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Downstream news roundup: 19 August 2014

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


It has been reported that Iraqi forces have regained control of the Anbar refinery following battles with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIL. The K3 oil refinery was retaken by the army, with the assistance of local tribes on Monday 18 August and workers and engineers were dismissed from the facility. The grounds of the facility are going to be thoroughly searched before workers are allowed to return to the plant to resume operations.


JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp of Japan is reportedly looking to build oil refineries and petrol stations in Asian countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam. The company is looking to make this move as fuel consumption levels in the domestic market have fallen.


Tecnicas Reunidas has been awarded a US$ 1.5 billion turnkey contract by Petronas. The contract is for the engineering and supply of part of the Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development, or RAPID, project. The 50 month contract will include a refinery and integrated petrochemical plant.


Mexico’s state oil company Pemex is in talks with US companies to import light crude from the US to Mexico. This is a sudden move following years of self sufficiency in the country. It is thought that Mexico is going to begin importing light crude from the US within the next few months to increase the value of the six refineries in operation.

Saudi Arabia

Following the unplanned shutdown of a polypropylene plant at a plant owned by Sahara Petrochemical, the company has announced that profits for the third quarter are likely to be heavily impacted. The company expects to see a profit impact of US$ 2.4 million. A technical fault caused the shutdown to be instigated.


Following gas pipeline explosions at the end of last month in Kaohsiung, the Government of Taiwan is now looking at plans to build a designated special zone for petrochemical facilities. The new zone would mean that existing plants in the greater Kaohsiung area are relocated to the new spot to ensure that pipelines are not run under residential areas.


Ineos has announced that it has bought a license for shale gas exploration and development in Scotland. The company best known for its involvement in the petrochemicals sector has acquired 51% of a licence for shale exploration onshore around the Grangemouth petrochemical complex. Dart Energy, Australia own the remaining 49% of the license.


Shell has shut a 70 00 bpd fluid catalytic cracking unit at its Deer Park refinery, Texas. The unit broke down over the weekend and is now undergoing repairs. Shell has not commented on how long the shutdown period is likely to last.

The sulfuric acid spill that happened at the Tesoro owned refinery in Martinez California has been attributed to insufficient tightening between a tube and compression joint. This information has been made public following an investigation by the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) into causes of the leak that happened in February of this year. Two workers in the refinery’s alkylation unit were burned by the leak and hospitalised. The spill reportedly lasted for over two hours and resulted in 84 000 lbs of sulfuric acid being released into the surrounding refinery area.

Sources: Yahoo, Herald Scotland, Al Shorfa, Fibre 2 Fashion, Fire Engineering, Rigzone, Reuters.

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd

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