Latest storage news
Total will become the anchor customer of the Tuxpan International Fluids Terminal, a refined oil products terminal in Mexico.
The agreement between the Total Atlantic Trading Mexico, a subsidiary of the oil major, Tuxpan Port Terminal and Monterra Energy, means that Total will have the largest capacity in the facility in Veracruz.
Total says that this improved access to the Mexican market means it will directly provide diesel and gasoline to its customers.
Isabelle Gaildraud, senior vice president for Americas at Total Marketing & Services, says: 'The large capacity committed by the group, combined with the competitive advantages of the terminal, will allow Total and its network of service stations to develop a leading role in the fuel retail market in Mexico City and the Valley of Mexico.'
The terminal is due to start operations in the second quarter of 2020.
Odfjell Terminals reports strengthened financial results in the fourth quarter 2018, with revenue growth in its Asian and US facilities.
Odfjell SE's terminal division delivered an EBITDA of $4.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to $3.9 million in the previous quarter.
Revenues in the US region grow by 3% in comparison to the previous quarter thanks to a continuing high occupancy rate of 98% and increasing throughput at the Houston terminal.
The Asian region grow by 15% in comparison to the previous quarter with all terminals in the region contributing. The fourth quarter 2018 result was impacted by higher G&A related to the restructuring of the Odfjell Terminals organisation.
The company concluded the restructuring of the organisation in the fourth quarter. Odfjell Terminals B.V. and the terminal management companies are now wholly owned subsidiaries of Odfjell SE. Tank terminals are now operated through two joint ventures, one for the Asia terminals and one for the US terminals.
Total approved capital expenditure is $10 million for the next three years, of which $3 million is for maintenance and $7 million is for expansion.
Following the conclusion of the sale of Lindsay Goldberg's shareholding in Rotterdam and Antwerp, LG has entered into an agreement to sell its 49% shareholding in Odfjell Terminals US terminals to funds managed by Northleaf Capital Partners.
This transaction is expected to close during the first half of 2019.
Kirstian Mørch, CEO of Odfjell SE, says: '4Q18 concluded a challenging year for chemical tankers, but the market improved towards the end of the quarter. This is consistent with our view that the market has healthy fundamentals.
'We do expect continued volatility but we believe our markets have passed the bottom, and we therefore expect improved performance in 1Q19. We are pleased to welcome a new partner in our US terminals that positions us to further develop our US business.'
German LNG Terminal has signed another long-term commercial capacity agreement with a global LNG player.
The parties agreed on the commitment of a substantial part of the terminal's capacity. German LNG Terminal is the joint venture driving forward Germany's first LNG terminal in Brunsbuettel.
As a result of strong market demand, German LNG Terminal will apply for permits with a total terminal capacity of 8 bcma.
Rolf Brouwer, managing director of German LNG Terminal, says: 'German LNG Terminal is strongly moving forward. This additional commercial agreement demonstrates that the market has confidence in the prospects of LNG in Germany. The added value of the proposed multi-services terminal we offer to the market has been recognised and adoptedby the global LNG community.
'The German federal government has clearly recognised the benefits of LNG and, accordingly, has stipulated in its coalition treaty to develop LNG infrastructure in Germany.'
Preparations for the terminal's permitting approval process are well underway. Obtaining construction approval for the planned LNG terminal is one of the conditions for being able to make the final investment decision in late 2019. Construction work will then start in 2020 with the terminal being fully operational by the end of 2022.
Chris Commander, director of engineering at Howard Energy Partners, explains how project managers are expected to be experts in a range of different subjects and the tools they need to succeed in managing a terminal project
The storage terminal industry has experience significant transition in recent years. Gone are the days of having dedicated and specialised team members and the times of estimating managers, project engineers, and having on-staff construction managers and inspectors are long gone.
Today's project managers are now required to do everything; from estimating and procurement to cost control scheduling, administrative duties and travel agent. These project managers are stretched thin and their work continues to build daily. They work six to seven days a week, 16-hour days and are required to be the expert on a range of different subjects.
With this work load, it is imperative that the project managers of today are armed with the proper tools and reliable partners they need to succeed. This starts on the front end with estimating procedures and processes. Too often, an estimate is put together based on previous projects or based on costs per units with little to no design work up front.
Granularity is imperative to success. It is difficult to weigh this versus the time available to a project manager, but without the proper detail or design aspects such as process flow diagram's and layouts, the estimate is little more than an educated guess.
Evaluation of third-party engineering is equally important. Often companies look to EPC contractors for detailed engineering and construction due to lack of man-power and schedule. For some this may be the proper path to success. However, an evaluation should be completed to determine the right fit for the company. A cost evaluation including overhead and mark up should be done and compared to running the project in-house. These additional costs should be included in the budget. Above all, it is important to find an engineering company who can be considered part of the team and who 'gets' the owner's inner workings and desires.
When it comes to procurement, a cost analysis should also be evaluated to determine if utilising third party resources is more economical then doing this in-house. Developing specifications and approved manufacturing lists (AML) will not only provide the tools for project managers to succeed but will establish uniformity and quality control across all terminals.
Project manager requirements
As for the project managers themselves, they must be a 'jack of all trades'. It is vital that they research industry codes. They should be able to recite common historical costs to help their company's marketing/sales quickly access projects. They should learn how to develop industry colleagues who can be relied on for help when problems arise. They are the focal point for cost controls, and therefore should be armed with the tools to accurately track and forecast costs during construction. The project manager should surround themselves with construction managers and inspectors who they can trust, as they will be the eyes and ears for the project in the field.
The project manager role is not always the most praised job in the industry. Often, they are expected to be miracle workers and required to put their lives on hold, so the company can succeed. It is imperative to build a team they trust and likewise, learn how they can earn the trust of their peers. Above all, the project manager should be organised and develop the right tools to succeed.
Commander will be speaking more about managing storage terminal projects on the afternoon of the first day of the NISTM conference from April 2-4 in Orlando, Florida. For more information, visit www.nistm.com.
Vopak plans to expand its terminal in Vietnam with additional chemical storage capacity and its facility in Mexico with more petroleum products storage.
In its 2018 financial report, the company said that it will add 20,000 m3 of storage for chemicals at its terminal in Vietnam. The additional storage is expected to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2020.
Additionally, the company also plans to expand its terminal in Veracruz in Mexico with 110,000 m3 for the storage and handling of clean petroleum products. The expansion already has high commercial coverage and is expected to be fully commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2020.
In January, Vopak acquired an additional 35% share in Vopak Terminal Ningbo in China, bringing the total share in this chemicals terminal to 85% and effectively obtained control.
The company's IMO 2020 related projects are ongoing and progressing to schedule.
In 2018, the company achieved an EBITDA of €734 million, which was €10 million lower than 2017 as a result of oil mark conditions, partly compensated by the company's cost efficiency programme.
Occupancy rates were also lower than 2017, with 86% recorded compared to 90% due to market conditions at oil hub terminals, however other product market segments were stable.
Eelco Hoekstra, CEO, says: 'Given the market conditions in 2018, we delivered solid financial results and increased earnings per share by remaining focused on business opportunities. To meet the increasing global demand for the product we store, we made significant progress in shifting the portfolio and realising our digital transformation.
'We are excited that we have been able to announce significant expansion projects over the last few years, meeting new consumer demands. The execution of this strategy is leading to a further shift in our portfolio towards industrial terminals and terminals for chemicals, LNG, LPG and chemical gases. Expansion projects in these areas are currently underway in Malaysia, Indonesia, Canada, Brazil, and the Netherlands.
'We acquired a share in Pakistan's LNG import facility, commissioned the first phase of our new industrial terminal in Pengerang and expanded our chemical presence in Houston. End 2018, we delivered 1.1 million m3 of our 3.2 million m3 expansion program towards end 2019. In addition, we commenced major service improvement projects to strengthen our chemical storage positions globally and initiated investments in our oil hub terminals in preparation for the IMO 2020 bunker fuel regulations.
'We have also made progress in our digital transformation. Our new unique cloud-based digital terminal management system is now in place at the first terminals in Americas and Asia. We strengthened our cybersecurity programme. We believe that our digital transformation is key to growing our competitive edge and capturing the opportunities of the digital era.
'For 2019 and beyond, we continue to focus on delivery of short-term performance and seizing long-term opportunities, delivering value today and creating value for tomorrow for all stakeholders. We take pride in storing vital products with care for a growing world population.'
The company is also progressing with its strategic review, including testing the market value of its terminals in Algeciras, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Tallinn.
Vopak's 3.2 million expansion programme over 2018 and 2019, with high commercial coverage, continues. At the end of the fourth quarter of 2018, 1.1 million m3 was commissioned and 2.1 million m3 ill be delivered over the course of 2019. The company says that with this expansion programme along with its cost efficiency programme, it has the potential to significantly improve its 2019 EBITDA, subject to market conditions and currency exchange movements.
Whitehelm Capital, Groningen Seaports and Vopak will jointly invest in one of the largest solar parks in the Netherlands.
The 27 MW solar park will be situated on 19 hectares of land adjacent to Vopak Terminal Eemshaven, land which is currently already leased by the terminal. The produced electricity will be made available for local use in Groningen, Vopak terminals and the general electricity market.
The project will give the consortium of companies the opportunity to explore further new energy initiatives in Eemshaven.
Wessel Schevernels, chairman of Vopak Terminal Eemshaven and senior investment director at Whitehelm, says: 'Whitehelm has a deep commitment to responsible investing and this new solar park continues our strategy of investing in core, long-term infrastructure. Especially the combination of sustainable power generation and long-term storage of strategic stocks provides a critical contribution to the Dutch energy mix and supports its transition to a low-carbon economy.'
Ramon Ernst, managing director, Vopak North Netherlands, adds: 'This project fits perfectly with Vopak's ambition for developing infrastructure solutions for a low-carbon energy future. This project allows us to accumulate knowledge and experience with electricity as a carrier of energy and gives us the opportunity to explore possible add-on applications like electricity storage and conversion for a later stage in Eemshaven.'
Following the final investment decision, which is expected in autumn 2019, the solar park is expected to be operational in 2020.
Sentinel Midstream has announced plans to develop a deepwater crude oil export terminal capable of fully loading VLCCs near Freeport, Texas.
Texas GulfLink will include an onshore terminal with up to 18 million barrels of storage, an offshore 42-inch pipeline, and a manned offshore platform to facilitate port operations with two Catenary Anchor Leg Mooring (CALM) Single Point Mooring (SPM) buoys.
Projected export loading rates will be up to 85,000 barrels per hour, with a nominal capacity of 1.2 million barrels per day over the course of a year.
Jeff Ballard, president and CEO, says: 'Texas GulfLink will provide the US with an economical solution to clear the over-supply barrels destined for the Gulf Coast.
'We have complied a team of industry leading professionals who possess unique experience in construction and operations of deepwater ports and are well-positioned to leverage that experience as prudent operators. Our team of seasoned professionals is committed to developing Texas GulfLink with a specific focus on exceeding industry standards for safety and environmental protection.'
Sentinel Midstream developed Texas GulfLink in conjunction with multiple stakeholders, including federal, state and local agencies. It has secured necessary commercial support to justify the capital investment and is preparing its submission of a formal permit with the United States Maritime Administration.
Project financing is being provided by Cresta Fund Management. Chris Rozzell, Cresta managing partner, says: 'We are excited to partner with Sentinel as they bring this critical facility to the Gulf Coast market.
'We view the company's value proposition, which provides a neutral infrastructure solution without the inherent conflicts of affiliated markets, as the best approach to support the interests of US producers and lead to the greatest outcome for all stakeholders.'
The Port of Amsterdam's new digital public berthing reservation system has been nominated for the 2019 Global Tank Storage Awards. This forms part of the Port of Amsterdam's Digital Port programme, which has been entered for the 'Best Port' award.
As part of this, the Port of Amsterdam has launched a new online system to make it quicker and easier to reserve a public berth.
It is already possible to make online reservations for sea-going vessels, but with the Port's new system, it is now possible to reserve, view and amend your bookings.
Users can check where and when a spot is available by logging onto the Port of Amsterdam website as well as seeing which types of port activities are permitted at the berths.
This new flexible system enables user to plan effectively. It is just one part of the Port of Amsterdam's goal to adapt to the digital environment and make processes faster and smarter for its customers.
'Digitisation is the backbone of our promise to become a smarter, cleaner and more efficient port,' explains Arjan Kampman, IT manager at Port of Amsterdam.
The Port of Amsterdam's Digital Port programme is designed to create a port that offers maximum accessibility over the water and the web. By making data available using digital services, the port becomes transparent for users and is able to handle vessels more quickly and intelligently. This means the port gets to use its assets – including quays, berths and terminals – more efficiently.
The winner of the 'Best Port' award 2019 will be judged by a panel of experts from terminal operators, including Vopak, Oiltanking, VTTI, Shell, BP, Koole and many more. The winner will be announced during the Global Tank Storage Awards ceremony on March 26 in Rotterdam.
Entries to the Global Tank Storage Awards close on 15th February 2019.
For more information on how to enter and to view the judging panel visit www.tankstoragemag.com/awards.
NGL Energy Partners has executed a purchase and sale agreement to buy DCP Midstream's wholesale propane business, comprising natural gas liquids terminals in the US.
Under the terms of the agreement, NGL will acquire 100% ownership of five propane rail terminals operated by Gas Supply Resources, a subsidiary of DCP, and 50% ownership interest in a sixth propane rail terminal. The agreement also includes an import/export terminal in Chesapeake, Virginia, with the capability to load or unload ships from Handy-sized vessels up to VLGC.
Jeff Pinter, executive vice president of liquids for NGL, says: 'NGL is excited to acquire these well-operated, high quality assets from DCP. The propane terminals complement NGL's existing liquids portfolio and create additional opportunities for new and existing customers to supply their business.
The Chesapeake asset provides strategic access to the water for imports and exports.'
Wouter van Kempen, chairman, president and CEO of DCP Midstream, adds: 'Gas Supply Resources has been a great asset for DCP, but has no interconnectivity with our otherwise integrated value chain of midstream services. This is an outstanding opportunity to streamline our assets and funds our 2019 strategic capital programme.'
ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum will proceed with the development of the Golden Pass LNG export project in Sabine Pass, Texas.
The more than $10 billion liquefaction project will have capacity to produce around 16 million tonnes of LNG per year and will provide reliable LNG supply to global markets.
Golden Pass is part of ExxonMobil's plans to invest more than $50 billion over the next five years to build and expand manufacturing facilities in the US.
Working interests in the Golden Pass LNG export project are 70% Qatar Petroleum and 30% ExxonMobil. The project builds upon the successful international relationship between ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum, with Qatar Petroleum joining ExxonMobil in exploration and development activities in Argentina, Brazil and Mozambique.
Darren Woods, chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corporation, says: 'Golden Pass will provide an increased, reliable, long-term supply of LNG to global gas markets. 'The extensive experience of ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum provides the expertise, resources and financial strength needed to construct and operate an integrated liquefaction and export facility in the US.'
Construction will begin in the first quarter of 2019 and the facility is expected to start up in 2024.
As of Monday, February 4 total oil product stocks in Fujairah stood at 22.306 million barrels. Inventory levels rose by 4.2% week on week.
This is the first time total oil product stocks have breached 22 million barrels since August 14 2017 when they stood at 22.514 million barrels.
Stocks of light distillates fell 5.6% standing at 11.3 million barrels, falling from their record high seen last week to set a second highest high since stock reporting began. News of upcoming turnarounds at a number of refineries across Asia was putting a floor on some of the bearish sentiment seen in the market in recent weeks, trading sources noted. 'The market is likely to be less bearish than it was before,' one Singapore-based market source said Monday. 'Upcoming turnarounds from major producers would be supportive of the market,' the source added.
Stocks of middle distillates almost doubled posting a 79.1% increase to hit 2.273 million barrels, rebounding from last week's 1.269 million barrels which was the second lowest posted amount since stock reporting began. The start of February saw a pick-up in activity in Singapore in the days prior to the lunar new year break, with January having been characterized by a lack of momentum in the market. Overall front-month gasoil cracks in Singapore through January stood at $14.27/b, a $1.35/b fall from 2018's average of $15.62/b.
Stocks of heavy residues showed a weekly rise of 7.1% to 8.733 million barrels, a more than five-month high. They were last higher on August 20 2018 when they stood at 8.939 million barrels. Overall availability of bunker fuel in the port of Fujairah remained healthy at the start of February, in line with the market seen in January, sources noted. 'We definitely saw more [cargo] supply in January compared to December, and bunker avails are also okay for prompt dates,' a Fujairah bunker trader said. In Fujairah ex-wharf 380 CST bunker fuel premiums over the Mean of Platts Arab Gulf 180 CST assessments averaged $6/mt in January, coming off from an average of $13/mt seen in December, Platts data showed.
Essar Oil has acquired a number of assets from BP in the UK, including storage and pipeline assets, to further strengthen its logistics infrastructure network.
Under the agreement, Essar will acquire an equity stake in the UKOP pipeline, a share of the contractual joint venture, with Shell, which runs the Kingsbury Terminal and a 100% interest in the Northampton Terminal.
The latest expansion of its UK interests means Essar has now invested nearly $1 billion in its UK business, since first acquiring the Stanlow Manufacturing Complex in July 2011.
The company owns 67 retail sites across England and Wales and it plans to grow its network to 400 retail sites over the next five years.
Essar Oil is already a significant player in the wholesale supply of Jet A-1 to major UKL airports and has successfully entered the market for direct supply of aviation fuel.
The company says it will continue to look for opportunities to expand inorganically, provided the acquisitions are long term value accretive and complement Essar Oil's UK growth plans.
Essar Oil UK CEO S. Thangapandian says: 'Essar continues to have great faith in the UK market, which represents an important part of the group's strategic business growth ambitions.
'The acquisition will allow Essar to maintain its presence in a very competitive UK Midlands region and grow that current footprint. In addition, we will continue to expand our retail offering – with a number of the 12 new stations we recently branded through an agreement with MPK being supplied from the two terminals.'
World-renowned motivational speaker Steven Van Belleghem will deliver his insights on the use of AI in the storage industry during his keynote talk at the StocExpo Europe 2019 conference.
Van Belleghem will discuss how the bulk liquid storage industry can work to win business in a world increasingly driven by artificial intelligence at the event taking from March 26-28 at the Ahoy Rotterdam.
Customers today hold new expectations of what benefits companies should deliver. These include the provision of hyper-personalised offerings and seamless interfaces. Van Belleghem will identify and expand upon the three areas of investment decision-makers must focus on if they are to lead AI first-companies; data leverage, effortless user interfaces and intelligence augmented.
He will also reflect on the new competitive battlefield ushered in by the rise of AI. Non-tech companies in attendance will be taught how to deal with this. Van Belleghem will stress the importance of leveraging human strengths, as he argues that human empathy, passion and creativity, will become even more valuable for companies the more digital the world becomes.
In addition, Matthew Hudson, terminal manager at Shell, will also deliver a presentation on the practical implications of implementing new oil terminal technologies. By working to modernise Shell's terminals, Hudson hopes to deliver value both financially and in terms of safety, as tank offline time and human exposure are reduced.
Shell has invested in ROV technology in the form of robotic tank-cleaning. Hudson will talk about how he wants to take this technology further by developing submersible robots. These will be designed to enter through the roof of an oil tank into the product, removing the need to drain down the tank and break containment.
Hudson will also discuss the value he places on building professional networks in order to share knowledge. To put this into context, Shell recently called in a brain cancer surgeon who spoke about the marker dyes he uses as part of his work. These attach to certain brain cells and fluoresce under the right light. This thinking helped Hudson's team to work towards developing marker dyes that attach to hydrocarbons in a facility; a process that functions as a leak detection service.
Hudson works continuously to develop and modernise Shell's terminals. His talk will touch upon the very latest developments the company is trialling. Right now, for instance, the team is developing instruments to do product quality samples inline in order to provide more accurate readings and to avoid the need to break containment by pulling a physical sample out of the line.
Mark Rimmer, divisional director for StocExpo Europe, says: 'To have people of Steven and Matthew's calibre taking to the stage is fantastic. Steven is a global phenomenon and his talk will provide companies in attendance with genuine insights into how they can make the most out of the latest technologies to win the hearts and business of customers. And Matthew, a leading innovator in his sphere, will no doubt inspire companies to think big and think differently.'
The conference will run alongside the three-day exhibition, featuring more than 200 suppliers showcasing their latest innovations.
For more information about the conference, click here.
The deadline for the Global Tank Storage Awards is just under two weeks away, with entries closing on February 15.
The Global Tank Storage Awards celebrate excellence, safety and innovation in the storage terminal industry.
The awards, which are free to enter, provide many benefits to market leaders within the community:
• Free marketing – Winning an award is a great PR opportunity & a fantastic way of letting the market know what your company has achieved. Winners of the Global Tank Storage Awards are provided with a 'winner's pack' including logos, banners & email signatures highlighting the achievement. Winners are also given publicity in Tank Storage Magazine as well as at StocExpo Europe and online.
• Free publicity to high level terminal operators - All nominations will be printed in the onsite brochure. Each year the awards ceremony attracts 200+ high level attendees. Last year saw representatives from Baltic Tank, Exxon Mobil, Koole, Protanks, LBC, Oiltanking, ADPO, Vopak, Noord Natie, Vesta, Sea-Tank, ATPC, Saudi Aramco, ATB Terminal Malaysia, Shell, BP, PKN IL&FS, Fujairah Oil Terminal plus many more attend.
• Increased credibility – Representatives from BP, Shell Trading, LBC, Oiltanking, Vopak & Koole are on the judging panel for the awards. They will review all nominations received, meaning that even if you don't win – your company will still be showcased to industry leaders. See the judging panel here.
2018 winners at the Global Tank Storage Awards include Saudi Aramco, ATT Tanjung Bin (ATB) Terminal, Vopak, Emerson, Tristar Terminals Guam, Matrix and Implico.
The 2019 winners will be announced on March 26 in the Floating Pavilion, Rotterdam. Hosted by market leading publication, Tank Storage Magazine, the gala dinner & ceremony attracts 200+ terminal professionals each year, from as far as Saudi Arabia, India, Malaysia, South Africa, the US and all across Europe.
Gints Ādams, HSEQ manager at Ventspils Nafta Terminals says: 'At VNT, safety is paramount, and to win the Safety Excellence Award was something very special for us – everyone that works for VNT are proud to be part of this achievement. The nominations covered a variety of fields connected with the industry and this was a great opportunity to meet and talk with the best specialists in the industry and exchange views in a relaxed atmosphere.'
The event includes an all-inclusive drinks reception, a three-course dinner, captivating entertainment, a casino and much more. It is an exclusive opportunity to entertain clients & reward colleagues for their hard work throughout the year.
For more information on the awards, the categories, and how to nominate, visit www.tankstoragemag.com/awards.
Noble Midstream Partners has acquired equity interest in the EPIC Y-grade pipeline and the CPIC crude oil pipeline.
It has exercised and closed its option with EPIC Midstream Holdings to acquire 15% in the Y-grade pipeline. Additionally, Noble Energy has assigned Noble Midstream the option to acquire a 30% equity interest in the EPIC crude oil pipeline and Noble Midstream has exercised its option with EPIC.
Both pipelines are anticipated to be funded through project level debt as well as equity commitments from project partners. Noble Midstream’s total cash equity investment is expected to be $165 to $180 million for the EPIC Y-grade pipeline and $330 to $350 million for the EPIC crude oil pipeline.
The company says that the additional of meaningful Permian long-haul transportation to the portfolio provides a future source of stable and predictable cash flows for unitholders and that both investments are expected to have robust economics, with returns and build multiples that compete with the very best opportunity’s in its portfolio.
The EPIC Y-grade pipeline is a 700-mile pipeline linking NGL reserves in the Permian and Eagle Ford to Gulf Coast refiners, petrochemical companies and export markets. The EPIC crude oil pipeline has a current capacity of 590 million barrels per day from the Delaware Basin to the Gulf Coast.
Terry Gerhart, CEO of the general partner of Noble Midstream, says: ‘We are excited to work with our new partners and participate in the EPIC projects, capitalising on the growing demand for crude oil and NGL takeaway and export capability from the Permian Basin.
‘These additions are complementary to our existing portfolio, enhance our customer diversification, and will add a stable and high-quality source of cash flow from a premier US unconventional basin. In addition, Noble Midstream is uniquely positioned to realise value across the entirety of the crude oil value chain, from our wellhead gathering facilities in the Delaware Basin to long-haul transportation to the Gulf Coast.
Fabio Kuhn, founder of market intelligence & data analytics company Vortexa, explains how energy markets are rapidly increasing the use of data in their trading operations and why storage operators need to accelerate adoption of data into their processes
By 2020, data-driven businesses will gain $1.2 trillion annually over businesses within the same industry that don't have data at the core of their decision-making process, according to Forrester Research.
For the energy industry, including storage, the re-allocation of the pie is in the order of $24 billion per year – and this number is significantly accelerating. This means that those who are data-driven will be winners, and those who don't will lose out to the tune of $24 billion per year, a sobering thought.
Around 90% of global data has been generated in the last two years. According to this study done by IDC, the data also becomes increasingly real-time and embedded in devices, equipment and assets. For our industry, the increase in data has primarily come from satellites and the Internet of Things (IoT).
The space industry is going through their own revolution with lower costs of producing and launching satellites. More than 9,000 new satellites are launching in the next decade, up from 1500 in the last 10 years. The forecast from SpaceWorks for last year was 182 and ended up being more than 300. By 2022, the company is forecasting between 460-679 satellites launching.
I was in Silicon Valley a few weeks ago talking to some of our satellite partners and they told me those projections are still very conservative and they are probably going to exceed them again. Three years ago, the Earth's landmass was pictured in its entirety about twice a month on average. Less than six months ago, we started having images every day – some areas even twice a day. As a user, I could see a five-fold collapse in satellite data costs over the last two years.
The other major source of data and perhaps the biggest one is IoT. It is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and connectivity which enables these objects to connect and exchange data. The IoT world is growing at a breath-taking pace. According to Intel, we've come from two billion objects in 2006 to a projected 200 billion by 2020 - that will be around 26 smart objects for every human being on Earth.
Bill Braun, chief information officer of Chevron, was recently quoted by the FT saying that the volume of data the company handles has been doubling every 12-18 months. The expansion of its Tengiz oilfield in Kazakhstan, scheduled to start production in 2022, will include about one million sensors measuring the flow of oil, pressure and so on. This will become the norm not the exception in our industry.
The power of data in the storage industry becomes more prominent in commercial and operational activities – the effective optimisation of assets according to changes in supply and demand market conditions on time, product and location, significantly impacts the bottom-line.
Data's role in energy markets
Energy markets are changing fast. As a real-time, global view of seaborn cargos and flows of crude oil and refined products became available and achieved critical mass over the last year, together with daily tank storage figures worldwide, energy traders and operators have massively accelerated the use of data in their trading and optimisation decision-making processes. With a few exceptions, their counterparts in the storage industry are still in early stages of incorporating data as a core component of their decision-making processes – to their own detriment.
This paradigm shift is already defining the competitiveness of storage companies. Many times, the symptoms are not obvious in the moment, but they manifest gradually, contract by contract against better-informed energy traders who pay less than fair market value for storage given the current/forward supply and demand. Or conversely, contracts are lost when storage companies overvalue its capacity relative to market conditions, which are better understood by other asset operators and trading counterparts.
There is no status-quo. The longer organisations take to adapt the harder it gets to catch up, until it becomes impossible to. For those companies increasing the use of data as part of their operating model, there are immense opportunities ahead – this is your time.
Kuhn will be talking more about the impact data is having on energy and storage markets globally on the morning of the third day of the StocExpo Europe conference from March 26 - 28 at the Ahoy Rotterdam. For more information, visit www.stocexpo.com.
A proposed joint venture between Enbridge, Kinder Morgan and Oiltanking has submitted plans to construct and operate a deepwater crude oil export port off the coast of Freeport, Texas.
The Texas COLT project submitted an application with the US Maritime Administration for an offshore platform and two offshore loading single point mooring buoys capable of fully loading a two-million-barrel VLCC in 24 hours.
The offshore facilities will be connected by a 42 inch pipeline to an onshore tank facility that will have up to 15 million barrels of storage capacity.
The application submission starts the application process for the project, which is planned to be operational by 2022.
Blackstone Infrastructure Partners has entered into an agreement with Tallgrass, The Energy and Minerals Group and Kelso & Co to acquire controlling interest in Tallgrass Energy.
The agreement comprises the acquisition of 100% of the memberships interest in Tallgrass Energy's general partner as well as a 44% economic interest in Tallgrass for $3.3 billion. Affiliates of GIC, Singapore's sovereign wealth fund, will be a minority investor in the transaction.
Tallgrass president and CEO David Dehaemers says: 'Blackstone's scale, long-term capital, and investment expertise across the energy industry make it an ideal partner for our business as we continue to create value and invest capital in accretive growth opportunities. We appreciate the successful partnership we have had with Kelso and EMG since 2012 and thank them for their significant support.
Sean Klimczak, global head of infrastructure at Blackstone, adds: 'Tallgrass is managed by an exceptional team that has an outstanding track record of commercial, operational and financial success. This transaction represents a rare opportunity to invest in a large-scale US midstream infrastructure platform that connects high-production supply basins to key markets and is underpinned by a long-term contracts.'
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019.
ExxonMobil, Plains All American and Lotus Midstream have formed the Wink to Webster Pipeline joint venture, which will transport more than one million barrels of crude oil and condensate per day.
The joint venture has ordered nearly 650 miles of domestically sourced, 36-inch diameter line pipe. The system will be constructed from the Permian Basin in West Texas to the Texas Gulf Coast.
The Wink to Webster Texas-based pipeline system will be origin points at Wink and Midland to multiple locations near Houston, including Webster and Baytown, with connectivity to Texas City and Beaumont. The project is supported by a significant volume of long-term commitments and is targeted to start operations in the first half of 2021.
Plains will lead project construction and has already initiated pre-construction activities. Priority will be placed on utilising existing pipeline corridors and advanced construction techniques to help limit community and environmental impacts.
The project will be supported by new operational storage capacity at the origin points to facilitate the segregation of multiple crude qualities prior to shipment. Once operational, the project will play a critical role in supporting growing production in one of the world's most prolific crude oil basins.
Sunoco Pipeline has agreed to pay civil penalties, state enforcement costs and to implement corrective measures following three crude oil spills in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
The action is to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and state environmental laws by Sunoco and Mid-Valley Pipeline Company.
Under a proposed consent decree lodged in the US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Sunoco will pay the US $5 million in federal civil penalties for the Clean Water Act violations and pay the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality $4436,274.20 for civil penalties and response costs to resolve claims asserted in a complaint.
Additionally, Sunoco agreed to take actions to prevent future spills by identifying and remediating the types of problems that cause the prior spills. This includes performing pipeline inspections and repairing pipeline defects that could lead to future spills. Sunoco is also required to take steps to prevent and detect corrosion in pipeline segments that Sunoco is no longer using. Mid-Valley, the owner of the pipeline that spilled oil in Louisiana, is responsible, along with Sunoco, for payment of the civil penalties and state costs relating to the Louisiana spill.
Assistant attorney general Jeffrey Bossert Clark for the Justice Department's environmental and natural resources division says: 'This settlement holds Sunoco and Mid-Valley accountable for the harms to the environment cause by their oil spills and requires Sunoco to improve its environmental safety compliance for the oil pipelines that it operates in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
'This excellent result shows how a strong federal and state partnerships can bring about effective environmental enforcement to protect local communities in these states.'
The complaint alleges federal and state claims relating to three crude oil spills: a 2013 spill of 550 barrels in Tyler County, Texas; a 2014 spill of 4,500 barrels in Caddo Parish, near Mooringsport, Louisiana; and a 2015 spill of 40 barrels in Grant County, Oklahoma. The Texas spill affected Russell Creek, which flows to the Neches River. The Louisiana spill – the largest of the three – flowed to Tete Bayou, a tributary of Caddo Lake. The Oklahoma spill flowed into two creeks that flow to the Arkansas River, affecting an area of about a half a mile. All three spills were as a result of pipeline corrosion.
Chevron USA has signed a share purchase agreement with Petrobras America to acquire all outstanding shares and equity interests of the Pasadena Refining System for $350 million.
The transaction by the wholly owned subsidiary of Chevron Corporation includes the refinery in Texas and PRSI Trading. Assets include the refinery with a capacity to process 110,000 barrels per day of light crude, direct pipeline connections to increasing industry and equity crude oil production, connections to major product pipelines as well as waterborne access to receive and ship crude oil and refined products.
The 466-acre complex in Pasadena, Texas, comprises a 323-acre refinery including a tank farm with a storage capacity of 5.1 million barrels of crude oil and refined products, as well as 143 acres of additional land.
Pierre Breber, executive vice president of Chevron downstream & chemicals, says: 'This expansion of our Gulf Coast refining system enables Chevron to process more domestic light crude, supply a portion of our retail market in Texas and Louisiana with Chevron-produced products, and realise synergies through coordination with our refinery in Pascagoula.'
The acquisition will add to the refining network of CUSA, which includes a refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi, two facilities in California, in El Segundo and Richmond, and the Salt Lake refinery in Utah.
ExxonMobil has started construction on a new crude unit at its Beaumont, Texas refinery that will increase crude refining capacity by 250,000 barrels per day.
The third crude unit within the facility's existing footprint will expand light crude oil refining, supported by the increased crude oil production in the Permian Basin.
Startup of the new unit is anticipated by 2022.
Bryan Milton, president of ExxonMobil fuels and lubricants company, says: 'With access to terminals, railways, pipelines and waterways nearby, the Beaumont refinery is strategically positioned to benefit from Permian production growth.
'The additional of a third crude unit in Beaumont will enhance the refinery's competitive position and truly establish it as a leader in the US refining industry.'
The company previously announced plans to build and expand manufacturing facilities in the US Gulf region as part of its Growing the Gulf initiative. This initiative includes expansion of Beaumont's polyethylene capacity by 65%, a new unit in Beaumont that increases production of ultra-low sulphur fuels, a new 1.5 million tonne-per-year ethane cracker at the company's integrated Baytown chemical and refining complex in Texas.
ExxonMobil and SABIC have also created a new joint venture to advance development of the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project, a 1.8 million metric tonne ethane cracker currently planned for construction in San Patricio County, Texas.
As of Monday, January 28 total oil product stocks in Fujairah stood at 21.397 million barrels. Inventory levels rose by 5.2% week on week.
Stocks of light distillates saw a hike of 14.6% week on week to hit a record 11.975 million barrels. This is the highest recorded level since stock reporting began in January 2017, the previous record high was seen on November 5, 2018 when 10.84 million barrels were recorded. The gasoline market was characterised as being chronically oversupplied, with stock builds in the US and Singapore in recent weeks piling downward pressure on the market. Gasoline cracks in Asia remained in negative territory with the FOB Singapore 92 RON gasoline crack spread to front-month ICE Brent futures assessed at minus $1.66/b at the Asian close on Monday.
Stocks of middle distillates slumped by 14.5% week on week to 1.269 million barrels. This is the second lowest level recorded, with stocks last lower on December 4, 2017. Overall the market was seen as largely range bound for gasoil across Asia. 'The market is [moving] so sideways,' a gasoil trader said Tuesday. In addition, with the Lunar Year upcoming this was expected to lead to a fall in market activity across parts of Asia in the days ahead.
Stocks of heavy residues fell by 3.1% week on week to 8.153 million barrels. Overall supply for bunkers in Fujairah remained ample while demand was muted in the port, traders noted in recent days. The discount between the port and Singapore seen in recent weeks remained. The spread between Fujairah and Singapore delivered bunkers was seen at $17/mt on Tuesday.
The deadline for the Global Tank Storage Awards is just under three weeks away, with entries closing on February 15.
The awards, which are free to enter, celebrate excellence, safety and innovation in the industry, with the award categories relating to terminal achievements, equipment innovations, ports and individual success.
Entry is free and winning an award is an excellent way of boosting brand awareness, attracting new customers and recognising and rewarding the hard work employees put in.
All categories except for the Outstanding Achievement Award will be judged by an independent panel of industry leaders from companies such as Shell, BP, Oiltanking, Inter Terminals, VTTI, Vopak and Koole.
The award categories are:
- Biggest Commitment to Environmental Protection Award
- Safety Excellence in Bulk Liquid Storage Award
- Most Efficient Storage Terminal Award
- Best Port Award
- Employee of the Year Award
- Outstanding Terminal Safety Technology Award
- Excellence in Terminal Optimisation
- Excellence in Environmental Protection Award
- Most Innovative Technology
- Best Terminal Supplier
2018 winners include Saudi Aramco, ATT Tanjung Bin (ATB) Terminal, Vopak Emerson, Tristar Terminals Guam, Matrix and Implico.
The winners will be announced at the annual awards ceremony and gala dinner on March 26 at the Floating Pavilion, Rotterdam. Award winners will not only be celebrated at the ceremony itself they will also be recognised throughout the year. Winners will be profiled in Tank Storage Magazine, promoted at all Easyfairs events and will be given a 'Winners logo' to use on all marketing material for the following year.
The event, hosted by Tank Storage Magazine, attracts more than 200 terminal professionals globally. includes an all-inclusive drinks reception, a three-course dinner, captivating entertainment, a casino and much more.
The Global Tank Storage Awards ceremony is always exciting,' says Sandra De Mey, commercial manager, North Sea Port. 'This year we were really proud to win the Best Port Award, which has given us a significant amount of international recognition and media attention.'
For more information and to nominate in on of the categories, visit www.tankstoragemag.com/awards.