Marathon Petroleum posts lower 4Q 2023 net income on reduced refining margins

Marathon Petroleum posts lower 4Q 2023 net income on reduced refining margins

MRC -- Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC) reported net income of $1.5 bn for 4Q 2023, compared with net income of $3.3 bn for 4Q 2022, said the company.

The 4Q 2023 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (adjusted EBITDA) was $3.5 bn, compared with $5.8 bn for 4Q 2022. The decrease in net income and adjusted EBITDA from a year ago was driven by lower refining margins. In 4Q 2023, the company returned approximately $2.8 bn of capital to shareholders through $2.5 bn of share repurchases and $311 M of dividends.

Through 26 Jan 2024, the company repurchased an additional $900 M of company shares. The company currently has about $5.9 bn available under its share repurchase authorizations. For full-year 2023, MPC's net income was $9.7 bn, compared with net income of $14.5 bn for full-year 2022. Adjusted net income was $9.7 bn for full-year 2023. This compares with adjusted net income of $13.5 bn for full-year 2022. Adjusted EBITDA for the Refining & Marketing (R&M) segment was $2.2 bn in 4Q 2023, versus $4.6 bn for 4Q 2022, reflecting lower margins. Segment adjusted EBITDA excludes refining planned turnaround costs, which totalled $299 M in 4Q 2023 and $442 M in 4Q 2022. R&M margin was $17.79/bbl for 4Q 2023, versus $28.82/bbl for 4Q 2022. Crude capacity utilization was roughly 91%, resulting in total throughput of 2.93 M b/d for 4Q 2023.

This compared with total throughput of 2.89 M b/d for four-quarter 2022. Refining operating costs were $5.67/bbl for 4Q 2023, versus $5.62/bbl for 4Q 2022. Midstream segment adjusted EBITDA was $1.6 bn in 4Q 2023, versus $1.4 bn for 4Q 2022. The results were primarily driven by higher total throughputs and higher rates. MPC's standalone (excluding MPLX) capital spending outlook for 2024 is $1.25 bn.

About 65% of overall spending is focused on growth capital and 35% on sustaining capital. MPC's $825 M of growth capital is focused on opportunities that enhance margins and reduce cost. At its 363,000-b/d Los Angeles, CA, US, refinery, the company is advancing projects to improve reliability and lower costs. The improvements focus on integrating and modernizing utility systems and increasing energy efficiency, with the added benefit of addressing new regulations mandating further reductions in emissions. The improvements are expected to be complete by end-2025. At its 593,000-b/d Galveston Bay refinery, the company is building a 90,000 b/d high-pressure distillate hydrotreater. This project is anticipated to improve the site's ability to produce higher value finished products and is expected to be complete by end-2027.

MPLX announced a capital outlook of $1.1 bn. The capital spending plan focuses on advancing growth projects anchored in the Marcellus and Permian basins, aiming to expand its value chains, particularly around natural gas and NGL.

We remind, ADM and Marathon Petroleum Corp celebrated the opening of their joint venture soybean processing complex, Green Bison Soy Processing, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The Green Bison facility in Spiritwood, ND, US, is the state's first dedicated soybean processing complex, and is a major step towards meeting increased demand for renewable fuels, in this case renewable green diesel. Green Bison Soy Processing will source and process local soybeans, with the resulting oil supplied exclusively to Marathon as a feedstock for renewable fuels. The facility will produce approximately 600 M lbs/y of refined soybean oil, enough feedstock for approximately 75 M gals/y of renewable green diesel.

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LyondellBasell & MSI Technology LLC collaborate on innovative consumer packaging

LyondellBasell & MSI Technology LLC collaborate on innovative consumer packaging

MRC -- LyondellBasell and MSI Technology LLC announced on 30 Jan 2024 they have entered into an agreement for MSI Technology to serve the LyondellBasell Polybutene-1 (PB-1) resin line into consumer packaging applications for North America, said the company.

MSI Technology is also the sales representative for the LyondellBasell Plexar product line. The expansion of the relationship is a strategic fit relative to the markets MSI Technology serves on 30 Jan 2024. MSI Technology will use its technical sales approach combined with its current speciality product portfolio to enhance offerings to customers in consumer packaging.

LyondellBasell PB-1 resins are commonly used in consumer packaging applications for easy-open packaging and film modification for seal initiation temperature providing: Broad seal-peel temperature range; Consistent and reproducible peel performance; Adjustable peel force to end-use requirements; Similar initiation and propagation peel force; "Whitening" with "Smooth & Clean" peel surface; Good seal integrity; Easy processability; Usable in blown film, cast film, extrusion coating and sheet extrusion The PB-1 resin line is part of MSI Technology's product offerings. The company also provides clients with access to dedicated sales and technical service specialists who provide guidance on technical resin selection to meet customer requirements.

We remind, Bora LyondellBasell Petrochemical, a collaborative venture between the privately owned Liaoning Bora Enterprise and the global petrochemical leader LyondellBasell (LBI), successfully recommenced the production of low-density polyethylene (HDPE), linear polyethylene (LDL), and polypropylene (PP) at its Panjin facility in China on January 5. This resurgence follows a scheduled shutdown for preventive maintenance that commenced on December 27 of the previous year. The production facility, boasting an annual capacity of 350 thousand tons of HDPE, 450 thousand tons of LDL, and 200 thousand tons of PP, has played a pivotal role in the regional petrochemical landscape.

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Anwil restarts caustic soda and PVC manufacturing operations in Poland

Anwil restarts caustic soda and PVC manufacturing operations in Poland

MRC -- Anwil S.A, the prominent Polish petrochemical producer, has successfully recommenced the production of caustic soda and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in Wloclawek, Poland, following a planned maintenance period, said Chemanalyst.

The resumption of operations comes after the company temporarily halted this particular production, which boasts an annual capacity of 340 thousand tons of PVC, in May of the preceding year. The hiatus lasted until mid-January of the current year, aligning with the company's strategic maintenance schedule.

Notably, Anwil had previously announced a reduction in the loading of its production facilities, impacting PVC with a capacity of 340 thousand tons, caustic soda with a capacity of 218 thousand tons, and chlorine with a capacity of 195 thousand tons per year. This adjustment in production was implemented towards the end of May or the beginning of June the previous year. Anwil, a key player in the Polish petrochemical landscape, operates as part of the PKN Orlen petrochemical concern. The company holds significant standing as a major producer not only of PVC but also of nitrogen fertilizers within Poland.

The recent resumption of caustic soda and PVC production at the Wloclawek facility signals a strategic and well-executed maintenance initiative by Anwil. The planned pause in operations allowed the company to conduct necessary repairs, upgrades, and inspections to ensure the optimal functioning of its production units. This commitment to regular maintenance aligns with industry best practices, ensuring the reliability, efficiency, and longevity of the manufacturing infrastructure.

Anwil's PVC production facility, with an annual capacity of 340 thousand tons, plays a pivotal role in meeting the market demand for this versatile polymer. PVC, known for its diverse applications across industries, requires meticulous production processes to guarantee quality and consistency. The temporary interruption in production, coupled with maintenance efforts, underscores Anwil's dedication to delivering products that meet stringent industry standards.

Beyond its role in PVC production, Anwil's operations encompass the manufacturing of caustic soda and chlorine, both integral components in various industrial processes. The strategic reduction and subsequent resumption in the loading of these production units reflect Anwil's agility in responding to market dynamics while maintaining a steadfast commitment to operational excellence.

Anwil's affiliation with the PKN Orlen petrochemical concern places it within a broader ecosystem of expertise and resources. This collaborative synergy allows Anwil to leverage the collective strength of the petrochemical conglomerate, contributing to its resilience and adaptability in the face of industry challenges.

The petrochemical sector, characterized by its complexity and interconnectedness, demands a proactive approach to maintenance and operational management. Anwil's strategic decision to temporarily reduce production and subsequently resume operations underscores its proactive stance in navigating the intricacies of the industry.

As a major contributor to Poland's petrochemical landscape, Anwil's actions reverberate beyond its immediate operations. The resumption of caustic soda and PVC production signifies not only the company's commitment to meeting market demands but also its role in supporting the broader industrial and economic landscape of the region.

We remind, LG Chem, a leading petrochemical company in South Korea, has announced plans to halt operations at its caustic soda production line in Yeosu, South Korea. Scheduled for the 20th of February, this shutdown is part of a routine maintenance strategy. The affected production line has an annual capacity of 320,000 tons of caustic soda, contributing significantly to LG Chem's total annual capacity of 728,000 tons.

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Collaboration among Japanese resin producers to promote biomass-based polycarbonate

Collaboration among Japanese resin producers to promote biomass-based polycarbonate

MRC -- Mitsui Chemicals Inc. and Teijin Ltd. are set to make history as the first Japanese companies to pioneer the development and commercialization of biomass-derived bisphenol A (BPA) and polycarbonate (PC) resins, said Chemanalyst.

This groundbreaking collaboration aims to contribute to the imperative goal of achieving carbon neutrality by mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout the entire life cycle of products.

The joint venture takes root in Mitsui Chemicals' recent attainment of ISCC PLUS certification from the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC). Riding on this certification, Mitsui Chemicals is poised to supply biomass BPA using the mass-balance approach. Teijin, in turn, will capitalize on this development by commencing the development and production of biomass PC resin utilizing the same BPA.

Having secured ISCC PLUS certification for BPA raw materials associated with PC resins in May 2022, Mitsui Chemicals is on the cusp of becoming the inaugural Japanese company to commercially produce biomass-derived BPA, offering identical physical characteristics as its conventional petroleum-derived counterpart.

In this innovative partnership, Teijin will procure biomass-derived BPA from Mitsui Chemicals to fabricate biomass-derived PC resins mirroring the physical attributes of the company's existing petroleum-derived PC resins. These novel biomass-derived iterations are earmarked for application in commercial sectors such as automotive headlamps and electronic components.

The strategic intent behind expanding the sale of products featuring plastics derived from biomass conversion is to facilitate the development and production of more ecologically sustainable products across the entire supply chain. Mitsui Chemicals, for instance, contemplates broadening its procurement network for bio-based hydrocarbons to ensure a steady supply of related products to the market. The company is in the process of securing ISCC PLUS certification for biomass naphtha derivatives and has already garnered certification for phenol, acetone, BPA, and alpha-methyl styrene. The overarching goal is to attain ISCC PLUS certification for all phenol-chain products, paving the way for sales commencement by March 2024.

Teijin, in parallel, anticipates securing ISCC PLUS certification in the first half of fiscal 2023, marking the initiation of commercial production of biomass-derived PC resins. The company is poised to emphasize to its customers the seamless substitution of conventional petroleum-derived PC resins with their environmentally friendly counterparts.

The escalating demand for GHG emissions reduction across supply chains in support of carbon neutrality underscores the pressing need for low-environmental-impact products. The potential applications of PC resins recycled from used final products, particularly in automotive and electronics sectors, heighten the anticipation for diverse low-environmental-impact PC resins.

Since December 2021, Mitsui Chemicals has been at the forefront of environmental consciousness, integrating naphtha crackers as core equipment in its petrochemical plants. This strategic move facilitates the replacement of petroleum-derived naphtha with bio-based hydrocarbons derived from waste vegetable oil and residual oil. The company envisions a continued introduction of derivatives using the ISCC PLUS-certified mass-balance approach to produce biomass-derived raw materials through chemical reactions.

Simultaneously, Teijin remains committed to the development of low-environmental-impact recycled PC resins and conventional PC resins employing petroleum-derived raw materials. This multifaceted approach aligns with the evolving landscape of sustainable practices and anticipates a future where environmentally conscious choices are seamlessly integrated into the production and application of PC resins.

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Polymetal maintains plan to sell Russian assets by end Q1, holding negotiations with potential buyer

Polymetal maintains plan to sell Russian assets by end Q1, holding negotiations with potential buyer

MRC -- Polymetal maintains the plan to sell its Russian assets by the end of the first quarter of 2024, the silver and gold miner's CEO Vitaly Nesis said during a conference call, as per Interfax.

Polymetal has reduced the circle of contenders for the assets to one potential buyer from Russia, and the company is currently negotiating with the potential buyer, otherwise it would be impossible to talk so confidently about the timing, Nesis said. The buyer is from Russia. "We had a lot of dialogue with the Chinese, but then they made it clear to us that Russian assets should belong to Russian entities," Nesis said. Polymetal ruled out candidates subject to Western sanctions and those who could represent their interests.

The potential buyer is talking to the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service regarding approval of the transaction, and Nesis said that in his opinion, there will be no problems with obtaining permission on time. Polymetal, for its part, is in dialogue with OFAC, which has imposed sanctions on the company's Russian business.

Polymetal is the biggest silver miner and one of the biggest gold miners in Russia. It has operations in Russia's Magadan and Sverdlovsk Regions, the Khabarovsk Territory, Yakutia, Chukotka, and in Kazakhstan. A consortium of investors from the Sultanate of Oman, led by the government-controlled Mercury Investments International fund, is Polymetal' biggest shareholder with around 24%.

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.

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