Created to mitigate the concerns that chemical terrorism is a significant threat, the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) programme is the US' first regulatory programme focused specifically on high-risk chemical facilities and how to prevent them from being exploited in a terrorist attack.
Established in 2007 to address this threat to the chemical industry, the comprehensive programme, which is administered by the Department of Homeland Security though the Infrastructure Security Compliance Division, fosters security at high-risk chemical facilities.
The programme centers on a list of 322 chemicals of interest that, at specific threshold quantities or concentrations, trigger a requirement for a facility to report to CFATS.
If a facility or terminal has on site one or more of the chemicals at or above the quantities or concentrations stipulated on the list, the facility is required to submit information to the programme, where its team of assessors run it through its risk assessment methodology.
In an interview with Tank Storage Magazine David Wulf, director of infrastructure security compliance division, says that the division works closely with facilities to deliver a comprehensive site security plan.
'In that plan, the facility addresses various risk-based performance measures such as physical security, cyber security and incident response as well as measures focused on personnel surety.
'We then collect information and if a site security plan looks appropriate, we inspect the facility prior to approval. We then re-inspect the facility every 18 months or so.'
Wulf continues: 'The programme was established in response to a general sense that chemical terrorism is a significant threat.
'The CFATS programme is a non-prescriptive programme and we prioritize working with the facility to ensure they have the right site security plan. Our risk-based performance indicators are flexible according to the needs and requirements of the facility. It is a very smart 21st century framework.'
Since its creation in 2007, the progamme has continued to evolve and develop, including enhancements to its risk tiering methodology, incorporating data to get a better picture of high-risk facilities in the country and development of, and an expedited pathway to approval of the site security plan.
The programme, which covers industries including tank terminals, refining, chemical manufacturers and laboratories, was reauthorised by Congress for several more years in 2014.
Wulf adds: 'The feedback has been overwhelmingly favourable. We have broad support across a wide variety of industry stakeholders.
'Overall, the feedback has been that the CFAS programme is well suited to the task and raises the bar for security across the industry. The flexibility of the programme is really important, as is the co-operative relationship we have built with industry members and our ability to consult on options has been well-received.
'Our industry stakeholders advocate for us to Congress and we really appreciate the relationship we have with the ILTA and the support they give us.
'Chemical security is not a temporary issue. As threats evolve, the department is committed to working with stakeholders to protect the highest-risk chemical infrastructure in the US.'
Wulf will be providing an update to terminal facility security and what owner/operators need to know during the ILTA conference on June 3-4 in Houston. For more information on the event visit www.ilta.org/AOCTS.
The president of the ILTA has testified before the US Surface Transportation Board about how current railroad demurrage rules adversely affect terminal operators in the US.
In 2014, the Board issued a final rule that allowed railroads the ability to seek compensation from storage facilities for delays in loading and unloading railcars. Previously, the railroads charged demurrage fees to their shippers, not storage facilities.
The rule change made terminal operators liable for monetary penalties, even through they had no contractual relationships with the railroads, and no control over the frequency or volume with which shippers may consign railcars to the terminals or deliver them back to the railroad.
Kathryn Clay, president of the ILTA, says: 'In the last five years, since the 2014 final rule went into effect, the situation has become untenable for terminal operators [...] Railroads and terminal operators are increasingly involved in litigation over payment for demurrage incurred on railcars that they do not own and do not schedule.
'In many cases, railroads have been unable to provide further substantiation when the charges have been challenged. Terminal operators have been forced to establish and maintain management systems that duplicate existing railroad systems to track railcar activity through their facilities to attempt proper evaluations of demurrage charges. The administrative burden of these efforts has been considerable.
'To remedy the situation and restore the ability to ensure fair and transparent assessments of demurrage charges, we ask the STB to amend the 2014 ruling and remove the option of direct billing of these charges to consignees such as terminals.'
Environmental, construction and discharge permits have been secured for the 1.3 million m3 HES Hartel Tank Terminal project in the Port of Rotterdam.
The awarding of these permits represents a major step forward in the development of the liquid bulk storage terminal for the storage and transshipment of clean petroleum products and biofuels.
Contracts with contractors have been signed, construction works have started and a comprehensive funding package of limited resource project financing and equity commitments have successfully been secured.
The new terminal will be the first in the Netherlands that will be built according to the latest PGS 29 regulations for tank storage, meaning that the facility will meet very high safety and environmental standards.
Additionally, HES International will invest in an automated system to fight a tank bund fire, a project to provide shore side electricity for barges and monitoring equipment to detect the release of odorous substances at an early stage. The monitoring equipment is in direct connection with the company's own control room, making it possible to adjust operations immediately when necessary.
The facility will comprise 54 tanks with a capacity of 1.3 million m3, which will vary in size from 5,000 to 50,000 m3 and are suitable for the storage of different products. In addition to transport by pipeline, loading and discharge of products will predominately take place by vessels and barges. The terminal will have six berths for seagoing vessels ranging in size up to VLCCs with a draft of 21 meters. There will also be nine berths for inland barges in the Hudson harbor.
BP has committed to the project, with plans for a pipeline connection between the refinery and the terminal.
CVR Energy has entered into a definitive agreement for the sale of its 1.5-million-barrel crude oil storage terminal in Cushing, Oklahoma to Plains All American Pipeline for $36 million.
Additionally, the company is also evaluating potential strategic alternatives, including a potential sale. The company, which has appointed BofA Merrill Lynch as its financial advisor, intends to evaluate alternatives in combination with its ongoing focus on accomplishing its strategic objectives, prudently managing costs and operating its businesses safely and reliably.
CVR Energy does not have a defined timeline for the exploration of strategic alternatives and makes no assurances that its evaluation will result in any transaction being announced or consummated.
Dave Lamp, CVR Energy's CEO, says: 'CVR Energy is committed to maximising value for its stockholders. Both the sale of the Cushing terminal, which allowed us to derive value from an underutilised asset, and the exploration of potential strategic alternatives support this commitment.
'We are excited about the company's prospects and ability to enhance stockholder value through our initiatives, regardless of the outcome of a strategic alternative process.'
Summit Terminaling has secured an equity commitment led by EIV Capital that will allow it to build, own and operate terminal assets in the US.
Summit, a growth-oriented energy infrastructure company focused on acquiring and developing bulk liquid terminal projects, is led by Mike Turchi, Seve Surchi and Melissa Dugan. It offers multi-faceted services to the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors including producers, refiners, manufacturers, traders, processors, terminal operators and end-users of bulk liquid commodities offering all modes of transportation.
With more than 30 terminals developed to date, Summit's diverse product experience includes crude oil, refined products, petrochemicals, LPG, base oils, asphalts, fertilisers and renewable fuels.
Mike Turchi, CEO of Summit Terminaling, says: 'We are excited to be partnered with EIV and their team of seasoned industry professionals. The principals of Summit have devoted the majority of their 35+ year careers to this space and have hands on experience across the entire carbon chain. Our partnership with EIV provides Summit with an enhanced platform to continue our strategy to build a portfolio of owned and operated terminal assets.'
EIV Capital co-founder and managing partner Patti Melcher adds: 'Given that US oil and gas production and volumes of refined products and chemicals continue to increase, Summit will provide the logistics and storage necessary to alleviate bottlenecks in constrained marketplaces.'
Blanca Andrés Ordax, policy officer at the European Commission, DG Energy, outlines the policies in place to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions across the European Union and what the energy sector needs to do to meet these objectives
WHAT IS THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION’S POSITION ON DECARBONISATION?
The Commission kicked off a broader debate following the launched of its vision on decarbonisation; Clean Planet for All:long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy by 20501. This Europe-wide informed debate should then allow the EU to elaborate an ambitious strategy and submit it by early 2020 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Three years ago, the world community pledged to contain the rise in global average temperature well below 2˚C above pre-industrial levels and to continue the action taken to limit the rise of the temperature to 1.5˚C. The European Commission is convinced that Europe must itself aim for a target of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
This long-term vision looks into the all options available for member states & sheds light on transitions across different sectors of the economy with energy playing a central role. It explains that it is possible to decarbonise industry using technologies that are proven to work, such as electrification of heat and steam production, fuel switch to biomass and hydrogen, innovative low carbon processes and Carbon Capture and Sequestration or Use. Further work is needed to reduce costs and bring these technologies to the market.
Decarbonising will imply a thorough transformation of industry, significantly modernising existing installations or completely replacing them. This investment will constitute part of the next industrial revolution. Digitalisation and automation are some of the more promising and effective avenues to increase competitiveness, leading both to efficiency gains and to greenhouse gas reductions.
Oil and petroleum products will mainly be used as feedstock for non-energy uses by 2050, in contrast to the current situation. This will have an impact on refining and petrochemical industries. Sustainable biomass has an important role to play in a climate neutral economy. A net-zero emissions economy will require increasing amounts of biomass compared to today’s consumption with, depending on what technologies are chosen, the highest projections seeing an increase in bio-energy consumption of around 80% by 2050 compared to today.
Deployment of renewable electricity also provides a major opportunity for the decarbonisation of other sectors (for example: heating, transport, industry), also through the production of e-fuels through electrolysis (for example, e-hydrogen).
The deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) will be necessary, especially in energy intensive industries and – in the transitional phase – for the production of carbon-free hydrogen in order to ensure that we reach the ambitious net zero carbon goal.
WHAT KEY POLICIES ARE IN PLACE THAT AFFECT THE ENERGY SECTOR?
The EU has already put in place the most advanced legislative arsenal to enable it to achieve its 2030 objectives and make the European energy sector safer, more competitive and more sustainable.
In its 4th report on the State of the Energy Union2 from April 2018, the Commission took stock of the current policies, which resulted in a comprehensive set of rules. These include, among others, the ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package3, with the objective to ensure a clean and fair energy transition at all levels of the economy.
This means finding the right blend between regulatory tools and market forces, encouraging private investment on clean energy where it makes economic sense and using EU funding to stimulate investment where market forces alone are not sufficient.
The most recent EU rules set out quantified objectives and a clear ‘direction of travel’ to 2030. They raised the EU level of ambition by setting new targets for 2030, namely: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions domestically by at least 40% compared to 1990 levels; to reach a share of at least 32% in consumption of renewable energy; and to increase energy efficiency by at least 32.5%. The electricity interconnections target was set to improve security of supply by stepping up to 15 % in each member state by 2030. Binding targets for 2030 were also set to reduce carbon emissions from cars by 37.5% compared to 2021 levels; from vans by 31% compared to 2021 levels; and from lorries by 30% compared to 2019 levels.
To achieve this, European legislation must first and foremost result in vigorous action on the ground. EU member states have prepared draft national energy and climate plans that include the national policies and measures needed to achieve the 2030 and 2050 targets. These plans will be completed by 2020.
However, without further efforts on our part, the mere continuation of these policies after 2030 would result in a reduction of our emissions by 60% by 2050, which is insufficient in view of our ambitions.
WHAT WILL BE THE IMPACT OF THESE POLICIES?
The overall economic benefits of a profound transformation are positive despite the scale of additional investment required in all sectors of the economy. The EU economy is expected to more than double by 2050 compared with 1990, even if it becomes completely carbon-free. Europe has demonstrated that decarbonisation and economic growth are compatible and go hand in hand. In fact, between 1990-2017, greenhouse gas emissions dropped by 22% while the economy grew by 58% over the same period.
A trajectory consistent with the goal of zero net greenhouse gas emissions, coupled with a coherent enabling framework, is expected to have a positive impact on GDP, with estimated profits of up to 2% of GDP by 2050.
The transition will stimulate the growth of new sectors. ‘Green jobs’ already represent four million jobs in the EU. New investments in industrial upgrading, energy transformation, the circular economy, clean mobility, green and blue infrastructure and the bio-economy will generate new, local and high-quality employment opportunities.
Our analysis shows that this transition will be beneficial for the vast majority of sectors and regions in Europe, but there will unfortunately be exceptions, such as the coal mining sector and oil & gas exploration. Other sectors will have to evolve in depth and be adapted to the new economy.
The process of profoundly modernising the corresponding economy will have to be properly managed to ensure that the transition is equitable and socially acceptable to all. It is imperative that no one be left behind:
the ecological transition will have to be united, or it will not be.
WHAT MUST THE ENERGY SECTOR DO TO HELP ACHIEVE THE PARIS AGREEMENT OBJECTIVES?
Today, the major part of our energy system, which accounts for more than 75% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions, is based on fossil fuels. All pathways assessed imply that by mid-century this will change radically. The deployment of renewable energy will drive a large-scale electrification of the energy system, be it at the level of end-users – such as energy use in industry, buildings or transport – or to produce carbon free fuels and feedstock for industry. The power sector will thus become a central element for the transformation of other economic sectors.
Most industrial greenhouse gas emissions stem from heating purposes in various applications. These emissions can be reduced through further efficiency improvements and by switching to low and zero carbon energy sources such as renewables-based electrification, sustainable biomass, synthetic fuels or hydrogen.
Around a quarter of industrial emissions consists of processrelated emissions (i.e., emissions from chemical reactions other than combustion), which are more difficult to reduce. Cutting these emissions will require genuine process innovation or the application of carbon capture and storage.
The transport sector currently relies largely on fossil fuels. Achieving deep emissions reductions will require an integrated system approach promoting (i) overall vehicle efficiency, low- and zero emission vehicles and infrastructure; (ii) a long-term switch to alternative and net-zero carbon fuels for transport; (iii) increased efficiency of the transport system. There is no single fuel solution for the future of low-carbon mobility – all main alternative fuel options will be needed. Changes in behaviour and consumer choice to shift from private transportation to low-carbon public transport, shared mobility and zero-carbon mobility (biking, walking) are also key.
Andrés Ordax will be talking more about the European Commission’s position on decarbonisation during the FETSA conference on June 12 in Tarragona, Spain. For more information visit the event website.
OMV Petrom has completed the modernisation of its fuel storage terminal in Arad, the second largest in Romania.
The €19 million programme included the modernisation of five fuel storage tanks, the installation of almost 12 kilometers of new pipelines, the casting of 6,500 m3 of concrete and modernisation works for two kilometers of railroad serving the facility.
Additionally, automation management systems and automated fuel delivery systems were installed as well as fire protection systems.
The facility has storage capacity of more than 32,000 m3 and serves West Romania, including Arad, Bihor, Timis and Hunedoara.
The €145 million programme to optimise the company's storage infrastructure was implemented in 2007. As part of this programme, three new terminals were built in Jilava, Brazi and Isalnita and three of its terminals were modernized in Bacau, Cluj and Arad.
Radu Căprău, member of the OMV Petrom executive board responsible for downstream oil, says: 'With the modernisation of the Arad fuel storage facility, we successfully complete the optimisation programme for our fuel storage infrastructure. The programme aimed to concentrate operations in six large-size terminals across the country and required investments of around €145 million over the last 12 years.'
Sempra LNG and Aramco Services Company have signed a heads of agreement regarding a sale and purchase agreement for LNG from Port Arthur LNG.
The agreement anticipates the negotiation and finalization of a 20 year LNG sale and purchase agreement for five million tonnes per annum of LNG offtake from the first phase of the Port Arthur LNG export-project under development.
It also includes the negotiation and finalization of a 25% equity investment in phase 1 of Port Arthur LNG.
The phase 1 project is expected to include two liquefaction trains, up to three LNG storage tanks and associated facilities that should enable the export of 11 Mtpa of LNG on a long-term basis.
Port Arthur LNG could be one of the largest LNG export projects in North America, with potential expansion capabilities of up to eight liquefaction trains or 45 Mtpa of capacity.
Amin Nasser, Saudi Aramco's CEO and president, says: 'The agreement with Sempra LNG is a major step forward in Saudi Aramco's long-term strategy to become a leading global LNG player. With global demand for LNG expected to grow by around 4% per year, and likely to exceed 500 million metric tonnes a year by 2035, we see significant opportunities in this market, and we will continue to pursue strategic partnerships that enable us to meet rising global demand for energy.
Jeffrey Martin, chairman and CEO of Sempra Energy, adds: 'We are pleased to partner with affiliates of Saudi Aramco to advance the development of Sempra LNG's natural gas liquefaction facility in Texas and enable the export of American natural gas to global markets.'
Howard Energy Partners has completed construction on the majority of its crude oil and natural gas gathering and processing infrastructure in the Delaware Basin.
The Delaware Basin assets are part of a strategic joint venture with WPX Energy that is operated by Howard Energy Partners and supported by an area of mutual interest of more than 600 miles in New Mexico and Texas.
These assets are the initial phase of the company's broader strategic plan in the area.
Howard recently commissioned the second 200 million cubic feet per day plant as part of its two-plant, 400 MMcf/d cryogenic processing complex in Reeves County. The first plant came online in September 2018. The County Line Facility also includes 4,000 barrels per day of condensate stablisation capacity and provides connections to WhiteWater Midstream and El Paso Natural Gas transmission pipelines, and EPIC and Oneok West Texas NGL pipelines.
The company completed more than 50 miles of crude oil gathering pipelines with 100,000 barrels per day of capacity, and an associated 50,000 barrel crude oil terminal in Reeves County.
It continues to build out its natural gas infrastructure, recently completing a 23-mile, 24-inch trunkline connecting additional gas processing supplies in the area. Construction on its 21 miles of high pressure, rich gas gathering pipelines is ongoing and is expected to be complete in the summer of 2019. Once fully built out, the system will have approximately 800 MMcf/d of throughput capacity.
Mike Howard, chairman and CEO, says: 'The completion of our previously announced projects in the Delaware Basin and our continued presence in the region is part of our broader company strategy to diversify both service offerings and geographic area.
'We are in the core of the core of the Delaware Basin with multiple productive zones and it will continue to be a growth focus for Howard Energy Partners. Through our strategic relationships and great customer service we continue to attract third party business and expect volume growth to remain strong on our strategically-located processing and pipeline assets.'
Bluewing Midstream has started construction of the second phase of its expansion project at its bulk liquid storage terminal in the Port of Brownsville, Texas.
The bulk liquids terminal & logistics operator says the expansion will support growing customer demand. This expansion phase will add 300,000 barrels of new liquids storage capacity capable of handling gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other petroleum products.
Phase II, when combined with Bluewing's existing assets in the Port of Brownsville, will offer existing and potential customers with 1.1 million barrels of storage capacity serving South Texas and exports to Mexico and other international markets.
Phase II is expected to commence initial operations in late 2019.
Bluewing CEO Todd Reid says: 'We are very excited to break ground on our Phase II expansion project and continue to build upon our existing operations.
'Phase II will allow us to advance our strategic organic development vision while continuing to provide flexible and efficient terminal and logistics solutions to our customers.'
Check out the June/July edition of Tank Storage Magazine for an exclusive, in-depth interview with Bluewing Midstream about its growth plans. www.tankstoragemag.com/latest_magazine.
Critical uncertainties in trade negotiations, monetary policy developments and geopolitical challenges remain despite global oil markets achieving more balance.
During its 14th meeting, OPEC's Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee observed that since January 2019, average conformity reached 120%. The committee noted that an agile and flexible approach has been critical to the success of the production declaration of cooperation and will be key going forward. Since the declaration was signed in December 2016, the participating countries have been able to adapt depending on market conditions.
The committee recognises that critical uncertainties remain, including ongoing trade negotiations, monetary policy developments and geopolitical challenges. As a result, the Joint Technical Committee and OPEC Secretariat will continue to monitor and analyse oil market developments, particularly oil inventory projections in the coming weeks.
The Dialog Group has started construction work on the third phase of the Pengerang Deepwater Terminals.
The third phase comprises common tankage facilities for a storage terminal, including shared infrastructure and deepwater marine facilities.
According to local news reports, Dialog said that in line with its development plans for phase three, Pengerang Terminals (Five), an indirect unit, had signed a long term storage agreement with BP Singapore.
The company said: 'PT5 will develop, construct and operate storage tanks with capacity of 430,000 m3 for clean petroleum products, and provide storage services in respect thereof to BPS as the term customer, with completion date expected in mid-2021.'
Phase three will be for more dedicated petroleum and petrochemical storage terminals for medium to long term customers.
The company said that the project is on track for completion at the end of 2019.
Freeport LNG has received approval from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to site, construct and operate a fourth natural gas liquefaction train.
This train will be integrated into its existing natural gas liquefaction and LNG export facility on Quintana Island near Freeport, Texas.
Freeport LNG’s train 4 is expected to add more than five million tonnes per annum of LNG production to its existing project, increasing the total export capability of the four-train facility to more than 20 mtpa.
Approximately 13.5 mtpa of this capacity has been contracted under 20-year tolling agreements to Osaka Gas Trading & Export, JERA Energy America, BP Energy Company, Toshiba America LNG Corporation, and SK E&S LNG. Approximately 0.5 mtpa has been contracted to Trafigura under a three-year sale and purchase agreement starting in 2020.
Train 4 operations are expected to start in 2023. Freeport LNG’s facility comprises three liquefaction trains, with train 1 scheduled for commercial startup in the third quarter of 2019, and full three-train commercial operations anticipated by mid-2020.
Once train 4 is complete, the facility will become the world’s fifth largest LNG producer.
Michael Smith, founder, chairman and CEO of Freeport LNG, says: ‘This is an important milestone in the continued growth of Freeport LNG. Having FERC’s approval in hand brings us one significant step closer to our goal of moving ahead with train 4 construction later this year.’
Storage operators in the Mediterranean are facing a range of development opportunities, thanks to IMO 2020 as well as challenges with declining gasoline demand.
Considerable activity is happening around the IMO 2020 regulation, which comes into effect on January 1, 2020, which presents not only challenges for the midstream sector, but also opportunities.
Ahead of the Argus Mediterranean Storage and Logistics conference in June, Marco Schiavetti, CEO and CCO at Saras Trading, says that the industry in the Mediterranean is facing challenges and opportunities.
‘Obviously, with the new IMO 2020 regulation, a lot of things are going on in bunker fuels. But looking forward, the Mediterranean in particular continues to be oversupplied with gasoline – and that, coupled with declining demand, represents a growing challenge for the whole industry.’
Currently, terminal and logistics assets are preparing to accommodate new bunker fuel streams that will emerge as a result of the IMO 2020 regulation as well as providing services for the old fuel specification, which will continue to be used by ships that have scrubbers installed.
Schiavetti adds: ‘Several refineries, including Saras, are already producing 0.5% compliant fuel, working closely with shipowners to test the new product and experimenting with new crude slates and production schemes in order to maximise profits.
‘This is being done in order to be fully ready for the fourth quarter of 2019, when demand for the new product will start to materialise and also hopefully lead to a higher margin in particular for middle distillates.’
Schiavetti will be speaking more about the opportunities in the Mediterranean for storage operators at the Argus Mediterranean Storage and Logistics conference in Valletta, Malta on June 6-7. The conference will also examine local and international markets as well as raising funds for storage and tank terminals. For more information visit www.argusmedia.com/en/conferences-events-listing/mediterranean-storage-and-logistics
As the number and severity of hurricanes has increased in the US in recent years, Rama Challa from Matrix PDM Engineering explains how lessons learned from previous weather events have helped continuously shape the industry’s response
A new study1 has revealed that hurricanes intensify more quickly now than they did 30 years ago. Recent hurricanes such as Harvey, Irma and Jose are recent examples of this growing trend and highlight the devastating consequences they can have on the environment, society and the economy.
In addition to affecting storage tanks, hurricanes can impact storage terminal assets by causing damage to floating roofs, flooding the facilities, affecting other operating infrastructure, and cause power failures.
In an interview with Tank Storage Magazine Rama Challa, director of AST and specialty vessels at Matrix PDM Engineering, says that as the amount and severity of hurricanes has increased, many storage operators have improved their related response plans.
‘Most operators have identified hurricanes as potential crises for which they need to plan. Access to better weather data and lessons learned from previous events have also helped improve preparedness and response.’
Key learning points from previous hurricanes include:
• The need for comprehensive pre-hurricane preparedness and post disaster recovery plans;
• Understanding the criticality of any potential impact of rainfall intensity and duration and its effect on equipment and infrastructure;
• Recognition of the personal impact a hurricane may have on terminal employees, and;
• Awareness that availability of labour and resources can be constrained.
Challa adds: ‘As with any crisis, communication with all stakeholders, including employees, contractors, customers, and the community at large, is key.’
PLANNING IS KEY
Proper planning, inclusive of robust assessments and pre-identified activities prior to, during and post hurricane event can mitigate the destructive effects on a facility.
First and foremost, terminal owners/operators should plan for the protection of terminal employees, contractors and other who may be on site during or after an event, according to Challa.
Challa says: ‘As to the assets, terminal owners/operators should take a formal approach towards classification of assets and identification of vulnerabilities. This requires evaluating each individual asset and related components and assessment of the potential for failure.’
Examples of this include:
• An external pontoon floating roof is critical and assigned a risk category A. Once classified as such, the asset should be examined and assessed for vulnerability, such as having inadequate roof drains. Once this vulnerability is identified it can be addressed and the risk mitigated. Adding a geodesic dome, for example, can provide some additional mitigation against a floating roof sinking in the event of excessive rainfall accumulation on the roof.
• An internal floating roof is not as risk-prone and therefore has less vulnerability.
• A control valve has a higher risk and is vulnerable due to the need for continued operation and uninterrupted power. Mitigation in the form of an alternate power source may need to be considered.
Matrix PDM Engineering is working with the industry to further improve hurricane planning and preparedness.
‘We work with our customers to develop hurricane preparedness plans including assessment and classification of assets such as aboveground storage tanks, assessment of roof drain capabilities, review of terminal infrastructure, and development of defined mitigation measures to minimise the impact such as recommending safe fill levels and
engineering UPS systems.
’We also provide support to our clients in post-event repair and reconstruction across multiple construction disciplines and we support major utility and industrial clients by providing crews to restore power and energy to affected facilities.’
1Recent increases in tropical cyclone intensification rates: Kieran T. Bhatia, Gabriel A. Vecchi, Thomas R. Knutson, Hiroyuki Murakami, James Kossin, Keith W. Dixon & Carolyn E. Whitlock Nature Communications, volume 10, Article number: 635 (2019)
Challa will be speaking more about hurricane preparedness and response in the security and emergency response track of the ILTA conference on June 3 - 4. For more information visit www.ilta.org/AOCTS.
As of Monday, May 13 total oil product stocks in Fujairah stood at 23.832 million barrels. Overall product stocks edged up by 0.5% with a modest build in residual stocks balanced by declines in light and middle distillates.
Stocks of light distillates fell by 2.9% week on week to 10.460 million barrels. Stocks are down by about 1.5 million barrels from the record high of 11.975 million barrels seen two weeks ago. Gasoline markets have steadied in recent days following sharp declines in cracks seen last week. 'The gasoline market is currently very volatile. I am personally mixed (on the gasoline market) and am looking for any potential upside,' one market source says. The FOB Singapore 92 RON gasoline crack against front-month ICE Brent crude futures rebounded to $4.94/b on Monday from recent two-month lows but remained well below the average crack of $7.25/b for the month of April.
Stocks of middle distillates were reported at 2.281 million barrels, falling by 306,000 barrels week on week. Cross-regional flows of gasoil from the East of Suez to Europe are picking up. Although market sources reiterated that the arbitrage from Asia to the west of Suez was open on paper - with the front month EFS widening to minus $14.87/mt on Friday - a recovery in freight rates have dented economics. Freight for LR2 bringing clean products from the Persian Gulf to Northwest Europe increased to a two-month high of $30/mt recently. Meanwhile, freight for LR2 bringing clean products from the West Coast of India to NWE are also at two-month highs of between $24-25/mt.
Stocks of heavy distillates rose by 7.1%, adding by 731,000 barrels on the week to stand at 11.091 million barrels. Stocks remained well above average levels in 2018, which stood at 7.897 million barrels. Bunker activity in Fujairah was reported as stable in recent days, seeming unaffected by recent security incidents in the region. 'It's comparatively quieter today even with this fall in prices,' one bunker supplier said. Others noted steady buying interest as some buyers emerged on a weaker crude. Fujairah-delivered 380 CST bunker fuel was assessed at $409.25/mt on Tuesday. Prices dipped sharply following the release of bearish data that showed Singapore bunker sales down by 12% year on year in April.
As all sectors within the European Union work towards tackling the climate change challenge, Giorgia Manno, senior policy advisor at FuelsEurope, explains how Vision 2050 sets out the steps the refining sector would take, provided an enabling regulatory framework is in place, to contribute to the fight against climate change and embrace low-carbon technologies
The EU refining sector is looking forward in order to contribute to the achievement of the European climate targets with new low-carbon processes and technologies.
Launched in 2018, the industry’s Vision 2050 plan presents how the sector can evolve with new low-carbon processes and products as long as the right regulatory framework is in place. As part of the EU’s long-term strategy, requiring all sectors of the economy to help achieve certain EU climate goals, Visions 2050 sets out the industry’s potential plan to increasingly use a combination of new, low-carbon feedstocks – such as biomass and vegetable oils, waste and captured CO2 – in highly efficient manufacturing processes.
The plan suggests that the refining sector could implement CCS/CCU technologies, for example, and further reduce emissions by using renewable electricity and hydrogen on-site.
In an interview with Tank Storage Magazine Giorgia Manno, senior policy advisor at FuelsEurope, says that the key to succeed is for all European and national authorities to work together for a global challenge, creating the conditions for the development and deployment of new low-carbon technologies.
‘The vision highlights that there is no silver bullet to cope with the climate and energy challenges and that a technology-neutral approach needs to be developed,’ she explains.
‘This means that the European and national authorities should allow all promising low-carbon technologies to compete, instead of picking specific technologies for policy support based on arbitrary selection criteria. Some of these key technologies are already in place, but more investments are needed to develop them at the scale level.’
THE EMISSIONS CHALLENGE
However, society will still require oil and liquid hydrocarbons in the future. According to the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2018, oil will still be needed in 2040 and liquid hydrocarbons will be difficult to replace for the heavy-duty, marine transport, aviation industries, as well as a feedstock for the petrochemical industry.
Petrochemicals are becoming the largest drivers of global oil demand and the IEA projects they will account for more than a third of the growth in world oil demand to 2030, and nearly half the growth to 2050.
‘The energy sector faces the challenge to emit less CO2 while continuing to supply the economy with the required products,’ says Manno.
‘That is why FuelsEurope considers that electrification is certainly among the solutions but that the low carbon fuels and the refinery as described in Vision 2050 would also ensure the security of supply in the energy market, covering the demand.
‘This would also lower the risk of the EU becoming dependent on imports of cobalt, nickel, lithium and other raw material for batteries, which would be needed in case of a full electrification.
‘A technology neutral approach and the recognition of a role for low carbon liquid fuels would avoid the risk for price increases and security of supply.’
According to Concawe’s preliminary results (the scientific division of the Petroleum Refiners Association), when considering technologies related to energy efficiency, the use of low-carbon energy sources and the capture and storage of CO2, the total CO2 emissions intensity of EU refineries can be reduced by 20% to 30% by 2030, going up to 70% by 2050 compared to 1990. Concawe is also exploring the progressive replacement of oil by low carbon feedstocks which would offer additional CO2 (fossil related) savings.
As long as an appropriate legal framework is in place, Manno says refineries will have a different shape in the future, producing from a new kind of feedstocks and through more efficient processes. Oil will be used less and feedstocks, such as plastic, waste, biomass and CO2 would produce low carbon fuels.
Furthermore, an immediate emissions reduction in all transport vehicles could be achieved with the full utilisation of existing infrastructure – with some eventual adjustments – for the production, distribution and storage of liquid fuels. There would not be the need to replace the whole car park.
Manno says: ‘Oil and gas companies are investing in R&D and deployment projects that illustrate how the industry could evolve in a way that mitigates climate change. A few early R&D examples and some cases of deployment show the industry’s engagements and capabilities at different stages of the value chain.’
An example of the transition refineries are undergoing can be seen in the biorefineries of La Mède, in France, or Venice and Gela, in Italy.
‘The EU refining industry today is an example of European industrial excellence, proving an essential contribution to the EU value chain,’ says Manno.
‘It has repeatedly demonstrated its capability to innovate and evolve and to adapt to the needs of the economy and citizens and to environmental legislation. Therefore, the development of innovative, low-carbon solutions for liquid fuels, new products and converted industrial facilities will give the technological leadership to the EU.’
Looking at how the EU Industrial strategy ensures refineries are able to retain their economic viability, Manno says: ‘The contribution of the EU refining industry can be enhanced by an EU industrial strategy enabling the energy transition, referring to the low-carbon liquid fuels and encouraging investments in promising technologies.
‘This would be key to prevent the relocation outside the EU of manufacturing activities, allowing refineries to retain their economic viability and job in the face of declining domestic demand and of increasingly aggressive international competition.
‘A low-carbon liquid fuel strategy could be an industrial opportunity for Europe. The EU Industrial strategy should introduce a suitable development of the long-term policy framework to attract investments in Europe, leading the refinery of the future towards a pioneering, low-carbon manufacturing hub integrated with a cluster of industries, able to expand this industrial collaboration in future low-carbon technologies.’
Manno will be talking more about Vision 2050 and the energy transition on the first day of the FETSA conference on June 12. For more information visit the event website.
Brooge Petroleum & Gas Investment Company (BPGIC) and Sahara Energy Resources have announced plans to build an oil refinery to produce bunker fuel in Fujairah.
The companies say that the facility, which will be capable of producing bunker fuel with a capacity of up to 250,000 barrels per day, will be one of the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa to comply with the new IMO 2020 regulations, which cap the sulphur content in shipping fuels to 0.5%.
The first phase of the planned refinery is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2020.
During the partnership agreement signing Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, secretary general of OPEC, says the deal 'evolved through the drive of the UAE's leadership in promoting and supporting such private initiatives and expediting the diversification of their economies.'
BPGIC CEO Nicolaas Paardenkooper says: 'The new facility will contribute to bolstering the growing status of the Emirate of Fujairah in the oil and gas industry and help meet the growing demand for shipping fuels that complies with the new international laws on capping sulphur content in shipping fuels.
'It falls in line with the company's expansion strategy and its growing contribution to the development of the oil and gas industry in the UAE by injecting more investments into this essential sector.'
He adds that the listing process of BPGIC on Nasdaq Stock Exchange, which started in April, was a resounding success for building up investor confidence in the company and its expansion plans.
Wale Ajibade, executive director, Sahara Group, says the refinery unit would make Sahara Energy a major supplier of IMO 2020 complaint products in the UAE as well as in African, Asian and European markets.
He says: 'Sahara Energy is delighted to be part of this landmark leap in the future of clean energy. We are constantly seeking opportunities to expand our operations and develop the sector in line with global best practices.'
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.