream customers in the rapidly evolving Natural Gas landscape of the country.

We remind, GAIL India is looking to allot Rup 30,000 crore of investment in the succeeding three years for pipelines, city gas distribution projects, existing petrochemical projects, equity contribution in group firms, and operational capex. It also anticipates polymer sales to rise twofold and natural gas transmission volume to increase by 12% in FY 2024. (1 crore=10 M, 1 lakh=100,000).

GAIL, headquartered in New Delhi, is India’s largest natural gas company, with a diversified interest across natural gas value chain of trading, transmission, LPG production & transmission, LNG re-gasification, petrochemicals, city gas, E&P etc. It owns and operates a network of over 16,000 km of natural gas pipelines spread across the country along with concurrently working on enhancing the spread further. GAIL commands around 70% market share in gas transmission and has a gas trading share of over 50% in India.

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LUKOIL wins the global corporate sustainability awards

LUKOIL wins the global corporate sustainability awards

MRC -- LUKOIL Group 2022 Sustainability Report debuted in the international Global Corporate Sustainability Awards and received a bronze class award in the Sustainability Reporting category, said the company.

The category recognizes organizations for disclosure of information in transparent and credible manner.

In 2023, 80 companies representing 8 countries submitted 90 applications to the contest. LUKOIL became its only Russian participant and winner. Among other Sustainability Reporting Awards winners are such companies as Delta Electronics, Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, China Airlines Ltd., Logitech International S.A. etc.

We remind, Romania's Petrotel Lukoil refinery, owned by Russia's Lukoil, will shut for one month from Wednesday for planned maintenance works, online news website Profit.ro reported. Lukoil's Romanian unit has a relatively small market share compared to bigger refineries in the country. The refinery uses alternative fuel supplies and is not affected by a ban on Russian imports.

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