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Global refining and petrochemicals news: 29 September 2014

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


The Egyptian Oil Minister has said that the country is going to invest US$ 14.5 billion in the domestic refining and petrochemicals sector. Over the next five years, the money will work towards overcoming the energy crisis in the country and output of refined products is going to be boosted by 5 – 10% each year in an effort to also reduce imports of refined products.


Total has announced that it will allow itself time, until Spring 2015, to assess and decide its options within the French refining sector. The company has said that it is looking at capacity cuts but no refinery closures as part of its deliberations, for a five year period. Total’s refining margins in Europe have dropped to four year lows during this year.


It has been reported that the 75 day shutdown at the Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd plant is expected to continue for a longer period. The plant was running at under 50% capacity before the shutdown but is expected to be running at 100% once the maintenance period is over.


Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister has said that petrochemical products account for over 40% of the country’s non-oil exports. He also pointed out that Iran’s petrochemical industries have consumed just 5% of the country’s hydrocarbons and have produced over 40 million t of petrochemical products.


On Friday 26 September, a refinery in Sicily caught fire. The fire at the Milazzo refinery could reportedly be seen miles away and is thought to have started in a 5000 ltr tank. The fire was brought under control by firefighters shortly after but the fire will not completely extinguish until all the oil in the tank has burned off. The plant is owned by Eni and Kuwait Petroleum.


Between October and December of this year, Idemitsu Kosan Co has said it is planning on refining 466 40 bpd of oil. This is drop of 4% from the same period in 2013 and this has been attributed to fuel efficient vehicles becoming more common place. It has also been reported that crude processing figures for the July – September period of this year are down on 2013 levels by 4%.


Analysts have praised Pemex saying that it has made the right decision to halt the construction of the Bicentenario refinery in Hidalgo state. The company was looking to spend US$ 11.6 billion on the plant, and analysts say that the company is now doing the right thing in seeking to invest the money in a refinery in the US. Purchasing a refinery in the US with the money is being called the most cost effective decision the company could have made.

New Zealand

Due to the cancellation of a two day strike at the Marsden Point oil refinery which was scheduled for next week, the four main oil companies in New Zealand are now in possession of too much aviation fuel. A 50 million ltr emergency shipment is being received by the country from South Korea that was purchased by Z Energy, BP, Mobil and Chevron, in anticipation of the strike action which was expected to result in a shortage of jet fuel at Auckland International Airport.


Neste oil Singapore has signed a deal to install a new carbon dioxide recovery and liquefaction unit at its renewable diesel refinery in Singapore. The contract is with National Oxygen of Singapore and the value of the contract and project as a whole was not disclosed.


Conoco Phillips Ltd is going to shut down operations at its oil refinery in South Killingholme for three months as of May next year. During this time the company is going to carry out maintenance and inspection across the plant and the application for this action is currently in the hands of the North Lincolnshire Council. Phillips 66 has said that during the maintenance period, during any 24 hour period, 2500 personnel are likely to be working on the site.

Sources: National Business Review, Reuters, The Daily Star, Economic Times, Business News America, Zawya, Marine Link, Scunthorpe Telegraph

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd

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