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14th January: downstream update

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Due to a fire at the Petroecuador Esmeraldas refinery, processing units had to be taken offline. The company has now announced that operations have resumed at two of the processing units at the 110 000 bpd plant. According to recent reports, crude unit 1 and vacuum unit 1 were actually brought online on 29th December but this was not reported immediately.


The third Phase of the expansion of the MRPL refinery is apparently nearing the end after many delays. The power plant, attached to the refinery is due to be completed by, the latest, the first two weeks of February.


The Niger Delta Joint Task Force (JTF) has apparently adopted a new strategy to destroy illegal refineries. A Swamp Buggy machine which crushes refineries beyond recovery is now being used and has reportedly been used most recently in the destruction of an illegal refinery in Alakiri, Okirika Local Government Area of Rivers.


It has been reported that AMEC is going to buy UK based services company Foster Wheeler for approximately US$ 3.2 billion in cash and stocks. The purchase will expand AMEC’s mid and downstream engineering and construction presence in the US and Middle Eastern markets.


Russian pipeline company Transneft has said that it expects to cut crude oil exports in 2014. The company is apparently anticipating cuts of 1% to 4.5 million bpd due to the increase in domestic production of refined products to countries it usually exports to.


PDVSA has awarded a contract to Cimontubo of Portugal. The construction contract is fort he revamp of a storage site at its Caracas based Paraguana refining centre. The plant has a storage capacity of 940 000 bpd and the contract is worth approximately US$ 190 million.


Approval has been recommended by the Williams County Planning and Zoning Commission for a proposed diesel hydroskimming plant and storage facility. The construction has been proposed by Dakota Oil Processing and when built will become the largest employer in Trenton, North Dakota.

Due to high wind speeds in the Great Falls area of Montana, a storage tank was damaged. The tank was under construction and not in service and is owned by Calumet Montana Refining. The west side of the tank collapsed due to the force of the gusts. 

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd.

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