PetroChina will start work on two more underground gas storage facilities by the end of 2018.
Local media reports that the facilities will be located in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, with a total cost of 5.3 million yuan.
The Tongluoxia and Huangcaoxia facilities are due to be complete by 2022 and will ensure an annual supply of 1.28 billion m3 of gas.
Currently, 25 underground gas facilities exist in China.
Enterprise Products Partners and Navigator Holdings have started construction on their joint venture ethylene export terminal at Enterprise's Morgan's Point facility on the Houston Ship Channel.
The terminal will have the capacity to export 2.2 billion pounds of ethylene per year. Refrigerated storage for 66 million pounds of ethylene is being constructed onsite and will provide the capability to load ethylene at rates of 2.2 million pounds per hour.
Commercial operations are expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2019, which is one quarter earlier than previously projected.
The new terminal will facilitate continued growth of domestic ethylene production, which is expected to reach 90 billion pounds per year by 2021. It will also promote supply diversification for expanding markets like Asia, which rely on cost-advantaged US feedstocks.
The high-capacity ethylene salt dome storage facility Enterprise is developing at its complex in Mont Belvieu, Texas is scheduled to begin service in the second quarter of 2019. Once complete, it will have a capacity of 600 million pounds with an injection/withdrawal rate of 420,000 pounds per hour and will be designed to enable connections to the eight ethylene pipelines within a half-mile of the Enterprise ethylene storage system.
Additionally, Enterprise is building a new ethylene pipeline from Mont Belvieu to Bayport, Texas, which is on schedule to begin service in 2020.
The Government of Canada has agreed to buy the Trans Mountain Pipeline system and the expansion project for C$4.5 billion from Kinder Morgan Canada.
As part of the agreement, the government has agreed to fund the resumption of the expansion project (TMEP) and construction work by guaranteeing TMEP's expenditures under a separate federal government recourse credit facility until the transaction closes. It is expected to close in either the third or fourth quarter of 2018.
Additionally, the government will work with the board to seek a third-party buyer for the system and expansion project.
Kinder Morgan will continue to manage a portfolio of strategic infrastructure across Western Canada, including:
- An integrated network of crude storage and rail terminals in Alberta. The storage terminal is the largest merchant storage terminal facility in the Edmonton market and the largest origination crude by rail loading facility in North America
- The Vancouver Wharves Terminal
- The Cochin Pipeline system
Steve Kean, chairman and CEO, says: 'The outcome we have reached represents the best opportunity to complete TMEP and thereby realise the great national economic benefits promised by that project.
'In addition to the benefit of the sale proceeds, our remaining portfolio of assets represents a strong platform for the company and shareholders now and in the future. We continue to invest in expansions of our Canadian assets and look forward to future growth in the service of our customers and shareholders.'
JupiterMLP has been given the green light to build up to 2.5 million barrels of storage for hydrocarbons and a new liquid cargo dock in the Port of Brownsville.
The privately held midstream company has been given the necessary permits from the Port Authority, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the US Army Corps of Engineers for the project.
These permits mean that the company will be able to load/unload vessels of up to 65,000 deadweight tonnes or Panamax sized vessels at a rate of up to 30,000 barrels per hour at the Jupiter Export Terminal, which will be directly connected to the Permian Basin via pipeline. In addition to the dock improvements, Jupiter will also be able to construct multiple rail racks for crude oil and refined products.
The storage terminal will also be able to blend refined products including diesel and petrol. The permit granted to Jupiter enables the blending of components to meet US and Mexico petrol specifications.
The company also announced that it has started the permitting and engineering process for two additional private docks inside the port. With the liquid dock and two private docks, the company will have the capacity to load and unload up to one million barrels of crude/products per day.
The terminal will be fully operational in 2020.
Keyera plans to acquire a logistics and liquids blending terminal near Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The terminal receives, blends and delivers diluent, the majority of which is transported by pipeline from the Mont Belvieu area to the Chicago area and ultimately into the Alberta market.
The terminal also has exclusive access to a nearby rail-to-truck transloading facility. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018 for $80 million.
David Smith, president and CEO, says: 'This acquisition builds on Keyera's focused investment strategy for the US, where we are selectively extending our liquids infrastructure into key US liquids hubs.
'The terminal is situated 50 miles from our recently announced Wildhorse development, providing opportunities for operations integration and commercial synergies. These assets, along with our Hull Terminal, provide the foundation for Keyera to execute a strategy in the US that is consistent with our proven strategy in Canada.'
Magellan Midstream Partners will expand the western leg of its refined petroleum products pipeline system in Texas.
Following a successful open season, the expanded system will be able to handle incremental shipments of petrol and diesel fuel to demand centres in Abilene, Midland/Odessa and El Paso, Texas and New Mexico.
The system can also access markets in Arizona and Mexico via connections to other pipelines.
Fully supported by long-term customer commitments, Magellan is expanding the capacity of the system to 150,000 barrels per day from its current capacity of 100,000 barrels per day. The capacity will be achieved by increasing the pipeline size along the existing route. Connectivity to the ExxonMobil Pipeline Company's terminal in Wink, Texas will also be added as part of the expansion.
Michael Mears, CEO, says: 'Magellan's extensive refined products pipeline system provides significant optionality for our customers, including the ability to access supply from multiple Gulf Coast and Mid-Continent refineries. We are pleased to expand the western leg of our Texas pipeline to serve increasing demand for refined petroleum products in West Texas and New Mexica, as well as surrounding markets in Arizona and Mexico via third-party pipeline connections.'
Magellan expected to spend $300 million on the project, with the expanded capacity available mid-2020.
ADNOC and the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves conducted a special ceremony to mark the first ADNOC crude oil shipment to the Karnataka storage facility.
The cargo arrived following a six-day voyage. The agreement, which was initiated in January 2017, covers the storage of 5.86 million barrels of ADNOC crude oil in underground facilities at the facility. This first shipment of 2 million barrels of crude oil, will be followed by additional shipments after India's annual monsoon season.
HPS Ahuja, CEO and managing director of ISPRL, says: 'Todays unloading of ADNOC crude oil marks another important milestone for ISPRL, as we deliver on our mandate of establishing strategic crude oil storage facilities that enhance India's energy security and serve as a cushion during any external supply disruptions. Our agreement with ADNOC builds on the rich history between our nations and opens new opportunities for further partnership and engagement between the UAE and India.'
India is 82% dependent on imports to meet its crude oil needs, 8% of which is supplied by the UAE. In addition to helping ensure energy security, the oil storage facilities enable ADNOC to efficiently and competitively meet market demand across Asia.
Wärtsilä has been given the go ahead for a new LNG storage terminal at the Finnish Port of Hamina after its turnkey contract reached a financial closed.
Debt financing for the project has been concluded with Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken and Finnvera, with the total investment worth €100 million.
In addition to supplying the engineering, procurement and construction of the terminal, Wärtsilä is also joining the project through a minority investment by WDFS in Hamina LNG.
The building permit for the LNG terminal has also been secured. In the first stage, a 30,000 m3 LNG storage tank will be built. Facilities are also being prepared for a second 20,000 m3 storage tank to be added at a later date. Construction work has already started, with the terminal expected to become operational by 2020.
Markku Tommiska, CEO, Hamina Energy, says: 'The new Hamina LNG terminal will be an important addition to the gas infrastructure as it will not only supply businesses and the shipping sector, but will also feed into Hamina Energy's distribution gas grid and can be connected to Finland's gas grid.'
Alexandre Eykerman, vice president, LNG Solutions, Wärtsilä Energy Solutions, adds: 'The Hamina project is the third LNG terminal in Finalnd that Wärtsilä has been contracted to build, the others being the Manga Tornio terminal and the Raahe terminal. This demonstrates the strengths the company has in project development and management.'
Oil product stocks in the Middle East's key oil hub of Fujairah rose 11.1% in the week to Monday (May 21), with inventory levels up across all reported categories. Total oil product stocks in Fujairah were 19.379 million barrels, up 1.93 million barrels from a week earlier, according to data from the Fujairah Energy Data Committee, or FEDCom.
The biggest increase was in stocks of heavy distillates and residues, which rose 17% in the week to Monday, reaching 9.202 million barrels, a sharp rebound from earlier six-week lows, S&P Global Platts Analytics said in a report Wednesday. Strategically located outside the Strait of Hormuz choke point, Fujairah has not only become the world's second largest bunkering port, but is increasingly an important hub for trading and storage.
Bunker demand in Fujairah remains strong positive despite high outright prices for bunkers as a result of rising crude prices. July ICE Brent crude futures were at $79.11/b, during mid-afternoon trade in Asia Wednesday.
Trade sources reported plenty of 'keen sellers' in the market looking to lock in recent price gains, while demand is seeing a pickup as crude and oil product shipping activity rises post-refinery maintenance. Additional demand is also emerging from the power generation sector, with Pakistan State Oil continuing to buy volumes of HSFO, and seeking another 195,000 mt for July delivery - down slightly from 210,000 mt for June, the report said.
Meanwhile, stocks of light distillates were up 6.1% on the week to 7.504 million barrels. This is despite rising demand across both Asia and the Middle East with the beginning of Ramadan, highlighted by Indonesia's Pertamina seeking 1 million barrels of petrol for June delivery. Kuwait's KPC has also been looking for 50,000 mt of petrol for delivery over late-May and early-June. Premiums for Arab Gulf RON 95 petrol continue to edge higher and were at $3.15/b Tuesday - a four-month high, the report said. At the same time, middle distillate stocks rose 6.3% to a new six-week high of 2.673 million barrels. The levels remain range-bound, however, and have not pushed above 3 million barrels since September 11, 2017.
Middle distillate fundamentals in the East of Suez remain balanced, with supply trending higher post-maintenance but gasoil demand also rising heading into the summer. Cargoes of gasoil and jet continue to head from the East towards European markets despite an unsupportive Exchange of Futures for Swaps, Platts Analytics said.
Total has signed a MoU with the government of Oman to develop natural gas resources in Oman.
Total and Shall as operator, will develop several natural gas discoveries located in the Greater Barik area on onshore Block 6 with respective shares of 25% and 75% respectively. The objective is to have an initial gas production of around 500 MMcfd and a potential to reach 1 bcf/d at a later stage.
Total will use its equity gas entitlement as feedstock to develop in Oman a regional hub for LNG bunkering service to supply LNG as a fuel to marine vessels. This will be achieved through a new, small-scale modular liquefaction plant to be built in Sohar port.
Arnaud Breuillac, president exploration and production at Total, says:' We will bring our expertise in LNG and will introduce access to a new gas market for the sultanate. Developing an LNG bunkering service will generate in-country value and job opportunities and will support industry diversification through fostering the shipping activity in Oman.'
Ardian has raised more than $800 million for its first infrastructure fund dedicated to the US and other OECD American countries.
The fundraising attracted a substantial number of North American institutional investors within a diversified global mix that included commitments from European and Asian pension funds, insurance companies and other institutions.
The company says this successful fundraising confirms the continued regional appetite for Ardian's infrastructure investment and asset management strategies.
The fund will provide investors with opportunities to invest in high-quality US and other OECD American essential infrastructure assets in the transport and energy sectors.
The team will leverage on its international network of industrial partners, construction companies and infrastructure operators.
Ardian has made significant progress in the North American market over the past six months and has completed its first two investments with this fund. It has created a renewables platform, Skyline Renewables, and has acquired a windfarm in Texas.
It has also acquired a 35% stake in LBC Tank Terminals, which has a significant presence in the US.
Mathias Burghardt, member of the executive committee and head of Ardian infrastructure, says: 'The successful fundraising confirms investor confidence in Ardian's deal pipeline, global reach and focus on value creation, all factors which particularly resonate in the American market.
'We see an opportunity in the US infrastructure middle market, which remains insufficiently served and offers a higher risk return proposition.
Oil product stocks in the Middle East's key oil hub of Fujairah fell 4.4% to a nine-week low in the week to May 14 after rising summer demand for power generation saw a sharp draw in heavy distillate stocks.
Total oil product stocks in Fujairah fell 802,000 b/d to 17.45 million barrels, according to data from the Fujairah Energy Data Committee, or FEDCom. Stocks of heavy distillates and residues were down 12.8% week on week to a new a six-week low of 7.87 million barrels, the data showed.
Bunker demand in Fujairah has been mostly positive in recent days, even as crude prices continue to surge. Fuel oil supply in the region is expected to tighten over the next few months as summer power generation demand rises, Platts Analytics said in a report Wednesday. Situated on the Eastern coast of the UAE's Arabian Peninsula, Fujairah is the world's second largest bunkering port and has seen a rapid rise to prominence as a hub for trading, storage and bunkering of regional, and increasingly global, significance.
Middle Eastern countries typically increase fuel oil consumption during June-July due to higher demand for power generation. Saudi Arabia was historically a fuel oil exporter but is now a major importer during the summer months. One trader said the kingdom is likely to import around 400,000-500,000 mt of fuel oil in June. Pakistan State Oil also continued to be active, this week purchasing 60,000 mt of LSFO and 210,000 mt of HSFO for June delivery to Port Qasim, the report said.
Meanwhile, stocks of light distillates rose 1.8% on the week to 7.07 million barrels, despite a pickup in petrol demand across the Middle East and Asia in the run-up to Ramadan. Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Pakistan, Indonesia and Sri Lanka have been buying actively in the spot gasoline market. Premiums for Arab Gulf RON 95 petrol continued to edge upwards, pegged at a four-month high of $3.05/b Tuesday, the report said.
Stocks of middle distillates also rose by 9.8% to 2.51 million barrels. Although this was a five-week high, the stocks were unlikely to move out of recent ranges due to largely balanced supply fundamentals. Refinery maintenance was reducing, but gasoil demand in the Middle East was rising as summer approached.
Gasoil arbitrage to Europe was limited with the front-month June EFS at minus $7.68/mt Tuesday - well above the levels around minus $15/mt that typically see gasoil move from the East of Suez. Arbitrage conditions are more favorable for jet fuel, as traders continued to expect demand in Northwest Europe to pull in barrels from the Middle East and West Coast India. According to Platts trade flow software cFlow, some 1.5 million mt of jet fuel will arrive in Northwest Europe from the East of Suez in May. S&P Global Platts holds exclusive rights to publish Fujairah oil inventory data and has deployed a Blockchain network for its collation.
Keyera plans to develop a crude oil storage and blending terminal in Cushing, Oklahoma.
The Wildhorse Terminal will include 12 aboveground tanks with 4.5 million barrels of working storage capacity. The majority of this is backed by fee-for-service, take-or-pay storage arrangements ranging from two to six years in length.
Wildhorse will initially be pipeline connected to two existing storage terminals at Cushing. These connections will provide customers with access to the majority of the crude oil streams flowing in and out of Cushing on several major pipeline networks.
Keyera Energy, a subsidiary of Keyera, will oversee construction of the terminal and will operate it once it comes into service by mid-2020. An affiliate of Lama Energy Group will own 10% of the project.
David Smith, Keyera's president and CEO, says: 'The Wildhorse terminal is a strategic investment for Keyera as it expands our midstream infrastructure in the US at one of the largest crude oil storage and trading hubs in North America.
'The terminal also increases our fee-for-service business, extends our crude oil value chain, and provides significant opportunities to capture marketing margins through the use of our logistics and commercial expertise.'
Valero Energy Corporation has acquired Pure Biofuels del Peru (PBF) from Pegasus Capital Advisors.
PBF is the third largest fuels importer in Peru and comprises refined products terminals in Callao, near Lima and in Paita, near Piura in northern Peru.
The Callao terminal has mooring and unloading systems with Panamax vessel capability, storage capacity for 1 million barrels for refined and renewable products as well as an eight-bay truck rack for products distribution.
The acquisition also includes land adjacent to the Callao terminal for future expand of the terminal's storage capacity.
The Paita terminal, which is due to start operations in mid-2018, is also capable of receiving Panamax vessels and will have an initial product storage capacity of 180,000 barrels, with land available for future expansion.
Joe Gorder, Valero chairman, president and CEO, says: 'This acquisition demonstrates our continued interest in expanding international product exports and wholesale fuels volumes.
'Peru is one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America and is well situated geographically to support our strategic growth.'
Qatar Petroleum has announced plans to build a world-scale petrochemical complex, with the largest ethane cracker in the Middle East.
The company has invited a group of leading international companies to submit proposals for the development and operation of a new complex with Qatar Petroleum at Ras Laffan Industrial City.
The complex will include an ethane cracker with a capacity of more than 1.6 million tonnes per annum of ethylene – making it one of the largest in the world. It will also include derivative plants, which will consolidate Qatar's position among leading petrochemical producers.
The engineering design of the complex should commence shortly, with start-up planned in 2025.
Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, president and CEO of Qatar Petroleum, says: 'Petrochemicals represent a major pillar of our growth strategy to achieve our vision of becoming one of the best national oil companies in the world. This project will complement our efforts to implement our strategy, and will enable Qatar Petroleum to further expand its footprint in the global petrochemicals market.'
A new strategic oil storage facility will be built in Mangalore following a long-term agreement between India and Dubai.
At a press conference, union petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the facility will ensure long-term partnership for strategic storage in Mangalore.
He said that30 contracts are being signed between the two countries in 60 oil fields, with a resource potential of 196 metric tonnes of oil and oil equivalent.
He added that the government will build 86 gas distribution areas covering 24% of India's area and 29%of the population of the entire country.
Kingfisher Midstream, Blueknight Energy Partners and Ergon have signed agreements to develop a new pipeline system in Oklahoma.
Cimarron Express Pipeline will be a new crude oil pipeline serving STACK producers in central Oklahoma. The 65-mile, 16-inch pipeline will extend from northeastern Kingfisher Country, Oklahoma to Blueknight's Cushing, Oklahoma crude oil terminal.
The pipeline will provide direct market access at Cushing for producers and will have initial capacity of 90,000 barrels per day, expandable to over 175,000 barrels per day.
It is expected to be complete in mid-2019.
It will be jointly owned by Kindfisher Midstream and Ergon, both having a 50% stake. Blueknight will construct and operate the pipeline.
The receipt terminal for the newly constructed pipeline will be located at Kingfisher Midstream's crude oil storage facility.
Mark Hurley, CEO of Blueknight, says: 'This pipeline will create a direct connection to our storage assets at our Cushing crude oil terminal, enabling Alta Mesa Resources and other STACK producers to efficiently and safely move their production to the market.'
John Roper, managing director & head of Middle East for Uniper Global Commodities examines how low suplhur fuel oil and LNG are emerging as preferred fuel options in the build up to the IMO's 2020 deadline & what Fujairah - the second largest bunkering hub - is doing to prepare.
For the first time since engines replaced sails in the early 19th century, the operational status quo of global shipping is being rewritten.
The International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) ruling to reduce the sulphur cap for bunker fuel from 3.5% to 0.5% by 2020 means an overhaul of the industry facilitating 90% of the world's trade, including energy commodities - and quickly.
2020 is a very short two years away for energy stakeholders to adapt to one of the biggest disruptions in the shipping industry in living memory.
High sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) was used for approximately 70% of the world's bunker fuel in 2016; volumes that will not be compliant post-2020. The impact of the IMO ruling could result in a demand drop of as much as 2.1 million barrels per day in HSFO accounting for nearly 30% of global residual fuel oil demand. No entity along the value chain – from refineries, trading, logistics, ports to shipowners – in the Middle East and beyond will be untouched.
A silver bullet to post-2020 bunkering remains elusive. But amongst the plethora of options, low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) and liquified natural gas (LNG) bunkering are emerging as preferred options for energy stakeholders seeking an economic and environmentally sustainable route. Plans to increase the use of both bunkering options are under discussion in the Middle East; the UAE's Port of Fujairah, the world's second largest bunkering hub, is already developing LSFO bunkering solutions and in the GCC FSRU LNG import projects can be designed to facilitate LNG bunkering.
LSFO ticks the right environmental boxes and is arguably the Middle East's easiest shortcut to meeting the IMO's ruling, as the region's portfolio of dedicated and sophisticated refineries can adjust their crude palettes to 0.1% (ultra low sulphur fuel oil, used in emission control areas (ECA) ) - 0.5% sulphur relatively easily. LNG bunkering also contains almost no sulphur, can be priced off oil markers, is a proven technology and has lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The green credentials of both fuels also support Middle Eastern governments' commitment to the Paris Agreement; an important consideration when so much of the region's energy assets are state-owned or associated.
As with any major change, some hurdles must be navigated first; this is not a negative, but a sign of progress.
The lines of communication between refineries, ports and ship owners need to improve to accurately gauge the need and subsequent supply of LSFO supply from 2020. The same applies to minimising the variability of the blend quality between suppliers all over the world. Meanwhile, LNG bunkering tends to suit fixed maritime routes that already have supporting infrastructure in place, both at ports and via floating storage regasification units (FSRUs).
To broaden the application of LNG bunkering post-2020, improving this level of flexibility to ensure roaming ships are catered for must be a priority. Advocates of LNG bunkering must also address the question of supply. Rising power demand means the region's gas imports are growing; LNG imports grew by more than 380% in the last three years, S&P Global Platts said in 2017. Energy stakeholders need to work out the logistics and maths of sourcing high volumes of LNG for bunkering amidst domestic and industrial needs.
Other bunkering options include using HSFO alongside scrubbers or exhaust gas cleaning systems, which are not considered an environmentally-friendly route long term. Additionally, the cost of investing in scrubbers can range between $1-9 million per ship depending on it's size. Ship owners are currently reluctant to make these investments as the industry struggles out of a low margin environment.
Alternatively, ship operators can fail to act and pay the penalties. While there is no global game plan – solutions depend on individual needs – there is a consensus that conformity for post-2020 bunkering will help trim overall costs and improve energy supply and security.
It is still better to feel the financial squeeze today than risk financial sorrow in the future; compliance to IMO 2020 carries a steep price tag in a cash-strapped energy industry.
Consultants Wood Mackenzie estimated last year that a full compliance scenario would incur an increase of up to $60 billion per year in global bunker fuel costs from 2020, while S&P Global Platts said the impact of these changes will reach $1 trillion over five years. The line between winners and losers in the early 2020s could be well-defined between those who can afford to evolve – and those who cannot.
Each point should serve as a reminder that the emphasis on making bunkering 'greener' will only intensify; therein lies the value of LSFO and LNG. Leveraging either or both will relieve these intensifying pressure points. They also serve as a good starting point for energy stakeholders to hedge against more shifting sands; more climate-related mitigations in the energy market are inevitably around the corner.
LBC Tank Terminals has celebrated another milestone in its Rotterdam expansion project after the first vessel berthed at its new jetty.
The company is currently expanding its LBC Rotterdam facility in the Botlek to triple the current capacity and improve jetty and land infrastructure.
The first phase of project Rainbow is close to completion. The first new tanks became fully operational in April and the terminal berthed the first vessel at its new jetty.
The jetty is the result of a collaboration between the Port of Rotterdam and LBC Tank Terminal.
During the coming months, LBC will focus on its product transfer programme, where it will connect all existing tanks to the new jetty and demolish the redundant jetty. Once this phase is complete, the new jetty will be extended to allow for four berthing positions – two for seagoing vessels and two for barges.
The company says in a statement: 'To realise our vision of creating a sustainable future for LBC, all its employees and customers, we will continue our expansion with new project phases. The provisional plans are currently under review by our engineering team.'
Esso Italiana has signed an agreement to sell a refinery, three fuel terminals and associated pipelines to Sonatrach.
The agreement comprises the Augusta refinery, three terminals in Augusta, Palermo and Naples to the Algerian state oil company.
Esso Italiana and ExxonMobil will enter into multi-year commercial and technology agreements with Sonatrach for refinery products, including Group I base stocks and waxes, as well as the operation, improvement and use of the three terminals.
Base stocks and waxes from Augusta will continue to be marketed by ExxonMobil at current specifications. The sale is expected to close by the end of 2018.
Julia Ruessmann, sales manager, EAME basestocks & specialities, says: 'We will continue to provide a reliable supply of Group I base stocks, globally and in EAME including the ExxonMobile AP/E Core slate manufactured in Augusta.
'With this agreement and a robust manufacturing network around the world producing Group I CORE, we will remain the largest global marketer of high-quality Group I base stocks.'