A massive earthquake disrupted petrochemical operations in Japan

(ICIS) -- A massive earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan killed more than 50 people and disrupted petrochemical operations on Friday. At least 55 people have been killed and over 50 have been reported missing, according to local media reports.

The quake struck Japan's northeast coast, some 373 km (231 miles) northeast of Tokyo, and 130km east of Sendai, Honshu - the largest island in the country, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). USGS earlier put the magnitude of the quake on the Richter scale at 7.9 but revised it up to 8.8, then to 8.9. It generated a huge tsunami with waves up to 10 metres high, which swept inland destroying buildings and infrastructure.

Following the quake, fire broke out at the chemical factory of JFE Chemical in the Chuo ward in the city of Chiba, Chiba prefecture, as well as at the 220.000 bpd refinery of Cosmo Oil, located in the city of Ichihara, Chiba prefecture.

JFE Chemical produces coal tar, benzene, toluene and xylene and industrial gases including oxygen, nitrogen and argon.

JX Nippon Oil & Energy shut its paraxylene facilities in Kashima, with a combined capacity of 600 KTa and in Kawasaki with a combined capacity of 350 KTa, market sources said.


Foster Wheeler to provide design services for plastics converting plant

(Plastemart) -- Foster Wheeler's Global Engineering and Construction Group has been awarded a contract by Cynar Plc to provide basic process engineering design services for a 6 KTa plant to convert non-recyclable waste plastics into liquid fuels, primarily diesel. The plant will utilize Cynar's pyrolysis technology, supplemented with Foster Wheeler's refining knowledge to produce liquid fuels. The basic design package is expected to be completed in Q1-2011.

The Foster Wheeler contract value for this project is undisclosed. Approximately half of the value was included in the company's Q4-2010 bookings and the remainder will be included in the company's Q1-2011 bookings.


ExxonMobil expects global energy demand to increase by 35% by 2030

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- Exxon Mobil Corporation continued to deliver industry-leading results in 2010 through an integrated and disciplined business approach, and remains well-positioned to meet growing long-term global energy and petrochemical demand, the company said on Wednesday in its annual presentation to investment analysts at the New York Stock Exchange.

Rex Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer, said that ExxonMobil expects global energy demand to increase by 35% by 2030, compared to 2005 levels, and demand for natural gas will make it the fastest growing major energy source. To meet that demand, ExxonMobil will continue to invest through the business cycle.

The volume of oil and natural gas produced by ExxonMobil is expected to grow by between 3-4% in 2011 and by 4-5% per year, on average, between 2009 and 2014. Eleven major upstream project start-ups are planned between 2011 and 2013.


Kuwait's USD9 bln refinery and petrochemical complex gets final go-ahead for major Chinese refinery

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- The mayor of Zhanjiang, the Southern Chinese city which will host Kuwait's US$9 billion refinery and petrochemical complex, pledged to strive for officially putting the project into operation on the eve of the opening of the Guangdong Provincial Games in 2014.

"This is also a common dream of entire 7.5 million people in our city," Zhanjiang Mayor Ruan Risheng said, adding that the project will play a significant role in the economic and social development of whole Guangdong Province in general and the city's petrochemical industry particularly, according to the Zhanjiang Daily.

The joint venture between KPC and Sinopec entails a 15 million-tonne-a-year (300.000 barrels per day (bpd)) refinery, a 1 million-tonne-a-year ethylene plant and related utilities, as well as support facilities such as a crude jetty, product oil and chemical jetties, a bulk jetty and oil product pipelines to an initial station, the Chinese government has said earlier.


Lukoil net income reached USD 9 bln in 2010

(Lukoil) -- Lukoil's net income made USD 9.006 bln in 2010, which is 28.5% higher compared to 2009. EBITDA was $16.049 mln, which is 19.1% higher y-o-y. Sales revenues were USD104.956 mln (+29.4% y-o-y). Positive dynamic of financial results was mainly due to a sharp increase in hydrocarbon prices in2010 compared to 2009.

In 2010, crude oil production of Lukoil Group totalled 95.99 mln t. Natural and petroleum gas output available for sale increased by 24.5%, to 18.55 bcm. Meanwhile, the production of gas in the major gas field - Nakhodkinskoe field - amounted to 8.15 bcm in 2010, which is 37.2% higher y-o-y. The growth was mainly due to increase in purchases of our gas by Gazprom starting from the second half of 2009.