QatarEnergy breaks ground on petchem complex

QatarEnergy breaks ground on petchem complex

State-owned QatarEnergy has broken ground on the $6 billion Ras Laffan petrochemical complex as part of its downstream expansion strategy, said Agbi.

The Qatari energy firm had signed a final investment decision on the complex with its partner Chevron Pillips Chemical in January last year. The complex will house an ethane cracker with a capacity of 2.1 million tonnes per annum of ethylene, making it the largest in the world, raising the Gulf nation’s ethylene production capacity by more than 40 percent.

The project includes two polyethylene trains with a combined annual output of 1.7 million tonnes of high-density polyethylene polymer products, raising overall production by about 50 percent. QatarEnergy holds an equity share of 70 percent in the Ras Laffan petrochemical complex, with Chevron Phillips Chemical owning the remaining 30 percent.

The project’s construction, operation, and technology standards are all designed to ensure energy savings, and significantly reduce emissions and hydrocarbon waste compared with similar global facilities, said Saad Al-Kaabi, CEO of QatarEnergy.

He added that the $8.5 billion Golden Triangle polymers plant in Texas, the US, developed in partnership with Chevron Phillips Chemical, will become operational in 2026. Earlier this month, QatarEnergy awarded contracts worth $6 billion for the third development phase at its largest oilfield, Al Shaheen.

Qatar, the world’s third-largest LNG exporter, is increasing its output from 77 million tonnes per year to 126 million by 2027.

We remind, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd (MHI), based in Tokyo, has unveiled its involvement in the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for a CO2 capture plant at Padeswood Cement Works in Flintshire, U.K. This initiative, in collaboration with leading global cement manufacturer Heidelberg Materials UK, aims to scrutinize the specifications of the CO2 capture plant, furthering the progress of the Padeswood CCS (carbon capture and storage) project.

Topsoe ammonia technology to boost Approtium's hydrogen production in South Korea

Topsoe ammonia technology to boost Approtium's hydrogen production in South Korea

Topsoe has signed an engineering agreement with Approtium to deliver its proven ammonia cracking technology, H2RETAKE, converting low-carbon ammonia, also referred to as blue ammonia, back into hydrogen, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Topsoe will deliver its technology to Approtium’s landmark project in Ulsan, South Korea. The facility is projected to produce 75,000 metric tons of hydrogen annually, which will support South Korea’s growing need for co-firing in the power generation sector. The project contributes significantly to South Korea’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions with 40% in 2030 (2018 as baseline).

Elena Scaltritti, Chief Commercial Officer at Topsoe, said: "We are excited to embark on this project with Approtium, showcasing not only the potential of our innovative technology, but also the strengths of ammonia as a key energy carrier. Greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced drastically on a global scale and through this project, Topsoe delivers a strong contribution to support South Korea’s decarbonization targets."

James Kim, CEO of Approtium, said: "Our ultimate goal has been to provide clean hydrogen to clients and contribute to accelerate carbon neutrality in Korea. This collaboration with Topsoe marks a significant milestone in our relentless pursuit of that goal and signifies our commitment to providing value to both our clients and society."

H2RETAKE is Topsoe’s ammonia cracking technology, designed for the high-efficiency conversion of ammonia into high-purity hydrogen, with an energy efficiency of 96%. It produces high-quality hydrogen suitable for various industrial applications. A unique feature of H2RETAKE is its ability to use off-gases as fuel for the endothermic reaction, enhancing its overall efficiency. It can process any commercial-grade ammonia feed source, demonstrating its adaptability in different operational contexts for hydrogen production.

We remind, Topsoe, a global leader in carbon emission reduction technologies, has been selected by Essar Oil UK, a leading integrated downstream energy company, to be a technology licensor for its carbon capture facility, based in Stanlow, North West England. Topsoe will deliver its SNOX™ technology for the removal of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, dust and other contaminants from the flue gas emitted in the production process. Topsoe’s technology will be one of a number of integrated licensed solutions supporting Essar’s plant, and will contribute to reducing their CO2 footprint.

Chevron, partners approve USD24 mln for offshore gas boost

Chevron, a prominent player in the energy sector, has joined forces with its partners in the Tamar reservoir situated off Israel's Mediterranean coast, announcing a substantial investment of $24 million to bolster the production of natural gas from the offshore field, said Chemanalyst.

This financial commitment forms an integral part of a meticulously crafted two-phase strategy aimed at significantly enhancing the natural gas production capacity of the Tamar field to approximately 1.6 billion cubic feet/day. Located west of Ashkelon, this initiative is strategically designed to meet the burgeoning energy demands within Israel while concurrently facilitating the export of gas to Egypt.

The consortium of partners involved in the Tamar project has given the green light to what is referred to as a final investment decision (FID), marking a pivotal milestone to progress into the second phase of the gas production enhancement endeavor. In the initial phase, slated for completion by 2025, a 150-kilometer pipeline will be laid from the Tamar field to the platform, with projections indicating an increase in daily gas production to 1.2 BCF, up from the current 1.1 BCF. The total investment required for both phases of the project is estimated at a substantial $673 million.

This decision to invest further follows a recent announcement made by the consortium, unveiling a freshly secured gas sales agreement with Blue Ocean Energy, the Egyptian importer of Israeli gas. According to the terms of this agreement, the Tamar partners are set to ramp up gas exports to Egypt by an additional 4 billion cubic meters (BCM) annually over an 11-year period, commencing from July 1, 2025. Presently, the Tamar reservoir exports approximately 2 BCM per year to Egypt.

In addition to fulfilling its export obligations, a notable portion of the augmented gas production will be directed towards the domestic market to address Israel's pressing energy needs. Consequently, the overall natural gas production from the Tamar field is forecasted to witness a substantial surge of 60% by the year 2026, translating to an additional 6 BCM annually.

This strategic maneuver is in perfect alignment with Israel's broader aspirations in the energy sector, as demonstrated by the memorandum of understanding inked in June 2022 among Israel, Egypt, and the European Union. This landmark agreement sets the stage for Israel to export its natural gas to the EU via Egypt's liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities, marking a significant stride forward in regional energy cooperation and integration.

We remind, Equinor, officially known as EQNR.OL, found itself at a critical juncture on Thursday when it made the difficult decision to halt operations at its Mongstad oil refinery in western Norway. This decision came in the wake of a fire that erupted within an electrical facility on the premises. Recognizing the potential risks posed by the situation, the company swiftly sprung into action, initiating the evacuation of the majority of its workforce as a precautionary measure. The primary objective behind the shutdown of production was unequivocally clear: to prioritize the safety and well-being of its personnel and to mitigate any potential escalation of the unfolding crisis.

Russia cuts fuel oil supplies by rail for further export by 1.2% in January

Russia reduced fuel oil supplies via rail for further export by 1.2% in January from the same month a year ago and by 6.2% from December amid refinery outages, according to industry sources and Reuters calculations, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Russia's energy infrastructure has been hit by drone attacks and fires in the past month, adding to uncertainty in global oil and gas markets already rocked by the conflict in the Middle East.

The Baltic Sea port of Ust-Luga remained the main destination for Russian fuel oil, handling some 46% of total supplies. At the same time, fuel supplies to the terminal fell by 18% both from January 2023 and December to 1.177 million metric tons last month as producers redirected supplies to other ports.

Fuel oil deliveries to the domestic market fell by 8.9% last month from January 2023 and by 5.8% from December to 718,000 tons, according to the sources and Reuters calculations.

Russian oil refineries in January reduced processing by 4% from a year before and 1.4% from the prior month due to drone attacks and outages, Kommersant daily reported last week, citing industry sources.

We reminnd, India has resumed imports of Russian Sokol oil after a two-month gap with at least two refiners so far taking deliveries of the light sweet crude in February, four trade sources said and ship tracking data showed. India's Hindustan Petroleum Corp HPCL.NS has bought Sokol oil from a trader, the sources said. HPCL is likely to pay for the oil in UAE dirhams, three of them added.

India resumes buying Russian Sokol oil after 2-month hiatus

India has resumed imports of Russian Sokol oil after a two-month gap with at least two refiners so far taking deliveries of the light sweet crude in February, four trade sources said and ship tracking data showed, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

India's Hindustan Petroleum Corp HPCL.NS has bought Sokol oil from a trader, the sources said. HPCL is likely to pay for the oil in UAE dirhams, three of them added. Indian state refiners had to stop buying the grade last year after the government advised them against using Chinese yuan to pay for Russian oil amid strained relations between New Delhi and Beijing.

That led to more than 10 million barrels of unsold Sokol floating in seaborne storages in one of the biggest disruptions to Russian oil trade since the West imposed sanctions on Moscow over its military actions in Ukraine. India did not receive Sokol oil in December and January, data from trade sources and the ship tracking data shows.

The vessel Seagull, carrying about 95,000 metric tons of Sokol, discharged at India's western Mumbai port on Feb. 13, the LSEG ship tracking data shows. HPCL rarely bought Sokol in the past. It previously bought the grade for delivery at Mumbai in August, according to the LSEG data. HPCL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In February, private refiner Nayara Energy, majority-owned by Russian entities including oil major Rosneft ROSN.MM, also took a delivery of Sokol oil, the data shows. LSEG data also shows that three vessels carrying Sokol oil - NS Lion, NS Antarctic and Raven - are expected to arrive at the eastern ports of Paradip and Visakhapatnam later this month.

The sources said Russia would look at selling Sokol oil through trading firms to reduce surplus floating stocks in the Pacific. Selling via a trader will help Russia get steady payments, though that will reduce discounts for the buyer, they said. Sokol oil is exported by Sakhalin-1 LLC, a subsidiary of Russian oil giant Rosneft, which is also a seller of the grade.

Rosneft did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Indian Oil CorpI, the country's top refiner, was one of the key buyers of Sokol oil under its annual contract with Rosneft.

It had to stop buying the grade because Sakhalin 1 LLC has been unable to open an account with a bank in the UAE to accept dirham payments. Earlier this month, China took two cargoes of Sokol oil, LSEG and Kpler data showed and traders said.

We remind, Rosneft-owned Tuapse oil refinery on the Black Sea will not resume operations this month, at the very least, sources, familiar with the maintenance schedule. Rosneft, Russia's largest oil producer, did not reply to a request for immediate comment. Russia has been beset in the past month by a number of refinery outages triggered by fires or suspected drone attacks, prompting authorities to reduce fuel exports to safeguard the domestic market.