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Global downstream news: 17 February 2015

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


It has been confirmed that China will allow refining firms that meet new environmental and technical standards to import crude oil. This is part of the state planning agency’s efforts to five the market a bigger say in the country’s refining sector. The National Development and Reform Commission has stated that the new guidelines for crude oil imports would provide incentives for refiners in China to use cleaner and more efficient technologies.

China VLCC has signed a two year crude shipping contract with Dalian based West Pacific Petrochemical. The contract has been extended by one year with approvals from both parties and the shipping rates will be determined according to market levels. The contract reportedly does not specify the crude volumes to be shipped or the number of vessels to be chartered.


The Croatian parliamentary party ORaH has urged the government to protect the interests of Croatia’s two oil refineries and stop the delivery of domestic crude to foreign plants. ORaH wants the government to ask INA to present an operating plant for 2015 and to adopt a five year strategy.


Indian Oil Corp Ltd (IOC) has said that it plans to have the Paradip refinery up and running at full capacity by the end of this year. The plant has a crude processing capacity of 300 000 bpd and will begin operations in two months time.

The government of Andhra Pradesh has signed an agreement in principal with Al Qebla Al Watya Inc. of Kuwait to develop a crude refinery and petrochemical complex on the central coast of the state. The project is expected to provide energy security as well as extensive development of the downstream sector and ancillary industries in the state.


Pemex has announced that it is going to delay the execution of capital projects due to the slump in oil prices. The stalled plans include refinery reconfigurations and ultra low sulfur fuel projects.


Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that its three refineries are no longer going to be sold or privatised. They are now going to be fixed for maximum capacity utilisation. The planned modernisation and upgrading of the facilities is expected to cost NNPC approximately US$550 million to get them onstream. Originally, the cost of upgrading these facilities was estimated as US$1.6 billion. The phased program to rehabilitate the plants is expected to take 18 months.

The Philippines

Following an accident at the Petron Bataan refinery, in Limay town, the Department of Labour and Employment has stopped the San Miguel consolidated Power Plant and its subcontractor from operating a boiler inside the facility. The accident killed one worker and injured 12 others.


It has been reported that ExxonMobil Corporation has taken a five year contract offer that was to be linked with an expansion of the Beaumont refinery, Texas off the table. The contract was offered to USW workers and included a US$4500 ratification bonus which had been offered to all union represented workers at the Beaumont plant.

Communities in Galveston, Texas have voiced that they are concerned that a white dust that was released over a month ago from the Marathon Galveston Bay refinery has not gone away. Residents have said that the dust can still be seen in cracks and can be felt in the air. Marathon has already paid for industrial strength cleanings.

Sources: News Info, First Post, Live Mint, Reuters, Dalje, The Sun, Business Recorder, IHS Maritime 360, ABC 13.

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd

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