Vopak and its partner Global Ports Investments have divested their 100% share ownership in the joint venture Vopak E.O.S to Liwathon.
The terminal operates total storage capacity of 1.026 million m3 in the Port of Tallinn and includes the railway company E.R.S, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vopak E.O.S.
This sale is the outcome of the company's earlier announced strategic review. In 2017, Vopak fully impaired its investment in Vopak E.O.S. The modest transaction result will be reported in the company's Q2 2019 results.
Investigations have been launched following a massive fire at Intercontinental Terminals Company's Deer Park storage facility.
The blaze, which started on March 17, took more than three days to extinguish and engulfed 11 aboveground storage tanks containing a variety of hydrocarbons including naphtha and xylene.
Large plumes of black smoke could be seen covering parts of Houston and multiple orders were issued for community members to shelter in place. In addition, air quality warnings were also issued.
The US Chemical Safety Board has started an investigation into the cause of the blaze, which will include interviews as well as visiting the scene to collect evidence.
At the time of writing, the US Coast Guard remained unsure as to when the Houston Ship Channel, which was partly closed following the fire, would fully reopen as crews continue to clean up chemicals that seeped into the channel. Almost 20 miles of rubber barriers have been deployed to contain the spill.
In addition, the Labour Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has also launched an investigation.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has also filed an environmental lawsuit against the company for air pollution in violation of the Texas Clean Air Act.
As of Monday, March 25 total oil product stocks in Fujairah stood at 24.132 million barrels rising 0.8% week on week, breaching the 24 million barrel level for the first time since the highest total stock level was recorded of 24.4 million barrels, seen on July 17, 2017. Stock reporting in Fujairah began at the start of 2017.
Stocks of light distillates rose by 0.3% week on week. Total volumes added 37,000 barrels to stand at 11.596 million barrels. For the second consecutive week this level sets the second highest weekly stock level for light distillates, with the previous high of 11.975 million barrels seen at the end of January this year. Gasoline values continued their upward trajectory seen in recent weeks as concerns of supply tightness were dominating the East of Suez gasoline market. One supportive factor was a fall in the run rate at Chinese refiners, with the average run rate in the country's state state-owned falling to 82% of their overall nameplate capacity this month, down from 85% in February. Going forward, traders saw the market continuing to be supported with a seasonal demand increase expected in Asia. 'I think the market will be sustained at least through April and May given that we are expecting demand to increase during Ramadan,' a market source said.
Stocks of middle distillates showed a drawdown of 4%, with stocks falling by 89,000 week on week to stand at 2.163 million barrels. The market for gasoil was rangebound to weaker – despite turnaround season entering its peak across Asia, traders noted that while exports were seen lower across North Asia there was no shortage of spot material available to the market. 'I feel that the gasoil market is hazy ... usually it can't be so weak with the turnaround season [coming up],' a trader said. However, subdued end-user demand could be a factor leading to the prompt weakness in the market, he added.
Stocks of heavy distillates saw a rise of 2.5%, adding 253,000 barrels on the week to stand at 10.373 million barrels. Fujairah bunker demand has been mixed for different market participants in recent days, while some trade sources noted that prompt availability was tight due to more uptake in the second half of the month. The discount that Fujairah had been enjoying for 380 CST delivered bunkers relative to Singapore has eroded in recent days, with the Arab Gulf port now pricing at a premium to Singapore. Tuesday saw 380 CST delivered bunkers in Fujairah assessed at $424/mt, a $2.5/mt premium to Singapore delivered bunkers which were assessed at $421.50/mt. In contrast through February Fujairah was assessed at a $4.78/mt discount to Singapore.
The Port of Corpus Christi Commission has approved a 50-year lease agreement with Lone Star Ports for 200 acres to develop a petroleum export terminal.
The state-of-the-art export facility, a joint venture between the Carlyle Group and the Berry Group, will connect US crude producers with all major international markets.
The lease agreement between the Port of Corpus Christ Authority and Lone Star Port will provide significant accretive value in the port's annual operating revenues. The facility on Harbor Island is designed to be the deepest-draft safe harbour crude export facility in the national when commissioned. Upon completion, the facility's two docks will have access to the improved 56' ship channel depth, making it the US' first and only onshore terminal capable of fully loading Suezmax vessels and nearly full loading VLCCs.
Sean Strawbridge, CEO for the Port of Corpus Christi, says: 'This long-term commitment is testament to the significance of the Corpus Christi gateway for American energy exports, which are expected to triple in the next decade.
'A 50-year lease agreement with the Carlyle Group and the Berry Group joint venture company, Lone Star Ports, is not only complementary to our existing marine terminal infrastructure but also positions the Port of Corpus Christi to be the preferred outlet for US-produced crude exports serving all major global demand centres for generations to come.'
Civil works for this facility repurposing project have been underway for the past year ahead of finalising a definitive lease agreement, including the demolition of existing dock structure from a previous decades old Exxon crude import terminal on Harbor Island. The execution of this new lease enables the parties to start major equipment and materials procurements and other construction efforts.
Saudi Aramco has signed a share purchase agreement to buy a 70% majority stake in SABIC from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia for $69.1 billion.
The remaining 30% publicly traded shares in SABIC are not part of the transaction, and Saudi Aramco has no plans to acquire these remaining shares. SABIC, headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has global operations in more than 50 countries and in 2018 its production volume across its various business units was 75 million metric tonnes.
Saudi Aramco says this acquisition is in line with its long-term strategy to drive growth through an enhanced downstream portfolio by increasing global participated refining capacity from 4.9 million to 8-10 million barrels per day by 2030.
Amin Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, says: 'This transaction is a major step in accelerating Saudi Aramco's transformative downstream growth strategy of integrated refining and petrochemicals. SABIC is a world-class company with an outstanding workforce and chemicals capabilities. As part of the Saudi Aramco family of companies, together we will create a stronger, more robust business to enhance competitiveness and help meet rising demand for energy and chemicals products needed by our customers around the world.'
Saudi Aramco's senior vice president of downstream Abdulaziz Al-Judaimi adds: 'Saudi Aramco's downstream strategy is focused on meeting global customer needs by securing outlets for our crude oil through the expansion and growth of our refining system and deepening its integration with petrochemicals production.
'We are pursuing partnerships and acquisitions where we create long-term value and developing groundbreaking crude-oil-to-chemicals technologies. SABIC is a good strategic fit and a solid platform to support our continued investment for future growth in petrochemicals – the fastest growing sector of oil demand.'
A storage facility in Maine has agreed to reduce its emissions and pay a fine after it violated certain provisions of the Clean Air Act.
Global Companies, which has a facility in South Portland that stores oil and asphalt, has reached a settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Justice to limit the emissions of volatile organic compounds from heated tanks in South Portland that store asphalt and residual #6 fuel oil.
The company will also install mist eliminator systems on the tanks to address local air impacts. Global will also invest at least $150,000 in a project to encourage the replacement or upgrades of wood stoves in the area.
It will pay a $40,000 penalty to settle the charges by EPA that it violated certain provisions of the Clean Air Act. Data from emissions testing revealed that the tanks at Global's South Portland facility emit VOCs at substantially higher levels than previously estimated.
Under the agreement, Global will apply for a revised permit from Maine that will limit the amount of #6 oil and asphalt the company can pass through the facility and will limit the number of days it can heat the tanks and the number of tanks that can store #6 oil at any one time.
CLH has invested more than €10 million to increase its oil product storage capacity and improve operations at its Barcelona facility.
The Spanish logistics company has constructed two new storage tanks of 11,000 m3 each, representing a total investment of more than €3 million.
In addition, CLH has allocated €7 million to operational improvements in the tanks, increasing pump flows and improving the safety and environmental protection measure of the facility. These investments will lead to an increase in the productivity of the plant, as well as providing flexibility to attend more effectively to the new demands of customers.
The main investment here has been dedicated to the adaptation of six tanks to enable them to store different products at a cost of €2.4 million. This enables the company to better meet current market demands.
A further €1.8 million has been allocated to the construction of a new water treatment unit. New pumps have been installed with higher flow rates and some sections of the pipeline that share entry flows from the moorings with other movements have been split, making it possible to carry out delivery and dispatch operations simultaneously and to handle different products.
Various improvements have also been made to the safety and environmental protection systems at the terminal, including improvements to the fire protection system.
Nuevo Midstream Dos has entered into an agreement with an affiliate of ArcLight Capital Partners to buy Republic Midstream.
Republic owns and operates a crude oil gathering, storage and intermediate transportation system in the Eagle Ford Shale.
Nuevo Midstream plans to expand the system with 300,00 barrels of crude oil storage and a six-bay truck station. The system, which consists of 1,000 miles of gathering pipeline that feeds a central delivery point, also includes a 26-mile intermediate pipeline that moves volumes from the central delivery point to the Kinder Morgan crude and condensate pipeline and the Eagle Ford crude oil pipeline system, which is owned and operated by Enterprise.
The Kinder Morgan and Enterprise pipelines deliver crude and condensate to multiple terminals with access to refineries, petrochemical plants and export terminals on the Texas Gulf Coast.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019.
A large fire at Intercontinental Terminals Company’s chemical storage facility in Deer Park has been extinguished.
The blaze, which lasted for almost four days, was successfully put out overnight Tuesday according to a statement from the company and firefighters.
According to local news report, fire crews continue to spray foam and water on the tanks to cool them and prevent reignition.
In a statement, the company says: ‘Although all fires have been extinguished at this time, steam and smoke may still be visible from the area and the possibility for reigniting still exists.’
The fire at the Deer Park facility started on Sunday, March 17 and spread to several chemical storage tanks, including naphtha and xylene.
The fire started in tanks containing naphtha and xylene and spread to a small patch of containers that included toluene.
No injuries have been reported and local health and emergency officials said early air quality tests suggest the fire has not posed a serious health risk.
Vitol has acquired a further 50% of VALT, the bitumen joint venture with Sargeant Marine.
Once complete, VALT with be 100% owned by Vitol and will be integrated into Vitol's core trading business.
The acquisition will make Vitol a leader in the trading, storage and marine transportation of asphalt products globally, with a dedicated fleet of 11 specialised vessels. Volumes are around 1.4 million metric tonnes of asphalt per annum, managed from hubs in Asia, Europe, and the US.
The transaction, subject to conditions, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019.
Global Petro Storage has entered into an agreement with the Port of Amsterdam to develop a railcar connection on land adjacent to GPS' existing storage facility.
GPS intends to develop a rail connection to the public network and to points across Europe that will increase its efficiency and offerings to clients.
The sustainable transport development complements Port of Amsterdam's strategy, which underscores the importance of good rail connections to and from the Amsterdam port region.
Peter Vucins, director of EMEA at GPS, says the expansion will enable GPS to capture future opportunities. The first step has been taken by asking for permits for the railcar connection.
He adds: 'This agreement enables GPS to continue the successful expansion programme that began when we acquired the terminal in late 2016, including adding significant gasoline capacity to our current terminal, which will come on stream in the second half of this year.'
A large fire at a petrochemical storage facility in Deer Park continues to rage into the third day as it spread to multiple tanks.
The fire at the Intercontinental Terminals Company's Deer Park facility started on Sunday, March 17 and spread to several chemical storage tanks, including naphtha and xylene.
The fire is expected to burn for another day or two as firefighters continue to battle the flames. Latest reports suggest that the fire has been contained within six storage tanks, although there were reports that it had spread to seven tanks, however it later emerged that one remained unscathed.
The fire started in tanks containing naphtha and xylene and spread to a small patch of containers that included Toluene. Company officials say that the risk of additional tanks catching fire remains minimal.
Alice Richardson, ITC spokeswoman, is reported saying: 'We have made some headway that (only) three of our tanks are still on fire. Three others are intermittent fires. They flare up and they go down.'
No injuries have been reported and local health and emergency officials said early air quality tests suggest the fire has not posed a serious health risk.
StocExpo Europe's new divisional director has high ambitions to take it to the next level as the event prepares to celebrate its 15th anniversary serving the bulk liquid storage sector.
Mark Rimmer has worked in energy exhibitions for more than 12 years and plans to use his experience to take the event to the next level. 'This year StocExpo celebrates its 15th anniversary and in that time the show has grown and evolved into the flagship event it is today,' he explains. 'I can't wait to see the show for myself on 26th March.
'What I've learned over the years is that with so many events for people to choose from, you have to build your event to sit at the heart of a community, it should truly serve its market and deliver return on investment, return on time for exhibitors and visitors alike.'
'What's great about StocExpo Europe is that it serves a specific niche. By only focusing on the bulk liquid storage sector, exhibitors know that every single visitor that walks through the door is relevant to them. Equally, visitors know that our exhibitors are specialised and skilled in delivering what they need.'
'Having said that, it's still vital to add new features to the show each year to ensure these visitors return year after year.'
This year, for the first time, terminals are also exhibiting. 'It's great to see Inter Terminals and Stolthaven Terminals on the show floor and I am looking forward to seeing the initiatives they'll be showcasing on their stands.'
Also new for 2019 is the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA), who will be hosting a series of workshops at the Innovation Theatre on the third day.
And there's yet another first. Renowned motivational speaker Steven van Belleghem will be delivering the keynote presentation during the CPD-certified conference, presenting his views on how to survive in a world of artificial intelligence, robots, and automation.
The international conference, organised by Tank Storage Magazine, covers a wide range of topics impacting the storage sector, from the Energy Transition to The Terminal of Tomorrow. Other key speakers include; Matthew Hudson, Terminal Manager from Shell; Stephen Harrison, Principal at Nexant Energy & Chemicals Advisory, plus Mike van Croonenburg, Director at Alpha Terminals.
'We've got record numbers of delegates attending the conference this year,' Rimmer says; with companies such as Saudi Aramco, LBC Terminals, Mina Petroleum, MOL, Navigator Terminals, SK Energy, Tepsa, Unipetrol. With the conference situated on the show floor, it will make it so much easier for these delegates to visit the exhibition.'
And with plenty happening on the show floor, from free-to-attend sessions, networking parties on many stands as well as the late-night networking on the second day, there will be plenty of business opportunities for visitors and delegates alike.
Free-to-attend sessions will be taking place each day on the show floor. On day one, the Engineering Equipment and Materials Users Association (EEMUA) will be hosting a series of seminars on topics such as cyber security and robotic inspection.
On day two, iTanks will be taking a closer look at the role hydrogen may play in the future and what impact this could have on tank storage, following its networking breakfast.
'I've heard a lot of good things about the iTanks networking breakfast on day two. This will be a unique opportunity to hear pitches from entrepreneurs about their innovative products.'
Revealing other highlights on his list, Rimmer adds: 'I'm also looking forward to the Global Tank Storage Awards ceremony following day one,' he says. 'An evening of good food, drink, entertainment and good company with the industry.'
'And the late-night networking on day two will be a great opportunity to get to know the key figures in the industry in a more relaxed atmosphere.'
'The show's Official Publication Tank Storage Magazine is also celebrating its 15-year anniversary at the show – yet another reason to celebrate!'
For more information visit www.stocexpo.com.
An affiliate of ArcLight Energy Partners has announced plans to acquire American Midstream Partners as part of a definitive agreement and plan of merger.
Under the agreement ArcLight will acquire all outstanding common units of American Midstream not already held by the company at a price of $5.25 per common unit.
The merger is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019 subject to meeting certain customary conditions.
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and West Street Infrastructure Partners, managed by Goldman Sachs, have completed the acquisition of HES International.
The companies have acquired HES International from Riverstone Holdings and the Carlyle Group. The new shareholders, who each control 50% of HES, look forward to working in partnership with the executive board and the employees to further develop and grow the company.
MIRA and WSIP are supportive of management's strategy to grow HES through investment in new projects and to strengthen the existing operations of the terminals.
HES is one of the largest diversified port terminals businesses in Europe and is focused on the storage and handling of liquid bulk products and dry bulk products. With strategic locations in some of Europe's most accessible ports, HES benefits from highly attractive catchment areas and established long-term relationships with the region's blue-chip customers.
The company has established Northwest Europe's newest liquid bulk terminal, HES Botlek Tank Terminal, and helped the largest independent tank terminal in Germany, HES Wilhelmshaven Tank Terminal, transition from a refinery to fully operational tank terminal.
In a statement, the company says that the HES management team is successfully implementing a €700 million transformation and growth strategy, which includes the construction of the 1.3 million m3 HES Hartel Tank Terminal in the Port of Rotterdam. This strategy enables HES to grow into a significant tank terminal operator in Northwest Europe, while further strengthening its position as one of the largest diversified dry bulk terminal operators in Europe.
Sinopec has started operations at four berths at its Yangpu oil products terminal.
The facility in Hainan has four specialised oil product berths, including one 100,000 tonnes-class berth, two 50,000 tonnes-class berths, and one 10,000 tonnes-class berths.
The annual handling capacity of the berths will be 27.41 million tonnes according to Sinopec.
The terminal provides product oil supply to Honey as well as for its expansion in southeast Asia.
As of Monday, March 11 total oil product stocks in Fujairah stood at 21.641 million barrels. Inventory levels edged down by 0.4% or 94,000 barrels week on week.
Stocks of light distillates fell by 5.4% week on week. Total volumes rose by 591,000 barrels to stand at 10.399 million barrels. Light distillates stocks have been rangebound and have continued to hold above 10 million barrels since the start of 2019.
While stocks remain high by historical levels, the East of Suez gasoline market continued to see a recovery building momentum. 'Fundamentals on both the supply and demand sides have been strong,' one market observer said. 'Most recent news has been bullish, while prompt demand for gasoline has also been very good,' the source added. This was reflected by the FOB Singapore 92 RON gasoline crack against front-month ICE Brent crude oil futures assessed at $5.80/b yesterday – the highest since mid-October 2018.
Stocks of middle distillates jumped by 31.8% week on week to 2.609 million barrels. Stocks for the category were last higher on November 19, 2018. The East/West arbitrage slammed shut early in the week, with the front-month Exchange of Futures for Swaps, or EFS, spread narrowing drastically. At the Asian close Monday the front-month EFS stood at minus $14.21/mt, but it narrowed to minus $5.80/mt by Tuesday's close. '[The narrowing of the front-month EFS was due to] ICE gasoil weakness ahead of pricing,' a market participant said. Sources also said that there were enough gasoil barrels around the west Africa region to reach Europe, ensuring supply to the latter. 'The arbitrage from Singapore is closed,' the source said, adding that there was a likelihood that Indian gasoil barrels will" point towards Singapore. 'The relative value to send [Indian] gasoil barrels is better than to send it West,' he said.
Stocks of heavy residues were little changed and edged up by 0.7% to 8.633 million barrels. Bunker fuel premiums have been largely rangebound in Fujairah since the last two weeks, sources said. While delivered bunker fuel prices in Fujairah were still lower than in Singapore, this has not significantly boosted uptake. Overall demand was not fantastic even though there had been a slight pick-up in buying compared to last month, sources added. S&P Global Platts data shows that the spot delivered 380 CST bunker fuel premiums over MOPAG 180 CST have averaged $10.60/mt so far in March – little changed from the average seen last month.
Marshall Mott-Smith, vice president of the NISTM, explains why a continued focus on environmental protection is important for the bulk liquid storage industry and what is in store at this year’s NISTM
For the last 21 years, the NISTM (National Institute for Storage Tank Management) Annual International Aboveground Storage Tank Conference has focused on the environmental protection aspects of bulk petroleum storage management.
In addition to providing technical presentations for various storage processes, including storage operations, corrosion protection, safety, tank integrity and other specialist topics, the key focus of the annual conference is on environmental protection, management, and environmental response.
Mindful of the increasing importance terminal operators are placing on environmental management and protection, the conference provides a range of technical training presentations with essential information to assist industry professionals with environmental compliance.
What makes the conference sessions even more effective is the wide inclusion of all participants, with representatives from regulatory agencies associated with aboveground storage tank systems, facility owners and operators, service providers, equipment manufacturers, industry media, and other industry professionals. This effort to invite and promote the attendance of regulators helps improve industry compliance, individual awareness, communication, and regulator understanding of industry perspectives.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will provide a day-long pre-conference free training class designed for professional engineers and environmental professionals about how to properly prepare SPCC and FRP plans. The EPA also provides presentations in the plenary and breakout sessions.
The conference has attendees from the Office of Pipeline Safety, Fire Code Officials, Coast Guard Officials, and other federal regulators. Members of NASAP (the National Association of State Aboveground Tank Programme Managers) also attend each year and co-locate their annual meeting with NISTM. These are the larger state programmes with AST regulations for field-erected and shopfabricated storage tanks, with an emphasis on preventing petroleum leaks to the environment. The conference will also have numerous individual presentations about air pollution controls, storm and waste water management, industry reference standards, and environmental protection rules for ASTs.
Industry associations and institutes also contribute to the importance of the conference. The API provides an annual update on industry standards. NACE has its own all-day track for storage tank corrosion protection sessions, and the Steel Tank Institute has a day-long track for field-erected tank construction issues, as well as a half-day track for shop-fabricated storage tank training. Another important co-located event is the Tanks 101 course provided by industry expert Phil Myers. This one-day class provides an excellent venue to pass on essential industry knowledge to the next generation of storage tank professionals.
The trade show, which runs at the same time as the technical sessions, features nearly 200 exhibiting companies, highlighting the importance of this annual event. NISTM has chosen market leading publication Tank Storage Magazine to be official media partner for this event.
Mott-Smith says: 'Another outstanding aspect of the conference and trade show is the excellent opportunity to network with the other attendees and experts at the welcome reception and trade show cocktail mixers. There are over 1000 attendees at these events, and the venues provide a congenial atmosphere with food, drink, and good company for meeting international industry attendees.'
Additionally, more than 200 golfers attend the annual NISTM golf tournament within the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel the day before the conference starts.
Mott-Smith adds: 'We strike to continue providing a conference and trade show that offers significant value to those who have come, and we thank all previous participants who have supported us.'
The 21st annual NISTM will take place at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel, Florida from April 2-4. Marshall will be launching conference proceedings on the first day of the show.For more information visit www.nistm.com.
Petrobras has completed the sale of its entire equity interest in Petrobras Paraguay Distribución, Petrobras Paraguay Operaciones y Logística and Petrobras Paraguay Gas SRL to the Copetrol Group.
The companies sold operate in Paraguay in the distribution and sale of fuels, LPG, lubricants and other special products through a network of 201 service stations, as well as a proprietary storage terminal and operations at three airports.
The transaction was concluded with the payment of $331.5 million by Paraguay Energy to PIB, after fulfilling all precedent conditions, in addition to $49.3 million which had already been paid upon signing of the agreement, resulting in a cash inflow of $380.8 million.
The US will drive global oil supply growth over the next five years as a result of its flourishing shale industry.
According to the International Energy Agency's (IEA) annual oil market forecast, the strength of its shale industry in the coming years will trigger a rapid transformation of world oil markets.
By the end of the forecast, oil exports from the US will overtake Russia and close in on Saudi Arabia, bringing greater diversity of supply.
While global oil demand growth is set to slow down, it will still increase at an annual average of 1.2 mb/d to 2024, according to the Oil 2019 report. The organisation says that it still continues to see no peak in oil demand, as petrochemicals and get fuel remain the key drivers of growth, particularly in the US and Asia. This will offset a slowdown in gasoline due to the growth of electric cars and efficiency gains.
The IEA says: 'Global oil markets are going through a period of extraordinary change, with long-lasting implications on energy security and market balances throughout our forecast period to 2024. The US is increasingly leading the expansion in global oil supplies, with significant growth also seen among other non-OPEC producers, including Brazil, Norway and Guyana.'
The US' ability to transform itself into a major exporter is due to the ability of the US shale industry to respond quickly to price signals by ramping up production. The US accounts for 70% of the total increase in global capacity to 2024, adding a total of 4 mb/d, which follows growth of 2.2 mb/d in 2018.
Iraq reinforces its position as one of the world's top producers, and as the world's third-largest source of new supply, it also drives growth within OPEC to 2024.
Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA's executive director, says: 'The second wave of the US shale revolution is coming. It will see the US account for 70% of the rise in global oil production and some 75% of the expansion in LNG trade over the next five years. This will shake up international oil and gas trade flows, with profound implications for the geopolitics of energy.'
Looking to the upstream sector, the IEA says that investment is set to rise in 2019. Preliminary investment plans by major international oil companies indicate that upstream investment will rise in 2019 for the third straight year. For the first time since the 2015 downturn, investment in conventional assets could increase faster than for the shale industry.
Dr Birol adds: 'These are extraordinary times for the oil industry as geopolitics become a bigger factor in the markets and the global economy is slowing down. Everywhere we look, new actors are emerging, and past certainties are fading. This is the case in both the upstream and the downstream sector. And it's particularly true for the US, by far the stand-out champion of global supply growth.'
Technological innovation has the potential to transform the role of a storage terminal from a run and maintain facility to one that continuously improves its processes and operations.
Embracing an innovative spirit can not only help deliver value both financially but can also improve safety and help encourage everyone involved in terminal operations to add value to existing processes.
Drawing on his extensive experience in developing and implementing innovation projects in the oil and gas sector, Matthew Hudson, terminal manager at Shell Haven, Shell, says that a key aspect in fostering an innovative spirit is to ensure that there is an 'enabling culture'.
In an interview with Tank Storage Magazine Hudson says: 'It is important to enable the front line and encourage them to look at problems at a terminal and developing solutions for them.
'It is about coaching them and encouraging them to take ownership of certain initiatives and own the result. This is one of the ways you can drive more innovation.'
The use of professional networks to share good practice and develop new innovations is one of the ways Shell ensures it maintains continuous improvement of its processes. Its various innovation groups invite companies or individuals from outside the sector to discuss how a particular piece of innovation could be transferred into an application in the oil and gas sector.
For example, Hudson's team were able to develop market dyes that attach to hydrocarbons in a facility to act as a leak detection service after a medical surgeon was brought in to discuss how they use marker dyes during surgery.
Recently, Shell has invested in ROV technology for tank cleaning. Hudson is now examining how the company want to progress the use of this technology.
'We are now looking at the next step and how we process the use of this technology. Ultimately, we want to achieve 100% no-man entry in tanks for cleaning. It is important to not only successfully deploy the innovation but also to continuously develop it.'
Other innovations being trialed by the company include the development of instruments to do product quality samples inline to provide more accurate readings and avoid the need to break containment by pulling a physical sample out of the line.
'Both leaders and the workforce need to work together to ensure a company continues continuous improvement. It is the responsibility of leaders to enable culture and ensure that the workforce feels enabled and it is the responsibility of the people on the ground to implement these initiatives.'
Hudson will be speaking more about the practical deployment of new technologies in a terminal on the morning of the second day of the StocExpo Europe conference on March 26-28 at the Ahoy Rotterdam. For more information visit www.stocexpo.com.
An international arbitration tribunal has ordered the government of Venezuela to pay ConocoPhillips $8.7 billion in compensation for the government’s unlawful expropriation of ConocoPhillips’ investments in the country in 2007.
The ICSID tribunal ruled in 2013 that the expropriation of ConocoPhillips’ substantial investments in the Hamaca and Petrozuata heavy crude oil projects and the offshore Corocoro development project violated international law. The current ruling addresses compensation, and the timing and manner of collection still needs to be determined.
Kelly B. Rose, senior vice president, legal, general counsel and corporate secretary of ConocoPhillips, says: ‘We welcome the ICSID tribunal’s decision, which upholds the principle that governments cannot unlawfully expropriate private investments without paying compensation.’
In separate and independent legal action in April 2018, an international arbitration tribunal awarded the company $2 billion from Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, and two of its subsidiaries. The ruling followed PDVSA’s failure to uphold its contractual commitments in response to Venezuela’s unlawful expropriation of ConocoPhillips’ investments in the Hamaca and Petrozuata projects. In August last year, ConocoPhillips announced it entered into a settlement agreement with PDVSA to recover the full amount owed under that award.
In the early 1990s, Venezuela created a new fiscal framework to attract foreign investment in its heavy oil projects in the Orinoco Belt and elsewhere. Relying on these terms, ConocoPhillips helps Venezuela to develop the Petroxuata, Hamaca and Corocoro projects by providing technology and substantial long-term investments to the government of Venezuela. However, in the summer of 2007, the Venezuelan government expropriated ConocoPhillips’ investments in their entirety without compensation.
The most prominent challenges, developments and solutions in the global tank terminal industry have been announced as the focus of StocExpo Europe 2019.
IMO 2020, the rise of new technologies - AI, cyber-security and automation - geopolitical uncertainty and the energy transition, make up the key themes that will be discussed during the three-day conference and exhibition at the Ahoy in Rotterdam on March 26-28.
One of the key themes at the conference will be IMO 2020, the regulation for a 0.50% global sulphur cap on marine fuels which comes into effect on 1 January 2020. Cüneyt Kazokoglu, director of long-term oil service and head of oil demand at FGE, will present a session on how IMO 2020 will impact global crude oil on the first morning of the three-day conference. Mark Williams, managing director at Shipping Strategy, will use his presentation, titled 'Are you ready for IMO 2020?', to address the questions many are asking with respect to fuel costs and fuel availability. He will also discuss the characteristics of the new fuels on the market, including marine gasoil (MGO), very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) and liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as how the cap is going to be enforced. In addition to technical and operational issues, those in attendance at StocExpo Europe 2019 will have the chance to reflect on the commercial and contractual issues caused by this global piece of legislation.
The entire second day of the CPD-certified conference programme is dedicated to discussions surrounding 'The Terminal of Tomorrow'. Steven Van Belleghem will be delivering the keynote talk on how to win business in a world increasingly driven by AI, robots and automation. The world-renowned motivational speaker will identify and expand upon the three areas of investment decision-makers must focus on if they are to lead AI first companies; data leverage, effortless user interfaces and augmented intelligence. Shell's terminal manager, Matthew Hudson, and leading experts from Siemens, Vortexa and the Port of Rotterdam will also engage in a panel discussion on ways to future-proof the tank terminal sector. This conversation will, amongst other things, consider how the industry can secure itself against cyber security threats. This theme will be given exclusive attention in a presentation delivered by Ilya Tillekens and Marcel Jutte of Hudson Cybertec, earlier on in the day.
In addition to industry-wide discussions on the latest technologies, StocExpo Europe 2019 will also see its conference speakers and exhibitors demonstrate how technology is being harnessed to develop world-leading products and services. For instance, Ronald Backers, business intelligence at the Port of Rotterdam, will present advice on how to transform a port's operational environment through digital strategies. Wilfried Kleiser, senior project manager at Siemens, will follow this with a session on how Internet of Things (IoT) can be used to improve efficiency at the terminal. Implico, the oil and gas specialist, is also exhibiting at StocExpo, bringing with it the latest software solutions, data services and cloud technologies that have been developed for storage and distribution networks. These solutions have all been designed to boost automation and digital transformation in the downstream oil and gas industry.
Implico urges the industry to start its digital journey, as do MoniTank and Agidens, both of whom are exhibiting at StocExpo Europe 2019. The latter is launching its ATALK safety technology at the event, an automated safety solution that enables critical alarm messages to be sent to responsible operators on site at tank terminals or chemical plants. By using the system, manual action to transmit such messages is no longer required, thus removing delays and the potential for human error. This kind of automated technology will also be showcased in MoniTank's underground storage tank risk mitigation system. The product is capable of transmitting the condition of tanks online and to defect-recognition software making remote inspection possible, removing the need for decommissioning or downtime monitoring activity.
The final industry trends to be explored at StocExpo Europe 2019 are the energy transition and geopolitical uncertainty. Jean-Baptiste Renard, CEO at 2PR Consulting, will share his vision of the strategic options all oil majors should be engaging with in light of the industry upheaval bought in by the global decarbonisation agenda. The impact of geopolitical uncertainties for the tank terminal industry will be reflected upon by Andras T. Peller, director at Swiss Fire Protection Research and Development AG, who will speak about protecting storage tank installations in conflict zones. Attendees of Peller's talk will learn about the ways in which newly developed technologies, such as the Pressurized Instant (Pi) Foam fire system, work to safeguard against the damage caused at refineries or massive storage tank facility ranges by sabotage attacks.
Mark Rimmer, StocExpo & Tank Storage Portfolio divisional director, says: 'StocExpo has its finger on the pulse when it comes to satisfying interest in the hot topics within the tank terminal industry. This is what brings industry professionals in their thousands to the event every year.'
Over 200 exhibitors and more than 30 conference speakers, including CEO's, Terminal Managers and Analysts from industry-leading organisations like Shell, will contribute to the pool of thought-leadership on show. Rimmer adds: 'Terminals, traders, oil majors, investors and others will have the chance to learn from one another, share best practice and benefit from a range of networking opportunities.'
For more information on the event visit www.stocexpo.com.
Rio Grande LNG has secured a lease agreement with the Brownsville Navigation District for land to build an LNG export terminal.
The lease agreement, which covers an 984-acre parcel of land in Cameron County, Texas, carries an initial term of 30 years, with two options to renew and extend the term of the lease for period of ten years each. The lease agreement supersedes exclusive site option agreements.
On the site in the Port of Brownsville, NextDecade, of which Rio Grande LNG is a subsidiary of, plans to construct, operate, and maintain a LNG export terminal, including gas treatment, liquefaction and other supporting facilities and infrastructure.
Rio Grande LNG and its associated Rio Bravo Pipeline are one of the largest proposed private investments in Texas.
Matt Schatzman, president and CEO of NextDecade, says: 'We are pleased to have formally executed our lease agreement with the Brownsville Navigation District, and appreciate the ongoing support of Chairman Reed and the BND Commission. As we continue to advance our Rio Grande LNG project, we look forward to creating opportunities for local workers and communities across the Rio Grande Valley.'