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Global refining and petrochemicals news: 29 January 2015

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Brazil

Petrobras has reportedly cancelled plans to build two new low sulphur diesel refineries in Brazil. The company has gone so far as to write off the money already spent on the proposed facilities. The two facilities were to be built in Maranhao and Ceara and be called Premium I and Premium II.

Canada

Pacific Future Energy Corp. is continuing to seek US$25 million in financing for a US$1.1 billion heavy oil refinery to be built in British Colombia. The company are planning to build the facility despite the current volatility in the oil market. The US$25 million is required to see the project through the first phases of the permitting process.

France

A suspension has been called on a strike by truck drivers in France. The drivers blocked traffic around the Total owned Grandpuits and Donges refineries on Wednesday 28 January, preventing deliveries being made to the facilities. The strikes have been called off to allow for negotiations to begin.

Iraq

Shell has signed a US$11 billion deal with Iraq. Under the agreement, Shell is going to build a petrochemical plant in the southern hub of Basra. The Nibras complex is expected to be online within six years and will make the country the largest petrochemicals producer in the Middle East.

Nigeria

The Niger Delta Joint Military Task Force (JTF) as part of Operation Pulo Shield has reportedly arrested eight suspected oil thieves over the last week. The JTF also raided illegal distillation camps and destroyed illegal refineries. The force uncovered other items from the camps such as handsaws and blades, mobile phones, 4 inch hoses and cash.

Saudi Arabia

It has been announced that the Yasref refinery started gasoline production earlier this week and is set to load its second diesel cargo. The refinery has a processing capacity of 400 000 bpd and is a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Sinopec of China. The diesel to be loaded is from Amsterdam and has less than 10 ppm of sulphur.

USA

It has been reported that an FCC unit at the BP owned Husky Energy refinery in Toledo, Ohio is going to be shut for a week. The 55 000 bpd facility is shut after a trip in the unit which has been reported by a person familiar with the facility.

United Steelworkers in the US, on Tuesday rejected a second proposal from the oil industry. The union said that the second proposal fell far short and was inadequate. It was also said that it failed to address any key concerns of membership. The union is seeking double the annual pay rise that was accepted in the last agreement. No further progress was reported to have been made on Wednesday 28 January on a new three year agreement.

A coking unit has been shut for repairs at the Motiva owned Port Arthur refinery in Texas. The planned work has resulted in reduced production at the plant. Delayed Coking Unit 2 (the affected unit) increases the quantity of refinable material from a barrel of oil and converts residual crude into petroleum coke.

In Mississippi a Lowndes County Judge has been appointed to watch over the process of finding a buyer for the KiOR Columbis biofuel refinery. A buyer is being sought after parent company of the facility sought bankruptcy in November last year.

Source: The Star Phoenix, Yahoo, Reuters, The Tide, WAPT, Gulf Business.

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