Latest storage news
Shell Midstream Partners plans to acquire Shell's 25.97% equity interest in Explorer Pipeline Company and 10.125% equity interest in Colonial Pipeline Company for $800 million.
The acquisition will increase Shell Midstream Partners' interest in Explorer to 38.59% and in Colonial to 16.125%.
The company says that the key value drivers for the transaction include the fact that it gives them strategic access to growing advantaged refined products supply from the Gulf Coast and an increased position in midstream assets delivering ratable and growing cash flows.
The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019.
Kevin Nichols, CEO of Shell Midstream Partners, says: 'This acquisition is evidence of our strategy in action – we will continue to build scale with diversified assets that provide robust, ratable cash flows.
'The Explorer and Colonial systems have the capacity to deliver some three million barrels per day of refined products, providing energy to key demand centers of the US.'
Capital spending on oil and gas supply bounced back in 2018 following three consecutive years of decline.
According to the International Energy Agency's World Energy Investment 2019 report, while global energy investment stabilised in 2018, investment stalled for energy efficiency and renewables.
Global energy investment totaled more than $1.8 trillion in 2018, a similar level to 2017. For the third year in a row, the power sector attracted more investment than the oil and gas industry. The biggest jump in overall energy investment was in the US, where it was boosted by higher spending in upstream supply, particularly shale, but also electricity networks.
China remains the world's largest investment destination.
According to the IEA, approvals for new conventional oil and gas projects fell short of what would be needed to meet continued robust growth in global energy demand. Additionally, there are few signs of the substantial reallocation of capital towards energy efficiency and cleaner supply sources that is needed to bring investments in line with the Paris Agreement and other substantial development goals.
This was reiterated by the IEA's executive director, Dr Fatih Birol. He says: 'Energy investments now face unprecedented uncertainties, with shifts in markets, policies and technologies.
'The bottom line is that the world is not investing enough in traditional elements of supply to maintain today's consumption patterns, nor is it investing enough in cleaner energy technologies to change course. Whichever way you look, we are storing up risks for the future.'
The report also notes that investment patterns have shifted towards energy supply projects that have shorter lead times. In the upstream oil and gas sector for example, the industry is bringing capacity to market more than 20% faster than at the beginning of the decade.
The 14th annual technical conference and exhibition oil terminal returns to St. Petersburg, Russia in November to discuss advanced design and operational excellence.
The conference brings together more than 350 delegates, including from oil and gas trading, storage, and shipping businesses including refineries, oil terminals and ports from 25 countries including Russia, the Americas, the CIS, Europe and Asia.
The 2018 events saw more than 350 representatives from companies including HSH Nordbank, Frost & Sullivan, Russian Export Center and Eurasian Economic Commission.
In addition, companies including CTS Group, Emerson, NPF Krug and Rosen took part in the oil terminals and tank farm exhibition.
The conference will take place on November 28 & 29. For more information visit www.oilterminal.org.
Inter Pipeline's bulk liquid storage segment reported improved financial results thanks to the storage terminals it acquired in the UK and Netherlands from NuStar.
The company's storage segment – Inter Terminals – generated funds from operations of $26.8 million in the first quarter of 2019, a $8.1 million improvement over the first quarter of 2018. The first quarter of 2019 included $8.4 million of funds from operations from its recently acquired bulk liquid storage business in the UK and Netherlands, which operated at a 95% utilisation rate.
During the quarter, the average storage utilisation rate across all terminals was 78% compared to 82% for the same period in 2018, and 68% in the prior quarter. A backwardated pricing environment for certain petroleum products continues to impact utilisation rates, particularly at its Danish terminals.
Several new storage agreements were executed in the quarter, which has materially improved utlisation rates in Denmark and customer interest remains strong in advance of the IMO 2020 regulation, which comes into effect on January 1, 2020.
Christian Bayle, Inter Pipeline's president and CEO, says: 'During the first quarter, our oil sands transportation business continued to generate strong, stable cash flow and financial results from European storage improved meaningfully with the addition of the recently acquired UK and Amsterdam terminals.'
Prostar Capital has acquired an oil storage terminal facility on Saint Eustatius from NuStar Capital for $250 million.
The terminal on Saint Eustatius, in the Caribbean, comprises 60 commercial tanks and associated deep water jetties and pipelines, with a total storage capacity of 2.3 million m3. Being conveniently located in the Caribbean, it serves key trading countries.
Steve Bickerton, senior managing director of Prostar, says: 'We are excited to be acquiring a high-quality terminal facility with many key strategic advantages, including a location at the crossroads of global and regional oil trade, long-term customer relationships with major global oil traders, a strong local operations team, and a highly flexible infrastructure that allows for capacity expansion as growth opportunities arise.'
'The acquisition of the Saint Eustatius Terminal is consistent with Prostar's sharply defined approach to creating value by acquiring, managing and improving the performance of middle market assets that are positioned to benefit from the global demand for energy,' adds Dave Noakes, senior managing director of Prostar.
Brad Barron, president and CEO of NuStar Energy, adds: 'It has become increasingly clear in recent months that the facility requires a new business model to ensure its long-term success and that NuStar’s best path forward is to sell the terminal to a buyer that is well-positioned to take advantage of the changing global crude oil trade flow patterns.'
'We are pleased that this sale allows us to re-deploy the sales proceeds here at home to continue to improve our financial metrics and fund our growth projects for our core business in North America. And we are very gratified to hand over the reins to purchasers with a business model that ensures a bright future for the facility and our employees there.'
IFM Global Infrastructure Fund is set to acquire Buckeye Partners in a transaction valued at $6.5 billion equity value.
Buckeye owns and operates one of the largest diversified networks of integrated midstream assets, including 6,000 miles of pipeline with more than 100 delivery locations and 115 liquid petroleum products terminals with capacity of more than 118 million barrels. Its network of marine terminals is located primarily in the East Coast and Gulf Coast regions of the US, as well as the Caribbean.
Clark C. Smith, chairman, president and CEO of Buckeye, says: 'Buckeye's board of directors recently reviewed strategic options for the business and determined that IFM's proposal to acquire Buckeye is in the best interest of Buckeye.
'The proposed transaction will provide Buckeye with superior access to capital to execute on its long-term business strategy.'
IFM has $90 billion of assets under management, including $39.1 billion in infrastructure. It has interests in 32 investments across North America, Australia and Europe, including several midstream assets.
Julio Garcia, head of infrastructure, North America of IFM, says: 'This acquisition is aligned with IFM's focus on investing in high quality essential infrastructure assets that underpin the economies in which they operate.'
'The proposed acquisition of Buckeye is a complementary addition to IFM's substantial investments in energy infrastructure across North America and globally,' adds Jamie Cemm, executive director of IFM.
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.
ExxonMobil will expand the Fawley refinery in the UK to increase production of ultra-low Sulphur diesel by almost 45%.
The investment, which also includes logistics improvements, will help reduce the need to import diesel into the UK, which imported about half of its supply in 2017.
The more than £800 million investment includes a hydrotreater unit to remove Sulphur from diesel, supported by a hydrogen plant.
Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2019, and startup is expected in 2021.
Simon Downing, Fawley Refinery manager, says: 'This latest significant investment supports the long-term competitiveness of Fawley, Britain's largest integrated refinery and petrochemical plant. It also reflects ExxonMobil's strong and continued presence in the UK.
The project, alongside recent investments at the company's refineries on the US Gulf Coast, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Singapore, will contribute to ExxonMobil's announced plans to significantly increase the earnings potential of its downstream business by 2025.
Marathon Petroleum and Andeavor Logistics have entered into a definitive merger agreement where Marathon will acquire Andeavor in a unit-for-unit transaction.
This agreement represents an equity value of $9 billion and an enterprise value of $14 billion for the acquired entity. The transaction has been unanimously approved by Marathon and Andeavor's boards of directors. Subject to conditions, the transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2019.
The combination will enhance commercial opportunities building on Marathon's strong footprint in the Marcellus and deepening the presence in the Permian. Marathon's focus will continue to be providing services with stable. Fee-based cash flows, expanding export capabilities and leveraging existing assets for third-party business. Additionally, the broader footprint enhances the ability to combine commercial efforts and selectively deploy capital towards the highest return projects with strategic importance.
Gary R. Heminger, chairman and CEO, says: 'The combined entity will have an expanded geographic footprint which we believe enhances our long-term growth opportunities and the sustainable cash flow profile of the business. We are confident about the midstream growth and value-creation opportunities that exist across this combined platform in the best basins in the US.'
Jay Leduc and Kevin Maloney explain how a 150-year-old energy company advanced sustainability efforts and reduced utility costs by applying thin, flexible solar panels to Sprague’s existing petroleum tanks – and share how other tank owners can do the same.
The energy industry is evolving quickly, and the desire to improve sustainability is greater than ever. Sprague Operating Resources and Picktricity teamed up recently to help tank storage owners more easily increase sustainability while also saving money.
HOW IT STARTED
Picktricity, a Massachusetts-based installer of thin-film solar panels, originally approached Sprague to apply the adhesive solar panels to one of Sprague's tanks in 2017. The thin-film panels, unique in that they can be directly applied to flat surfaces, are significantly more flexible and lighter in weight than traditional panels, which also require the additional weight of metal racking or concrete ballasts for installation.
Sprague, a well-known pioneer in the energy industry, agreed to a pilot programme and quickly saw positive results.
'We put the panels on a typical storage tank to see if we could use our existing assets to generate energy savings while enhancing our sustainability efforts,' says Jay Leduc, managing director of sustainability at Sprague. 'With the pilot project generating annual savings, we are excited to roll this out on many more of our tanks and take advantage of greater savings and possible revenue generation.'
Founded in 1870, Sprague, a subsidiary of Sprague Resource, has a long history of evolving to meet customers’ changing energy needs. Sprague was the first to bring ultra-low sulphur diesel fuel to the Northeast in 2000, and the first BQ9000 biodiesel certified marketer in the US.
With more than 20 refined products and materials handling locations in the Northeast, Picktricity knew Sprague would be a great partner to help promote the thin-film solar panels.
‘Sprague’s proven ability to anticipate and stay ahead of market changes aligns exactly with our vision,’ saya Kevin Maloney, founder and chief executive officer at Picktricity. ‘They have the deep industry knowledge and relationships, and we have the solar installation expertise with best-in-class thin-film solar technology. We’re excited to collaborate to bring great opportunities for sustainability and electricity cost savings to the energy industry and beyond.’
Picktricity is an industry expert for thin-film solar installations and has strong relationships with flexible panel manufacturers around the world. On solar tank projects, working with Picktricity offers unique procurement and cost advantages to storage tank owners, which is particularly important in the current market environment.
WHY STORAGE TANK OWNERS ARE PAYING ATTENTION
While many options for improving sustainability come with high costs and significant changes to processes, flexible solar panels can work with existing tank infrastructure with minimal investment and offer multiple benefits.
First and foremost, the addition of the flexible solar panels to tanks can help lower operating costs. The solar panels can be used to generate electricity for the terminal itself, largely reducing what is typically a major line item on any terminal budget. In some markets, they can even be set up to generate revenue by selling electricity back to the grid.
Additionally, the flexible solar panels benefit tank owners by helping them achieve the sustainability goals set by internal or external parties often without a major capital investment or interruption in operations. Stakeholders have
an increasing interest in learning more about how energy companies are improving their sustainability. Terminal operators, in turn, want to meet stakeholder expectations and give back to the communities where they live and work. Embracing solar energy can help strengthen those relationships while moving the company forward.
MOVING AHEAD WITH SOLAR TANKS
After realising the benefits at its own terminal, and recognising the opportunity to help expand sustainability efforts across the industry, Sprague began partnership talks with Picktricity to expand the use of the technology not only on its own storage tanks, but also to offer the solution to other terminal operators throughout the US.
’Sprague is pleased to develop a partnership focused on renewable energy,’ says David Glendon, president and chief executive officer at Sprague. ‘The flexible solar panels are an excellent way for us to expand our sustainability efforts while leveraging our existing infrastructure.’
The best way to maximise the opportunity is to apply the thin-film flexible panels on multiple tanks.
‘We see tanks as blank canvases for sustainability and operational efficiency,’ Leduc adds. ‘We’re excited to see multiple solar tank installations happening together at various locations to maximise the opportunity for cost savings and greater sustainability.’
With deep industry knowledge and experience installing the strips on a variety of flat surfaces, Sprague and Picktricity are well positioned to help terminal owners choose locations where the flexible thin-film product will have the most impact.
‘Many of the options available allow terminal owners to receive power savings and environmental benefits without the requirement of significant capital investment,’ says Glendon.
’Throughout our history, we’ve enjoyed success adapting our products and services to the evolving energy needs of our customers. Sustainable energy solutions, whether they are adding biofuels or renewable diesel, supporting wind installations, or providing turnkey solar solutions, simply make sense.’
Picktricity offers a full suite of solar solutions, including connecting customers to project financing options, which can minimise or eliminate the capital cost of the installation.
Leduc and Maloney will be speaking more about using solar technology to maximise assets and improve sustainability at the ILTA conference on June 3-4 in Houston, Texas. For more information visit www.ilta.org/AOCTS.
Odfjell Terminals has reported an increase in its EBITDA as it experiences stable utilisation and performance during the first quarter of 2019.
The terminal division of Odfjell SE reported EBITDA of $7 million compared to $5 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Odfjell Terminals says that its EBITDA margins continue to improve, and it is reaching utilisation levels seen before the restructuring of its terminal division where the divested terminals were large contributors to lift overall margins.
Lindsay Goldburg's transaction with Nortleaf Capital Partners is expected to close during the first half of 2019 and Lindsay Goldburg has initiated the sales process for Odfjell Terminals Asia. The company says it will review future investment plans in Odfjell Terminals US once Lindsay Goldburg's transaction with Northleaf is concluded.
Odfjell Terminals' headquarters in Rotterdam will close in June and will be relocated to Odfjell SE's headquarters in Bergen, which will result in lower costs.
The company says it expects stable results from Odfjell Terminals for the remainder of 2019.
Pedro Miras, chairman of the Spanish Strategic Petroleum Reserves Corporation explains the importance of the strategic storage of petroleum products in the event of a crisis
For more than 40 years, security of supply has been a central topic in the energy debate among hydrocarbon importing countries. In 1974, in direct response to the oil crisis of 1973, which followed the interruption in supply declared by OPEC, the International Energy Agency (IEA) was created with the objective of ensuring the security of energy supply. Its member states actively commit to maintaining stocks of crude oil equivalent to 90 days' net imports, along with the implementation of joint action in the event of an interruption or scarcity of supply.
Over the course of its history, the IEA has activated its emergency procedures three times due to major interruptions in supply: during the first Gulf War in 1991, following the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and during the 2011 civil conflict in Libya.
In 1991, in the wake of the Gulf War, the IEA implemented a contingency plan for 2.5 million barrels per day over 15 days, most of which came from a release of stocks.
The second intervention occurred in 2005, following the devastating effects of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which destroyed practically the entire petroleum industry infrastructure around the Gulf of Mexico. The 26 IEA member states at the time combined to release the equivalent of 60 million barrels into the market (2 million barrels a day for 30 days), through a combination of emergency response measures involving the use of security reserves, increasing their own production and restricting demand.
The last release of emergency stocks took place in June 2011, when maximum seasonal demand coincided with the interruption of crude oil supply from Libya, which was in a civil war. On this occasion, 60 million barrels were released from the strategic reserves of eight member countries of the IEA, equivalent to 2 million barrels per day for a period of 30 days.
The issue of security of supply has relevance in Spain, given that the level of self-sufficiency in both oil and natural gas is below 1%. Spain has a combined security of supply system, in which responsibility for maintaining hydrocarbon stocks is shared between its Central Stockholding Entity, CORES (Corporación de Reservas Estratégicas de Productos Petrolíferos), and the oil and gas industry.
The combined system of dividing emergency reserves between an agency and the industry presents several advantages. On one hand it allows greater control of the reserves as they are mostly located within a single entity. On the other hand, it externalises industry debt - as the industry is not obliged to maintain all emergency stocks. This solution also reduces the financial costs, as the agency has greater access to credit, and provides improved flexibility when release for consumption becomes necessary.
CORES was established in 1995, as part of a process of liberalising the Spanish petroleum sector. Its principal mission is to constitute, maintain and manage strategic reserves of oil products and control the minimum security stocks held by the industry. Due to the information that all hydrocarbon sector entities are obliged to provide by law, CORES is also the leading statistics and official information source in the hydrocarbon sector in Spain.
CORES' main objective is to ensure the continued security of supply in Spain. The minimum level of petroleum stocks that must be maintained is 92 days of consumption: 50 are held by CORES and the remaining 42 days by the industry. In addition, the industry is obliged to maintain 20 days' consumption supplies of both LPG and natural gas. One of the main roles of CORES is to monitor stock reserve obligations by the industry.
In the event of a supply crisis, whether national or international, CORES will coordinate the release for consumption of the necessary stocks under the supervision of the Spanish Ministry for Ecological Transition. During the last IEA collective action in June 2011, CORES oversaw the release of 2.3 days of petroleum products reserves from the industry and recovered their obligation of 50 days' stocks within a year.
The level of strategic reserves depends on the national consumption of petroleum products. The peak oil demand in Spain was achieved in 2008, with 75 million tonnes. In 2018 demand has been less than 60 million tonnes, and it seems unlikely that Spain will achieve the maximum value once again. In the same way, the importance of petroleum in worldwide energy consumption has declined considerably over the last few years, from 46% of the total in 19801 to 34% in 20172.
Nevertheless, oil will remain important in the coming years. According to different forecasts, fossil fuels will continue as the energy base in the medium term, in almost all cases covering around three quarters. In this way, oil will continue to account between one quarter and one third of the worldwide energy consumption, from 23% in 2040 according to the sustainable development scenario of the IEA World Energy Outlook 2018, to 28% according to the OPEC World Oil Outlook 2018.
Oil demand will vary based on fluctuations in the economy, environmental policies and energy efficiency, and oil security of supply systems will vary accordingly. However, the future of this sector is exposed to many uncertainties: mobility models, environmental regulation, consumption mix, digital and new technologies, or new competitive dynamics in the industry, among others. The only certainty is the existence of a challenge to be faced.
In this future scenario, monitoring the demand evolution will be key to detect changes in market trends and in emergency reserves, as demand is the base of the security of supply systems in non-producing countries, such as Spain. Therefore, information is an important element of security, and it will be an essential tool to adapt to the changing environment.
Miras will be speaking more about the security of supply and the role of strategic storage during the FETSA conference on June 12 in Tarragona. For more information visit the event website.
11980 figures from the US Energy Department
2 2017 figures from the BP Statistical Review 2018
Alkion Terminals has completed a landmark refinancing of its debt facilities from a group of blue-chip international lenders.
The term loans and ancillary facilities amount to €255 million and refinance the previous financing package of existing €185 million raised in 2017. The new debt structure was structured at platform level and comprises refinancing a ten-year institutional load private placed with funds managed by UBS Asset Management as well as seven-year bank loan term loan and ancillaries provided by Credit Agricole CIB, BNPP, Allied Irish Bank and Siemens.
Rutger Van Thiel, CEO of Alkion Terminals, says: 'This level of refinancing recognises the positive performance of Alkion Terminals since its inception in 2016. The support of such a high-profile group of international lenders is a testament to the quality of our business whilst the structure in place provides the operational flexibility to continue supporting our client driven investment needs and growing the platform with additional bolt-on acquisitions.'
Axpo and German LNG Terminal have signed a heads of agreement for a long-term capacity contract for the LNG terminal in Brunsbuettel in northern Germany.
Axpo's LNG services include physical LNG supply, diversion rights, profit sharing, financial hedging structures, cancellation options and access to the most important international trade markets. Axpo's growing LNG portfolio includes long-term natural gas supplies, a 5% stake in the Trans Adriatic Pipeline and distribution channels in most European countries.
Domenico De Luca, head business area trading & sales and member of the executive committee of Axpo Group, says: 'Axpo has been active in global LNG markets for nine years now and offers tailor-made physical LNG supply and hedging solutions. Our LNG business is one of our most important strategic growth areas: With the shutdown of numerous coal-fired power plants expected in the medium term, LNG is expected to gain further importance as an energy source and will be able to increase its market share in Europe.
'Our goal is to further optimise the delivery of LNG to our customers together with German LNG Terminal.'
Rolf Brouwer, managing director of German LNG Terminal, adds: 'We continue to powerfully move forward with the realisation of our terminal project. Obviously, an increasing number of market players are convinced of the future relevance of LNG for the German energy market and rely on our concept of a multi-service terminal with an independent terminal operator. Jointly with our terminal customers, we will contribute to an efficient and long-term energy supply to German customers.'
In spring 2019, the terminal will apply for the required permit for the terminal, with the investment decision scheduled for the end of 2019. Once the permits are received, construction work will start in 2020, with the terminal being operational by the end of 2022.
The Tallgrass Pony Express Pipeline has announced a new pipeline project to support crude oil production in northern Weld Country, Colorado.
The Hereford project will include approximately 30 miles of new 12-inch pipeline, as well as expanded capacity on the Pony Express system.
Sufficient interest arose during the Pony Express’ existing open season for expansion capacity from origin points in Colorado and Wyoming to destinations along the system to justify the Hereford project as a stand-alone project.
The new pipeline, the Hereford Lateral, will connect crude oil gathering facilities and/or terminal facilities near Hereford, Colorado, with existing Pony Express facilities located near the Pawnee origin facility in Weld County. Pony Express expects the Hereford Lateral to be in-service by July 2019, and the expansion capacity on the existing Pony Express system to be in-service by May 2020 – both ahead of the larger Pony Express system expansion.
A limited open system has been launched for the Hereford project. It will close on May 15.
Chevron USA has completed the acquisition of the Pasadena Refining System from Petrobras America for $350 million.
The refining system is a 466-acre complex in Pasadena, Texas and adds a second refinery to Chevron USA's Gulf Coast downstream business, which also includes a refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
The refinery has the 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, and dock access to receive and ship crude oil and refined products.
It includes a tank terminal with storage capacity of 5.1 million barrels of crude oil and refined products, as well as 143 acres of additional land.
Mark Nelson, Chevron's executive vice president for downstream and chemicals, says: 'This acquisition builds on the strength of our existing Gulf Coast business, enabling us to supply more of our retail market in the region with Chevron-produced products, and positions us for connectivity to our strong upstream assets in the Permian Basin.'
ExxonMobil has announced plans to invest $2 billion to expand its Baytown, Texas chemical plant, which will allow the company to enter the linear alpha olefins market.
The expansion, which is expected to start up in 2022, includes a new Vistamaxx performance polymer unit, which produces products that offer higher levels of elasticity, softness and flexibility. The new unit will produce about 400,000 tonnes of Vistamaxx polymers a year.
In addition, ExxonMobil will be able to enter the linear alpha olefins market. The new unit will produce about 350,000 tonnes of linear alpha olefins a year.
The facility is the largest integrated petrochemical complex in the US and is one of the most technologically advanced refining and petrochemical complexes in the world.
Darren w. Woods, ExxonMobil chairman and CEO, says: 'Our Baytown chemical expansion will put us in a solid position to maximise the value of increased Permian Basin production and will deliver higher demand, higher value products produced at our Gulf Coast refining and chemical facilities.
'Global demand for chemicals is expected to be greater than energy demand growth and GDP growth over the next 20 years.'