Latest storage news
OPEC has agreed to extend its production cuts for an additional nine months through to the first quarter of 2018.
At the 172nd meeting of the OPEC conference, members agreed to implement the Joint OPEC-Non-OPEC Ministerial Monitoring Committee's (JMMC) recommendation to continue the production adjustments for another nine months, starting July 1 2017.
All OPEC and participating non-OPEC producing countries have achieved a conformity level of 102% since the cap was introduced at the beginning of the year. The JMMC said it was a demonstration of the commitment of participating countries to continue their cooperation until the achievement of the goal of rebalancing the market.
The committee however said that given current market conditions, including the level of global inventories, it is necessary to extend the production cap.
HE Khalid A. Al-Falih, president of the OPEC conference, said in an opening address that since November the oil market situation has markedly improved.
'We started with a bearish sentiment, but the market is now well on its way toward rebalancing. We have more work to do in lowering inventories toward the last five-year average, but we are on the right track.
'Stakeholders across the spectrum are benefitting from the improved situation – not only the producers who are part of the supply agreement but other countries as well. Investment flows into the upstream sector have picked up, albeit at a slower pace than required to meet forecast long-term demand. And despite potential volatility, I expect the situation to continue improving, assisted by a more robust global economy and higher GDP growth in 2017, as well as fairly healthy oil demand growth this year, particularly in Asia.'
Following the decision, Ann-Louise Hittle, Wood Mackenzie's vice president, research macro oils, says: 'OPEC's decision is a big one because it shows a commitment to support oil prices into 2018 – and potentially for all of next year.
'A firmer oil price will, we expect, further support the US tight oil industry into 2018. The extension through to the first quarter of 2018 makes it clear to the oil market that OPEC intends to continue to support oil prices at the expense of market share, at least for the time being.'
China's government has said it will eventually allow private companies to invest in the country's oil and gas storage.
According to Reuters, which quotes a blueprint document for its energy sector, the State Council said it would aim to increase government investment in the country's oil storage facilities while also allowing non-state firms to operate storage. However the document did not provide further details.
The country has ramped up construction of storage facilities primarily for its strategic reserves. Underground caverns have been built capable of holding a substantial amount of its SPR by 202 as it looks for alternatives to expensive and exposed above ground tanks in crowded coastal regions.
Reuters says that the government has previously said it would take steps such as pushing to open upstream oil and gas exploration to private companies, help split natural gas sales from gas pipeline operations and lift the output of higher quality oil products.
Vopak is building a new loading station in the Port of Antwerp.
According to the Port of Antwerp, the storage operator is building the station for filing rail tanker wagons with acetyls.
The majority of acetyls produced come from Germany, with the Port of Antwerp acting as the consolidation and transhipment hub. The new loading station will increase Vopak's capacity for block train connections with Germany by 400%.
Manon Bloemer, head of Vopak Belgium, says: 'We are very pleased to be able to make this investment in a very modern, efficient loading station for block trains. It offers further logistical benefits for our customers, and reinforces the already strong position of Antwerp as the chemical hub for North-West Europe.
'The new facility will have the latest technology for safety and protection of the environment.'
Dialog is looking to secure new potential partners for its next phase of the Pengerang Deepwater Terminal project.
The group, which generated RM913.6 million of revenue in its third quarter financial results, ending March 31 2017, says that Phase 3 of the project will include the development of more petroleum and petrochemical storage terminals.
It says that further development of the Pengerang Deepwater Terminal, which is currently undergoing construction of Phase 2, will provide more opportunities for its engineering, construction, fabrication and plant maintenance services.
Additionally, the group is also developing an industrial estate with a land area of approximately 170 acres that would support the development of further downstream petroleum and petrochemical industries in Pengerang, Johor.
It says in a statement: 'Dialog remains confident that its business model is well structured and can withstand the current oil price volatility and currency movements. The group's financial track record has proven that Dialog's business is well risk-managed and sustainable.
'Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the group is optimistic that it will continue to deliver a healthy performance for the financial year ending June 30 2017.'
The Government of Equatorial Guinea and Arabian Energy have signed an agreement on the development of a petroleum storage terminal in the country.
It has been reported that the Bioko Oil Terminal could become the largest oil and petroleum storage facility in West Africa.
The project, which is worth $500 million, will comprise 22 storage tanks with a total capacity of 1.2 million m3. It will be built in two phases, the first consisting of refined production and the second capable of storing, handling and blending middle distillates and light ends such as diesel, jet fuel, petrol and naphtha as well as crude oil.
Arabian Energy says the terminal infrastructure will be operated on a 'first come, first served' basis.
Dr Saud Al Anazi, chairman and owner of Arabian Energy, says: 'By decreasing major imports of petroleum products, the Bioko Oil Terminal will promote efficiency in the midstream space. This investment will have a ripple effect in the value chain of many African economies value chain, creating employment opportunities, efficient and timely delivery of products and competitive pricing.'
The facility will create a centre for the distribution of petroleum products and crude oil and it is hoped that it will stimulate the West and Central African industry though job creation and the reduction of imports. It will attract investment, build local financial capacity and increase shipments to key export markets.
Private investment company Ardian has signed an agreement to acquire a stake in LBC Tank Terminals from Super and Sunsuper.
Following the transaction, Ardian will hold a 35% share in LBC and current shareholders APG and PGGM will remain invested in the company with a 32.5% stake each.
Walter Wattenbergh, Group CEO of LBC, says: 'We are delighted to welcome Ardian as a new shareholder. LBC is at a significant transition point in its business strategy, in particular as the business shifts its focus toward expansion of its facilities in the US and Europe.
'This trend has been identified by Ardian and we value the experience and support they provide to LBC during this period of strategic change.'
LBC represents the 3rd US dollar denominated investment undertaken by the Ardian Infrastructure team in recent months. Completion of the transaction is subject to a number of conditions including relevant regulatory approvals.
The CLH Group plans to invest a further £26 million (€30 million) on its operations in the UK.
CLH-PS has already invested more than £30 million since it started operating in the UK in 2015. The investment has supported projects including cathodic protection update to tanks and pipelines and an extensive cross country pipeline pigging programme to identify and characterise pipeline damage.
Additionally, there has also been an extensive electric renewal programme, including tank overfill systems, tanks values and newly updated supervisory control and data acquisition systems.
Nacho Casajús, CLH-PS CEO, says: We are doing something that has never been done in the UK before and that will revolutionise the way the ground fuel logistic industry works in this country.
'All this investment has already had a significant impact on the logistic options we offer to our customers and subsequently on the amount of fuel we move around our network. We are the only independent provider dedicated to the storage and distribution of fuel through pipelines in the UK, and we want to continue raising our service level so that we increase our competitive advantage.'
Puma Energy has reported a 3% in sales volumes despite headwinds in some regions.
The company attributed its growth to good retail and aviation performance, however B2B was negatively affected by the slowdown of certain economies, particularly in Africa.
Its gross profit and EBITDA decreased compared to a very strong first quarter of 2016.
Its overall storage capacity increased to eight million m3 as a result of the successful completion of Dinh Vu terminal in Vietnam and the integration of the terminal acquired from BP in Northern Ireland.
Denis Chazarain, CFO, says: 'I am pleased to report that, despite facing headwinds in certain regions, we have had a steady start to the year.
'With the completion of several of our projects, capex was predominantly spent on storage construction and infrastructure projects, while a new terminal in Vietnam has increased storage capacity to eight million m3.
'Puma Energy remains in good shape and, with strict credit discipline and a focus on working capital management, we will continue to leverage our positions in our key markets and I look forward to a successful remainder of the year.'
A number of improvements are being made at Vopak Terminal Deer Park following an agreement with several federal agencies over its emissions.
The facility is investing $5 million in capital upgrades after it reached an agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Department of Justice, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Attorney General.
The agreement (consent decree) is not an admission of liability but represents an agreement between the terminal and the government on a range of new controls and processes.
The upgrades include enhanced operations procedures and improved tank covers as well as investment in advanced technologies such as the usage of forward looking infrared optical gas imaging cameras.
David Carter, Deer Park terminal manager, says: 'Vopak is committed to being a leader and responsible company in the communities where we operate and we are happy to cooperate with all governmental agencies to ensure that our facilities meet the highest regulatory standards.
'We are also committed to continuous improvement and look for ways each day to innovate in our operations and the way we do business.'
Varo has signed a contract with BT to connect 55 locations in Switzerland, Germany and the Benelux countries.
Varo requires seamless and reliable connectivity between its oil distribution terminals, refineries, storage locations, data centres and office sites. This also includes video surveillance at a number of sites.
BT has designed a resilient hybrid network, combining its IP Connect network with high performance internet connectivity. Each site will be connected using two separate lines to achieve a high degree of resiliency against failure.
David Newton, CIO at Varo, says: 'By migrating the network to a single supplier, we will simplify the management of our operations. The new, harmonised network will also give us more agility and provide a solid platform from which we can launch new services fuelling our growth.'
Sprague Resources has reported an increase in its net income and EBITDA following strong performance in its first quarter 2017 financials.
Net income was $64.5 million for the first quarter 2017, compared to $29.8 million for the first quarter of 2016. Its adjusted EBITDA was $47.3 million for this period compared to $45.4 million in the same quarter last year.
In 2017, the company acquired a refined product terminal in Rhode Island from Capital Terminal Company as well as two New York refined product terminal from Carbo Industries and Carbo Realty.
David Glendon, president and CEO, says: 'Sprague closed a total of four acquisitions to date this year, and our acquisition pipeline remains robust including opportunities to expand our geographic footprint. With our low permanent leverage, and a recent amendment to our credit facility, we remain well positioned to continue to execute on our growth strategy.'
On April 21 an oil tank exploded at a petrochemical company in Chong Qing City, Sichuan Province. The tank contained waste oil water. The tank was located in Shituo County of Fuling District, Chong Qing City.
The reason for this explosion was determined to be because three operators on site used fire without proper protection measures. There were no death or injuries reported, but a loss of property worth RMB1.8 million.
Oil demand and supply balances almost balanced out in the first quarter of 2017 according to the IEA.
The Agency's May report highlights that globally, stock built by 0.1 million barrels per day. For OECD countries, stocks grow by 0.3 million barrels per day for the first quarter of 2017 as a while, nearly offset by falls in floating stocks and in other centres.
The report notes that it has taken some time for stocks to reflect lower supply when volumes produced before output cuts by OPEC and 11 non-OPEC countries took effect are still being absorbed by the market.
It states: 'Re-balancing is essentially here and, in the short term at least, is accelerating.'
Looking ahead to the second quarter 2017, and assuming that April's OPEC crude oil product level of 31.8 million barrels per day is maintained, and nothing changes elsewhere, the report says there is an implied stock draw of 0.7 million barrels per day.
It states: 'Adopting the same scenario approach for the second half of 2017, the stock draws are likely to be even greater. Even if this turns out to be the case, stocks at the end of 2017 might not have fallen to the five-year average, suggesting that much work remains to be done in the second half of 2017 to drain them further.
'In addition to production cuts and steady demand growth, a major contribution to falling crude stocks in the next few months will be a ramp-up in global crude oil runs. Starting in March, refinery activity is building up and by July global crude throughputs will have increased by 2.7 million barrels per day.
'Of course, things will change elsewhere in the balance, and today the most closely watched data point on the supply side is US crude production.'
A joint development agreement has been signed for Saudi Aramco's NORINCO refining, petrochemical and retail project in Panjin, in China's Liaoning province.
Saudi Aramco was joined by China North Industries Corporation and Panjin Xincheng Industrial Group in the signing of the joint development agreement.
The project is a key element in China's petrochemical industry forward planning and the revitalisation of the oil industrial base in northeast China. It is a major project in NORINCO's drive to develop the industrial value chain, facilitating overseas oil exploration and trade as well as growth in the petrochemical, final chemicals and specialty chemical sector.
The aim of the project is to build a world-class refining and chemical integration base. The construction will be based on the principles of integration, clustering development, differentiation and scale up.
It will further promote the implementation of China's 'One belt, one road' initiative and the sustainable development of China's petrochemical industry. It will also significantly expand Saudi Aramco's footprint in China's downstream industry.
Odfjell Terminal has started exploring a possible sale of its shares in Oiltanking Odfjell Terminals Singapore.
In its first quarter financials the company says that its focus is on growing its operated terminals and to finance major investment projects, it will consider divesting non-operated terminals.
It adds that in 2016, the Singapore terminal, a joint venture between Odfjell and Oiltanking, delivered an EBITDA of around $10 million in the Odfjell share.
Elsewhere the company started the basic engineering phase for the first independent ethylene export facility in the US, located at the entrance of the Houston Ship Channel at its Seabrook terminal in Texas. A final investment decision based on satisfactory customer commitment and financing is expected to be made in either the second or third quarter of 2017.
Overall, Odfjell Terminals delivered an EBITDA of $9.4 million in the first quarter 2017 compared to $10.7 million in the previous quarter.
The company says: 'The end of the contango for middle distillates might negatively impact the utilisation of conventional storage at Odfjell Terminals Rotterdam in the coming quarters. However, during 1Q we signed long-term contracts for the majority of our distillation services capacity.'
Kristian Mørch, CEO of Odfjell, adds: 'We expect 2017 to remain challenging, but our underlying operational performance is stable.'