Latest storage news
Flint Hills Resources plans to expand storage and outbound crude loading capacity at its storage terminal in Ingleside, Texas to 300,000 barrels per day.
The work will comprise four new crude storage tanks, 60,000 barrels per hour of total loading capacity, plus the associated pumps and piping.
It is expected to be complete by October 2019 subject to state permitting approvals. Once complete, Ingleside will have a total crude storage capacity of 3.5 to 4.0 million barrels.
The Ingleside terminal currently utilises two docks, including one that supports the loading of Suezmax-size vessels. The company says it is evaluating a separate project that would allow it to load VLCC vessels in the future.
In addition to the expansion, the company also plans to build connections to the recently announced crude pipelines coming from the Permian Basin.
Energy Transfer Partners, Magellan Midstream Partners and Delek US Holdings have confirmed they have received sufficient commitments to build a new crude oil pipeline.
The 30-inch diameter common carrier pipeline will transport crude oil from the Permian Basin to the Texas Gulf Coast region and the diameter can be increased to expand the capacity based on additional commitments received during the upcoming open season.
The 600-mile pipeline system is expected to be operational in mid-2020 with multiple Texas origins, including Wink, Crane and Midland. The pipeline system will have the strategic capability to transport crude oil to both Energy Transfer's Nederland, Texas terminal and Magellan's East Houston, Texas terminal for ultimate delivery through their respective distribution systems.
Puma Energy has reported an increase in sales volumes and turnover for the first half of 2018 despite challenging markets.
The midstream and downstream energy company reported an increase of 11% in sales volumes to 12.1 million m3 compared to the same period in 2017. This increase as in all regions with good performance in the retail, wholesale and bitumen segments.
However, its EBITDA decreased to $288 million compared to £375 in the first quarter of 2017.
During the period, the company added 10 new retail sites, started operations at three additional airports in Mozambique and South Africa and finalised the construction of a storage terminal in Panama.
CFO Denis Chazarain says: 'The headwinds we anticipated earlier in the year impacted the second quarter as expected, resulting in a lower year on year profit.
'Despite challenging external political factors and foreign currency effects, our sales volumes continued to rise across our operating regions, which, combined with the higher oil price contributed to the 24% rise in revenues to $8.6 billion for the period versus last year.
'Additionally, operating cash flows increased during the first half of 2018, compared to the previous year, reflecting strong cash conversion and effective working capital management.'
Oiltanking Singapore Chemical Storage has signed a long-term storage agreement with Shell Eastern Petroleum for additional propylene storage.
The Oiltanking and Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets joint venture has an existing C3 system in place for Shell and the new addition of two propylene bullet tanks will complement and strengthen the strategic partnership between Shell and the company.
By securing this new expansion for propylene, a key feedstock for Jurong Island, Oiltanking Singapore Chemical further anchors its position as a key chemical/propylene hub and integrated logistics and service provider for feedstock.
With these new bullet tanks, the terminal will have total capacity of 409,000 m3 spread across 84 tanks.
The Federal Court of Appeal has overturned a decision by Canada's National Energy Board to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
In a unanimous decision, a panel of three judges said that the National Energy Board wrongly narrowed its review of the project to exclude related tanker traffic. Additionally, the court also ruled that the federal government failed to adequately consult First Nations, as required by law.
The decision states: 'The board made one critical error. The board unjustifiably defined the scope of the project under review not to include project-related tanker traffic. This unjustified exclusion of marine shipping from the scope of the project led to successive, unacceptable deficiencies in the board's report and recommendations.
It continued: 'Canada failed in Phase III to engage, dialogue meaningfully and grapple with the real concerns of the indigenous applicants so as to explore possible accommodation of those concerns.'
On August 31, Kinder Morgan Canada closed the sale of the Trans Mountain Pipeline to the Government of Canada for C$4.5 billion after it shareholders voted to approve the sale.
In a statement finance minister Bill Morneau said that they are reviewing the decision carefully to 'ensure we are meeting high standards when it comes to both protecting the environment and meeting our obligations to consult with indigenous peoples'.
He said: 'As we have said since the very beginning, building the Trans Mountain expansion project is in the national interest.
'That is why our government made the decision earlier this year to purchase the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, and infrastructure related to the Trans Mountain expansion project.
'We chose to acquire the project because it's a sound investment, and because as a government we can manage risks that, in these particular circumstances, would have been difficult for any private sector company to bear.
'And once we get past those risks, as we have said before, we will work towards transferring the project and related assets to a new owner or owners, in a way that ensures the project's construction and operation will proceed in a manner that protects the public interest.'
The expansion project would nearly triple capacity on an existing line from Edmonton, Alberta, to a port in the Vancouver area for export. It was approved by the federal government in a landmark decision back in 2016.
Genesis Energy has signed an agreement with Silver Creek Midstream to sell its Powder River Basin midstream assets for $300 million.
The assets include Genesis' Powder River Basin pipeline along with the associated crude oil gathering system and rail facility.
Proceeds from the sale will be used by Genesis to reduce the balance outstanding under its revolving credit facility.
Houston-based Genesis Energy's operations include offshore pipeline transportation, onshore facilities & pipeline transportation and marine transportation.
As of Monday, August 27 total oil product stocks in Fujairah stood at 16.156 million barrels – down by 2.5% week on week. Stocks levels fell to a five-month low as inventories declined across all categories.
Stocks of light distillates fell by 3.4% week on week to 5.225 million barrels. Sentiment in the East of Suez petrol market has cooled after the spike seen following the FCC outage at Reliance's Jamnagar refinery two weeks ago. 'Overall [the market] feels less tight now with various refineries getting back to normal,' a Singapore-based trader said. There were some fresh buy tenders from the Middle East that added support to sentiment. Market sources said Kuwait's KPC sought a combination cargo comprising 25,000 mt of 91 RON petrol and 25,000 mt of 95 RON petrol for delivery over September 19-20 to Mina al-Ahmadi in a tender that closed August 28, with same-day validity.
Stocks of middle distillates fell by 5.8% week on week to 3.532 million barrels. Stocks retreated from the year's high seen last week, and swaps time spreads for gasoil have seen a gradual strengthening over the past few weeks. This is indicative of expectations for overall tighter gasoil supply balances heading into September and October. In India, refiners have strategically altered their oil products output to maximise gasoil yields due to attractive margins, but exports could slow during the rest of the year as domestic demand recovers after the monsoon season, S&P Platts reported Wednesday.
Stocks of heavy distillates and residues fell by 17.2% week on week to 7.399 million barrels – a near five-month low. In Fujairah, trade sources said that tighter cargo supply in recent days was still lending support to bunker fuel premiums, while buying sentiment remained steady. Trading activity was quieter last week due to the Eid al-Adha holidays, but Fujairah bunker demand has been rising steadily since the end of July as prices were competitive when compared with Singapore, sources said. Delivered 380 CST bunker prices in Fujairah were assessed at $7/mt above Singapore yesterday, compared to a discount of $9/mt as recently as two weeks ago.
Tallgrass Energy and Drexel Hamilton Infrastructure plan to build a crude oil export storage terminal on the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish.
The terminal is permitted for up to 20 million barrels of crude oil storage and could be fully operational by mid-2020.
The Plaquemines Liquids Terminal is planned as a public-private partnership with multiple deepwater docks along the river to be furnished by Plaquemines Port Harbour & Terminal District. The docking facilities will provide terminal operators with the ability to load and unload larger capacity vessels now using the recently expanded Panama Canal.
It will be fed by a pipeline with the capacity to transport up to 800,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Cushing, Oklahoma to Louisiana. Tallgrass Energy also plans to build an offshore pipeline extension to give the terminal project the added capability of loading VLCCs.
It is estimated that the pipeline and terminal project will represent a $2.5 billion capital investment.
David G. Dehaemers Jr, president and CEO of Tallgrass Energy, says: 'A public-private partnership is the ideal way to develop a project like the proposed Plaquemines Liquids Terminal. Tallgrass Energy is delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Plaquemines Port Harbour & Terminal District and to contribute positively to the economic health of the parish and the state of Louisiana.'
Plaquemines Port chairman Charlie Burt adds: 'We are an oil and gas parish and it's exciting that some of our job losses on the exploration and production side can be replaced by new facilities that store, blend and export crude oil around the world.'
Zhang Weiliang, CEO of UAV company Avetics Global, explains how the use of drones & automation are increasingly becoming part of the future for tank storage maintenance
The concept of using a drone to inspect a storage tank is a concept often mentioned in the storage industry, and several potential means of implementing the technology have been explored. However, as with all technologies, there is always a risk that an attempt to solve too many problems with a single product would end up as a solution in search of a problem to solve. New technologies are only viable when the technology developer has a thorough understanding of challenges encountered during operations.
Avetics Global, a UAV company with extensive history performing high-detail aerial inspection services for oil majors, building managers and ship owners, has built and optimised a drone with a single objective in mind: to provide high-quality comprehensive coverage of the internal surfaces of a storage tank so that clients can save time, money and workat-height risk when conducting maintenance operations of their assets.
Using the Aquila drone, clients can perform a 100% visual inspection of a tank within a single day, generating high-detail photography of the entire tank inner surface with no interruptions and all archived for easy referencing.
IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEMS
Maintaining the condition of storage tanks is of critical importance to the modern economy. As tank farms get older, the list of things to be checked for expands as well. The consequences of a storage tank failure from contamination, fire, loss or other types of damages can be severe, thus necessitating an expanding list of inspection and maintenance requirements.
With so many potential problems needing to be solved, it has become necessary for asset owners and inspection companies to temper expectations. It becomes clear not all problems are equal in severity, and some problems are more suited to using drones to solve than other issues.
Feedback from tank asset owners has been crucial in identifying which problems require greater attention, as well as the deficiencies of existing solutions. Commercial off the shelf solutions (COTS) provide some benefit to clients, but other problems are introduced as well which ultimately negate the potential utility of said COTS solutions. It is by focusing on those specific problems that Avetics has been able to develop the Aquila in-tank inspection drone.
Built specifically to address these problems, the Avetics Aquila is a semi-autonomous confined-space drone designed to perform internal inspection of oil tanks, representing the culmination of two years of research and development by the Singaporean UAV company.
The Avetics Aquila provides close range visual intelligence at reduced risk to operators, generating an uninterrupted and unobstructed stabilised live feed with position localisation thanks to on-board lasers. Unhindered by radio interference, the Aquila can quickly and safely obtain high quality location-contextualised images in the challenging environment of the inside of the tank.
Avetics has focused on developing a UAV that can deliver an uninterrupted live video feed to the operator on the ground, and the additional benefit from the high-endurance Aquila is that a 100% high-detail inspection of a tank can be conducted within a single day.
Moreover, the images recorded cover the totality of the tank surfaces, offering complete coverage of the tank condition for audit and record keeping.
REAPING IMMEDIATE BENEFITS
By using the Aquila solution, Avetics can entirely reduce the need for erecting scaffolding just to gather information. An inspector can get stabilised, uninterrupted video, and identify areas of key interest. This ability to pinpoint areas requiring attention in such a short timespan means that asset owners can reduce the time needed to shut down the asset to perform maintenance work, increasing overall site utilisation rates as a result.
SOWING FOR THE FUTURE
In this modern technological era, it is easy to get caught up in the exciting possibilities of new technologies. Avetics has leveraged on extensive experience performing UAV engineering and flight services to understand both the limitations of current technology and what is required to overcome said limitations going forward.
As parallel technologies evolve to expand the list of solutions that can be used in conjunction with drones, Avetics has explored the viability of mounting said solutions onto the aircraft.
With the ability to integrate new technologies in-house within the Avetics facility, Avetics can solicit feedback from clients on the potential utility of new technologies either develop in-house or ready to be integrated into current or future versions of the Aquila aircraft.
RESULTS OVER NOVELTY
Cheaper, faster, safer: This is what is commonly heard when new technologies are being rolled out for use within tank terminals. What is often overlooked is ‘as good as current solutions’, for there is no value in a solution with no problem to solve. So long as something already meets those requirements, then it is a solution that can be rolled out immediately.
Focusing only on the idealised end state with a vision of drones and other automation solutions doing everything in the yard will only inhibit the uptake of currently viable technological solutions. In a competitive marketplace with expanding demand for storage solutions and a pressing need to ensure that asset maintenance procedures are carried out in a cost-effective manner, it is in the benefit of asset owners to start reaping the benefits of current technologies.
There is no sense in delaying technological adoption while waiting for the perfect future, when the present technologies already offer great solutions.
Zhang will be speaking on the future of drones at storage terminals on the first day of the Tank Storage Asia conference at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore on September 26 - 27. For more information visist: www.tankstorageasia.com
Total will sell its 26% minority equity stake in Hazira LNG regasification terminal in India to Shell.
Additionally, Total has signed an agreement to sell 0.5 million tonnes of LNG per year to Shell over five years, on a delivery basis to supply the markets of Indian and neighbouring countries. The deliveries will be sourced from Total's global LNG portfolio and are expected to begin in 2019.
Philippe Sauquet, president, gas renewables and power at Total, says: 'This deal enables Total to capture value through an asset disposal, while the LNG sales contract allows us to maintain the balance of our LNG portfolio.
'We remain committed to supply the Indian subcontinent, which is a key market experiencing strong growth in LNG demand.'
India will overtake China as the world's oil demand driver by 2024.
According to Wood Mackenzie, India's oil demand is expected to grow by 3.5 million barrels per day from 2017 to 2035, accounting for one-third of global oil demand growth.
This demand is driven by rising income levels, an expanding middle class and a growing need for mobility.
However, the country only has a project 400,000 b/d of firm refinery capacity addition to 2023, which suggests that supply will fail to keep up with demand growth.
Sushant Gupta, research director at Wood Mackenzie says that Indian public sector undertakings or refineries owned by national oil companies will become short on transport fuels at least until the 1.2 million b/d mega refinery, a JV among India PSUs, Saudi Aramco and ADNOC, comes online.
'We think India would need between 3.2 million b/d and 4.7 million b/d of new capacity out to 2035 to remain self-sufficient in transport fuels. So, we are talking about a future capacity which is 1.7 to 2.0 times the current.
'This is clearly an uphill task, unless domestic refiners can commit to their planned capacity additions.'
However, there are several risks to these new refinery projects, namely uncertainties around oil demand. Factors such as GDP growth, road infrastructure developments, electrification of the transports sector and fuel efficiency improvements, could have very different implications for oil demand.
Crude oil production in the US could surpass the highest record set in 1970 driven by tight oil.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that US crude oil production will average 10.7 million barrels per day in 2018 and 11.7 million b/d in 2019. If both are realised these levels would surpass the previous record of 9.6 million b/d set in 1970.
The Permian region in western Texas and eastern New Mexico is expected to account for more than half of the growth in crude oil production through 2019.
The EIA expects Permian region production to average 3.3 million b/d in 2018 and 3.9 million b/d in 2019. It says: 'Although favourable geology combined with technological and operational improvements have contributed to the Permian region becoming one of the more economically favourable regions for crude oil production in the US, recent pipeline capacity constraints have dampened wellhead prices for the region's oil producers. Lower wellhead prices in the region are contributing to slower growth in Permian crude oil production in 2019 compared with 2018.'
It forecasts that the Bakken region will hit record-high production in 2018, averaging 1.3 million b/d and growing to 1.4 million b/d in 2019. In Eagle Fore it expects production will increase by 105,000 b/d from 2018 to 2019 to average 1.5 million b/d.
The CLH Group has investment more than €22 million in research and development projects to improve the safety, efficiency and sustainability of their activities.
Investments over the past three years include the 'Lean' methodology, to enhance the quality and efficiency of processes as well as renovations to its Pipeline Control Centre, including a new version of SCADA, a computer programme that allows the company to manage its pipeline network via satellite.
This new version is more streamlined, has a greater storage capacity and provides significant improvements in the management of pipelines.
Another initiative has been the way the company adapts its activities in installations to develop a segregated storage model, with the aim of expanding services to meet market demands. This model allows the company to store bulk liquid that cannot be entered into the undifferentiated system due to its specific characteristics.
Other initiatives include the digitalisation of installations, a new system for asset management as well as a unique management system for operational safety, implemented by CLH Aviation.
As of Monday, August 20, total oil product stocks in Fujairah stood at 18.098 million barrels – down by 2.5% week on week.
Stocks of light distillates rose by 11.5% week on week to 5.41 million barrels. Regional supply balances have been tightened by the recent force majeure on petrol exports by India's Reliance. This was due to an unplanned FCC unit shutdown at its Jamnagar refinery. Reliance is India's largest exporter of petrol and other oil products, and reduced supply from India could lead the Middle East to source additional petrol from Europe. Sources noted a fixture by Saudi Aramco to lift 60,000 mt of petrol via ship-to-ship transfer from Suez to Jeddah, loading August 27. This would add to West of Suez petrol slated to land in the Middle East. Up to six LR1 tankers, which typically ship 60,000 mt parcels of petrol, were slated to bring in European petrol to the Arab Gulf, sources said.
Stocks of middle distillates rose by 6.5% week on week to 3.749 million barrels. Sentiment in the gasoil market has been bullish due to the Reliance force majeure, although there has been no indication of any impact on gasoil or jet supplies. Gasoil balances are expected to tighten over the next few months from the likes of India, Thailand and Vietnam as seasonal demand pickups with the end of the rainy season in late-September and October. Elsewhere, jet fuel market participants were concerned about the Middle Eastern and Indian spot market, with economics to move cargoes either East or West of Suez remaining unattractive. 'Arbitrage economics to the West is no good, and not good to the East too,' a Singapore-based trader said
Stocks of heavy distillates and residues fell by 3.8% week on week to 8.939 million barrels. Bunker activity in Fujairah was quiet this week due to Eid holidays. Fujairah has seen healthy bunker demand in recent weeks, due in part to lower prices compared to Singapore. But a softer Singapore market has seen a sharp narrowing in that differential over the past week. Delivered 380 CST bunker prices in Fujairah were assessed at 50 cents/ mt below Singapore yesterday, down from a spread of around $9/mt a week ago.
Meanwhile, the Reliance FCC outage may have some knock-on effect on Fujairah's bunker market. Reliance typically sells one to two 40,000-mt cargoes of FCC bottoms, which is referred to as carbon black feedstock, or CBFS, traders said. This product typically heads to Fujairah where it is used as a cutter stock to make RMG grade 380 CST bunker fuel. The feedstock typically has a sulfur content of 1.3%-2.8% and viscosity range from 160 CST to 380 CST, according to the traders. 'Fujairah may have to find a substitute for this feedstock from Europe,' a Singapore-based trader said.
Getka Energy has bought the former Pacer Energy Terminal in Cushing, Oklahoma.
The facility on 28-acres of land contains crude oil storage tanks and several LACT units and is connected to Enterprise Products' Cushing terminal via pipeline.
The crude oil & logistics provide plans to upgrade the terminal to allow for increased throughput and delivery into the Enterprise terminal and other planned interconnections. Upgrades are expected to take several months, and the company anticipates it will bring the terminal back into service at the end of the fourth quarter 2018.
To allow for these upgrades and expansions, Getka is buying an additional 22 acres in adjoining acreage to bring the company's total footprint in Cushing to 50 acres.
It will serve as the foundation of the company's ongoing development of a hub at the Cushing market centre. Getka's goal is to develop a hub-and-spoke platform of integrated assets that work together to create efficient access to producing basins and expand market delivery and optionality.
The company was formed in early 2018 and is backed by a $250 million commitment from EnCap Flatrock Midstream. It is focused on storage, blending and terminal solutions and is headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Getka Energy CEO Dariusz Cichocki says: 'This is the first step in Getka's broad strategy to develop a new and sophisticated crude oil delivery platform across Oklahoma.
'We are looking to add to Cushing's value and rich history, and we are extremely excited to bring new customers, a unique and enhanced terminal design, and optionality for our customers and the market.'
StocExpo Europe 2019 is set to be an extra special one as the event celebrates 15 years of being the market leading conference & exhibition in the sector.
And to celebrate the event is launching even more initiatives. For the first time, the 2019 edition will incorporate a hosted buyer scheme, bring in terminal operators from across the globe.
Also new for 2019 is fact that the conference will be held within the exhibition hall.
Nick Powell, StocExpo & Tank Storage divisional director, explains: 'We've invested more than ever into the 2019 edition of StocExpo Europe.
'In tough market conditions, it's crucial that companies find new customers, spend time with existing clients & seek out new ways to stay ahead of the competition. StocExpo Europe allows people do all this in the most time-effective way possible.
'By having a custom-built conference room on the show floor, we can maximise the amount of time conference delegates have to explore the exhibition.
'The event is 100% dedicated to the tank storage sector so exhibitors and visitors know immediately that everyone in that room is relevant to them.'
Additionally, in 2019 shuttle buses will run to StocExpo Europe from Antwerp. 'We understand that every day work sometimes gets in the way of attending an exhibition,' Powell explains. 'So regular shuttle buses will make it as easy as possible for terminal professionals in Antwerp to attend the event.'
Other initiatives returning for 2019 include the complimentary EEMUA workshop, late night opening, breakfast seminars, complimentary iTanks Innovation in Storage sessions, the start-up zone and the Global Tank Storage Awards.
StocExpo Europe will celebrate its 15th birthday during the late-night opening on day two of the show. 'We are really looking forward to celebrating with all our loyal partners and supporters.
'By keeping the exhibition open later, we are able to welcome additional visitors who would usually be working during the day.
Powell adds: 'But perhaps the biggest celebration will be with our key exhibitors, many of whom have exhibited with us from the beginning.
'Some of the exhibitors, the likes of: Protego, HMT, Emerson, Endress + Hauser, J de Jonge, Rotork, Toptech, Silverwing, Axflow, Scully, Vacono, Rosen, Emco Wheaton, Oreco, WLT, Protectoseal, Agidens, OPW, CTS, Verwater, to name a few, have been here since the very first event and have absolutely been instrumental in helping us shape and grow such a great industry event'.
The show will be returning to the Ahoy, Rotterdam
StocExpo Europe will be returning to Ahoy, Rotterdam from March 26-28, 2019. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.stocexpo.com.
Contanda Terminals will construct a new, large-capacity storage terminal on its property along the Houston Ship Channel as part of plans to expand into the petrochemical and hydrocarbon markets.
The new terminal – Contanda Houston Jacintoport Terminal – will provide up to three million barrels of additional petrochemical and hydrocarbon storage capacity. It will be located at the company's Jacintoport terminal site, on the Contanda Steel location, which the company acquired at the end of 2016.
The expansion will add a third Houston-based bulk liquid storage facility to the company's portfolio. In addition to the storage capacity, it will have a deep-water ship dock, two barge docks along with truck and rail infrastructure.
Work is expected to start in October and it is expected to be operational during the fourth quarter 2019.
G.R 'Jerry' Cardillo, president and CEO of Contanda, says: 'This expansion builds on our already established presence for our Houston-based markets.
'This project meets the growing needs of our customers who have requested additional storage and logistics services to support their growth initiatives. The new Contanda Houston Jacintoport Terminal will strengthen our position as a leading storage provider in our growing, renewable, petrochemicals and hydrocarbons markets and allow us to continue our growth platform in and around the Houston Ship Channel.'
Plains All American Pipeline and Magellan Midstream Partners will sell a 50% interest in BridgeTex Pipeline Company for $1.438 billion.
OMERS, the defined pension plan for municipal employees in Ontario, Canada will acquire a 30% interest from Plains and a 20% interest from Magellan, with both companies each receiving a proportionate share of the total purchase price.
Once the transaction is closed, OMERS will own a 50% interest, Plains will retain a 20% interest and Magellan will continue to operate the pipeline and own a 30% interest.
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018.
BridgeTex owns the pipeline, a 400,000 barrel per day crude oil pipeline system that extends from Colorado City in West Texas to Houston.
It delivers volumes into Magellan's East Houston terminal and Magellan's Houston crude oil distribution system with connection to refineries in Houston and Texas City as well as to marine export capabilities via Magellan's Seabrook Logistics joint venture terminal. BridgeTex pipeline capacity is being expanded to 440,000 barrels per day by early 2019.
Michael Ryder, senior managing director, Americas, for OMERS Infrastructure, says: 'The addition of BridgeTex marks our re-entry into the US midstream sector and is a welcome addition to our high-quality infrastructure portfolio.'
Michael Mears, Magellan's CEO and Willie Chiang, Plain's COO, say: 'OMERS investment adds another long-term oriented owner to our joint venture. This transaction provides both Plains and Magellan proceeds to fund additional growth projects while allowing us to maintain a meaningful position in BridgeTex, which is strongly aligned with investments owned by both Plains and Magellan along the crude oil value chain.'
Demand for higher base chemicals is driving the development of mega-integrated refinery and chemical facilities in China.
Private Chinese chemical producers, including Hengli and Rong Sheng are back0ntegrating their chemical plants with refineries by building mega-integrated facilities.
In a report, Wood Mackenzie says that both these projects, which are expected to become operation in the next 12 to 24 months, are expected to add more than nine million tonnes of paraxylene capacity by 2021. This wave of Chinese investment outpaced robust demand growth for the polyester chain and as a result, the consultancy company expects the country to reduce imports for the product by more than four million tonnes by 2021.
These new sites could yield up to 45 weight % of chemicals, two to three times more than a traditional integrated site, while producing heavy crudes.
Sushant Gupta, research director, Wood Mackenzie, says: 'The Hengli and Rong Sheng projects could add up to 500,000 barrels per day of medium-to-heavy crude demand in the market when they start operation. This additional demand would further tighten the heavy crude market as we expect a shortage of heavy crude at a global level in the medium term.
'As these integrated sites are mostly configured to process Middle Eastern crude, the ongoing trade tension between China and the US is unlikely to affect the projects. US sanctions on Iran crude exports, on the other hand, could limit their crude choices.
'We expect knock-on implications on the refining and fuels markets in Asia and beyond as these projects also produce large amounts of co-products such as petrol and middle distillates (jet fuel and diesel/gasoil).'
China is expected to have a large surplus of about 780,000 b/d in middle distillates and about 500,000 b/d in petrol by 2020. About 20% and 40% of the surplus in middle distillates and petrol, respectively, comes from the Hengli and Rong Sheng projects alone.
Vopak and Maersk will launch a 0.5% sulphur fuel bunkering facility in Rotterdam, which will cater for 20% of Maersk's global demand.
Maersk will be an anchor tenant in the modified Europoort facility. This agreement will enable Maersk, along with any other interested third parties, to supply vessels trading with and inside Europe with compliant fuel.
This follows from Vopak's announcement last week that it will invest in the Europoort terminal to support the IMO 2020 sulphur fuel cap.
Recently, member states within the IMO recognised there are still some reservations and challenges relating to fuel handling and compatibility and this project plays a key role in providing Maersk with supply chain assurance looking at both quality and quantity of the compliant fuel.
The facility allows the ship & vessel operator to safely blend, store and handle different fuel types to ensure compliance from January 1 2020.
Niels Henrik Lingegaard, head of Maersk oil trading, says: 'We trust that this initiative will put to rest some of the concerns the industry has on fuel availability as well as secure our continued competitiveness in the market.'
Hari Dattatreya, global oil director, Vopak, says: 'With A.P. Moller-Maersk as an anchor customer, Vopak demonstrates the focus to position itself in the 0.5% sulphur fuels bunker market.'