Latest storage news
Tallgrass Energy and Drexel Hamilton Infrastructure plan to build a crude oil export storage terminal on the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish.
The terminal is permitted for up to 20 million barrels of crude oil storage and could be fully operational by mid-2020.
The Plaquemines Liquids Terminal is planned as a public-private partnership with multiple deepwater docks along the river to be furnished by Plaquemines Port Harbour & Terminal District. The docking facilities will provide terminal operators with the ability to load and unload larger capacity vessels now using the recently expanded Panama Canal.
It will be fed by a pipeline with the capacity to transport up to 800,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Cushing, Oklahoma to Louisiana. Tallgrass Energy also plans to build an offshore pipeline extension to give the terminal project the added capability of loading VLCCs.
It is estimated that the pipeline and terminal project will represent a $2.5 billion capital investment.
David G. Dehaemers Jr, president and CEO of Tallgrass Energy, says: 'A public-private partnership is the ideal way to develop a project like the proposed Plaquemines Liquids Terminal. Tallgrass Energy is delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Plaquemines Port Harbour & Terminal District and to contribute positively to the economic health of the parish and the state of Louisiana.'
Plaquemines Port chairman Charlie Burt adds: 'We are an oil and gas parish and it's exciting that some of our job losses on the exploration and production side can be replaced by new facilities that store, blend and export crude oil around the world.'
Zhang Weiliang, CEO of UAV company Avetics Global, explains how the use of drones & automation are increasingly becoming part of the future for tank storage maintenance
The concept of using a drone to inspect a storage tank is a concept often mentioned in the storage industry, and several potential means of implementing the technology have been explored. However, as with all technologies, there is always a risk that an attempt to solve too many problems with a single product would end up as a solution in search of a problem to solve. New technologies are only viable when the technology developer has a thorough understanding of challenges encountered during operations.
Avetics Global, a UAV company with extensive history performing high-detail aerial inspection services for oil majors, building managers and ship owners, has built and optimised a drone with a single objective in mind: to provide high-quality comprehensive coverage of the internal surfaces of a storage tank so that clients can save time, money and workat-height risk when conducting maintenance operations of their assets.
Using the Aquila drone, clients can perform a 100% visual inspection of a tank within a single day, generating high-detail photography of the entire tank inner surface with no interruptions and all archived for easy referencing.
IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEMS
Maintaining the condition of storage tanks is of critical importance to the modern economy. As tank farms get older, the list of things to be checked for expands as well. The consequences of a storage tank failure from contamination, fire, loss or other types of damages can be severe, thus necessitating an expanding list of inspection and maintenance requirements.
With so many potential problems needing to be solved, it has become necessary for asset owners and inspection companies to temper expectations. It becomes clear not all problems are equal in severity, and some problems are more suited to using drones to solve than other issues.
Feedback from tank asset owners has been crucial in identifying which problems require greater attention, as well as the deficiencies of existing solutions. Commercial off the shelf solutions (COTS) provide some benefit to clients, but other problems are introduced as well which ultimately negate the potential utility of said COTS solutions. It is by focusing on those specific problems that Avetics has been able to develop the Aquila in-tank inspection drone.
Built specifically to address these problems, the Avetics Aquila is a semi-autonomous confined-space drone designed to perform internal inspection of oil tanks, representing the culmination of two years of research and development by the Singaporean UAV company.
The Avetics Aquila provides close range visual intelligence at reduced risk to operators, generating an uninterrupted and unobstructed stabilised live feed with position localisation thanks to on-board lasers. Unhindered by radio interference, the Aquila can quickly and safely obtain high quality location-contextualised images in the challenging environment of the inside of the tank.
Avetics has focused on developing a UAV that can deliver an uninterrupted live video feed to the operator on the ground, and the additional benefit from the high-endurance Aquila is that a 100% high-detail inspection of a tank can be conducted within a single day.
Moreover, the images recorded cover the totality of the tank surfaces, offering complete coverage of the tank condition for audit and record keeping.
REAPING IMMEDIATE BENEFITS
By using the Aquila solution, Avetics can entirely reduce the need for erecting scaffolding just to gather information. An inspector can get stabilised, uninterrupted video, and identify areas of key interest. This ability to pinpoint areas requiring attention in such a short timespan means that asset owners can reduce the time needed to shut down the asset to perform maintenance work, increasing overall site utilisation rates as a result.
SOWING FOR THE FUTURE
In this modern technological era, it is easy to get caught up in the exciting possibilities of new technologies. Avetics has leveraged on extensive experience performing UAV engineering and flight services to understand both the limitations of current technology and what is required to overcome said limitations going forward.
As parallel technologies evolve to expand the list of solutions that can be used in conjunction with drones, Avetics has explored the viability of mounting said solutions onto the aircraft.
With the ability to integrate new technologies in-house within the Avetics facility, Avetics can solicit feedback from clients on the potential utility of new technologies either develop in-house or ready to be integrated into current or future versions of the Aquila aircraft.
RESULTS OVER NOVELTY
Cheaper, faster, safer: This is what is commonly heard when new technologies are being rolled out for use within tank terminals. What is often overlooked is ‘as good as current solutions’, for there is no value in a solution with no problem to solve. So long as something already meets those requirements, then it is a solution that can be rolled out immediately.
Focusing only on the idealised end state with a vision of drones and other automation solutions doing everything in the yard will only inhibit the uptake of currently viable technological solutions. In a competitive marketplace with expanding demand for storage solutions and a pressing need to ensure that asset maintenance procedures are carried out in a cost-effective manner, it is in the benefit of asset owners to start reaping the benefits of current technologies.
There is no sense in delaying technological adoption while waiting for the perfect future, when the present technologies already offer great solutions.
Zhang will be speaking on the future of drones at storage terminals on the first day of the Tank Storage Asia conference at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore on September 26 - 27. For more information visist: www.tankstorageasia.com
Total will sell its 26% minority equity stake in Hazira LNG regasification terminal in India to Shell.
Additionally, Total has signed an agreement to sell 0.5 million tonnes of LNG per year to Shell over five years, on a delivery basis to supply the markets of Indian and neighbouring countries. The deliveries will be sourced from Total's global LNG portfolio and are expected to begin in 2019.
Philippe Sauquet, president, gas renewables and power at Total, says: 'This deal enables Total to capture value through an asset disposal, while the LNG sales contract allows us to maintain the balance of our LNG portfolio.
'We remain committed to supply the Indian subcontinent, which is a key market experiencing strong growth in LNG demand.'
India will overtake China as the world's oil demand driver by 2024.
According to Wood Mackenzie, India's oil demand is expected to grow by 3.5 million barrels per day from 2017 to 2035, accounting for one-third of global oil demand growth.
This demand is driven by rising income levels, an expanding middle class and a growing need for mobility.
However, the country only has a project 400,000 b/d of firm refinery capacity addition to 2023, which suggests that supply will fail to keep up with demand growth.
Sushant Gupta, research director at Wood Mackenzie says that Indian public sector undertakings or refineries owned by national oil companies will become short on transport fuels at least until the 1.2 million b/d mega refinery, a JV among India PSUs, Saudi Aramco and ADNOC, comes online.
'We think India would need between 3.2 million b/d and 4.7 million b/d of new capacity out to 2035 to remain self-sufficient in transport fuels. So, we are talking about a future capacity which is 1.7 to 2.0 times the current.
'This is clearly an uphill task, unless domestic refiners can commit to their planned capacity additions.'
However, there are several risks to these new refinery projects, namely uncertainties around oil demand. Factors such as GDP growth, road infrastructure developments, electrification of the transports sector and fuel efficiency improvements, could have very different implications for oil demand.
Crude oil production in the US could surpass the highest record set in 1970 driven by tight oil.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that US crude oil production will average 10.7 million barrels per day in 2018 and 11.7 million b/d in 2019. If both are realised these levels would surpass the previous record of 9.6 million b/d set in 1970.
The Permian region in western Texas and eastern New Mexico is expected to account for more than half of the growth in crude oil production through 2019.
The EIA expects Permian region production to average 3.3 million b/d in 2018 and 3.9 million b/d in 2019. It says: 'Although favourable geology combined with technological and operational improvements have contributed to the Permian region becoming one of the more economically favourable regions for crude oil production in the US, recent pipeline capacity constraints have dampened wellhead prices for the region's oil producers. Lower wellhead prices in the region are contributing to slower growth in Permian crude oil production in 2019 compared with 2018.'
It forecasts that the Bakken region will hit record-high production in 2018, averaging 1.3 million b/d and growing to 1.4 million b/d in 2019. In Eagle Fore it expects production will increase by 105,000 b/d from 2018 to 2019 to average 1.5 million b/d.
The CLH Group has investment more than €22 million in research and development projects to improve the safety, efficiency and sustainability of their activities.
Investments over the past three years include the 'Lean' methodology, to enhance the quality and efficiency of processes as well as renovations to its Pipeline Control Centre, including a new version of SCADA, a computer programme that allows the company to manage its pipeline network via satellite.
This new version is more streamlined, has a greater storage capacity and provides significant improvements in the management of pipelines.
Another initiative has been the way the company adapts its activities in installations to develop a segregated storage model, with the aim of expanding services to meet market demands. This model allows the company to store bulk liquid that cannot be entered into the undifferentiated system due to its specific characteristics.
Other initiatives include the digitalisation of installations, a new system for asset management as well as a unique management system for operational safety, implemented by CLH Aviation.
As of Monday, August 20, total oil product stocks in Fujairah stood at 18.098 million barrels – down by 2.5% week on week.
Stocks of light distillates rose by 11.5% week on week to 5.41 million barrels. Regional supply balances have been tightened by the recent force majeure on petrol exports by India's Reliance. This was due to an unplanned FCC unit shutdown at its Jamnagar refinery. Reliance is India's largest exporter of petrol and other oil products, and reduced supply from India could lead the Middle East to source additional petrol from Europe. Sources noted a fixture by Saudi Aramco to lift 60,000 mt of petrol via ship-to-ship transfer from Suez to Jeddah, loading August 27. This would add to West of Suez petrol slated to land in the Middle East. Up to six LR1 tankers, which typically ship 60,000 mt parcels of petrol, were slated to bring in European petrol to the Arab Gulf, sources said.
Stocks of middle distillates rose by 6.5% week on week to 3.749 million barrels. Sentiment in the gasoil market has been bullish due to the Reliance force majeure, although there has been no indication of any impact on gasoil or jet supplies. Gasoil balances are expected to tighten over the next few months from the likes of India, Thailand and Vietnam as seasonal demand pickups with the end of the rainy season in late-September and October. Elsewhere, jet fuel market participants were concerned about the Middle Eastern and Indian spot market, with economics to move cargoes either East or West of Suez remaining unattractive. 'Arbitrage economics to the West is no good, and not good to the East too,' a Singapore-based trader said
Stocks of heavy distillates and residues fell by 3.8% week on week to 8.939 million barrels. Bunker activity in Fujairah was quiet this week due to Eid holidays. Fujairah has seen healthy bunker demand in recent weeks, due in part to lower prices compared to Singapore. But a softer Singapore market has seen a sharp narrowing in that differential over the past week. Delivered 380 CST bunker prices in Fujairah were assessed at 50 cents/ mt below Singapore yesterday, down from a spread of around $9/mt a week ago.
Meanwhile, the Reliance FCC outage may have some knock-on effect on Fujairah's bunker market. Reliance typically sells one to two 40,000-mt cargoes of FCC bottoms, which is referred to as carbon black feedstock, or CBFS, traders said. This product typically heads to Fujairah where it is used as a cutter stock to make RMG grade 380 CST bunker fuel. The feedstock typically has a sulfur content of 1.3%-2.8% and viscosity range from 160 CST to 380 CST, according to the traders. 'Fujairah may have to find a substitute for this feedstock from Europe,' a Singapore-based trader said.
Getka Energy has bought the former Pacer Energy Terminal in Cushing, Oklahoma.
The facility on 28-acres of land contains crude oil storage tanks and several LACT units and is connected to Enterprise Products' Cushing terminal via pipeline.
The crude oil & logistics provide plans to upgrade the terminal to allow for increased throughput and delivery into the Enterprise terminal and other planned interconnections. Upgrades are expected to take several months, and the company anticipates it will bring the terminal back into service at the end of the fourth quarter 2018.
To allow for these upgrades and expansions, Getka is buying an additional 22 acres in adjoining acreage to bring the company's total footprint in Cushing to 50 acres.
It will serve as the foundation of the company's ongoing development of a hub at the Cushing market centre. Getka's goal is to develop a hub-and-spoke platform of integrated assets that work together to create efficient access to producing basins and expand market delivery and optionality.
The company was formed in early 2018 and is backed by a $250 million commitment from EnCap Flatrock Midstream. It is focused on storage, blending and terminal solutions and is headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Getka Energy CEO Dariusz Cichocki says: 'This is the first step in Getka's broad strategy to develop a new and sophisticated crude oil delivery platform across Oklahoma.
'We are looking to add to Cushing's value and rich history, and we are extremely excited to bring new customers, a unique and enhanced terminal design, and optionality for our customers and the market.'
StocExpo Europe 2019 is set to be an extra special one as the event celebrates 15 years of being the market leading conference & exhibition in the sector.
And to celebrate the event is launching even more initiatives. For the first time, the 2019 edition will incorporate a hosted buyer scheme, bring in terminal operators from across the globe.
Also new for 2019 is fact that the conference will be held within the exhibition hall.
Nick Powell, StocExpo & Tank Storage divisional director, explains: 'We've invested more than ever into the 2019 edition of StocExpo Europe.
'In tough market conditions, it's crucial that companies find new customers, spend time with existing clients & seek out new ways to stay ahead of the competition. StocExpo Europe allows people do all this in the most time-effective way possible.
'By having a custom-built conference room on the show floor, we can maximise the amount of time conference delegates have to explore the exhibition.
'The event is 100% dedicated to the tank storage sector so exhibitors and visitors know immediately that everyone in that room is relevant to them.'
Additionally, in 2019 shuttle buses will run to StocExpo Europe from Antwerp. 'We understand that every day work sometimes gets in the way of attending an exhibition,' Powell explains. 'So regular shuttle buses will make it as easy as possible for terminal professionals in Antwerp to attend the event.'
Other initiatives returning for 2019 include the complimentary EEMUA workshop, late night opening, breakfast seminars, complimentary iTanks Innovation in Storage sessions, the start-up zone and the Global Tank Storage Awards.
StocExpo Europe will celebrate its 15th birthday during the late-night opening on day two of the show. 'We are really looking forward to celebrating with all our loyal partners and supporters.
'By keeping the exhibition open later, we are able to welcome additional visitors who would usually be working during the day.
Powell adds: 'But perhaps the biggest celebration will be with our key exhibitors, many of whom have exhibited with us from the beginning.
'Some of the exhibitors, the likes of: Protego, HMT, Emerson, Endress + Hauser, J de Jonge, Rotork, Toptech, Silverwing, Axflow, Scully, Vacono, Rosen, Emco Wheaton, Oreco, WLT, Protectoseal, Agidens, OPW, CTS, Verwater, to name a few, have been here since the very first event and have absolutely been instrumental in helping us shape and grow such a great industry event'.
The show will be returning to the Ahoy, Rotterdam
StocExpo Europe will be returning to Ahoy, Rotterdam from March 26-28, 2019. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.stocexpo.com.
Contanda Terminals will construct a new, large-capacity storage terminal on its property along the Houston Ship Channel as part of plans to expand into the petrochemical and hydrocarbon markets.
The new terminal – Contanda Houston Jacintoport Terminal – will provide up to three million barrels of additional petrochemical and hydrocarbon storage capacity. It will be located at the company's Jacintoport terminal site, on the Contanda Steel location, which the company acquired at the end of 2016.
The expansion will add a third Houston-based bulk liquid storage facility to the company's portfolio. In addition to the storage capacity, it will have a deep-water ship dock, two barge docks along with truck and rail infrastructure.
Work is expected to start in October and it is expected to be operational during the fourth quarter 2019.
G.R 'Jerry' Cardillo, president and CEO of Contanda, says: 'This expansion builds on our already established presence for our Houston-based markets.
'This project meets the growing needs of our customers who have requested additional storage and logistics services to support their growth initiatives. The new Contanda Houston Jacintoport Terminal will strengthen our position as a leading storage provider in our growing, renewable, petrochemicals and hydrocarbons markets and allow us to continue our growth platform in and around the Houston Ship Channel.'
Plains All American Pipeline and Magellan Midstream Partners will sell a 50% interest in BridgeTex Pipeline Company for $1.438 billion.
OMERS, the defined pension plan for municipal employees in Ontario, Canada will acquire a 30% interest from Plains and a 20% interest from Magellan, with both companies each receiving a proportionate share of the total purchase price.
Once the transaction is closed, OMERS will own a 50% interest, Plains will retain a 20% interest and Magellan will continue to operate the pipeline and own a 30% interest.
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018.
BridgeTex owns the pipeline, a 400,000 barrel per day crude oil pipeline system that extends from Colorado City in West Texas to Houston.
It delivers volumes into Magellan's East Houston terminal and Magellan's Houston crude oil distribution system with connection to refineries in Houston and Texas City as well as to marine export capabilities via Magellan's Seabrook Logistics joint venture terminal. BridgeTex pipeline capacity is being expanded to 440,000 barrels per day by early 2019.
Michael Ryder, senior managing director, Americas, for OMERS Infrastructure, says: 'The addition of BridgeTex marks our re-entry into the US midstream sector and is a welcome addition to our high-quality infrastructure portfolio.'
Michael Mears, Magellan's CEO and Willie Chiang, Plain's COO, say: 'OMERS investment adds another long-term oriented owner to our joint venture. This transaction provides both Plains and Magellan proceeds to fund additional growth projects while allowing us to maintain a meaningful position in BridgeTex, which is strongly aligned with investments owned by both Plains and Magellan along the crude oil value chain.'
Demand for higher base chemicals is driving the development of mega-integrated refinery and chemical facilities in China.
Private Chinese chemical producers, including Hengli and Rong Sheng are back0ntegrating their chemical plants with refineries by building mega-integrated facilities.
In a report, Wood Mackenzie says that both these projects, which are expected to become operation in the next 12 to 24 months, are expected to add more than nine million tonnes of paraxylene capacity by 2021. This wave of Chinese investment outpaced robust demand growth for the polyester chain and as a result, the consultancy company expects the country to reduce imports for the product by more than four million tonnes by 2021.
These new sites could yield up to 45 weight % of chemicals, two to three times more than a traditional integrated site, while producing heavy crudes.
Sushant Gupta, research director, Wood Mackenzie, says: 'The Hengli and Rong Sheng projects could add up to 500,000 barrels per day of medium-to-heavy crude demand in the market when they start operation. This additional demand would further tighten the heavy crude market as we expect a shortage of heavy crude at a global level in the medium term.
'As these integrated sites are mostly configured to process Middle Eastern crude, the ongoing trade tension between China and the US is unlikely to affect the projects. US sanctions on Iran crude exports, on the other hand, could limit their crude choices.
'We expect knock-on implications on the refining and fuels markets in Asia and beyond as these projects also produce large amounts of co-products such as petrol and middle distillates (jet fuel and diesel/gasoil).'
China is expected to have a large surplus of about 780,000 b/d in middle distillates and about 500,000 b/d in petrol by 2020. About 20% and 40% of the surplus in middle distillates and petrol, respectively, comes from the Hengli and Rong Sheng projects alone.
Vopak and Maersk will launch a 0.5% sulphur fuel bunkering facility in Rotterdam, which will cater for 20% of Maersk's global demand.
Maersk will be an anchor tenant in the modified Europoort facility. This agreement will enable Maersk, along with any other interested third parties, to supply vessels trading with and inside Europe with compliant fuel.
This follows from Vopak's announcement last week that it will invest in the Europoort terminal to support the IMO 2020 sulphur fuel cap.
Recently, member states within the IMO recognised there are still some reservations and challenges relating to fuel handling and compatibility and this project plays a key role in providing Maersk with supply chain assurance looking at both quality and quantity of the compliant fuel.
The facility allows the ship & vessel operator to safely blend, store and handle different fuel types to ensure compliance from January 1 2020.
Niels Henrik Lingegaard, head of Maersk oil trading, says: 'We trust that this initiative will put to rest some of the concerns the industry has on fuel availability as well as secure our continued competitiveness in the market.'
Hari Dattatreya, global oil director, Vopak, says: 'With A.P. Moller-Maersk as an anchor customer, Vopak demonstrates the focus to position itself in the 0.5% sulphur fuels bunker market.'
Mitsubishi Corporation will acquire 25% interest in Summit LNG Terminal and has agreed to develop a LNG receiving terminal that uses a FSRU in Bangladesh.
Following the acquisition, 75% of Summit LNG Terminal will be held by Summit Corporation and remaining by MC.
As part of the project, the terminal will install an FSRU 6km off the coast of the island of Moheshkali in the Cox's Bazar district of Chattagram division in Bangladesh. It will receive and regasify LNG procured by Petrobangla, the national oil and energy company.
Construction of the terminal started at the end of 2017 and commercial operations are expected to start next March. The planned LNG volume is 3.5 million tonnes per annum.
LNG receiving terminals that use FSRUs can be installed at a lower cost and constructed within a shorter period than conventional onshore receiving terminals. The are an effective means to build LNG receiving capacity in emerging countries. It is expected that demand for such terminals will grow.
Stena Bulk has delivered the first LNG cargo to the first privately-owned LNG terminal in China.
Chinese gas distributor ENN invited the LNG carrier Stena Blue Sky to become the first vessel to unload at the new Xin'ao Terminal in Zhoushan, Ninbo region.
The terminal has a capacity of three million tonnes of LNG per year.
Erik Hånell, president and CEO of Stena Bulk, says: 'Being 'first in China' is a very rare title and we are all proud we participated in such an event. Each one of the operations was distinct as each piece of terminal equipment was being operationally used for the first time. It took resourcefulness, patience and a problem-solving attitude, but it was a successful operation.'
Chinese companies build their own LNG terminals & import the fuel directly because they aim to meet higher demand and reduce their dependence on supplies of LNG from state-owned companies.
Vopak has announced it will expand its chemical terminal in Indonesia, invest in its Rotterdam, Antwerp and Singapore terminals and conduct a strategic review of its terminals in Algeciras, Amsterdam, Hamburg & Tallinn.
In its half year 2018 report, the company made a series of announcements on various terminals across the globe.
It will expand its chemical terminal in Merak, Indonesia with 50,000 m3 to 131,000 m3 of capacity. Merak is the main chemical import port of Indonesia and has the highest concentration of petrochemical facilities. The expansion is expected to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2020.
Vopak will also invest in its Europoort terminal in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to support the IMO 2020 sulphur fuel cap. This investment is supported by customer commitments and will be completed in the second half year of 2019.
Additionally, it will strengthen its chemical storage globally by investing in a new jetty at Vopak Terminal Linkeroever in Antwerp, Belgium to enable planned future growth. Also, a major service improvement project will start at Vopak Terminal Penjuru in Singapore to service the chemical market in the country.
The company will also conduct a strategic review and 'test the market value' of its terminals in Algeciras, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Tallinn.
The company reports an EBITDA of €371 million compared to €394 million in the same period of 2017. Its occupancy rate of 86% is attributed to lower rented capacity mainly at the oil hub terminals caused by a less favourable oil market structure. Other product market segments showed continued stable demand for storage services.
The financial performance in 2018 is expected to be influenced by currency exchange movements of primarily the US dollar and Singapore dollar, and the currently less favourable oil market structure, impacting occupancy rates and price levels in the hub locations.
Its expansion programme for 2019 will add 3.2 million m3 with high commercial coverage and the company projects it has the potential to significantly improve its 2019 EBITDA results.
CEO Eelco Hoekstra says: 'Given the market conditions to date, the results delivered are satisfactory.
'We have successfully gone live with our new digital terminal management system in Long Beach and Los Angeles marking the start of our global roll out.
'In our oil hub terminals, the priority was to invest for the IMO 2020 bunker fuel regulations. Our terminals in Fujairah, Rotterdam, and Singapore will be fully ready to support new market requirements.
'In Saudi Arabia, together with our partners, we commissioned the last part of the industrial terminal Chemtank. The construction of our new industrial terminal in Pengerang is progressing well and first commissioning will take place end of 2018.
'Our business development efforts in gas terminals have seen excellent progress. We announced the entrance in the growing LNG market in Pakistan, and the signing of two new joint ventures to develop LNG terminals in Germany and China.
'In total, we currently have more than three million m3 under construction. We find this the natural moment for a strategic review and test the market value of our terminals in Algeciras, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Tallinn. This review is full in line with the focus on growing our portfolio with the four strategic terminal types (major hubs, gas & LNG, industrial terminals, distribution in major markets).'
Oil product stocks at the Middle East's key oil hub of Fujairah slipped another 2.5% in the week to Monday, hitting a new 10-week low, despite a jump in middle distillate inventories.
Total oil stocks were 17,665 million barrels, down 449,000 barrels from a week earlier, according to the Fujairah Energy Data Committee.
Stocks of middle distillates jumped 20% to 3.521 million barrels, the highest since last August.
Middle distillates appear to be gaining momentum as the crack for Singapore gasoil against Dubai rose to a 12-week high of over $16/b, S&P Global Platts Analytics said Wednesday.
Indian gasoil exports remain strong, but should decline in the fourth quarter as the end of the rainy season leads to an upturn in domestic demand, Platts Analytics said.
At the same time, stocks of heavy distillates and residues fell 10.2% to 9.293 million barrels. Fujairah continues to see healthy bunker demand, with suppliers citing steady buying inquiries in recent days.
Delivered 380 CST bunker prices in Fujairah have averaged $8.40/mt below Singapore so far this month. Meanwhile, utility demand for fuel oil in the Middle East has shown signs of tapering off as summer draws to a close. Kuwait Petroleum recently issued a sell tender and Pakistan State Oil has reduced its HSFO requirements for September.
But Saudi demand is reportedly still pulling in European cargoes, Platts Analytics said.
Light distillate stocks totalled 4.851 million barrels, edging up 0.4% from the year's lowest total last week.
Petrol sentiment appears to be diverging somewhat in the east of Suez. Premiums for Arab Gulf RON 95 petrol were down to a seven-week low of $3.50/b, although there should be continued support from regional demand. State-owned Egyptian General Petroleum and KPC were both seeking September petrol cargoes.
By contrast, Singapore premiums have climbed in recent days, boosted by Indonesia's buying for September. Indonesia is expected to import some 11 million barrels of petrol in September, up 1 million barrels on the month.
ArcLight Capital Partners has acquired Midcoast Operating from Enbridge for $1.1 billion, including pipeline, processing plants and storage assets.
Midcoast consists of three large, legacy gathering and processing systems in Texas and Oklahoma, a long-haul NGL transmission system delivering NGLs from multiple supply areas and a marketing and logistics business.
The assets include 11,900 miles of gas and NGL pipelines, 25 processing plants with over 2 billion cubic feet per day of capacity and 12 treating plants, an E/P fractionator and numerous liquid logistics assets, including storage terminals.
Dan Revers, founder and managing partners of ArcLight, says: 'We believe Midcoast represents a rare opportunity to acquire a large scale, diversified midstream business with exciting commercial and growth capital investment opportunities. We are very excited to add the Midcoast platform to our portfolio of midstream investments.'
Rob Bond, who will become CEO of the company under ArcLight's ownership, adds: 'Midcoast owns a permier set of midstream assets that provide excellent Gulf Coast connectivity for natural gas and NGLs, bringing wide basis differentials that have arisen between producing basins and coastal demand centres.'
Hindustan Petroleum Corporation has started building work on a new products pipeline and storage terminal.
The new pipeline will run from Vijayawada to Dharmapuri and the storage terminal in Dharmapuri will ensure the supply of fuel and lubes to the Coimbatore – Salem belt. It is expected to cost RS 2,677 crore and is due to be completed by mid-2021, according to local media reports.
The terminal will have an initial capacity of 4.24 million tonnes per annum, which can be expanded to 5.85 million tonnes per annum.
The 697km pipeline will run from Hindustan Petroleum's Vijajawada terminal at Kondapalli. The terminal will also help supply aviation fuel to the Salem airport.
Dr Sukhy Barhey and Emily Sin from BMT Group examine some of the opportunities and challenges for storage operators in Singapore when submitting a safety case
Requirements to provide safety cases for storage terminals are increasingly global. In line with this trend, the implementation of the safety case regime in Singapore provides an opportunity for terminals to review lessons learnt and apply them in developing compliant safety cases. Terminals can also gain a greater understanding of operations and Capex projects, and optimise current processes.
The development of a safety case is a communication exercise through which operators demonstrate that they fully appreciate the potential hazards present at their terminals and how these are managed, such that the risks are reduced to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP). While it is recognised that terminals are good at managing the well understood hazards, often of high frequencies and low consequences (e.g. occupational health and safety hazards), the need to appropriately assess and manage risk from low frequency events with high consequences (defined as major accidents) may present challenges.
Aside from safety teams and senior management, the complexity involved in understanding and managing risks from major accidents required in developing a safety case is often not fully appreciated. It involves a combination of predictive and technical assessment.
The predictive aspect is the assessment of major accident risk arising from terminal operations. It requires a structured and systematic approach so that the risk to people is assessed and controlled. This involves identifying potential major accident hazards (MAHs) and major accident scenarios (MASs) through comprehensive reviews of safety and risk studies (e.g. QRAs, HAZIDS and HAZOPs), incident records and major accident reports such as the Buncefield fire.
The technical aspect requires an in-depth review of the reliability and adequacy of the safeguards used to manage risks. This involves concerted effort from all terminal departments to provide their expertise and facilitate the understanding of critical safety systems.
Challenges in developing a safety case
Establishing a representative operational basis
In developing a safety case, one of the challenges is to consider how best to represent the operational flexibility that is possible in terminals. How does one present the risk in storage terminals, where the range of materials, quantities and locations may vary daily?
For the purposes of a safety case this variability must be represented by a single configuration. If a prudent basis for risk assessment is adopted, the representation would be one that is the worst case possible for all locations within the terminal. This would result in situation where the assessed risk will be unacceptably high. Under such circumstance, in theory, the terminal must implement measures that reduce risk to ALARP, requiring the implementation of extensive controls. The investment in Capex and increased Opex to achieve this reduction would be prohibitive, leaving the only option of ceasing operations. This is neither a viable approach, nor a realistic representation of normal operational risks.
To address this, a baseline must be agreed with the regulator. This baseline should reflect daily operations (a good starting point is to select a configuration on a specific day) but also consider locations where risk to people may be higher should a hazardous material be stored in a specific location. This requires careful analysis and consideration. If the configuration leads to an underestimation of risk, the safety case will not be accepted or fail verification or inspections. Should the configuration unreasonably restrict operational flexibility, there could be commercial implications. If operational demands require a configuration significantly different from that used as a baseline, the safety case may need to be updated. This can be avoided by spending time in a workshop with the key stakeholders; operations, maintenance, commercial, safety and management to agree the baseline, before the development of the analysis and risk arguments in the safety case.
Defining an appropriate risk appetite
Having established a baseline configuration and identified the major accident hazards (MAHs) and scenarios (MASs), a set of safety critical events (SCEs) can be derived, through a process of grouping and filtering, to represent major accidents. These SCEs are used to demonstrate how risks are managed. This simplification is necessary to significantly reduce the large volume of work that would otherwise arise. For this process to work effectively, it is necessary to have an appropriately calibrated risk matrix and a clear and logical grouping and filtering process.
Every organisation has its own risk matrix. The regulations do not present, and indeed should not present, a risk matrix, since this is the tool that defines the organisation's risk appetite and tolerance. However, experience in developing safety cases demonstrates that organisations need to appreciate that a risk matrix designed for occupational health and safety risk will not be appropriate for assessing major accidents. Such a risk matrix will not have the granularity required to identify a safety critical event. Applying a poorly calibrated risk matrix to evaluate MASs will create problems in demonstrating the risk reduction impact of controls, which would lead the organization to identify and implement new controls that may not be necessary.
Opportunities resulting from developing a safety case
Understanding of terminal operations through Bowtie diagrams
One of main advantages of going through the development of a safety case is the clarity it brings in understanding the major risks and how risk controls are organized to reduce risk. This is well demonstrated through the use of Bowtie diagrams, a simple yet a powerful way of understanding major accident scenarios, the risk controls and how the integrity of those controls is maintained.
Bowtie diagrams give clarity on the balance between preventative controls (those that prevent an accident) and those that mitigate the impact. Through appropriate use of the Bowties, organisations can ensure that the resources they have committed are targeted to gain the maximum return in terms of risk reduction.
Identifying areas of improvement through ALARP demonstration
Safety cases also provide inputs into terminal development and improvements plans through the ALARP demonstrations, a critical element that shows considerations have been given to implement new controls or enhance existing controls. It is recognised that the implementation of all suggested measures is impracticable, hence appropriate cost benefit analyses (CBA) are conducted to select the controls that would provide significant risk reduction compared to the effort and cost involved.
The drawback of this approach is that it can be contentious when the benefits are evaluated and monetized as the risk to people is considered. In addition, the principle of gross disproportionality must be applied.
To help perform CBA at a level acceptable to the regulators and avoid the pitfalls, BMT implements a framework that allows us to select (or reject) measures in a way that stands up to detailed scrutiny and addresses the challenges of the traditional CBA. This framework gives appropriate consideration of benefits, cost and effort in selecting the measure to be impended and uses risk to guide implementation. The simplified approach has shown to be extremely useful in guiding terminals to make sound risk-based decisions.
In summary, while safety case regimes are often government mandated, experience tells us that the value beyond achieving compliance is in the process itself. By developing a safety case and going through the exercise, an organisation opens up opportunities to deepen their understanding of major accident risk and improve their preparedness and capacity for an effective management of risk in line with the resources available.
Dr Barhey will be speaking more about submitting a safety case and how terminals should navigate this new regulation on the first day of the Tank Storage Asia conference on September 26 & 27. For more information, visit www.tankstorageasia.com.
Inter Pipeline has reported strong second quarter 2018 financials of $261.5 million – an increase of $54.5 million compared to the same period in 2017.
The company says this increase is largely driven by record performance in the NGL processing business, which continues to have strong production volumes.
However, its bulk liquid storage segment experienced a decline in financial – reporting funds from operations of $17.4 million in the quarter, compared to $25.3 million in the second quarter of 2017. Storage demand for certain petroleum products in Europe continued to be impacted by a backwardated commodity pricing environment.
Average storage utilisation rates during the second quarter were 84% compared to 98% for the same period in 2017. The decline in overall utilisation was largely reflective of unfavourable market conditions in Denmark. Utilisation remained strong in Sweden and Germany, where facilities are operating near capacity.
Civil construction and fabrication activities at the $3.5 billion Heartland Petrochemical Complex advanced considerably during the quarter. Piling activities were completed for the propane dehydrogenation facility, with more than 3,000 in place, and concrete work is well underway. Fabrication in Alberta and globally is progressing with the 90-meter propane/propylene splitter and an 800-tonne reactor expected to move to the Heartland Complex site near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta in early 2019.
ExxonMobil has signed a letter of intent for its subsidiary XTO Energy to contract up to 450,000 dekatherms per day of capacity on the Permian Highway Pipeline project.
The $2 billion project by Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline, EagleClaw Midstream Ventures and Apache will provide an outlet for increased natural gas production from the Permian Basin to growing market areas along the Texas Gulf Coast. It is designed to transport up to 2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas through 430 miles of pipeline from the Waha to Katy, Texas areas, with connections to the US Gulf Coast and Mexico markets.
It is expected to be in service in late 2020.
Sara Ortwein, president, XTO Energy, says: 'The Permian Highway Pipeline will provide additional capacity for reliable transportation of natural gas to the US Gulf Coast.
Sital Mody, president of Kinder Morgan Natural Gas Midstream says that the support of ExxonMobil will help accelerate its path to a final investment decision.
Kinder Morgan and EagleClaw will hold an open season for capacity on the pipeline, starting on August 10.
Moda Midstream plans to acquire the Oxy Ingleside Energy Centre, including crude oil and LPG infrastructure, from Occidental Petroleum.
IEC is a storage and export terminal that provides access to global markets for crude oil and LPG producers and marketers. It is located in Ingleside, Texas, near the mouth of the Corpus Christi Ship Channel.
It linked Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin production to key domestic and international markets. It will be connected directly to multiple 'next generation' long-haul crude pipeline that allow for bathcing and segregation of crude oil deliveries at some of the most competitive tariff available to shippers.
It has 2.1 million barrels of oil storage capacity and three deep-water berths for crude oil. The facility is currently undergoing expansion to add storage capacity and infrastructure for contracted customer growth. There is scope for additional expansion on the 900-acre site.
In addition, Moda also acquired LPG storage, berths and infrastructure, certain crude oil pipeline assets and offsite logistics locations. Looking ahead, the company plans to expand services through controlled-growth development for additional hydrocarbons expected to reach the terminal in the coming years.
Bo McCall, Moda president and CEO, says: 'We are excited to have the opportunity to continue building on Occidental's vision of the Ingleside Energy Centre as a premier export terminal in the US Gulf Coast. We see enormous growth potential and look forward to providing exceptional service to our existing and new customers for years to come.
'This acquisition is a milestone achievement for Moda and is a significant leap forward in realising our vision to build a leading independent terminalling company with a deep presence in the US Gulf Coast.'
The transaction is expected to close later in the third quarter of 2018.
Trafigura has submitted plans to build the first US offshore deepwater oil export terminal in Corpus Christi, Mexico.
Texas Gulf Terminals, owned by Trafigura US, submitted its permit application for the Texas Gulf Terminals project on July 9 to the US Department of Transportation.
The facility will allow VLCCs capable of carrying up to 2 million barrels of crude and other tankers to load cargo safely, directly and fully via a single-point mooring buoy system (SPM).
The use of SPMs eliminates unnecessary ship traffic in inland ports as well as the 'double handling' of the same crude oil, reducing the opportunity for spills and emissions each time the crude oil is transferred.
Currently, no US inland ports are capable of fully loading a VLCC and to do so requires multiple ship to ship transfers in lightering zones out at sea.
Trafigura says that once built, this SPM will ease infrastructure barriers to crude oil exports, grow the US economy and support jobs.
Corey Prologo, director, Texas Gulf Terminals and director of Trafigura North America, says: 'The Texas Gulf Terminals project will give US crude oil producers, particularly Texas operators, safer, cleaner and more efficient access to very large crude carriers, ensuring that the economic and employment benefits of increasing domestic crude production can be fully realise right here at home.'
The project is the latest in a series of long-term investments that Trafigura has made in commodities across the US. This includes a nearly $1 billion investment in Buckeye's marine export terminal and condensate splitter in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Ikon Midstream has established a new fuel terminal for the Laredo, Texas market.
The company says it is the first fuel terminal in Laredo and that it owns its own patent on petrol detergents and is the first independent blender to cross petrol into Mexico.
Rhett Kenagy, CEO and managing partner of Ikon Midstream, says: 'We are excited to launch the first fuel terminal of Laredo. We observed that the city lacks a fuel terminal and the fuel distributors here usually have a hard time in sourcing fuels.
'The lack of competition also offers an open market for us to scale up our growth in the region.
'We promise high end blended fuels at competitive prices for the local US distributors here who cater to a large client base in Mexico.'
Sinopec has announced plans to build natural gas storage facilities with a total capacity of 55.6 billion m3 in northern China.
According to Platts, the facilities will be located in the northern Henan province to ease supply bottlenecks in peak winter season.
The company did not give a timeline or investment amount of building the new capacity. This follows PetroChina's announcement of the construction of nearly 20 bcm of underground gas storage in northeast China.
Sinopec's gas storage cluster will comprise 16 facilities built at the site of abandoned oil and gas fields in the province.
China is set to become the world's largest gas importer within the next three years, however the lack of pipeline and gas storage capacity has affected the growth of LNG demand.