Unplanned global supply disruptions fell to the lowest level since January 2012 in September.
According to the EIA, over the past six months, unplanned oil supply disruptions have fallen by more than 1.0 million barrels per day, as outages in Libya, Nigeria and Iraq decline.
Additionally, Canada's disrupted supplies, which reached their peak in April 2017 at 425,000 barrels per day, returned to production in August 2017.
In Libya, rival armed factions have blockaded pipelines and export terminals intermittently since the fall of Gadhafi and his regime in 2011. In fact, the country has had some success in reducing unplanned outages. Crude oil production has restarted at a number of oil fields in the country since the beginning of the year.
However, despite this success, Libya's outages have fluctuated since the summer as a result of repeated flare-ups of disputes between rival groups, pipeline blockades, power failure and other technical issues.
In Nigeria, disruptions fell from an average of 370,000 barrels per day in April to 200,000 barrels per day in September, in part as a result of the Trans Forcados crude oil export pipeline resuming production.
In Iraq, despite disruptions falling to 50,000 barrels per day in September, the outlook for its oil supply from the Kirkuk oil fields remains uncertain due to an offensive by Iraqi security forces in response to the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government's independent referendum in September.
Outages in non-OPEC member countries have mainly been linked to weather events. A fire at Syncrude's Mildred Lake facility in Canada forced a complete shut down in production, along with outages elsewhere.
Us production also experienced shut-ins as a result of Hurricane Harvey in August.
Vopak has launched bunkering services at its Seabarok terminal in Singapore, allowing tankers to refuel at the same time as loading or discharging cargoes.
The terminal is located close to Singapore's eastern anchorage, where a significant majority of bunkering activity takes place.
The service will eliminate the time needed to move tankers calling at the facility to designated anchorage elsewhere in Singapore for bunkering.
Prior to this new service, tanker vessels needed to sail to the anchorage to receive their bunkers.
Tan Soo Koong, Vopak Terminals Singapore managing director, says: 'This concurrent bunkering makes the scheduling of bunker supply more predictable, and is in line with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore's directive to improve port efficiency.'
This service is the result of a collaboration with BW Pacific, Singanju Marine Services, and Unicore Fuel. Vopak says it will be progressively expanded to its other terminals in Singapore.
CLH Aviación will supply fuel to five Panama airports and manage their storage facilities after being awarded the tender, organised by the Panama Government.
Among other airports, the company will manage the International Airport of Tocumen, which services the Panamanian capital and is considered one of the most important in the continent.
The fuel supply contract will also cover the future Terminal 2 at Tocumen, which is estimated to start operations in 2018, and to four airports located inland: Scarlett Martínez, Enrique Jiménez de Colón, Panamá Pacífico and Enrique Malek.
It will also manage the storage facilities at the five airports under a concession scheme for a period of ten years and will also build a new service station in the terminal at Tocumen airport.
This marks the start of the CLH Group's fourth international operation.
José Luis López de Silanes, chairman of the CLH Group, says: 'This transaction represents a boost for the company's internationalisation process and it enables us to be present in the American continent and, from there, to explore new business opportunities in that market, after the projects we are undertaking in Europe and Asia.'
Bettina Enderle, partner at Enderle Environmental Law, outlines the practical consequences of the new EU Seveso rules for operators in Germany
Operators of so-called ‘Seveso establishments’ are flabbergasted with new duties under the German implementation of the EU Seveso III rules on the control and prevention of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances.
These obligations do not only apply in case of changes to existing installations, but also to their continued and unmodified operation. As the German authorities have started to enforce Seveso compliance, operators should check their obligations and be prepared.
WHAT ARE THE SEVESO RULES?
The EU Seveso legislation addresses major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances, following the disastrous chemical accident in a factory in the Italian town of Seveso in 1976, where a densely populated area of 6 square kilometres was contaminated with dioxine. Also, natural sources of hazards like earthquakes or floods can trigger dangerous environmental impacts in industrial plants. Since the use of large amounts of dangerous chemicals is unavoidable in some industry sectors, the acceptance of such operations requires effective protection of humans and
the environment against potential hazards.
The Seveso rules, therefore, apply to installations in which certain dangerous substances exceeding set thresholds are used or stored. They require that the risks associated with such hazardous substances are minimised, preventive measures are taken and appropriate preparedness and response are in place should major accidents nevertheless happen. The EU Seveso-Directive I* was later amended in light of the lessons learned from later accidents such as Bhopal, Toulouse and Enschede.
WHY ARE THE SEVESO RULES IMPORTANT FOR OPERATORS IN THE EU OR GERMANY?
The EU counts more than 12,000 industrial establishments where dangerous substances are used or stored in large quantities, mainly in the chemical and petrochemical industry, as well as in fuel wholesale and storage (including LPG and LNG) sectors. Germany being very densely populated has, at the same time, the highest number of Seveso establishments in the EU (3,264 in 2015) followed by France, Italy and the UK.
WHY WAS THE SEVESO III DIRECTIVE** ADOPTED?
The EU Seveso I and II Directives marked a quantum leap in increasing the level of protection against hazardous accidents and their consequences throughout Europe. Yet, a review of the effects of the legislation revealed that the overall rate of major accidents had remained stable.
In response to this the EU legislator introduced further obligations for operators of Seveso establishments in order to strengthen the level of protection and prevention of major accidents. Among the most important provisions are notification, information and permit requirements and, as in all current EU environmental regulations, comprehensive provisions on public consultation and participation in decision-making.
WHAT IS IMPORTANT ABOUT THE GERMAN IMPLEMENTATION?
The German implementation happened late, almost two years after the implementation deadline set by the EU Seveso III Directive and under the EU Commission’s threat to initiate infringement procedures against Germany. It introduced – quite unnoticed by the operators – new permit, notification and information requirements spread in the German Emissions Control Act (Bundesimmissionsschutzgesetz, BImSchG) and the Seveso Ordinance (Störfallverordnung, 12. BImSchV).
First of all, the categories and list of named dangerous substances in the annex were reclassified according to the new EU nomenclature for chemical substances and mixtures (CLP-Regulation***). Further, new definitions were introduced such as the appropriate safety distance or the neighbouring establishments as well as new procedures for notification or permitting of relevant changes. Also, provisions on information of the public and authority supervision of Seveso establishments were included.
WHERE DO THE NOTIFICATION AND PERMIT REQUIREMENTS APPLY?
Most importantly, for new Seveso establishments, which may not even need a permit under the German emissions control regulations, a specific Seveso-permit or -notification may now be required. They apply in case of the erection and operation of a new establishment or in case of modifications to an existing establishment which could have significant consequences for major-accident hazards. Also, new developments around establishments, where the siting may increase the risk or consequences of a major accident, can trigger such duty. In all cases the authority must verify whether the changes lead to a first undercut of the appropriate safety distance. If this is the case, a permit procedure with public consultation and participation is required.
COULD YOU EXPLAIN THE CONCEPTS OF APPROPRIATE SAFETY DISTANCE AND NEIGHBOURING ESTABLISHMENTS?
The safety distance is determined in view of the following parameters: Substances involved, accident-scenarios, typical spread or diffusion of the substances in an accident and potentially affected neighbouring establishments.
Relevant neighbouring establishments are on one hand sensitive uses such as residential areas, schools, hospitals or refugee homes and on the other hand prone to increase the risk or the consequences of a major accident. By now only some administrative guidelines on the determination of safety distances exist, but still no binding regulation.
Operators will, in their own interest to save time and expenditure, commission an expert to determine the safety distance which is then submitted to the authority. Obviously, the appropriate safety distance is a flexible concept that has to be adjusted to every individual case. By taking additional preventive measures the operator may shorten the spread and, thus, the required safety distance to sensitive neighbouring uses.
WHAT APPLIES TO EXISTING ESTABLISHMENTS?
Operators of establishments generally covered by the Seveso rules, but not affected by the legal changes had to submit a notification with detailed information by 14 July 2017 to the authority. The new Seveso regulations pose a substantial additional burden on the affected industry, new permit and notification procedures require diligent preparation and involve costs and time. At least the authorities appear to be conscious of the interests involved on both side when applying the new requirements.
*Directive 82/501/EEC of 24 June 1982 on the major-accident hazards of certain industrial activities, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:31982L0501&from=EN.
**Directive 2012/18/EU of 4 July 2012 on the control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32012L0018&from=EN.
***Regulation 1272/2008/EU of 16 December 2008 on the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures, http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32008R1272&from=EN.
Enderle will be talking more about the consequences of the Seveso III Directive on German operators in the afternoon of the first day of the Tank Storage Germany conference on November 29. For more information visit www.tankstoragegermany.com.
Fujairah's commercial stocks of refined oil products rose 7.9% to 17.278 million barrels in the week to Monday, October 16, having sunk to a near nine-month low the previous week, as a number of petrol cargoes arrived at the port, according to data from the Fujairah Energy Data Committee (FEDCom).
The overall rise was largely due to an increase in light distillates, which rose by 25.6% week on week to 5.72 million barrels.
The petrol market is bullish East of Suez, while a closed arbitrage to the US is likely to make more European petrol available to the Middle East, according to Platts Analytics.
While light distillate stocks jumped, stocks of middle distillates fell back 2.5% to 2.884 million barrels, and staying below 3 million barrels for a fifth week in a row. This is after rising nearly 20% last week.
The latest drop comes as Europe continued to draw in gasoil volumes from India and the Middle East on an open arbitrage. The east-west gasoil exchange of futures for swaps fell to a two-week low of minus $27.34/mt on Wednesday, mainly on a renewed tightening in the European market.
Stocks of heavy distillates and residues in Fujairah edged up 2% to 8.674 million barrels, but this is still well below the average of 10.49 million barrels since the start of the year after large draws in recent weeks.
Bunker demand has been reported as healthy, and this is expected to be supported by a seasonal rise in global refining this quarter, prompting a rise in regional crude and product tanker traffic.
Enbridge Energy has had a Presidential permit issued for its Line 67 pipeline following a five-year review process.
The permit authorises the company to increase transport up to a full design capacity of 890,000 barrels per day of crude oil and other hydrocarbons across a three-mile segment at the US – Canada border near Neche, North Dakota though Enbridge's terminal in Wisconsin.
Line 67 currently operates under an existing Presidential permit that was issued by the State Department in 2009. The 2017 permit authorises Enbridge to fully utilise its capacity across the border.
Line 67 is a key component of Enbridge's mainline system, which US refineries rely on to supply crude oil.
The company says in a statement: 'The renewed focus of the State Department and this permit reaffirms Line 67 continues to serve the national interest by delivering secure and reliable supplies of crude oil to US refineries, including those in Minnesota and neighbouring states.'
ExxonMobil has bought a crude oil storage terminal in Wink, Texas from Genesis Energy.
The Delaware Basin terminal is strategically positioned to handle Permian Basin crude oil and condensate for transport to Gulf Coast refineries and marine export terminals. It is interconnected to the Plains Alpha Crude Connector pipeline system, and is permitted for 100,000 barrels per day of throughput with the ability to expand.
Gerald Frey, president of ExxonMobil Pipeline Company, says: 'The terminal provides crude producers with a full range of logistical options including truck, rail and inbound and outbound pipeline access, not only for ExxonMobil's production, but for all Permian Basin producers.
'It also provides shippers with efficient and cost-effective access to market destinations in the Gulf region.'
Once complete, this terminal will be ExxonMobil's first in the Permian Basin to be anchored by the company's newly acquired Delaware Basin acreage.
Odfjell Terminals is set to sell its 50% ownership in Oiltanking Odfjell Terminal Singapore to a fund managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets for $300 million.
The transaction will result in a net gain for Odfjell of approximately $135 million. The closing of the transaction is expected during the fourth quarter of 2017.
Kristian Mørch, CEO of Odfjell and chairman of Odfjell Terminals, says: 'We are pleased to have concluded on the sale of our Singapore terminal at what we believe is a very attractive valuation and a testimony to the strength and quality of the investments made in Singapore since 2001.'
Frank Erkelens, CEO of Odfjell Terminals, adds: 'This divestment is in line with our strategy to focus on the terminal where we have managerial control of the assets and to further invest in growth opportunities in our core markets, such as Houston and Rotterdam.'
US crude oil production is expected to surpass the all-time high set in 1970 as the Permian region continues to increase output.
According to the EIA, crude production will average 9.4 million barrels per day (b/d) in the second half of 2017, 340,000 b/d more than in the first half of 2017. Production in 2018 is expected to average 9.9 million b/d, surpassing the previous high of 9.6 million b/d set in 1970.
The EIA's Short-term energy outlook (STEO) projects that most of the production growth in the second half of 2017 will be in the Permian region. It has become one of the more active drilling regions in the US. Production continues to increase, in part, as a result of WTI crude oil average monthly prices that have remained higher than $45 per barrels since the second half of 2016.
The STEO forecast is based on recent drilling and production trends and on anticipated future changes, driven largely by the WTI crude oil price.
Pin Oak Corpus Christi has completed the acquisition of Gravity Midstream Corpus Christi.
The owners of Pin Oak Terminals, Dauphine Midstream and Mercuria Energy Group provided equity financing for the transaction.
Dauphine and Mercuria also recently commissioned a new storage terminal – Pin Oak Terminals – in Louisiana, which has approximately four million barrels of contracted capacity.
Pin Oak Corpus Christi has 737,500 barrels of storage, pipeline connections into nearby refineries, a crude processing unit, a polymer modified asphalt plant, rail loading and unloading facilities, a truck rack and access to Aframax and barge docks.
There are also long-term contracts in place to significantly expand the terminal's operations.
Craig Peus, CEO of Gravity Midstream, says: 'The team at Corpus Christi is excited to be joining the Pin oak family and partnering with investors who are dedicated to taking the terminal to the next level by expanding the terminal's operations and building a strategic hub in Corpus Christi.'
Harris Ziskroit, chief investment officer at Dauphine, adds: 'The site is optimally located and has tremendous potential to become one of the only multi-modal terminal facilities in Corpus Christi, offering a wide array of service offerings to move, store and process petroleum products.'
A tender for the construction of part of a pipeline for the Jask Oil Terminal is due to be held shortly.
An Iranian news agency reports that the MD of the National Iranian Oil Company says that tender is for part of a pipeline to transfer crude oil to the facility located in the southern Hormozgan Province.
Ali Kardor was quoted as saying: 'A project to lay a section of the pipeline has already been tendered and the remaining part will be put out to tender in the next few days.'
The project comprises laying 1,000 kilometres of oil pipeline from Genaveh in Bushehr Province to the port of Jask to transform Jask into a major oil terminal, which is aimed at easing and speeding up Iran's oil loading and shipment operations.
The terminal is part of a wider development plan to build two refineries, a petrochemical complex and oil storage units.
Stolthaven Terminals continues to deliver steady financials as the company implements a plan to improve its sustained long-term performance.
Its third quarter operating profit was $16 million, essentially unchanged from $16.1 million in the second quarter. Its utilisation rates fell from 87.5% to 85.6%, reflecting additional new capacity and a decrease in total contracted volume.
The company says the negative impact of the decrease in leased capacity and volume was more than offset, mainly by higher excess throughput revenue, along with increased utility revenue in Houston.
In its third quarter financial report, the company says that while Hurricane Harvey caused no physical damage to its property, due to the closure of the Houston Ship Channel, operational shutdowns and port delays, the third and fourth quarter results have been, and will be impacted.
Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, CEO of Stolt-Nielsen, says: 'Results at Stolthaven Terminals were once again largely in line with those of the previous quarter, as we continue to implement actions aimed at improving that division's sustained long-term performance.
'Hurricane Harvey caused no material physical damage to the company's assets in Houston. In fact, we have taken steps in recent years to improve the hurricane preparedness of our terminal facility and our tank container depot along the Houston Ship Channel – and those actions proved effective.
'That said, our tanker, terminal and tank container operations all experienced some losses and additional costs because of the storm, through the financial impact, which is not expected to be material, will mostly be felt in the fourth quarter.
Looking ahead, Stolt-Nielsen adds: 'On balance, our overall outlook remains unchanged. For Stolthaven Terminals, we continue to expect a modest but steady improvement in results, driven by actions to enhance operational performance across our network of terminals.'
Orpic Logistics Company (OLC) has commissioned and started operations at its oil storage facility in Al Jefnain, near Muscat.
The facility comprises a new oil product storage and distribution centre with a capacity of over 170,000 m3 as well as 16 loading racks. It was commissioned by the CLH subsidiary of OLC, which was jointly created by CLH and Orpic.
The new facility is equipped with the latest technology, which enables the loading process to be completely automated from the moment the road tankers enter the facility until the relevant documentation is printed.
Road tankers from the major oil operators in the country have successfully completed the first fuel loading operations.
The facility receives fuel from the Sohar refinery through a new pipeline, the first one of its type built in the country. This makes it possible to reduce fuel transport by road and to increase the safety and efficiency of fuel distribution in Oman.
It is expected that in the coming months, the new plant will also be connected via pipeline with the refinery in Mina Al Fahal and Muscat international airport.
Once fully operational, the new logistics system will supply more than 50% of the country's fuel. It will provide a higher supply capacity of aviation fuel, as well as greater efficiency and sustainability, thanks to the use of the pipeline.
José Luis López de Silanes, chairman of the CLH group, says: 'We are proud to launch the first start of such an important operation for the country, which will make it possible to transform its logistics system for oil products into a safer, more efficient and sustainable model.'
USD Partners has started operations at its crude oil terminal in Stroud, Oklahoma.
The planned work required to allow the terminal to handle heavier grades of crude oil was completed one time and under the initial planned budget.
The Stroud terminal provides a destination point for rail-to-pipeline shipments of heavy crude oil from USD's Hardisty terminal in Western Canada and provides connectivity to one of the largest crude oil storage hubs in North America – Cushing.
Approximately 50% of the Stroud terminal's current capacity is available and actively being marketed to meet the takeaway needs of current and future customers.
Alexandra Batycky, associate director of USD Group, says: 'Our ability to deliver on time and under budget is a testament to the dedication, collaboration, and execution by the various stakeholders involved including our customer, the railroads and USD.'
Colonial Terminal Logistics is offers marine export capabilities to Colonial Pipeline shippers through Enterprise Products Partners' Beaumont terminal.
This will allow Colonial Pipeline shippers to move product from 13 Gulf Coast refineries to the Beaumont Terminal for loading onto vessels for transportation to the Florida retail marker, as well as for export to foreign destinations.
Colonial can provide customers firm dock capacity rights and will also have access to as much as two million barrels of new storage at the Beaumont facility.
Colonial says its long term vision is to move products for marine export from multiple terminals in the greater Beaumont/Port Arthur/Orange area. Its marine logistics services, which are cost advantaged to refined product services offered on the Houston Ship Channel, include storage, blending and dock usage solutions.
Bill Ordemann, executive vice president, commercial, for Enterprise's general partner, says: 'We are pleased to execute this agreement with Colonial Terminal Logistics, which expands the effective reach and increases volume for our Beaumont refined products marine terminal and storage complex.
'Our Beaumont facility is part of one of the most extensive marine terminal networks along the Gulf Coast and is uniquely positioned to provide flow assurance and market choices for refined products.'