Latest storage news
Orpic Logistics Company (OLC) has commissioned and started operations at its oil storage facility in Al Jefnain, near Muscat.
The facility comprises a new oil product storage and distribution centre with a capacity of over 170,000 m3 as well as 16 loading racks. It was commissioned by the CLH subsidiary of OLC, which was jointly created by CLH and Orpic.
The new facility is equipped with the latest technology, which enables the loading process to be completely automated from the moment the road tankers enter the facility until the relevant documentation is printed.
Road tankers from the major oil operators in the country have successfully completed the first fuel loading operations.
The facility receives fuel from the Sohar refinery through a new pipeline, the first one of its type built in the country. This makes it possible to reduce fuel transport by road and to increase the safety and efficiency of fuel distribution in Oman.
It is expected that in the coming months, the new plant will also be connected via pipeline with the refinery in Mina Al Fahal and Muscat international airport.
Once fully operational, the new logistics system will supply more than 50% of the country's fuel. It will provide a higher supply capacity of aviation fuel, as well as greater efficiency and sustainability, thanks to the use of the pipeline.
José Luis López de Silanes, chairman of the CLH group, says: 'We are proud to launch the first start of such an important operation for the country, which will make it possible to transform its logistics system for oil products into a safer, more efficient and sustainable model.'
USD Partners has started operations at its crude oil terminal in Stroud, Oklahoma.
The planned work required to allow the terminal to handle heavier grades of crude oil was completed one time and under the initial planned budget.
The Stroud terminal provides a destination point for rail-to-pipeline shipments of heavy crude oil from USD's Hardisty terminal in Western Canada and provides connectivity to one of the largest crude oil storage hubs in North America – Cushing.
Approximately 50% of the Stroud terminal's current capacity is available and actively being marketed to meet the takeaway needs of current and future customers.
Alexandra Batycky, associate director of USD Group, says: 'Our ability to deliver on time and under budget is a testament to the dedication, collaboration, and execution by the various stakeholders involved including our customer, the railroads and USD.'
Colonial Terminal Logistics is offers marine export capabilities to Colonial Pipeline shippers through Enterprise Products Partners' Beaumont terminal.
This will allow Colonial Pipeline shippers to move product from 13 Gulf Coast refineries to the Beaumont Terminal for loading onto vessels for transportation to the Florida retail marker, as well as for export to foreign destinations.
Colonial can provide customers firm dock capacity rights and will also have access to as much as two million barrels of new storage at the Beaumont facility.
Colonial says its long term vision is to move products for marine export from multiple terminals in the greater Beaumont/Port Arthur/Orange area. Its marine logistics services, which are cost advantaged to refined product services offered on the Houston Ship Channel, include storage, blending and dock usage solutions.
Bill Ordemann, executive vice president, commercial, for Enterprise's general partner, says: 'We are pleased to execute this agreement with Colonial Terminal Logistics, which expands the effective reach and increases volume for our Beaumont refined products marine terminal and storage complex.
'Our Beaumont facility is part of one of the most extensive marine terminal networks along the Gulf Coast and is uniquely positioned to provide flow assurance and market choices for refined products.'
Targa Resources has entered into a joint venture with Blackstone Energy Partners in the Grand Prix Pipeline and has signed a letter of intent to own a stake in the Gulf Coast Express Pipeline.
The company has executed agreements to sell a 25% JV interest in the Grand Prix natural gas liquids pipeline to funds managed by Blackstone Energy Partners.
Once complete, the pipeline will be a new 300,000 barrel per day common carrier NGL pipeline from the Permian Basin to Mont Belvieu, Texas.
Targa and EagleClaw Midstream Ventures have also executed a long-term raw product purchase agreement for transportation and fractionation services for the pipeline.
It is expected that the Grand Prix pipeline is due to be operational in the second quarter of 2019.
Additionally, Targa also announced it has executed a letter of intent, along with Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline regarding the Gulf Coast Express Pipeline project. The project will provide an outlet for increased natural gas production from the Permian Basin to growing markets along the Texas Gulf Coast.
The participation of the three parties involved with the project is subject to negotiation and executive of definitive agreements.
As part of the agreements, Targa would own a 25% equity interest in it and would commit significant volumes to the proposed project.
The expected in-service date of the pipeline continues to be scheduled for the second half of 2019.
Glencore plans to acquire shares in Chevron South Africa and Chevron Botswana to expand its oil business.
The company has entered an agreement with Off The Shelf Investments Fifty Six Proprietary (OTS) to acquire a 75% OTS has in Chevron SA and certain related interests and the entire issued share capital of Chevron Botswana.
The assets comprise the interests of the Chevron group in its manufacturing, retail and industrial supply business in South Africa and Botswana.
The assets include a refinery in Cape Town with a crude processing capacity of 100 kbd, a finished lubricants blend plant and base oil terminal in Durban, a network of coastal shipping, depots and pipelines with significant crude delivery and storage infrastructure at Saldanha Bay and Cape Town Harbour and the South African retail network.
Glencore says it believes the assets provide an attractive downstream opportunity for its oil business.
The transaction is expected to close in mid-2018.
Fujairah's commercial stocks of refined oil products fell to a new low of 16.014 million barrels in the week to Monday, October 9, down 3% due to continued draws on heavy distillates and residues, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics.
Stocks of heavy distillates and residues fell 8.4% week on week to 8.5 million barrels, the lowest level since February, and second lowest total since stock records started being published in January, data released Wednesday by the Fujairah Energy Data Committee (FEDCom) showed.
Heavy distillates and residues account for more than half the total oil products stored in Fujairah. These stocks have now fallen 27%, or 3.17 million barrels, over the past two weeks, with outflows of fuel oil cargoes within the Persian Gulf region, as well regular shipments to Pakistan. That has been in addition to strong demand from Singapore, which has pulled Middle Eastern barrels towards Asia.
Last week saw the spread between benchmark Singapore 380 CST and Arab Gulf 180 CST rose to the highest level since March.
Platts Analytics estimated fuel oil exports from Iran, the region's largest net exporter, at 1.5 million mt in September, with shipments expected to decline to around 1.1 million mt in October as the country's electricity demand rises.
In addition, Iran's domestic power sector has been using more fuel oil due to gas shortages related to ongoing maintenance at the South Pars fields. Light distillate stocks fell 4.3% to 4.554 million barrels, well below the 4.9 million barrel average since the beginning of the year. That was despite balanced fundamentals in the petrol market in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, after prices saw a post-Harvey correction.
At the same time, the east of Suez market had pockets of strong petrol demand, in particular from Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Indonesia. First-month/second-month Arab Gulf gasoline 95 swaps fell to a three-month low last week, but have since steadied to be at 65 cents/b Tuesday.
MIDDLE DISTILLATES STOCKS RISE
Middle distillate stocks stood out this week, rising 19.5% to 2.957 million barrels, but remained below the 3 million b/d for the fourth week in a row due to the open arbitrage which has drawn gasoil from the Middle East and India to Europe.
The east-west gasoil exchange of futures for swaps was at a near four-week high of minus $20.55/mt Tuesday. While that indicated that arbitrage economics were still workable, rising freight rates and higher US distillate production meant the economics were getting tighter. US Gulf Coast refineries have now largely recovered from recent disruptions, with latest weekly data showing total US distillate production at 4.93 million b/d - up 216,000 b/d year on year.
Contanda Terminals has acquired 339 acres of land within the Port of Houston to further develop its storage terminal capability.
The multi-year commercial agreement covers a piece of prime, deep-water access property located on the Houston Ship Channel.
This acquisition enables Contanda to continue to develop its key strategic business objective of doubling its terminal storage capability over the next five years, and to expand into the bulk petrochemical and hydrocarbon markets.
The company says it will further strengthen its presence along the US Gulf Coast where project investments have surged since 2014. It operates three other bulk terminals along the Gulf Coast.
G.R. (Jerry) Cardillo, president and CEO of Contanda, says: 'This agreement with the Port of Houston Authority solidifies our long-term commitment to grow with the Port of Houston and the Houston Ship Channel.
'With this project, Contanda has the opportunity to make significant strides in achieving our corporate goals while firmly establishing our position as a leading storage provider in the growing petrochemical and hydrocarbon markets. We firmly believe in the Port of Houston, its capabilities and the opportunities it presents to our customers and shareholders.'
Contanda's state-of-the-art automated terminal facility will be built in phases to provide customers access to onsite processing, multiple ship and barge docks, and convenient tank truck and railcar accessibility.
The facility is centrally located for numerous pipeline connections, providing support storage services for a variety of commodities including petrochemical, clean petroleum products, various blend stocks, ethanol, crude oil, and refinery intermediates and other bulk commodities.
In addition to its three Houston terminals, Contanda operates 13 other bulk terminals across the US.
Fujairah's commercial stocks of refined oil products totaled 16.512 million barrels in the week to Monday, October 2 down 14.4% week on week, the lowest level since stock records for the UAE port began being published in January.
Light distillate stocks, mainly petrol and naphtha, fell to a fresh eight-month low at 4.752 million barrels, down 5% week on week from 5.002 million barrels, data released Wednesday by the Fujairah Energy Data Committee (FEDCom) showed. Middle East demand has been firm, supported by recent tenders for October petrol from Egypt and Kuwait.
Middle distillates also fell by 5.6% to 2.475 million barrels, the second lowest level on record, and 1.225 million barrels below the average for the year so far. This is again due largely to the ongoing impact of Hurricane Harvey on US Gulf Coast refineries.
The latest data from the US Energy Information Administration showed distillate production at 4.64 million b/d, still some 400,000 b/d below pre-Harvey levels. The arbitrage opportunity to move gasoil from the Middle East to Europe remains open, but stronger freight rates have begun to erode these economics. The east-west Gasoil EFS was minus $25.93/mt Tuesday.
BACKWARDATION ENCOURAGING HEAVY DISTILLATES DRAW
Fujairah's stocks of heavy distillates and residues, which constitute more than half the total oil products inventory at the port, logged the largest fall, dropping 20.5% to 9.285 million barrels, the lowest total since May 22. This was attributed to increased outflows of fuel oil during the week, including sizable volumes headed to Rotterdam and Port Qasim in Pakistan.
Pakistan State Oil tendered for a total of 520,000 mt of HSFO for October loading from Fujairah, up from 325,000 mt in August, to meet power sector demand. Consumption is expected to start gradually declining later this month, following the startup this month of the country's second LNG import terminal. First/second month Arab Gulf 180 CST HSFO swaps saw an average backwardation of $2.13/mt in September compared to 56 cents/mt in August and 62 cents/mt in July. This stronger market backwardation may also encourage traders to lower their stocks.
TransCanada has decided not to proceed with its proposed Energy East Pipeline and Eastern Mainline projects.
This follows a 30-day suspension by the company to allow it time to review changes announced by the National Energy Board regarding the list of issues and environmental assessment factors of the project.
TransCanada president and CEO Russ Girling says: 'After careful review of changed circumstances, we will be informing the National Energy Board that we will no longer be proceeding with our Energy East and Eastern Mainline applications.
'We appreciate and are thankful for the support of labour, business and manufacturing organisations, industry, our customers, Irving Oil, various governments, and the approximately 200 municipalities who passed resolutions in favour of the projects. Most of all, we thank Canadians across the country who contributed towards the development of these initiatives.
'We will continue to focus on our $24 billion near-term capital program, which is expected to generate growth in earnings and cash flow to support an expected annual dividend growth at the up end of an eight to 10% range through 2020.'
As a result of its decision not to proceed with the proposed projects, TnrasCanada is reviewing its approximate $1.3 billion carrying value, including allowance for funds used during construction capitalised since inception and expects an estimated $1 billion after-tax non-cash charge will be recorded in the company's fourth quarter results.
Occidental Petroleum and Oman Tank Terminal Company have signed a deal to store crude at the planned Raz Markaz oil terminal.
According to S&P Global Platts, an informed source said the memorandum of understanding covers up to two million barrels of Oxy's crude and possibly even US crude.
OTTCO is finalising the engineering and procurement contract for the first phase of the facility, which will comprise 25 million barrels of crude oil storage. The first phase is due to be complete by the end of 2019.
Once complete, the development could have up to 200 million barrels of crude storage aboveground and a similar amount below ground.
More than one million m3 of storage capacity is planned for a new terminal as a wave of investment targets the Port of Antwerp.
Totseanergy, the new joint venture by Total and the SEA-Invest group, will invest €100 million in the new Totseanergy Terminal at the head of the Hansa dock and the 6th harbour dock.
The project comprises eight new tanks with a capacity of 20,000 m3 each, three additional loading and unloading bays and a pipeline between the terminal and Total's refinery. The port authority will increase the depth alongside the quay to 15.5 meters.
This additional investment will give Total a combined capacity of more than 100 million m3 in 2019.
Port executives say in a statement: 'In more recent years, together with SEA-Invest, Total has played a significant role in doubling the volume of liquid bulk handled by the port. The current investment will give the refinery greater flexibility and enable it to operate more efficiently. The new tanks will take up around a quarter of the space available in the terminal, leaving plenty of room for further expansion.
'This choice by Total and SEA-Invest once more confirms the strategic position of Antwerp as a petrochemical hotspot, demonstrating the strong belief by industrial and logistics operators in the value of having a long-term presence in the port.'
Earlier in September, Antwerp Terminal and Processing Company (ATPC) broke ground for the construction of a LPG/ethane tank storage facility of 30,000 m3. The tanks are specially designed for storing ethane, propane, butane and derived products.
The terminal expects the capacity to come into operation by the middle of 2018.
Additionally, chemical company Evonik plans to invest tens of millions of euros in expanding its production capacity for special silica.
MISC has entered into a purchase agreement with Dialog Group to sell its 45% stake in Centralised Terminals (CTSB).
The total proceeds from the divestment is RM193 million comprising the purchase consideration for MISC's shares and repayment of shareholder's advances and accrued interest by Dialog on behalf of CTSB.
The completion of this transaction markets MISC's exit from the tank terminal business.
Yee Yang Chien, president and group CEO, says: 'For MISC, this divestment will enable us to unlock the value of our investment in CTSB and take advantage of other opportunities within the energy and maritime industry.'
Greenergy Fuels Canada has bought all the shares in a Canadian fuel marketer and terminal operator.
The acquisition of Canadian Operators Petroleum (CAN-OP's) in Thunder Bay, Ontario, gives Greenergy an additional import and distribution location in the growing Ontario fuels market.
CAN-OP's operations include a petrol and distillate wholesale business and a wholly-owned petroleum storage and supply facility, Wascan Terminals. This terminal infrastructure is rail-fed, allowing for efficient integration into existing Greenergy supply chains.
The company plans to upgrade and expand the terminal over the next 18 months. This investment will make fuel supply more reliable and competitive in the region.
Mike Healey, director, Greenergy Fuels Canada, says: 'Our new presence in Northern Ontario continues our Canadian expansion and establishes Greenergy in a region poised for economic growth and at the centre of a key petroleum supply/trading intersection between Western Canada, the US Midwest and Southern Ontario.'
The transaction is expected to close by the end of October 2017.
Whitehelm Capital will acquire 90% of the shares in Vopak Terminal Eemshaven from Vopak and NIBC European Infrastructure Fund.
The company is acquiring the shares on behalf of two pension fund investors and Vopak will retain 10% of the shares.
The terminal in the Netherlands provides for the storage of strategic reserves of liquid oil products, such as gasoil and petrol. The terminal comprises 11 tanks with a total capacity of 684,025 m3. It also has a deep water jetty for seagoing vessels.
This transaction will not have any impact on the terminal operations or name of the terminal. Vopak will continue to manage and operate the terminal in accordance with its global standards.
In a statement Whitehelm says that this investment is consistent with its approach of investing in high quality tank storage assets that benefit from strong contractual protections with exceptional operational performance.
Fujairah's commercial stocks of refined oil products totaled 19.292 million barrels in the week to Monday (September 25), edging up 1.6% on the week despite a substantial drop in light distillate inventories.
The stocks have remained below 20 million barrels for a fifth consecutive week since hurricane-related refinery shutdowns in the US Gulf Coast region rocked global oil products markets, data released Wednesday by the Fujairah Energy Data Committee showed.
Stocks of light distillates, mainly petrol and naphtha, fell on the week by 707,000 barrels, or 12.4%, to an eight-month low of 5.002 million barrels. Petrol demand East of Suez is strong, with roughly half the outflow from Middle East stocks being consumed in the region itself with the rest going to Singapore, with the recent flow to Asia probably stoked by robust demand for petrol from Indonesia and Vietnam.
Petrol demand is likely to remain elevated in the Middle East in coming months, as the swing to cooler temperatures throughout the region, following an especially sweltering summer, is expected to result in the usual seasonal upswing in driving activity. In addition, repairs continue to a fire-damaged residual fluid catalytic cracking (RFCC) unit at Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.'s 800,000 b/d Ruwais refinery, which has been out of commission since January and is not expected to be returned to production until 2019.
The damage to the RFCC unit has reduced the refinery's yields of light and middle distillates. S&P Global Platts estimates that about 230,000 mt/month of petrol production capacity was lost at Ruwais due to the January fire. Another near-term driver of petrol demand in the Middle East market is the current planned and unplanned maintenance and repairs being undertaken at Iran's giant South Pars gas and condensate field. Platts estimates that October South Pars exports could slip 30,000-40,000 b/d due to unplanned field maintenance related to a pipeline leak at one of the production platforms. Market traders and South Korean end-users said they expected South Pars condensate exports to return to normal seasonal levels in November and December.
As of Tuesday, the first/second month structure for Arab Gulf Gasoline 95 swaps was in a backwardation of $1.20/mt. Fujairah stocks of middle distillates rose 197,000 barrels, or 8.1%, on the week to 2.621 million barrels. The rise followed the previous week's 19.1% draw to the lowest since the start of Fujairah weekly stocks reporting in early January.
They remain well below this year's average level to date of around 3.7 million barrels, with tighter global supply fundamentals related to the particularly severe US hurricane season. Europe continues to draw middle distillate barrels from the Middle East and Asia as US supplies remain tight. The east-west Gasoil Exchange of Futures For Swaps (EFS) over the past two weeks has averaged minus $27/mt, well above the minus $15/mt that typically indicates an open arbitrage window for Asian and Middle East gasoil cargoes to Europe.
US Gulf Coast refineries have begun to recover from the hurricane disruptions that followed Harvey's landfall in late August, but the latest weekly US data showed distillate production at 4.54 million b/d - still some 500,000 b/d lower than pre-Harvey levels. Fujairah's stocks of heavy distillates and residues, which constitute more than half the total oil products inventory at the port, rose on the week by 820,000 barrels, or 7.6%, to a six-week high of 11.669 million barrels, in their biggest move in more than a month.
Bunker demand in Fujairah was reported as muted this week. The recent rally in Brent price to a two year high of $58-$59/b has had a dampening effect on buying interest, as bunker users pulled back in anticipation of a correction. Regional power generation demand in the Middle East has begun to ease from the highs of summer, which should increase fuel oil availability heading into the fourth quarter. But global fundamentals for fuel oil are seen as somewhat tight, with supply tightness most apparent in Mexico, Venezuela, the US Gulf Coast and Russia.