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25 July 2014: global refining and petrochemical news

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Due to the mismanagement of the purchase of a US refinery, Brazil’s audit court has fined four former high officials at Petrobras a combined total of US$ 792 million. The National Accounts Tribunal fined the individuals due to the mismanagement of public funds surrounding the purchase of the 100 000 bpd Pasaden refinery, Texas. The money is to be paid directly to Petrobras. The facility was purchased between 2006 and 2012 in two stages for a total of US$ 1.2 billion. The investigation began when federal police, prosecutors and lawmakers alleged overpayment for the facility and its assets as the facility had previously been acquired for only US$ 42.5 million in 2005.

Also, with regards to the above case, current board members of Petrobras have reportedly been cleared of any wrongdoing surrounding the purchase. Included in the list of cleared member is Dilma Rousseff who is Chairwoman of Petrobras and president of Brazil.


It has been reported that the China based fund Connell USA Energy and Chemical Investment Corporation are considering a site in Texas City, Texas, USA for the construction of a methanol facility. The US$ 4.5 billion investment would result in a plant which produces 7.2 million tpy of methanol and would be one of the largest methanol facilities in the world.

Hong Kong

Titan Petrochemicals has reportedly requested the courts to arrange a creditors meeting as it looks to finalise the company restructure and resume stock trading. If the official meeting passes, the company will seek to begin the restructure and issue new shares to all creditors.


Over the first quarter of this year’s Iranian calendar year, petrochemical exports have increased 6% according to the country’s National Petrochemical Company. It has also been reported that domestic sales of petrochemical products have increased by 6.6% during the same period, when compared to the first quarter of last year. The increase has been attributed to increased efficiency and reduced work stoppages at petrochemical units. In the last calendar year, Iran has produced 40 million t of petrochemicals and exported US$ 9 billion worth of products.


Work has halted at the Pemex owned Ciudad Madero refinery due to a fire at a storage tank. The tank contained 90 000 ltrs of fuel and it has been reported that there were no injuries as a result of the blaze. The refinery is Pemex’s smallest with a crude processing capacity of 190 000 bpd.


Nexans has been awarded a power and instrumentation cabling contract at the Laffan Refinery 2 in Doha. The contract was awarded by CCJV who are the main contractors for the project. Under contract terms, Nexans will provide 1000 km of cabling which includes low and medium voltage and flame retardant cables specifically for the oil and gas industry.


OMV Petrom SA has announced the completion of modernisation work at its Petrobrazi refinery. The work which was carried out between 2010 and 2014 cost 600 million Euros and required two scheduled shutdowns of the plant. The upgrade is allowing the plant to process all of OMV Petrom’s Romanian domestic crude production under one roof and has a processing capacity of 1.5 million tpy.

South Africa

Work on the Coega refinery, a joint venture between PetroSA and Sinopec still has not begun, despite the contract for Project Mthombo having been signed two years ago. There has been opposition to the plant due to the high costs of refinery construction.


A fire was reported at Western refinery, El Paso on the morning of Wednesday 23 July. The fire started in the refinery boiler, which involves crude oil and did hit other structures at the plant.

Delta Airlines Inc has called an early finish to its product exchange contract with BP. The company’s subsidiary Monroe Energy LLC terminated the contract with BP Products North America with effect 1 July 2014. The contract is known to have been terminated early but the exact date of its official finish is not known. Delta has reported that BP has been replaced with another counterparty.

It has been reported that construction work at the Dakota Prairie refinery is on track. The plant is scheduled for completion at the end of this year, and is the first refinery to be built in the sate in 30 years. The plant will process 20 000 bpd and produce 7000 bps of diesel fuel as well as other fuels.

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd

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