Refining, Petrochemicals, Gas Processing

Two Total and Borealis led Petrochemical Ventures in Texas Expected for Startup in 2021 and 2022

Two planned petrochemical units led by a Total and OMV-owned Borealis joint venture have updated their expected start times in Texas.

Exxon Expected to Close its Altona Refinery in Australia

Exxon Mobil announced on February 9th that it plans to shut in production at its long-running Altona refinery in Victoria. This decision comes as the country’s refiners continue to deal with low demand.

Canada’s Come-by-Chance Refinery Seeing New Bids to Return as a Renewable Facility

According to recent reports, private firm Cresta Fund Management has placed an offer to purchase a majority stake in North Atlantic Refining LTD, who owns the presently idle 135,000 barrel per day Come-by-Chance refinery in Newfoundland. This refinery was one of the first sites in North America to shut in after the COVID-19 pandemic began to weaken demand.

Maire Tecnimont SpA Signs on for Two New EPC Contracts at the Heydar Aliyev Baku Refinery

Maire Tecnimont SpA of Italy announced on February 3, 2021 that two of its subsidiaries will provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services as part of the modernization program underway at the Heydar Aliyev Oil refinery in Baku, Azerbaijan.

U.S. Refiners Look Towards Renewable New Hopes

After seeing demand devastation in 2020 refiners in the United States are starting this year with new talk around the growth of renewable fuels to bolster their future in this ever-changing fuel scenario.

Chevron Lummus Global Awarded Contract for NRL Expansion Project

Scope includes technology license, basic engineering services, proprietary equipment and catalyst supply, training and technical services Award highlights the third licensed unit in India employing CLG's LC-FINING platform Plant to upgrade vacuum residue and clarified oil from existing and new units

Limetree Bay Ventures Commences Refinery Startup Operations

Limetree Bay Ventures, LLC, a world-class refinery, terminal and logistics hub controlled by EIG Global Energy Partners (“EIG”), today announced that Limetree Bay Refining (“the Refinery”) has successfully resumed operations and begun production and commercial sales of refined products.

Gas Projects in the U.S. Face Increasing Opposition in 2021

As 2021 began, a few projects in the United States quickly faced delays and challenges to their progress.

Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend refinery considers solar to help meet power needs

The Flint Hills Resources Pine Bend refinery is seeking bids for the construction of a large-scale solar development on the company’s property in Rosemount, Minnesota, to help meet the refinery’s electrical power needs and lower its energy costs. The 30-megawatt solar development would be among the largest of its kind in the nation where all the power is generated and consumed by a single business. The company has requested bids from select solar companies that specialize in building commercial-scale solar farms and integrating them within established operations. A decision on whether to proceed with the project is expected by mid-year 2021.

LyondellBasell and Sinopec Finalize JV for PO/SM Plant in China

LyondellBasell announced on the 26th of January that it has signed an agreement with Sinopec of China for the formation of a 50:50 joint venture for the specific purpose of installing a propylene oxide (PO) and styrene monomer (SM) project in China's domestic market. Plans for this operation actually began back in late 2019.

BPCL Places Polyol Plant in Kochi on Hold

According to recent reports, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) has placed a planned polyol production plant on hold at the Kochi facilities in Kerala. The company has been undergoing a privatization process and has ceased progress on this plan until it is settled.

Private Refinery in Louisiana Expected to Restart in February

Calcasieu Refining of Louisiana recently announced that it plans to restart its idled Calcasieu refinery in early February 2021. Production had been shut in since mid-2020.

Additional Petrochemical Investments in Burghausen Refinery

OMV, the integrated, international oil, gas and petrochemicals company headquartered in Vienna, is expanding and modernizing its cracker units and petrochemical cold section at its Burghausen Refinery in Germany. The measures aim to increase the site’s ethylene and propylene production capacity. Following the planned turnaround of the refinery, the upgraded units are expected to go live in the third quarter of 2022, whereby the initial groundwork is already underway.

Refinery Closures Continue as Imports Grow in Australia

BP’s Kwinana oil refinery, the largest in Australia with a capacity for 146,000 barrels per day, is expected to shut in its production this year, resulting in a reduction of over one-fifth of the country’s fuel production ability. Once production is shut in, BP plans to convert the facility into an import terminal for a country growing increasingly reliant upon imported fuel.

UAE Energy Minister believes oil demand could recover by the end of 2021

According to recent reports, United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei has commented on a potentially updated timeline for a return to form for global oil demand. He believes that global demand will make a somewhat optimistic return to pre-pandemic level by the end of 2021 or early 2022.

Wood secures $120 million contract for ethylene expansion in China

Wood has secured a contract valued at over $120 million with Sinopec Hainan Refining and Chemical Limited Company (Sinopec) to provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to expand its refinery development in the Hainan Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in South China.

Methanex Provides Update on its Trinidad Operations

Methanex Corporation (TSX:MX) (NASDAQ:MEOH) announced today that it expects its Titan methanol facility (“Titan”) in Trinidad (875,000 annual operating capacity) will remain idled indefinitely.

Técnicas Reunidas Receives an Environmental Enhancement Project Award for Chile’s Bio Bio Refinery

Técnicas Reunidas, S.A announced recently that it has been awarded an EPC contract for a Wet Gas Sulphuric Acid Plant (WSA), Sour Water Stripping Plant (SWS), and an Amine Recovery Plant (MDEA) for the 116,000 barrel per day Bio Bio refinery in Hualpén, Chile.

Eni Considers More Renewable Fuel Production in Italy

Eni SPA of Italy is designing new renewable fuel projects in the country, including a conversion of its 84,000 barrel per day Livorno refinery into a biorefinery for hydrotreated vegetable oil production and a new waste to methanol plant. Both projects are scheduled by Eni to be in operation by the end of 2024.

Petrochemicals Group Sets up JV at Gas Chemical Complex

SIBUR Holding and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) have closed the deal to set up a joint venture (JV) at the Amur Gas Chemical Complex after obtaining all the necessary approvals from the regulators of both countries.

New Consortium Could Renew Interest in Ecuador’s Esmeraldas Refinery Future

Recent reports show that Ecuador’s Energy Minister Rene Ortiz has updated potential movement in the country’s plans for the modernization of the 110,000 bpd Esmeraldas Refinery. This latest consortium includes Hyundai Engineering and KBR in a plan to progress this renovation.

Shell Invests in Quebec’s first Waste to Low-Carbon Fuels Plant

Shell Canada Limited, an affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell plc, today announced the signing of commercial agreements to invest in Varennes Carbon Recycling, the first waste to low-carbon fuels plant in Québec, Canada. Shell will have a 40% interest in the plant using technology developed by Enerkem, a leading Canadian clean tech company. Enerkem announced the project in December 2020, subject to finalization of commercial agreements.

Refinery shutdowns continue, likely more in 2021

As the coronavirus pandemic decimated global demand in 2020, refineries around the world reacted immediately with a variety of methods to survive. Temporary shut ins, cold circulation, conversion to renewable production, and outright refinery closures all became commonplace as responses to the pandemic effect.

Galp expected to shut in its Matosinhos refinery to focus on larger Sines facilities

Galp of Portugal recently announced that it was planning to permanently shut in hydrocarbon production at the smaller of its two refineries operating in Portugal. The company will instead further develop the larger Sines refinery due to the continuing demand destruction from the COVID-19 pandemic.

West Coast Olefins complex to be built in Prince George after all

West Coast Olefins of Canada recently announced that it will build a $5.6 billion dollar ethylene complex in Prince George, as originally envisioned in 2019. The company had been considering an alternate location near Mcleod Lake, just north of Prince George.

ExxonMobil looks to invest $240 million in improvements for its Baton Rouge refinery

ExxonMobil recently announced that after two years in the making, the company will invest as much as $240 million dollars in its Baton Rouge complex for modernization opportunities. The company hopes to make the facilities more competitive in a tough current market and even prepare it for expansion down the road.

Petron Expected to Close Bataan Refinery Next Month

Petron of the Philippines recently announced that it is planning to temporarily shut in its long running 180,000 barrel per day Bataan refinery in January. The company cited weak margins as the primary reason, but did not give a restart date.

Pembina Ceases Plans for Canadian Petrochemical Project

Pembina Pipeline of Canada and Kuwait’s Petrochemical Industries Company through their joint venture, Canada Kuwait Petrochemical Limited Partnership, have announced that their $4.5 billion integrated propane dehydration plant (PDH) and polypropylene upgrading facility in Alberta would be indefinitely suspended until further notice. This follows another recent indefinite deferment for a major project in North America just last month with Formosa’s $9.4 billion Sunshine complex in Louisiana.

The Refinery Restructuring Trend Continues Across Europe

Neste of Finland recently announced that it plans to shut in the refining operations at its 58,000 barrel per day Naantali refinery by the end of March 2021. This complex’s closure decision had been accelerated by the substantial decline in oil demand worldwide, in addition to competition from Asia and from environmental rulings.

Methyl Methacrylate Plant proposed in Louisiana for Mitsubishi Chemical

Mitsubishi Chemical of Japan announced very recently that it has acquired 67 acres of land in Geismar, Louisiana near the Mississippi River for a potential Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) plant. The company plans to begin feasibility studies next for this project.