Recent News Highlight

Kuwait’s Al-Zour integrated refining complex progressing as planned (22 January 2018): By Robert Brelsford - OGJ Downstream Technology Editor: Kuwait Petroleum Corp.’s (KPC) newly formed subsidiary Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Co. (KIPIC) said it remains on schedule to complete its grassroots 615,000-b/d Al-Zour integrated refining complex under construction in southern Kuwait by yearend 2019. Refuting recent local media reports that the project will be delayed, KIPIC confirmed on Jan. 20 that all five packages of the integrated complex are proceeding in line with the original schedule, with all packages due to be completed by the end of 2019.

Shell Buys Into Blockchain Company (19 Jan 2018): After backing a blockchain-based trading platform last year, now Shell has gone a step further into what’s possibly the hottest tech segment right now, scooping up a minority stake in a startup dubbed Applied Blockchain. Applied Blockchain has been around for three years now, and has clients from the banking, telecoms, carmaking, manufacturing, and aerospace industries. This is the company’s entry into energy. (Source: Oil Price)

OPEC-Russia deal faces a new danger: Too much winning (18 January 2018): By GRANT SMITH - LONDON (Bloomberg) -- When OPEC and Russia meet this weekend to review their strategy for clearing a global oil glut, they’ll face an unusual problem: it could be working just a bit too well. As their output cuts, coupled with robust global demand, tighten the market, crude prices have soared to a three-year high near $70/bbl. That’s prompted warnings -- from Iran’s oil minister to Goldman Sachs Group and even OPEC’s own analysts -- of a fresh surge in U.S. production, wrecking all of the group’s hard work. (Source: World Oil)

Nigerian Militants Threaten To Attack Oil Facilities Within Days (17 January 2018): The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA)—the militant group responsible for most of the 2016 attacks on Nigeria’s oil infrastructure—threatened on Wednesday to unleash the deadliest round of attacks on Nigeria’s oil sector—“in a few days time”. “This round of attacks will be the most deadly and will be targeting the deep sea operations of the multinationals which include Bonga Platform, Agbami, EA Field, Britania-U Field, Akpo Field; amongst others littered across the deep waters of the Niger Delta region,” the militants said in a statement on their website. (Source: Oil Price)

Energy Web Atlas releases new features for real-time LNG intelligence service (16 January 2017): HOUSTON - Gulf Publishing Company has announced several enhancements to the Energy Web Atlas (EWA) applications. The ESRI-based geographic information system (GIS) platform allows users to examine real-time project information, export and manipulate data, and serves as a comprehensive source of actionable project intelligence. Energy Web Atlas leads the market with expanded LNG and pipeline data and improved import and annotation functions. (Source: World Oil)

Chernobyl Disaster Site Transformed Into Massive Solar Plant (15 January 2017): Some 100 meters from the giant metal sarcophagus that contains the infamous Reactor Four at the Chernobyl nuclear plant, a new solar project has been built, providing hope of salvaging something positive from the disaster zone. As RT notes, The 3,800 photovoltaic panels installed in a 16,000 square-meter (3.95-acre) area are expected to produce a total of one megawatt of energy for the local grid - enough power for roughly 2,000 homes reports Science Alert. (Source: Oil Price)

Iraq to reach “zero gas flaring” by 2021, says oil minister (13 January 2018): Jennifer Gnana - Iraq plans to snuff out gas flared from its southern oil-producing fields by 2021 as it looks to free up some of the fuel for export, its oil minister said on Saturday. “By the middle of this year, we’re heading definitely to conclude three giant contracts with international gas companies to utilise the gas in all southern areas [to the tune of] 950 million scf [standard cubic feet] covering Basra, Nassriya and Missan. By implementing this, by end of 2021, Iraq willl reach zero flaring definitely,” Jabbar Al Luaibi said at an energy conference in Abu Dhabi. (Source: The National (UAE))

Chinese Sinopec to acquire Chevron South Africa (12 January 2018): Sinopec, one of China's largest state-owned companies, has undertaken to invest US$480mn in South Africa to upgrade and modernise Chevron South Africa’s Cape Town-based oil refinery. This undertaking is part of a comprehensive agreement with the company on public interest issues, as announced by Ebrahim Patel, minister of economic development. Chevron's South African assets include an oil-refinery in Cape Town with a capacity of 100,000 bpd, a lubricants blending plant in Durban, storage tanks and distribution facilities as well as about 850 fuel service stations trading under the Caltex brand. (Source: Oil Review)

Trump offshore oil proposal could unlock 65 billion boe (10 January 2018): (Reuters) - The Trump administration’s proposal to open up almost all of U.S. offshore waters to oil and gas drilling could unlock up to 65 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe), attracting billions of dollars in investment, consultancy Rystad Energy said. Last week, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said a draft program would make over 90 percent of the outer continental shelf’s total acreage available for leasing to drillers, a national record. (Source: Hydrocarbon Processing)

Citi says Trump to loom large as war and shocks spur $80 oil (10 January 2018): By SHARON CHO - SINGAPORE (Bloomberg) - This year may be anything but staid for the oil market as Citigroup predicts wildcards including war, Middle East tensions, Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un driving crude toward $80/bbl. After prices were boosted by OPEC’s output curbs in 2017, the U.S. President has shifted the focus to geopolitical risks, with his pursuit of sanctions on Iran and North Korea potentially having significant consequences, the bank said. That’s in addition to political disturbances in some OPEC members like Iraq and Libya that could see crude supplies decline, boosting oil to levels between $70-$80, it said in a Jan. 9 report. (Source: World Oil)

ADNOC awards FEED contracts for offshore gas mega project (9 January 2018): ABU DHABI - The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) awarded the two Front End Engineering Design (FEED)contracts for ADNOC’s planned offshore ultra-sour gas mega project, which consists of Hail, Ghasha and Dalma fields. Bechtel (UK) was awarded Hail & Ghasha FEED Contract and TechnipFMC (UAE) was awarded Dalma FEED Contract. In man-hours, the two FEED contracts, collectively, are the largest awarded by an oil and gas company, underpinning the criticality of a detailed FEED phase to optimize project cost and schedule. The project, in the northwest offshore area of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, could meet 20% of the UAE’s gas demand by the second half of the next decade. (Source: World Oil)

Louisiana approves grassroots methanol complex (8 January 2018): By Robert Brelsford - OGJ Downstream Technology Editor: IGP Methanol LLC (IGPM), Houston, has secured approval from state regulators to build and operate its proposed 7.2 million-tonne/year Gulf Coast Methanol Complex (GCMC) on a 140-acre parcel adjacent to the Mississippi River near Myrtle Grove in Plaquemines Parish, La. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) issued a Title V air-quality operating permit for the grassroots complex on Jan. 4, IGPM said.

Is This The Beginning Of An Oil Sands Revival? (6 January 2018): New life was breathed into the Canadian oil sands with a decision by foreign-owned Harvest Operations Corp to commission its BlackGold project south of Fort McMurray. The Calgary-based arm of South Korean state-owned Korea National Oil Corp announced on Dec. 21 it will start the 10,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) operation, construction at which was halted in 2015 due to low oil prices. (Source: Oil Price)

Saudi Aramco cuts oil pricing to U.S. amid record-low supply (5 January 2018): By ANTHONY DIPAOLA - DUBAI (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia cut February pricing for most of its crude sales to the U.S. for a second month even as the world’s largest oil exporter ships record-low volumes to American buyers in an effort to help trim a global glut. While producers often reduce prices to stimulate sales, Saudi Arabia is cutting shipments to the U.S. market to help limit worldwide supply. Saudi exports to the U.S. dipped to a 30-year low in October, according to the Energy Information Administration, as the kingdom leads a drive by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allied producers to reduce inventories. (Source: World Oil)

UAE's first nuclear power plant marks 'significant milestone' in construction (4 January 2018): James Langton - The UAE's first nuclear power plant has announced that the final two of its four reactors are now connected to the country’s electricity grid. The development is described as a “significant milestone” by Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, ahead of the nuclear plant’s activation expected later this year. The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant will have four reactors, or units, when fully operational. Connecting Units Three and Four to the grid will allow the next stage of testing and the completion of auxiliary buildings on the site, which is in the Western Region near Ruwais. (Source: The National (UAE))

China to overtake Japan as top LNG importer, as clean energy drive kicks in (3 January 2018): Reuters - Beijing's crackdown on pollution has put China on track to overtake Japan this year as the world's biggest importer of natural gas, used to replace dirtier coal. China - already the biggest importer of oil and coal - is the world's third biggest user of natural gas behind the United States and Russia, but has to import around 40 per cent of its total needs as domestic production can't keep up with demand. (Source: The National (UAE))

Wison delivers world's first barge-based FSRU to Exmar (2 January 2017): SHANGHAI, China — Wison Offshore & Marine announced that the company has completed final delivery of the world’s first barge-based floating LNG storage and re-gasification unit (FSRU) to Belgian company Exmar, who has also confirmed that long-term employment for the FSRU starting from mid-2018 has been secured. Further to successful delivery of the Caribbean FLNG in January 2017, this marks another key milestone for the cooperative relationship between Wison and Exmar. (Source: Gas Processing)

UK Smashes 13 Clean Energy Records In 2017 (1 January 2018): It was a record year for powering the country using renewables in the UK, National Gridhas revealed, making 2017 the "greenest year ever". The year saw 13 clean energy records smashed in total - including the first day when wind, nuclear and solar generated more power than gas and coal. And in April, the country had its first day without coal generated energy since the industrial revolution. (Source: Oil Price)

Oil Resurrection Sets Stage for Another OPEC-Shale Clash in 2018 By Catherine Traywick, Heesu Lee, and Grant Smith: Oil continued its revival from the biggest crash in a generation, with prices set for a second annual gain after a year marked by hurricanes, Middle East conflict and the tussle between OPEC and U.S. shale. Futures are up more than 12 percent in 2017, having entered a bull market in September. In 2018, investors will watch whether rising prices trigger a new flood of U.S. output. (Source: Bloomberg)