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European downstream news round up: Early September

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Swedish Greenpeace activists were arrested at the Shell owned Frederica refinery in western Denmark on 29th August as they protested against arctic exploration. Shell is involved heavily with developing the reserves in the artctic area. Activists were wearing polar bear costumes and climbed the oil silo at the facility.


Total SA’s Carling refinery is at the moment surrounded by much speculation. It is expected that the company will shut the facilty’s ethylene manufacturing operation. The steam cracking unit will be taken offline as there is currently a surplus supply of ethylene due to the amount that is being cheaply produced in the US.


Hellenic Petroleum has announced that its sales figures for the first half of 2013 increased 4% year on year to US$ 7.7 billion. However, in comparison with the previous period, the company lost US$ 229 million due to a particularly challenging refining environment and the financial problems currently engulfing the Greek economy.


The Phillips 66 owned Whitegate oil refinery’s future is currently being considered by the Irish government. The plant employs 700 people and was put on the market earlier this year but is yet to attract a buyer. Without the facility it is feared by many that Ireland would become too reliant on imports of petroleum products.


Romania has said that by the end of this year, it will be exporting small amounts of natural gas to Hungary. The exports are being made possible by the Arad-Szeged pipeline. A minimum of 4.4 billion m3/y of gas exports will be possible with the pipeline. Romania is now also looking to extend its natural gas infrastructure to Bulgaria, Moldova and Serbia.


Nynas has won unconditional EU antitrust approval for the acquisition for most of the Shell Harburg refinery. The acquisition of the 100 000 bpd facility was under investigation by the EU competition authority as it was afraid that with this purchase Nynas would become the sole European producer of naphthenic bas oils. In order to ensure this does not happen, Nynas have offered the authority concessions.

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd

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