Latest storage news
As of Monday, April 15 total oil product stocks in Fujairah stood at 24.548 million barrels, falling from last week's record high stock level to move down 2.2% week on week, reflecting an overall fall of 540,000 barrels. Falls were seen across all three product categories with heavy distillates showing the greatest volume decline week on week.
Stocks of light distillates fell marginally for the second consecutive week falling 0.3% week on week. Total volumes fell 30,000 barrels to stand at 11.182 million barrels. This is the fifth consecutive week that light distillate stocks have stood above 11 million barrels. Overall the bullish tone in the Asian gasoline market was holding as market participants noted a persistent tightness on the supply side. 'Overall, the gasoline market is still strong with Chinese exports expected to come down in April and added support from the US driving season,' a market source said. The prevailing optimism was demonstrated in the physical gasoline market with the 92 RON physical gasoline crack to front month ICE Brent futures standing at $7.64/b on Tuesday, reflecting a rise of $0.78/b week on week, having hit an eight-month high of $9.31/b on Friday.
Stocks of middle distillates fell to 1.961 million barrels showing a fall of 7.9%, with stocks falling by 168,000 barrels week on week. This is the first time they have stood under 2 million barrels since March 4. There was a slight buoying of sentiment as gasoil supplies were seen tightening due to the impending heavy turnaround season in the second quarter across Asian refiners.
Stocks of heavy distillates fell 2.9%, moving down 346,000 barrels on the week to stand at 11.405 million barrels. The drawdown in stocks comes as 380 CST Fujairah delivered bunkers continued to show a higher price than Singapore, with delivered bunkers in the Middle Eastern port assessed on Tuesday at $420.75/mt a $2.75/mt premium to Singapore. In other news in Fujairah, one of the largest oil storage companies in Fujairah is boosting its expansion plans with a public listing, to raise capital to build or acquire a new terminal and tank operations. Brooge Petroleum & Gas Investment Company, which operates about 400,000 m3 of refined product storage and is building another 600,000 m3 of crude and products tanks in Fujairah, announced late Monday a reverse merger with NASDAQ-listed Twelve Seas Investment Company, in a deal that will value the company at $1 billion.
Operating processes at chemical plants safely is of the upmost importance.
‘It’s no good saying ‘we’ve been operating this process for 20 years, so we know it is safe’’, says Dr Caroline Ladlow, safety services manager at Kindlow Safety Services.
‘You need to prove why you think it is safe and this includes any potential maloperations as well as the normal process.’
Process safety testing involves mimicking what happens during a chemical reaction on a plant, but at a laboratory scale, be it the normal process or what happens if there is a maloperation or potential runaway reactions.
Kindlow Safety Services provides process safety testing to define the characteristics of chemical reactions and their safe processing parameters by way of process hazard investigation. These tests help companies establish their basis of safety for a process plant.
The company utilises various different testing methods, which include differential scanning calorimeter, carius tubes, isothermal calorimetry and adiabatic calorimetry.
Dr Ladlow adds: ‘If you have the data, you know what you are dealing with and you can put appropriate measures in place if required and define the Basis Safety for your process. There are still too many plants in operation using the outdated naive concept that laboratory testing isn’t necessary.’
All test methods are in line with the latest industry best practice and regulations in the UK and the company can also offer solutions and guidance to ensure that every process that results in a chemical reaction is safe.
‘As our origins are from within industry, we are not just a testing house. We work with our clients to provide solutions for their particular process. We have a flexible approach and wherever possible adapt the experiments to mimic the plant process rather than make the process fit the standard test.’
As technology and industry knowledge evolves, so too does the process safety testing process.
‘As technology develops, the measures that industry can use to ensure safe operations of their processes becomes more sophisticated and our testing also evolves to take this into account.’
Dr Ladlow will be talking more about process safety testing and looking at previous incidents in the UK on the morning of the first day of ChemUK 2019. For more information visit www.chemicalukexpo.com.
Vopak has reported increased financial results as it commissions additional capacity at PT2SB in Malaysia as well as at its greenfield terminal in Panama.
The global storage operator reported an EBITDA of €215 million compared to €190 million in the first quarter of 2018. Occupancy rates were slightly down, at 86%, which reflects ongoing market conditions at its oil hub locations. However, other product market segments remained solid.
Its EBIT was €137 million compared to €123 million in Q1 2018. Adjusted for positive currency translation effects of €4 million and IFRS 16 effects of €3 million, EBIT increased by €7 million.
Its industrial terminal PT2SB in Malaysia commissioned additional capacity of 718,000 m3, bringing total capacity to 1.46 million m3. Its greenfield terminal Bahia Las Minas in Panama commissioned an initial capacity of 120,000 m3. The remaining capacity of 240,000 m3 will be commissioned before the end of 2019.
Looking ahead, the company's expansion programme will add 3.2 million m3 in 2018 and 2019. The sale of Algeciras, Amsterdam and Hamburg, with a combined capacity of 2.3 million m3 is expected to be completed in the second half of 2019.
Growth investments amount to around €1 billion for the period 2017-2019.
The company says it is well positioned to grow its global terminal portfolio in line with long-term market developments and targets one to three industrial terminal opportunities and one to three gas investment opportunities in 2019-2020.
Rubis Terminal has started work on the second expansion phase at its Rotterdam storage facility.
The expansion comprises nine stainless steel heated tanks of 1,500 m3 each and six stainless steel tanks, each with a capacity of 3,000 m3 for chemicals.
A new berth will be built for barge access and an extra truck loading station will also be constructed. It is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2020.
A spokesman told Tank Storage Magazine that the expansion will help meet demand for chemical tanks in the ARA, as there is an overall shortage. He says: 'There are definitely plans to expand in the future but they are not yet defined as they will be dependant on future customer demand.'
The first phase, which comprised more than 35,000 m3 of storage, was completed at the end of 2016.
Secure Energy Services has acquired a 27% interest in a crude oil storage facility and a 51% interest in a parcel of undeveloped land in Cushing, Oklahoma for $10.4 million.
The two tuck-in acquisitions provide the company with a strategic midstream footprint in one of the largest crude oil storage and trading hubs in North America.
The crude oil storage facility comprises four aboveground 175,000-barrel tanks. The 80-acre parcel of undeveloped land is adjacent to the facility.
The storage terminal was built in 2015 and is strategically located on ten acres of land in South Cushing with long-term connection agreements in place. These provide connectivity to all major inbound and outbound pipelines in Cushing. The company says that taving access to multiple Canadian crude streams and well-connected tankage will benefit its customers getting their product to market at the optimum price.
The company says: 'Secure's majority investment in the parcel of undeveloped land provides the corporation with significant optionality to develop additional midstream infrastructure in one of North America's key trading hubs.
'The corporation's strategic partners have a long history in construction similar scale storage infrastructure in the Cushing market and have developed key relationships with major companies in the area. Secure intends to support any further investment with long-term contracts providing the corporation with certainty over future cash flows.
'These transactions provide a measured and strategic entry into a new market for Secure, supporting the continued growth and development of the corporation's midstream business.'
Puma Energy has delivered its 2018 financial results with record sales volumes despite margins being affected by macro-economic headwinds.
Sales volume were at record levels at almost 25 million m3, up 9% on 2017 and gross revenue was strong at $18 billion for the year. However, margins were affected by macro-economic headwinds, which led to a reduction in gross profit and EBITDA.
The company recorded throughput volumes of 15 million m3, a 9% decrease, due to lower volumes at terminals. It also divested non-core assets in Peru and Malaysia to free up cash flow. Selective investments were made with 18 additional retail stations, 13 new airports and two new terminals.
Puma Energy CEO Emma FitzGerald says: '2018 was a very tough year for Puma Energy, but I am pleased that the team managed to deliver full year results in line with the guidance given at the third quarter.
'Looking ahead we remain very focused on delivering our plan, reducing the leverage in our balance sheet and maintaining strict cost and capital expenditure controls. Puma Energy has built a strong platform for sustainable growth in high potential countries and we are well advanced with our strategic plans to access this opportunity.'
Twelve Seas Investment Company has announced plans to acquire Brooge Petroleum and Gas Investment Company, which has a storage terminal in the Port of Fujairah.
Twelve Seas, a blank check company formed for the purpose of entering into a business combination, will engage in a merger involving a newly formed Cayman Islands holding company and the combined company will acquire 100% of the issued and outstanding shares of BPGIC. The transaction has been valued at around $1 billion.
As part of the transaction, BPGIC will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Twelve Seas, and the post-transaction business of the combined company will be that of BPGIC. One significant closing condition requires that Twelve Seas will have net cash proceeds at closing, including any proceeds of any new equity financings, in excess of $125 million.
All cash remaining in Twelve Seas at the closing of the transaction is expected to be used for BPGIC's growth.
In a statement, Twelve Seas' management says it believes that BPGIC's award winning state-of-the art terminals offer the industry's most advanced technologies, ensuring the highest level of service to clients. BPGIC is developing the terminals in phases and aims to have a total capacity of one million m3 following the scheduled completion of the second phase of construction by the end of quarter two or early quarter three in 2020.
BPGIC will continue to be led by its current management team.
The transaction is expected to close at the end of the second quarter of 2019 or early third quarter of 2019.
Nicolaas Paardenkooper, CEO of BPGIC says: 'We are excited to enter into this agreement with Twelve Seas as it provides us with the ability to enter the US capital markets and provide this unique opportunity to investors globally.
'The US capital markets are the largest in the world and include sophisticated investors with large investments in similar public companies within our industry. We look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate our industry leading operations in the emerging global hub for oil at the Port of Fujairah in the UAE. This transaction enables BPGIC to continue its exciting growth and accelerate future opportunities.'
Bryant Edwards, COO and director of Twelve Seas, adds: 'This transaction represents an exciting opportunity for foreign public investors, and specifically those that invest in Nasdaq company stocks, to invest directly into the dynamic and growing oil and gas infrastructure sector within the UAE. Today's announcement comes less than two months after the investment by the global investment firms of KKR and Blackrock, who purchased cash flow streams derived from national pipelines in the UAE. Through BPGIC's NASDAQ listing, investors can have a direct ownership interest in an exciting company with exposure to the same growing oil and gas infrastructure in the UAE.'
Check out our April/May edition for an exclusive interview about the second phase of BPGIC's storage terminal in Fujairah.
Concho Resources and Frontier Midstream Solutions have announced plans to create Beta Crude Connector, a new gathering and transportation system in the Northern Midland Basin in the US.
Both companies will each own a 50% equity interest in BCC, with Frontier serving as operator. The new system will build and provide crude oil gathering, transportation and storage services to support continued oil production growth in the region.
It will consist of a 100-mile gathering system, 250,000 barrels of crude oil storage facilities as well as truck terminals. The pipeline system will have the initial capacity to deliver 150,000 barrels per day of crude oil to multiple delivery points, accessing local refineries and connecting to several downstream pipelines. Construction will start following an open season.
BCC will file for FERC authority to operate as a common carrier pipeline and solicit interest from other producers and marketers for capacity on the new system.
Jack Harper, president of Concho, says: 'Through the joint venture, we will leverage Frontier's midstream expertise and enhance the value of our high-quality footprint in the Midland Basin with a reliable, cost-efficient gathering and transportation solution.'
Frontier's CEO Dave Presley adds: 'We are pleased that Beta Crude Connector will be the latest of our full-service midstream solutions and our second joint venture partnership with Concho as we demonstrate our commitment to quality partnerships and solutions for producers once again.'
President Trump has enacted an executive order to ensure greater consistency and regulatory certainty in the permitting process for energy infrastructure projects.
The move will help relieve the backlog of pipeline projects and move forward the country's energy revolution. In the order President Trump says: 'To enable the timely construction of the infrastructure needed to move our energy resources through domestic and international commerce, the Federal Government must promote efficient permitting processes and reduce regulatory uncertainties that currently make energy infrastructure projects expensive and that discourage new investment.'
Following the announcement, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that it will be taking 'affirmative steps to promote nationwide consistency and regulatory certainty under a core Clean Water Act programme'.
The EPA has said that it will engage with its state and tribal partners to identify ways in which it can modernise the 401 certification process under the Clean Water Act and accelerate infrastructure projects.
Section 401 provides states and authorised tribes with an opportunity to evaluate and determine whether the impacts of proposed federally licensed and permitted projects meet local water goals and these rules have not been updated in 50 years. These permits are often needed for pipeline construction projects crossing bodies of water. It also clarifies the guidance for presidential permits on cross-border pipelines.
The American Petroleum Institute says that this move will enable the energy industry to provide clean and affordable fuels to communities and that the damage from restrictive energy policies is becoming more apparent.
API President and CEO Mike Sommers says: 'Bureaucratic barriers have crippled an otherwise strong regulatory regime, preventing the construction of essential infrastructure and unnecessarily contributing to an energy disparity in America.'
Eagle LNG partners has received the final environmental impact statement from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to build the Jacksonville LNG export facility.
This is the final step in the environmental review process before the final federal authorization decision deadline and anticipated FERC approval of the project.
The facility will initially consist of three liquefaction trains, which, at full build-out, will be capable of producing up to 1.65 million gallons of LNG per day, around one million tonnes per annum.
Sean Lalani, president of Eagle LNG, says: 'Achieving this critical milestone is a significant step forward for Eagle's Jacksonville LNG export facility.
'The Jacksonville LNG export facility, with its prime Florida east coast location, will give us a unique and competitive advantage in helping provide some of the lowest-cost power generation for nearby Caribbean countries.'
Saudi Aramco's subsidiary Aramco Overseas will purchase a 17% stake in South Korea's Hyundai Oilbank from Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings.
The investment, valued at $1.25 billion, will support Saudi Aramco's crude oil placement strategy by providing a dedicated outlet for Arabian crude oil to South Korea.
Hyundai Oilbank is a private oil refining company and the Daesan Complex, where its major facilities are located, is a fully integrated refining plants with a processing capacity of 650,000 barrels per day. In addition, the company and its five subsidiaries includes oil refining, base oil, petrochemicals and a network of gas stations.
Abdulaziz Al-Judaimi, Saudi Aramco's senior vice president of downstream, says: 'Saudi Aramco continues to strengthen its position in the downstream sector. This acquisition demonstrates our investment in the highly complex refining sector in Asia, and continuous commitment to the region's energy security and development.
'The investment support Saudi Aramco's broader downstream growth strategy, as well as providing long term crude oil options and offtakes as part of our trading business.'
Marathon Petroleum will purchase a 900,000-barrel capacity light product and asphalt terminal and 33 retail stores in New York from NOCO Incorporated.
The terminal is well positioned to receive supply from the Midwest, Canada or the New York Harbour via multiple supply routes, including pipeline, truck, trail or waterborne vessels and will be able to deliver products to this market.
Chairman and CEO Gary R. Heminger says: 'This acquisition supports MPC's Midwest product placement strategy and builds upon prior investments, including Speedway's acquisition of 78 Express Mart locations in western New York, to maximise our refinery utilisation.'
Speedway president Tony Kenney adds: 'We are excited to continue our growth into western New York. The NOCO Express stores have been very well managed and maintained and will complement our expanding presence in this region. We look forward to further bringing the Speedway brand to even more consumers in the Buffalo region.'
HES Botlek Tank Terminal has announced plans to add six storage tanks for biofuels storage as part of considerable investment in the facility.
HES Botlek has contracted SJR Tank Construction following the company's successful completion of seven fully-assembled tanks with a joint capacity of 70,000 m3.
The tanks each have a capacity of 3,400 m3 and the first four are currently being built in the conditioned production hall at the RDM site in Rotterdam and will be followed quickly by the final two tanks. The finished tanks will then be transported by water and installed in the foundations at the terminal in Botlek, Rotterdam.
These six tanks increase total storage capacity at the facility to 510,000 m3. As well as the partnership with SJR Tank Construction, civil engineering works were also contracted to De Vries en Verburg Bouw and are already in full flow.
Charles Smissaert, general manager of HES Botlek Tank Terminal, says: 'The previous contract in 2017 was delivered entirely within budget and according to schedule. This meant that it was a logical step for us to award the contract for our terminal's new expansion to SJR. The tanks will be used for the storage of biofuels and we are looking forward to the arrival of these tanks in August 2019.'
Robert Sloot, owner of SJR Group, adds: 'We are able to complete the construction entirely off-site for this expansion as well. This reduces inconvenience at the terminal as far as possible and enables us to construct and deliver high-quality tanks in a safe way.'
As of Monday, April 9 total oil product stocks in Fujairah stood at a record 25.088 million barrels rising 7.8% week on week, reflecting an overall gain of 1,811 million barrels - led by an over 1.75 million build in heavy distillate stocks. The previous record since stock reporting began at the start of 2017 was of 24.400 million barrels seen on July 17, 2017.
Stocks of light distillates fell marginally dropping 0.3% week on week. Total volumes fell 31,000 barrels to stand at 11.212 million barrels. This is the fourth consecutive week that light distillate stocks have stood above 11 million barrels. Mood among market participants remained firm at the start of the week, with sources highlighting firm fundamentals in Asian gasoline. 'The market so far has seen some good support on the supply end,' one market source said. 'There still remains some upside on gasoline cracks, particularly as we approach May.' The 92 RON physical gasoline crack to front month ICE Brent futures stood at $6.86/b on Tuesday, reflecting a rise of $0.25/b week on week.
Stocks of middle distillates rose this week, having fallen the past three weeks, showing a build of 4%, with stocks rising by 82,000 barrels week on week to stand at 2.129 million barrels. Overall lackluster demand continued to weigh on sentiment, with the strong EFS denting arbitrage economics, sources said. Looking West, demand for ultra low sulfur diesel remained lackluster in northwest Europe, with the expected seasonal uptick for commercial-use diesel yet to be seen.
Stocks of heavy distillates rose 17.6%, adding 1.76 million barrels on the week to stand at 11.747 million barrels. This is the first time heavy distillate stocks have breached 11 million barrels since December 4, 2017 when a stock level of 12.314 million barrels was seen. The stock-build comes with IMO 2020 regulations limiting the marine burning of fuels with a sulfur content of more than 0.5% coming into place in January 1, 2020. As a result the market is fast preparing new compliant fuels to test in advance of the new regulations coming into place in under nine months. Looking at bunkers at the port - spot demand in the Fujairah bunker market began the week on a subdued note, trade sources said. 380 CST Fujairah delivered bunkers continued to show a higher price than Singapore, with delivered bunkers in the Middle Eastern port assessed on Tuesday at $433.75/mt a $1.75/mt premium to Singapore.
A strong safety culture is at the heart of Brenntag's chemical distribution operations. The company helps to raise the bar and set the safety standard in the distribution industry for chemicals and is continuously investing in new systems and programmes to not only take advantage of the new digital era but to strengthen safety amongst its employees.
Ingo Legermann, HSE manager at Brenntag EMEA, talks to Tank Storage Magazine about how the company deals with safety challenges, its new system that delivers a step change in the management of chemical delivery as well as its innovative HSE culture improvement programme.
What are the main safety challenges and concerns in chemical distribution for Brenntag?
Safety is the first of the eight guiding principles of the global Responsible Care programme that Brenntag has supported for many years - and safety is our top priority. Brenntag is the global market leader in chemical distribution. It is our job to ensure the right product gets delivered safely, to the right customer, on time – whatever the volume, wherever they are located. We look to achieve excellence in every aspect of our business, such as to supply products quickly, efficiently, safely, conveniently and in full regulatory compliance, and offer extensive support to our customers in implementing all aspects of the relevant regulatory and safety requirements.
What key pieces of legislation particularly impact HSE in Brenntag and the chemical distribution industry?
The chemical distribution industry acts in a highly regulated market in global, regional as well as in different local respects. Our industry is fully committed to Responsible Care and Responsible Distribution and it is one of its key business principles to fully comply with all regulatory requirements, including but not limited to those defined by Europe’s REACH Regulation, COMAH/SEVESO and ADR. Brenntag’s team of experts work to ensure compliance with regulations in all dimensions of its own business processes. By that Brenntag is enabled to tap into a broad expertise and knowledge base with regards to similar processes of its business partners. We work very closely with the regulators to ensure that our organisation operates to the very highest environmental and safety standards.
Can you explain Brenntag’s role in the chemical supply chain?
Brenntag plays a key role in the supply chain connecting manufacturers and users of chemicals. As a business, we continue to raise the bar in terms of safety, with regards to our organisational safety culture and, as a distributor, setting the standards for the safe delivery of chemicals in the industry.
For instance, last year Brenntag UK & Ireland completed the implementation of the Brenntag Mobile Delivery Management System across its own fleet of more than 100 vehicles. The system delivered a step change in the management of chemical delivery through our bulk and distribution fleets. Safe transportation of chemicals is essential in responsible distribution, whilst the nature of chemical distribution traditionally dictates vast amounts of paperwork to handle specific delivery, compliance and safety instructions, especially for multiple deliver types and different products. The system ensures accurate delivery information and data integrity to validate all compliance and safety checks, including deliveries made by third parties, giving the full transparency of our delivery and collection process in real-time. Brenntag is the first chemical distributor in the UK to go live with this revolutionary delivery management system.
What initiatives has Brenntag implemented to enhance its safety performance?
Safety is at the core of everything we do at Brenntag. We recognise that as a distributor we sit at the very heart of the supply chain and therefore ensure that we get it right and do it safely every time. This is integral to the success of our business and that of our business partners. Our safety initiatives are all developed to encourage our employees to ensure safety is in our cultural DNA.
In 2015, Brenntag launched globally the BEST (Brenntag Enhanced Safety Thinking) programme. This model helps everyone at Brenntag understand the behaviours they should and should not display to play their part in strengthening our HSE culture.
Since its implementation, we have seen great improvements on our journey to create a better safety culture with the target to have caring co-workers who take care of each other. It’s about people, and this programme is getting to their hearts and minds, as it is our employees’s direct involvement, ideas, initiatives and understanding of the importance of safety that enable us to continuously raise the bar on safety performance.
Are there any future developments planned at Brenntag in relation to its chemical distribution offering?
We all know that our private lives are much more influenced by digital innovations, but of course business life is also affected. Brenntag is fully embracing this next stage of the company’s development and the opportunities this new era brings. As a global market leader, Brenntag is in a very good position to lead this change in chemical distribution industry and shape it. We need to keep doing what works, modify what can be done better, and invent new ways to create true value for our partners.
Specifically, to further develop our safety-first culture, this includes new tools to improve safer ways of working at our depots and at customer sites to ensure wide range of services and compliance to essential safety rules.
Legermann will be talking more about the importance of safety in the chemical distribution industry on the afternoon of the second day of the ChemUK 2019 conference taking place at the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate on May 1-2. For more information visit www.chemicalukexpo.com.
StocExpo Europe has been hailed a major success after it made a triumphant return to The Ahoy in Rotterdam.
The three-day exhibition and conference, which is renowned for attracting the largest global representation of industry professionals under one roof, was attended by more than 3,100 visitors – a 10% rise compared to the previous year.
Thousands of industry professionals, including representatives from leading oil majors, terminals and key storage players from over 80 countries worldwide, gathered at the event to see the latest innovations, discuss best practice and tackle the industry's biggest challenges.
Mark Rimmer, StocExpo & Tank Storage Portfolio divisional director, says: 'StocExpo celebrated its 15th anniversary this year and the fact that the number of visitors has increased substantially is testament to the event's importance for the industry. It clearly provides the opportunity to meet and do business efficiently and effectively, all under one roof. It was great to see that the hall was constantly a hive of activity - feedback from exhibitors was that multi-million Euro deals were being made on stands from day one.'
Roberto Mirapeix, technical manager at Alkion Terminals, says: 'The event is an important tool for our business as a number of areas are important to us. StocExpo Europe is a great event, it opens the imagination to resolve future problems so I will definitely be returning.'
Emerson, Honeywell, J. de Jonge, Matrix Applied Technologies, Siemens and Verwater were among the 200 suppliers, partners and industry associations that exhibited at the show, with several using the event to launch new products to the market. Key terminals, such as Stolthaven Terminals and Inter Terminals, also exhibited for the very first time at StocExpo, making it bigger and stronger than ever before.
Lucas Ribeiro, downstream IT expert at Implico Group, said: 'This year, Implico exhibited at StocExpo for the 14th time. As in previous years, the show was a success for us. Our meetings with partners and prospects went very well and we are looking forward to following up on the excellent relationships we established at StocExpo 2019 in the weeks and months to come.'
Tom van Herp, business development manager at DTN, says: 'StocExpo continues to be a great networking event. We have been participating for several years now and it remains the place to be for our industry.'
Over 30 thought-leaders delivered in-depth sessions, presentations and debates during the highly-anticipated conference programme. Steven van Belleghem, the world-renowned motivational speaker, delivered a thought-provoking keynote talk at the start of day two. His session revealed how brands are using artificial intelligence to fuel exponential growth and how the bulk liquid storage industry can use the same principles of data leverage, effortless user interfaces and augmented intelligence to win business and maintain high levels of customer service.
Key industry challenges, developments and solutions, such as IMO 2020, the rise of new technologies – AI, cyber-security and automation – geopolitical uncertainty and the energy transition, were discussed by CEOs, terminal managers and analysts from companies such as Shell, Alpha Terminals and LBC Tank Terminals during the engaging three-day conference programme.
Raoul Oomen, RVB Tank Storage Solutions, adds: 'As a first-time visitor it was a pleasant discovery to find so many specialised innovations for the storage industry all under one roof. Attending the conference brought new insights as the speakers gave their peek into the crystal ball about future fuel oil developments in relation to IMO 2020 and the trade and storage effects thereof for refining the whole crude barrel.'
The Innovation Theatre, hosted by EEMUA, iTanks and German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA), provided a platform for roundtables on key issues, including cyber security, energy transition and the impact of H2 on assets, plus terminal optimisation in terms of safety, innovation and digitalisation.
Several networking opportunities were available and special events, such as the StocExpo 15th Anniversary party, were hosted on the show floor. At the late-night networking evening, several exhibitors entertained the industry. Emerson celebrated with a nostalgic look back at 15 years of StocExpo, CTS went live with a Cuban band and Agidens, Verwater, Actemium/Cegelec, Ivens, EPS Group, Belven, DTN, Kanon Loading Equipment and HMT combined to create 'Liquid Lane' and indulged guests with a plethora of food and drinks. J. de Jonge won an award for 'best entertainment' and celebrated with a DJ set that went on right until late evening.
StocExpo also hosted the prestigious Tank Storage Awards ceremony, taking place on the first evening of the show. The 2019 event hosted storage professionals from Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, the US and Europe to celebrate terminal achievements, equipment innovations, as well as individual success. Shell Haven, Euro Tank Terminal, Vopak Terminal Eemshaven, North Sea Port and EEMUA were among the winners.
Mark Rimmer concludes: 'It's hard to believe that it's possible to fit so much into a three-day show, but somehow we did it! This year, numbers were up across the board, including 3,101 visitors, 200 exhibitors, over 20 hours of educational content delivered by over 30 key speakers, 12 hours of industry discussions in the Innovation Theatre, plus countless hours of networking, business meetings and socialising on the show floor. Before StocExpo Europe had even closed for another year 60% of exhibitors had signed up for the 2020 event – a clear demonstration of the value it brings to industry organisations around the world.'
For more information on next year's event visit www.stocexpo.com.
Repsol Downstream Mexico has secured more than 750,000 barrels of storage capacity in three different fuel storage terminals in Mexico.
The move is part of the company's plans to grow its downstream business and develop its own downstream logistical network in the country.
Repsol reached an agreement with Hydrocarbon Storage Terminal, an affiliate CLH, to participate in the facility's fuels terminal project in Mexico, securing 160,000 barrels of storage capacity.
Repsol also reached an agreement with Mexican company Tuxpan Port Terminal and with an affiliate of Monterra Energy to participate in Tuxpan Port's fuels maritime terminal project in Veracruz, securing 450,000 barrels of storage capacity.
Additionally, Repsol has reached an agreement with Olstor Services, an affiliate of the Akron group, to participate in Olstor's fuels terminal project in Jalisco, securing 150,000 barrels of storage capacity. These terminals are expected to be in operation by 2020.
Texas Deepwater Deer Park Terminal has entered a lease agreement with Shell Oil Products to retrofit and refurbish the Deer Park rail terminal to load refined products on the Houston Ship Channel.
Upon completion of the project the terminal will have the capability to load up to 48 railcars per day, which is around 33,000 barrels of refined products per day. It is equipped with two operational tanks with 50,000 barrels of total storage capacity, which will service the railcar loading rack at the terminal with direct pipeline connectivity to Deer Park refinery and the Colex products terminal.
Shell Oil Products affiliate Shell Trading also entered into a related diesel supply agreement with an affiliate of USD Group.
The renovated terminal is expected to begin operations during the second quarter of 2019, as one of the most advantaged and efficient rail loading terminals on the Houston Ship Channel.
Once complete, Texas Deepwater Deer Park terminal will continue to lease and operate the Deer Park rail terminal facility under a long-term agreement with Shell Oil Products. While the initial focus will be on loading diesel into railcars, there may be a potential to further expand the rail terminal by adding incremental storage capacity and rail loading capabilities to handle additional refined products.
Odeh Khoury, vice president, Shell products trading & supply Americas, says: 'This is an exciting opportunity to work jointly with Texas Deepwater Deer Park terminal to operationalize a long-idled asset as we continue to see diesel demand growth in many markets. This project further increases our integration with Shell's joint venture in the Deer Park refinery and enables us to further optimise our integrated value.'
Larry Ruple, Texas Deepwater Deer Park terminal executive vice president of business development, adds: 'We are excited for the opportunity to work with Shell on this project, and for the value it creates by adding the much-needed takeaway capacity for refined products in the strategic Houston Ship Channel market.'
Stolthaven Terminals reports steady first quarter 2019 financials as market conditions remained stable.
The division of Stolt-Nielsen reported revenue of $63.3 million in its first quarter, essentially unchanged from $63 million in the fourth quarter. A slight decline in storage and throughput revenue was offset by higher utility revenue, driven by increased steam usage at Stolthaven Houston due to seasonally cold weather conditions.
Utilisation increases to 92.3% from 91.4% in the previous period. Stolthaven reported a first-quarter operating profit of $18 million, up from $11.7 million in the fourth quarter, which included impairments of $6.1 million.
Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, CEO of Stolt-Nielsen, says: 'Stolt-Nielsen's first-quarter results were in line with expectations. Results at Stolthaven Terminals were steady when excluding the impairments taken in the prior quarter, reflecting stable market conditions and operations.
'At Solthaven, our uneventful first quarter is, we believe, an indication of increased stability and better things to come, as the actions we have taken in recent years to strengthen the long-term performance of this business continue to take hold
'We are currently monitoring two situations that are likely to affect our business. First, the fire at ITC's facility in Houston last month is already impacting the local chemical industry, including both transportation and storage. We are at a minimum expecting a negative impact on Stolt Tankers, as parts of the Houston Ship Channel have been closed to traffic causing delays. We continue to follow the situation closely, as the full impact is unclear at this point.
'Second, the IMO 2020 regulations aimed at reducing sulphur oxide emissions are less than nine months away. It is economically unfeasible for the shipping industry to carry these costs. Customers, and ultimately consumers, must absorb them.'
TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline has been granted a new Presidential Permit.
The permit supersedes the Presidential Permit issued in March 2017 and grants permission for TransCanada to construct, connect, operator and maintain pipeline facilities for the import of oil from Canada to the US.
TransCanada says in a statement that this action clarifies the national importance of Keystone XL and aims to bring more than 10 years of environmental review to closure.
Russ Girling, TransCanada's president and CEO says: 'President Trump has been clear that he wants to create jobs and advance US energy security and the Keystone CL pipeline does both of these things. We thank President Trump for his leadership and steadfast support to enable the advancement of this critical energy infrastructure project for North America.
'The magnitude of the work on this project has been extensive. The Keystone XL pipeline has been studied more than any other pipeline in history and the environmental reviews are clear – the project can be built and operated in an environmentally sustainable and responsible way.'
The American Petroleum Institute says that this action reaffirms the national importance of this critical project to US consumers and energy security.
API's president and CEO Mike Sommers says: 'We applaud the administration for taking a no-nonsense approach to permitting this essential critical infrastructure project. The Keystone XL Pipeline has passed every environmental review concluded it can be built safely, with no significant impact to the environment. '
Vopak has reached an agreement on the sale of its terminals in Algeciras, Amsterdam and Hamburg with First State Investments.
The total agreed transaction value of the terminals, with a combined capacity of 2.288 million m3, is €723 million. This divestment follows the strategic review of these terminals that was announced by Vopak in August 2018.
The transaction is expected to generate a net pre-tax cash inflow for Vopak of €670 million at completion in 2019. This transaction is accretive to the return on capital employed for Vopak and has an implied multiple of more than 10x EBITDA. Following the completion of this transaction, which is expected to complete in the second half of 2019, the use of the proceeds will be considered in line with the strategy and financial framework of the company.
Eelco Hoekstra, CEO of Vopak, says: 'In Europe, our main focus is to further strengthen our position in the major industrial clusters Rotterdam and Antwerp. Globally, we currently have more than two million m3 under construction and new projects will be announced to grow our portfolio with a focus on industrial, chemical, and gas terminals and to maintain our strategic position in hub locations.'
Marcus Avre, partner at First State Investments, says: 'The diversified portfolio of world-class oil product storage terminals provides an excellent fit with First State's long-term infrastructure investment philosophy. We look forward to working with the incumbent highly skilled management team and employees to continue to develop and grow the business.'
As of Monday, April 1 total oil product stocks in Fujairah stood at 23.277 million barrels falling 3.5% week on week, reflecting a fall of 855,000 barrels across all three stock reporting categories, with each category showing a fall this week.
Stocks of light distillates fell by 3.0% week on week. Total volumes fell 353,000 barrels to stand at 11.243 million barrels. This is the third consecutive week that light distillate stocks have stood above 11 million barrels. The gasoline market in Asia was supported on turnarounds across Asia as the market entered the second quarter of 2019. Fundamentals thus far are still strong. 'However, this could only be temporary as once the refineries come back online, we could very well return to an oversupply situation,' one market source said. The 92 RON physical gasoline crack to front month ICE Brent futures stood at $6.61/b on Tuesday.
Stocks of middle distillates fell for the third consecutive week, showing a drawdown of 5.4%, with stocks falling by 116,000 week on week to stand at 2.047 million barrels. Overall sentiment in the gasoil market East of Suez was mixed to steady as upcoming scheduled turnarounds at regional refineries continue to dictate the near-term outlook of the middle distillate. Subdued market activity amid lackluster buying interest coupled with a unviable arbitrage economics have weighed heavily on sentiment. In addition, observers pointed to the recent development on Chinese refiners having the option to switch their gasoline export quotas to gasoil and jet fuel.
Stocks of heavy distillates fell 3.7%, dropping by 386,000 barrels on the week to stand at 9.987 million barrels. Overall market activity at the start of the week was said to have picked up with strong demand reported for bunkers in Fujairah. 'Quite a lot [of inquiries],' said a trader. 'It's going to be a busy day,' another trader said noting the uptick in activity at the port. Looking further forward Germany’s Uniper said it is planning to undertake a debottlenecking program at its ultra low sulfur fuel oil production facility in Fujairah in August. Uniper has two 40,000 b/d distillation columns in Fujairah which have been designed to process low sulfur crude oils to produce ultra low sulfur fuel oil.
Continued maintenance and training in the management of assets in critical safety service is essential to ensuring storage facilities operate as safely and efficiently as possible.
In this highly legislated industry, the consequences of poor maintenance and lack of training can lead to catastrophic consequences, and there have been several examples of this internationally through the years.
However, the industry still remains unregulated with regards to emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and some equipment still does not meet industry standards. Many storage operators are still unaware of the losses they are incurring or the impact their emissions are having on the environment.
'All of this is reversible at a very low cost,' explains Ewart Cox, managing director of tank storage and process safety equipment supplier Assentech.
'The benefits are many, including lower environmental emissions, healthier employees, higher quality feedstocks, fewer HSE interventions and hopefully no unplanned loss of containment or incidents.'
Assentech's range of preventative maintenance programmes for tank venting equipment help to mitigate the environmental impact of storage operations as well as reduce HSE interventions and incidents.
Cox says that the programmes on offer reflect international standards API2000 and ISO EN28300 for functional testing of new equipment.
In an interview with Tank Storage Magazine he says: 'We are surprised that many buyers in the industry have not fully adopted the minimum requirements in the manufacture and maintenance of storage tank vents, which have existed in the standards since 2008.
'Our particular sector of the industry is very unregulated at present and needs urgent attention. The recent publication of EEMUA 231 co-branded with SAFed IMG1 makes a great start in raising awareness of the need for the management of assets in critical safety service but operating below 0.5 barg.'
The company's tank venting solutions demonstrate how the vent performs against current standards and provides a gap analysis to inform the operator how far off the standard their equipment is if it does not pass.
The programme also includes conducting a health check on tank vent settings, which can often highlight fundamental misalignment between tank vent settings and tank MAWP.
Cox says that the company's approach is that no venting device should function less efficiently than when new, despite its age.
'We pre-test all breather vents prior to servicing to benchmark possible quality issues. In the safety relief industry, failure to perform is a reportable event. This has not been the case with low pressure venture, but it could be in the future with the increased awareness of the consequences of air pollution.
Resolving hidden issues
'Many tank farm operators will have stories of collapsed tank events caused usually by misunderstanding or poor maintenance,' explains Cox.
'Our work has revealed many hidden issues. First of all, lower tank venting emissions will limit exposure of personnel and neighbours to harmful vapours. There is increasing awareness and some evidence-based results of the impact exposure to VOCs has on our bodies.
'We have also cut expensive nitrogen usage by tens of thousands of pounds in the space of a few months and prevented the collapse of almost an entire tank farm following a request by the authorities to cut tank vent emissions in a building.'
Following the growing interest and support in its venting equipment solutions, the company plans to publish a buyer's guide to compliant tank venting equipment. Cox says: 'There is still a surprising amount of non-compliant equipment on the market that is CE marked. We have developed a mobile test bench that can be used to test and calibrate tank vents in accordance with current standards and also demonstrate a gap analysis to support decision making for the replacement of non-compliant equipment. This device is fully automated and can be used by end-users for validated self-certification.
'We see it as our duty to advise and inform the industry towards a cleaner and safer future.'
Cox will be talking more about the control of VOC emissions from storage terminals on the second day of the ChemUK conference. For more information visit www.chemicalukexpo.com.
Vopak, Emerson, EEMUA, Shell and McNetiq are among the winners of the third Global Tank Storage Awards
The awards ceremony and gala dinner at the Floating Pavilion, Rotterdam, celebrated terminal achievements, equipment innovations as well as individual success.
The 2019 event hosted storage professionals from Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, the US and Europe for a lavish three course meal. Guests were entertained by a magician, caricaturist as well as a contortionist and performance act.
The 11 award categories covered technology, terminals and ports and individual awards.
The winners of the 2019 awards are:
Safety Excellence in Bulk Liquid Storage Award - Shell Haven, UK
Most Efficient Storage Terminal Award - Euro Tank Terminal, Rotterdam
Biggest Commitment to Environmental Protection Award - Vopak Terminal Eemshaven
Best Port Award - North Sea Port
Outstanding Achievement Award - Kasper Castricum, General Manager, Arabian Chemical Terminal
Employee of the Year Award - Jaap Koomen, General Manager, Burgan Cape Terminals
Excellence in Environmental Protection Technology Award - Floating roof monitoring and 2 in 1 overfill prevention system, Emerson
Outstanding Terminal Safety Technology Award - Magnetic pipe support, McNetiq
Excellence in Terminal Optimisation Award - Brooge Petroleum and Gas Investment Company
Best Terminal Supplier Award - EEMUA
Most Innovative Technology Award - Contact-based inspection drones, Amerapex
Margaret Dunn, event manager, says: 'The third edition of the awards did not disappoint, and it was great to recognise and celebrate excellence with the industry.
'The quality of award nominations received this year was excellent, and I want to congratulate both the winners, and everyone shortlisted for an award.
'We continue to receive very positive feedback about the importance of such an event and we are excited to continue working with the industry on the 2020 event.'
To view the winners and for more information on the awards visit www.tankstoragemag.com/awards.
Vopak is expanding storage capacity at its Sebarok terminal in Singapore with the addition of three new tanks.
The tanks, with a total capacity of 67,000 m3, are due to be commissioned by the end of 2019, according to Platts.
The expansion is ahead of anticipated higher demand for marine gasoil storage ahead of the IMO 2020 sulphur fuel cap.
A Vopak spokesman is reported as saying: 'The expansion aims to cater for the handling of marine gasoil, strengthening Singapore's position as the bunker hub of choice with flexibility of handling multiple fuels.'
Current capacity at Vopak's Sebarok terminal is 1.3 million m3.
Vopak and its partner Global Ports Investments have divested their 100% share ownership in the joint venture Vopak E.O.S to Liwathon.
The terminal operates total storage capacity of 1.026 million m3 in the Port of Tallinn and includes the railway company E.R.S, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vopak E.O.S.
This sale is the outcome of the company's earlier announced strategic review. In 2017, Vopak fully impaired its investment in Vopak E.O.S. The modest transaction result will be reported in the company's Q2 2019 results.
Investigations have been launched following a massive fire at Intercontinental Terminals Company's Deer Park storage facility.
The blaze, which started on March 17, took more than three days to extinguish and engulfed 11 aboveground storage tanks containing a variety of hydrocarbons including naphtha and xylene.
Large plumes of black smoke could be seen covering parts of Houston and multiple orders were issued for community members to shelter in place. In addition, air quality warnings were also issued.
The US Chemical Safety Board has started an investigation into the cause of the blaze, which will include interviews as well as visiting the scene to collect evidence.
At the time of writing, the US Coast Guard remained unsure as to when the Houston Ship Channel, which was partly closed following the fire, would fully reopen as crews continue to clean up chemicals that seeped into the channel. Almost 20 miles of rubber barriers have been deployed to contain the spill.
In addition, the Labour Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has also launched an investigation.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has also filed an environmental lawsuit against the company for air pollution in violation of the Texas Clean Air Act.
As of Monday, March 25 total oil product stocks in Fujairah stood at 24.132 million barrels rising 0.8% week on week, breaching the 24 million barrel level for the first time since the highest total stock level was recorded of 24.4 million barrels, seen on July 17, 2017. Stock reporting in Fujairah began at the start of 2017.
Stocks of light distillates rose by 0.3% week on week. Total volumes added 37,000 barrels to stand at 11.596 million barrels. For the second consecutive week this level sets the second highest weekly stock level for light distillates, with the previous high of 11.975 million barrels seen at the end of January this year. Gasoline values continued their upward trajectory seen in recent weeks as concerns of supply tightness were dominating the East of Suez gasoline market. One supportive factor was a fall in the run rate at Chinese refiners, with the average run rate in the country's state state-owned falling to 82% of their overall nameplate capacity this month, down from 85% in February. Going forward, traders saw the market continuing to be supported with a seasonal demand increase expected in Asia. 'I think the market will be sustained at least through April and May given that we are expecting demand to increase during Ramadan,' a market source said.
Stocks of middle distillates showed a drawdown of 4%, with stocks falling by 89,000 week on week to stand at 2.163 million barrels. The market for gasoil was rangebound to weaker – despite turnaround season entering its peak across Asia, traders noted that while exports were seen lower across North Asia there was no shortage of spot material available to the market. 'I feel that the gasoil market is hazy ... usually it can't be so weak with the turnaround season [coming up],' a trader said. However, subdued end-user demand could be a factor leading to the prompt weakness in the market, he added.
Stocks of heavy distillates saw a rise of 2.5%, adding 253,000 barrels on the week to stand at 10.373 million barrels. Fujairah bunker demand has been mixed for different market participants in recent days, while some trade sources noted that prompt availability was tight due to more uptake in the second half of the month. The discount that Fujairah had been enjoying for 380 CST delivered bunkers relative to Singapore has eroded in recent days, with the Arab Gulf port now pricing at a premium to Singapore. Tuesday saw 380 CST delivered bunkers in Fujairah assessed at $424/mt, a $2.5/mt premium to Singapore delivered bunkers which were assessed at $421.50/mt. In contrast through February Fujairah was assessed at a $4.78/mt discount to Singapore.
The Port of Corpus Christi Commission has approved a 50-year lease agreement with Lone Star Ports for 200 acres to develop a petroleum export terminal.
The state-of-the-art export facility, a joint venture between the Carlyle Group and the Berry Group, will connect US crude producers with all major international markets.
The lease agreement between the Port of Corpus Christ Authority and Lone Star Port will provide significant accretive value in the port's annual operating revenues. The facility on Harbor Island is designed to be the deepest-draft safe harbour crude export facility in the national when commissioned. Upon completion, the facility's two docks will have access to the improved 56' ship channel depth, making it the US' first and only onshore terminal capable of fully loading Suezmax vessels and nearly full loading VLCCs.
Sean Strawbridge, CEO for the Port of Corpus Christi, says: 'This long-term commitment is testament to the significance of the Corpus Christi gateway for American energy exports, which are expected to triple in the next decade.
'A 50-year lease agreement with the Carlyle Group and the Berry Group joint venture company, Lone Star Ports, is not only complementary to our existing marine terminal infrastructure but also positions the Port of Corpus Christi to be the preferred outlet for US-produced crude exports serving all major global demand centres for generations to come.'
Civil works for this facility repurposing project have been underway for the past year ahead of finalising a definitive lease agreement, including the demolition of existing dock structure from a previous decades old Exxon crude import terminal on Harbor Island. The execution of this new lease enables the parties to start major equipment and materials procurements and other construction efforts.
Saudi Aramco has signed a share purchase agreement to buy a 70% majority stake in SABIC from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia for $69.1 billion.
The remaining 30% publicly traded shares in SABIC are not part of the transaction, and Saudi Aramco has no plans to acquire these remaining shares. SABIC, headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has global operations in more than 50 countries and in 2018 its production volume across its various business units was 75 million metric tonnes.
Saudi Aramco says this acquisition is in line with its long-term strategy to drive growth through an enhanced downstream portfolio by increasing global participated refining capacity from 4.9 million to 8-10 million barrels per day by 2030.
Amin Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, says: 'This transaction is a major step in accelerating Saudi Aramco's transformative downstream growth strategy of integrated refining and petrochemicals. SABIC is a world-class company with an outstanding workforce and chemicals capabilities. As part of the Saudi Aramco family of companies, together we will create a stronger, more robust business to enhance competitiveness and help meet rising demand for energy and chemicals products needed by our customers around the world.'
Saudi Aramco's senior vice president of downstream Abdulaziz Al-Judaimi adds: 'Saudi Aramco's downstream strategy is focused on meeting global customer needs by securing outlets for our crude oil through the expansion and growth of our refining system and deepening its integration with petrochemicals production.
'We are pursuing partnerships and acquisitions where we create long-term value and developing groundbreaking crude-oil-to-chemicals technologies. SABIC is a good strategic fit and a solid platform to support our continued investment for future growth in petrochemicals – the fastest growing sector of oil demand.'