Latest storage news
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.
Fujairah's commercial stocks of refined oil products was 18.982 million barrels in the week to Monday, September 18, almost flat on the week after edging down by just 1,000 barrels.
The stocks have remained below 20 million barrels for a fourth consecutive week since large-scale refinery shutdowns in Texas related to Hurricane Harvey rocked global oil products markets, data released Wednesday, September 20 by the Fujairah Energy Data Committee showed.
The lack of movement in total oil product inventories at the UAE Arabian Sea port, however, masked significant changes in stock levels for light and middle distillates. Stocks of light distillates, predominantly petrol and naphtha, rose by 407,000 barrels, or 7.7%, to 5.709 million barrels, rebounding to a four-week high after falling 6.7% the previous week. Nonetheless, they have remained below 6 million barrels for the past four weeks, sharply down from nearly 6.8 million barrels in the week ended August 21. The global impact of supply disruptions from Hurricane Harvey have eased substantially since the beginning of September, when petrol supplies were moving west from the Middle East, drawn by hurricane-related shortfalls in the US combined with an unexpected short-term supply disruption in western Europe following a fire at a major refinery. But petrol cracks in Asia, Europe and the US have now reverted to pre-Harvey levels.
Fundamentals in the East of Suez petrol markets are currently seen as balanced, with steady supply against firm demand from Indonesia, Vietnam and the Middle East. The first/second month structure for Arab Gulf Gasoline 95 swaps was little changed on the week at a backwardation of $1.15/mt Tuesday. Fujairah stocks of middle distillates fell 596,000 barrels, or 19.7%, on the week to 2.424 million barrels following an 11.2% draw the previous week. Their level as of September 18 was the lowest since the beginning of Fujairah weekly stocks reporting in early January. The second lowest total of 2.481 million barrels was reported for the week ended June 5.
With available supplies to Europe from the US reduced, the east-west Gasoil Exchange of Futures for Swaps (EFS) has widened to below minus $20/mt recently from minus $10/mt in early September, indicating an open arbitrage window for Asian and Middle East gasoil cargoes to Europe. Supply from the Persian Gulf region and India could remain tight until US supply recovers.
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 a modest 188,000 barrels, or 1.8%, to 10.849 million barrels, countering a slight dip the previous week. Demand for bunkers in Fujairah has been mostly steady in recent weeks, Asian sources said. Fujairah 380 CST delivered bunkers continued to be priced at a discount to Singapore, although the gap had narrowed to $3/mt Tuesday from $5.50/mt a week earlier.
Reduced fuel arrivals at Singapore are expected in October, while bunker demand there is seen as robust. The first/second month structure for Arab Gulf 180 CST high-sulfur fuel oil (HSFO) swaps strengthened to a backwardation of $2.25/mt Tuesday, tracking the firmer sentiment in the Singapore market.
Valero Energy and Plains All American Pipeline are terminating plans for an acquisition of two petroleum storage terminals in California owned by Plains.
Despite the Federal Trade Commission electing not to pursue any regulatory action regarding the transaction, the Office of the Attorney General for the State of California filed a suit seeking to block the transaction.
The District Court for the Northern District of California denied the motion for a temporary restraining order and its motion for a preliminary injunction.
However, both companies decided 'it is in their best interest to terminate the transaction rather than endure the continued uncertainty that a lengthy trial would create for the California-based employees and customers of the terminals, as well as the considerable expense associated with defending a taxpayer-funded lawsuit.'
Linde Engineering Dresden, Linde AG, engineering division has awarded SA Fire Protection a contract for deluge skids at the Braskem La Porte Polypropylene Plant in Houston.
SA Fire will provide engineering, design, manufacturing, testing, inspection, accessories for commissioning, start up and maintenance of the skids at the plant, which is set to become the largest polypropylene production line in North America by more than doubling annual production at the site.
The skids will be equipped with UL listed electro-pneumatic deluge valves in nickel aluminium bronze manufactured by SA Fire with a special configuration trim to meet the high specification skid design.
The system design was developed to meet US regulations and to cope with local requirements. With the project engineering taking place in Cascina, Pisa and the manufacturing taking place at the factory in San Pier Niceto, SA Fire Protection will be taking advantage of its resources across two centres of excellence. The collaboration between Linde Engineering and SA Fire protection is a good fit as both companies have competencies in customised processes for the oil and gas industry. The project marks an important point as SA Fire further penetrates both the north European and the North American market.
Jurong Port Tank Terminals (JPTT), the joint venture between Jurong Port and Oiltanking, has been launched.
The facility, on 16 hectares of land in the port, has a total capacity of 480,000 m3 and caters for the storage and trading of clean petroleum products.
It is connected via pipelines to the Jurong Island petroleum and petrochemical network and is supported by four jetties with a draft of up to 17.6 meters capable of handling vessels up to 180,000 DWT.
Work on the facility started in May 2017 and is on track to be completed by 2019.
Douglas van der Wiel, president of Oiltanking Asia Pacific, says: 'Asia continues to be a driver of global consumption of petroleum products. This growth in demand will further underscore product flows into South-East Asia through the Straits and the necessity for supporting infrastructure. JPTT can and will meet that demand.
'JPTT will be a valued addition to Oiltanking's overall strategic position in the Straits. Through the pipeline connectivity to Oiltanking Singapore, JPTT and Oiltanking will further strengthen the integrated terminal network concept and overall value offering to the market.'
Ooi Boon Hoe, CEO of Jurong Port and chairman of JPTT, says that the facility is part of the port's strategic vision of becoming a world-class multipurpose port operator through the development and expansion of its operating capabilities.
He adds: 'We expected that JPTT will play a meaningful role in reinforcing Singapore's international maritime, energy and chemicals hub status.'
The largest open access LPG import and storage facility in Africa has been launched in Saldanha Bay, Western Cape.
The Sunrise Energy terminal will advance the development of the oil and gas sector in the region and the company will enable the import of LPG in large quantities, boost regional energy security and increase downstream competition.
The R1.02 billion facility is a private sector partnership between Mining, Oil and Gas Services and the Industrial Development Corporation.
The facility has a throughput capacity of 200,000 metric tonnes of LPG per annum.
Albertinah Kekana, MOGS executive chairperson, says: ‘Sunrise Energy is a world-class facility that will drive the availability of much needed LPG on an open access basis.’
Rubis Terminal's segment has experienced an 11% storage revenues growth according to the company's first half financial results.
Its storage activity reported growth of 35% as a result of the full integration of Rubis Terminal Petrol, in Turkey. However, activity measured as revenue incorporating 100% of the scope assets grew by 11%, representing flows across all products of 7.3 million tonnes.
Each region (France, Northern Europe and Turkey) experienced growth, with Northern Europe up by 27%, reflecting the increase in capacity at the end of 2016. Turkey experienced strong growth in flows from and to northern Iraq, while France's growth was driven by oil revenues.
Across the board, the company experienced robust growth, reflected by an 8% increase in the overall sales volume at constant scope.
World energy consumption is expected to increase by 28% by 2040, with natural gas being the fastest growing fossil fuel.
According to the US Energy Information Administration International Energy Outlook 2017, most of the growth in energy demand will take place in countries outside of the OECD. China and the other non-OECD Asia nations account for more than 60% of the projected increase in world energy demand.
The report projects renewables as the world's fastest-growing energy source – increasing by 2.3% per year through to 2040. However, fossil fuels still account for more than three quarters of world energy use.
Petroleum and other liquids remain the largest source of energy, however, the liquid fuels share of world marketed energy consumption falls from 33% in 2012 to 31% in 2040. As oil prices rise, energy consumers are expected to turn to more energy-efficient technologies and switch away from liquid fuels where possible.
Global natural gas consumption is expected to grow by 1.4% per year from 2015 to 2040.
Ian Mead, EIA's assistant administrator for energy analysis, says: 'Transportation energy use rises by nearly 30%, with almost all of the growth coming from non-OECD countries, as personal incomes rise and energy markets in many of these nations' rapidly growing economies become further integrated into global supply chains.'
ArcLight Capital Partners has acquired a 30% interest in a refined products pipeline system.
The company, through one of its affiliates, acquired the stake in the entity that owns the Olympic Pipeline from ARCO Midcon, an affiliate of BP Pipelines (North America).
The pipeline spans 400 miles across the states of Washington and Oregon. BP Pipelines (North America) will continue to operate the pipeline under a multi-year operating agreement.
This follows a joint venture between ArcLight and BP to enter into a joint venture across two large-scale refined product terminals that are interconnected to the pipeline.
In connection with the transaction, ArcLight has granted TransMontaigne Partners a right of first offer to purchase ArcLight's interest in the entity that owns the pipeline.
The next phase of LBC Tank Terminals' project to improve jetty and land infrastructure in Rotterdam is due to be completed by mid-August 2018.
Project Rainbow aims to triple the current capacity and significantly improve jetty and land infrastructure at its Botlek facility. So far, the upper jetty structure has been delivered and installed and the hose tower has been installed on top of the structure.
The company plans to have the seagoing jetty operation at the beginning of November. Once this has been achieved it will then remove the old jetty to allow free access to the barge jetty.
The next phase will add another seagoing and barge jetty, which, once complete, will double its current jetty capacity.
The company says in an update: 'With the completion of this project our storage capacity will have tripled and not only will we have added seagoing and state-of-the-art barge jetties to our terminal, but these jetties will reduce waiting times at our quay to an absolute minimum such that we can safely serve our customers while maintaining optimum operational excellence standards.
Magellan Midstream Partners and Valero Energy are jointly expanding a Houston marine storage facility currently under construction.
The facility, along the Houston Ship Channel in Texas, will be owned by a limited liability company that is owned 50/50 by Magellan and Valero. It will initially include five million barrels of storage, truck loading facilities and two proprietary ship docks.
The first phase of the facility, comprising one million barrels of storage and a new marine dock, is currently being built.
It will now be expanded by an incremental four million barrels of storage, a three-bay tuck rack and a second marine dock capable of handling Aframax-sized vessels with up to a 45-foot draft. Once this expansion phase is complete, the Pasadena facility will be connected via pipeline to Valero's refineries in Houston and Texas City and the Colonial and Explorer pipelines, in addition to the already planned connection to Magellan's Galena Park terminal facility.
Both phases of the facility are estimated to cost $820 million and both are fully contracted with long-term customer commitments. The terminal will handle petroleum products, including multiple grades of petrol, diesel and jet fuel as well as renewable fuels.
The first phase is expected to be operational in early 2019, and phase two is expected to come on-line in early 2020.
Michael Mears, chairman, president and CEO of Magellan, says: 'Demand for refined products from the Gulf Coast continues to grow, and together, we are well-positioned to continue expanding our marine capabilities to meet this demand from both domestic and international markets.'
Additionally, if warranted by additional demand, the new facility could be expanded to include an incremental five million barrels of storage, another three docks and expanded truck loading capacity.
Fujairah's commercial stocks of refined oil products fell 4.2% to 18.983 million barrels in the week to Monday (September 11), remaining below 20 million barrels for a third week since large-scale refinery shutdowns in Texas related to Hurricane Harvey sent shock waves through global oil products markets.
Light and middle distillate stocks fell a combined 760,000 barrels, or 8.4%, to their lowest levels in around three months, while heavy distillates and residues, which account for more than half the total oil product stocks at the UAE port were almost flat, as they have been since mid-August, data released Wednesday (September 13) by the Fujairah Energy Data Committee showed.
Stocks of light distillates, predominantly petrol and naphtha, fell 378,000 barrels, or 6.7%, to 5.302 million barrels - a 12-week low. That was despite the receding impact of Hurricane Harvey, the aftermath of which resulted early this month in a strong draw of European petrol across the Atlantic to meet short US shortfalls, consequently also pulling Middle East petrol stocks west of Suez in the week ended September 4.
In the meantime, Fujairah's total light distillate stocks are also responding to price movements in Asian petrochemicals markets, which has meant a poor correlation in the past two weeks between their overall level and those of European petrol stocks. The premium of LPG - a propane-heavy mix of gas liquids used for cooking, heating and as petrochemical feedstock - is expected to last for the remainder of this year on winter heating demand.
ARBITRAGE WINDOW REOPENS
Fujairah stocks of middle distillates fell a substantial 11.2% on the week - a 382,000 barrel draw to a 14-week low of 3.02 million barrels. In Europe, gasoil stocks were at relatively low levels due to autumn refinery maintenance in the region coupled with continued shortages of US supplies due to hurricane-related refinery and port disruptions. This has finally resulted in more Middle East gasoil cargoes moving to Europe in response to European prices reaching levels sufficient to overcome the deterrent of high freight rates.
LITTLE MOVEMENT IN HEAVY STOCKS
Fujairah's stocks of heavy distillates and residues dipped by 73,000 barrels in the week ending September 11, edging down by 0.7% to 10.661 million barrels - a fourth consecutive week below 11 million barrels. Demand for bunkers in both Fujairah and Singapore has been healthy over the past week. Prices for Fujairah 380 CST delivered bunker fuel, however, slipped further relative to Singapore, with discounts widening to about $5.5/mt from $3.75/mt the previous week.
The Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm has signed an agreement with Boskalis Westminster for the construction of the liquid bulk berth project at Duqm Port.
The OMR 199.1 million agreement stipulates that Boskalis will carry out detailed engineering designs, construction of marine infrastructure and dredging and reclamation works, while Worley Parsons Engineering will oversee the engineering and construction works of the project.
Works will include the excavation of 26 million m3 of material for the deepening of the basin and track channel at the port, which leads to the liquid dock to reach 18 meters.
Additionally, a secondary wave breakwater will be developed, along with a 1 kilometre quay wall.
Once the berth is complete, oil tanks for bulk materials and warehouses will be built by Duqm Refinery on the reclaimed land, to export refined products from Duqm Refinery and petrochemical industries area.
The berth will be able to handle naphtha, jet fuel, diesel, high sulfur fuel oil, LPG, coke and sulfur.
VTTI Energy Partners' unitholders have agreed plans to merge with VTTI.
Once complete, VTTI will become an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of VTTI. 98.75% of VTTI Energy Partners' common units and 100% of its subordinated units voted at the special meeting in favour of the adoption and approval of the merger agreement and the subsequent transactions.
The merger is expected to close on September 15.
Manga LNG Oy's LNG terminal project is progressing on schedule following a ceremony to lay the base stone.
Construction of the facility, located in the port of Röyttäs, will continue through autumn, after earth moving works were completed during the summer ready for the foundation of the terminal.
It is hoped that the roof structure of the tank will be installed before the winter.
The €100 million terminal, which is due to be completed in early 2018, comprises reception, discharging and filling stations for LNG ships, a 50,000 m3 tank as well as a pipeline and a car terminal for LNG tankers.
The import terminal is a joint venture between Outopumpu Oyi, SSAB Oy, Skangas and EPV Energia Oy.