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Crude supply in Europe still not fully bac

Crude-supply-in-Europe-still-not-fully-bac-4193.jpg      Crude supply in Europe still not fully bac


Crude supply deliveries to European refineries have been normalizing following contamination of crude on the 4,000-km Druzhba pipeline system which ships Russian crude, though some refineries, particularly in Germany, continue to experience supply problems.

Germany’s Leuna refinery issued a force majeure declaration on jet fuel supplies, but operator Total said the declaration was not being extended to any other products, as the facility continues to run at limited capacity due to Druzhba pipeline contamination issues. Meanwhile crude oil deliveries via the Druzhba pipeline from Russia to the Litvinov refinery in the Czech Republic resumed in late May.

Separately, the API refinery in the central Italian coastal town of Falconara Marittima was briefly forced offline by an electricity fault in late May. In Greece, diesel output from the Corinth refinery was returning after having been reduced in May amid reports of an issue at the refinery, traders in the region said.

In other news, Shell’s Rhineland and Pernis refineries are currently working on projects that aim to reduce CO2 emissions, the company said. Later this year, the Rhineland refinery will start construction of a modernized power plant and is also working on building a hydrogen production plant, using electrolysis. Furthermore, residual heat from its Pernis refinery is used to heat 16,000 local homes, and Pernis is also involved in a CCS project with the port of Rotterdam, which “if it progresses” would see CO2 emissions from Pernis being captured and stored in a depleted North Sea gas field.

NEAR-TERM

NEW AND REVISED ENTRIES

–Preem’s Lysekil refinery near Brofjorden is in the process of returning to full capacity in June, after a first quarter in which the company reported a fall in throughput due to maintenance and a leak. Preem said that on May 7, it shut down the Lysekil crude distillation tower and selected downstream units to address a small leak in the crude distillation overhead line. “Repair activities went well and Lysekil is currently in the process of returning to full capacity,” the company said notes attached to the quarterly report. In late April Preem started the planned maintenance shutdown of selected units in Gothenburg for catalyst replacement, inspection and cleaning of equipment. This, it added, continued until the second half of May. “The first quarter of 2019 included production disruptions mainly at our Lysekil refinery with down time on our ISO cracker (ICR) and visbreaker unit (VBU) for most of the quarter,” Preem said. “Both units were back to operating normally by the end of Q1.”

–Total’s refinery in Antwerp restarted after maintenance work, trading sources said. The refinery has been undergoing various partial maintenance since March, with the latest works affecting a CDU unit, sources said.

–BP Rotterdam refinery is undergoing partial work, resulting in some tightness of product supply in the Amsterdam Rotterdam Antwerp region, traders said. The BP refinery is a large producer of gasoline.

–Spain’s Petronor Bilbao started scheduled maintenance at its 7 million mt/year crude unit 1 — its largest unit — in late May, bringing forward the work from June, the company said. The work is scheduled to last until the first half of July and the main work will include the installation of an air heater in the refinery furnace, with the aim of increasing efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions. The refinery completed minor work on its fluid catalytic cracker unit earlier in May and carried out general maintenance of the conversion area in April, including the FCC, visbreaker and hydrodesulfurization units.

–Slovnaft was not severely affected by the cut in Druzhba supplies because of general maintenance works at the Bratislava refinery, which began at the start of May and are expected to last until the second half of June. The work has closed most of the refinery, with Slovnaft able to continue reduced operations using stocks on site. Meanwhile, Russian crude oil deliveries to Slovnaft’s Bratislava refinery in Slovakia via the southern branch of the Druzhba pipeline resumed in late May.

–Planned maintenance at PCK Raffinerie’s Schwedt plant in Germany has been completed at the end of May. The turnaround, dubbed Step 2, started in the middle of March. It included maintenance of 25 units as well as integrating new equipment for the upgrade of CDU 3. During the turnaround, two thirds of the crude processing capacity has been affected. The refinery said at the end of April that it was in the final stages of the turnaround and also said at the time that it had sufficient crude despite the an interruption of Russian Urals crude flows along the Druzhba pipeline following contamination with organic chlorides. But according to market sources the restart has been delayed by the reduced shipments along the Druzhba pipeline.

EXISTING ENTRIES

–Varo Energy’s Cressier refinery in Switzerland is planning a maintenance shutdown “in the coming weeks”, the company said in mid-May.

–Italy’s Sarroch forecasts refinery runs at 26-27 million barrels for both the second and third quarter, while it expects runs to drop slightly in the fourth quarter to 25 million-26 million barrels. For the full year, Sarroch forecasts runs of 96 million-99 million barrels. In Q4, the refinery is scheduled to carry out maintenance on its north plants, its visbreaking unit, its RT2 topping unit and V1 vacuum unit, according to a company presentation on its Q1 results. The refinery will also carry out work on its petrochemicals plant.

–Sonatrach’s Augusta refinery on Sicily was scheduled to be fully operational after finishing a 2.5-month maintenance cycle, a source close to the refinery told S&P Global Platts. The refinery was offline intermittently over several months as widescale maintenance was carried out. –Eni’s Sannazzaro de Burgondi refinery in northern Italy has “accomplished” an early start of the EST plant in March with full start-up expected by the third quarter, the company said in its Q1 results. The initial plan to restart the EST plant, which was offline following a fire in 2016, at the end of 2018 had been pushed forward with sources suggesting it would restart in the second quarter of 2019. The restart is expected before the summer. Eni built the EST plant to convert heavy oil residues into gasoline and diesel products. The unit contributes some 10-15% to total throughput at the refinery under normal conditions. The Sannazzaro refinery is also currently running maintenance on Line 1 of its plant, with the main focus on its vacuum and hydrocracking units in this phase of the works.

–Germany’s Bayernoil, which was taken offline following an incident last September, began its restart in May. It began with the test for the steam boiler followed by the restart of the first crude processing unit. The remaining units will be coming on stream over the course of the summer.

–Hungary’s MOL said it was planning a turnaround at its Danube refinery in the third quarter, as well as steam cracker maintenance at its Hungarian and Slovakian petrochemical sites in the second half of the year.

–Galp Energia CEO Carlos Gomes da Silva said the company will carry out a planned maintenance on the atmospheric distillation unit at Portugal’s Sines that will last between 40 and 50 days in the third quarter, having previously slated the work for H2 2019. The company will use the halt to increase efficiency and conversion ability of the refinery and it will also carry out data driven projects during the year to increase the refining margin of the refinery. The conversion units at the refinery will continue to work at full capacity during the outage, Gomes da Silva said.

–Spain’s Repsol started maintenance work April 25 at its A Coruna refinery, with the work affecting 19 conversion units, according to a note on its website. The inspection, maintenance and a series of technological upgrades will take 45 days, it said. The work will mean a halt for around half of the refinery’s units, with the remainder functioning normally, Repsol said. The main focus of the work will be on the 1.08 million mt/year coker unit. The company said it will substitute some of the large parts of the infrastructure of the coker’s chambers, install new circuits and re-pipe the furnace, among other work. For the remainder of the year, the FCC and VDU units are also due to undergo maintenance, the company has said previously said.

–Poland’s largest refiner PKN Orlen in the second half of 2019 plans maintenance shutdowns on the hydrodesulfurization HOG unit, the hydrogen recovery and PVC units in Plock and the visbreaking and DRW units in Unipetrol.

–The Donges refinery in northwest France will carry out works affecting part of its units over two months, starting from late April. Between April 23 and May 26 the units will be gradually halting. The gradual restart is planned for June 1-28. The remaining part of the refinery will carry out works in 2021. Maintenance work on this scale is carried out every six years. Donges consists of 20 units.

–Total’s Grandpuits refinery near Paris has been in shutdown since late February due to a leak on the crude oil pipeline from Le Havre. The shutdown will last until the pipeline is repaired.

–Tupras, Turkey’s sole oil refiner, shut the fuel oil conversion unit at Izmit for routine maintenance for around 90 days from February 26. Commercial production from the unit is anticipated to restart at the end of Q2. Fuel oil from Izmir is usually transported to Izmit by rail for processing in the fuel oil conversion unit.

FUTURE

EXISTING ENTRIES

–Finland’s Neste said that it has scheduled a four-week decoking maintenance at Production Line 4 at Porvoo in September-October. It expects high utilization rates in Q2, “except for normal unit maintenance.” In 2017 Neste completed the integration of the Porvoo and Naantali refineries.

–Repsol 2019 maintenance plans include hydro-treatment unit and hydrocracker at Cartagena in September; partial works at Puertollano in October and November, as the company is carrying out an extensive digitalization upgrade at the plant this year and will carry out turnarounds at the cracker and chemical derivative plants at the end of 2020; and petrochemical works at Tarragona in Q4.

–The refinery part of France’s Gonfreville is due to carry out maintenance in the second half of 2019, the company said. Last year there was a major maintenance at the petrochemical plant at the Gonfreville refining and petrochemical complex.

–The ISAB refinery in southern Italy, which successfully resolved an issue with its sea jetty caused by bad weather, will carry out maintenance work in June, union sources told Platts.

–The Milazzo refinery, located on the Italian island of Sicily, is scheduled to carry out around 45 days of maintenance work on its FCC unit and ancillary plants starting mid-September. The refinery will not be offline in the period the works are carried out. Earlier reports in January indicated the refinery would carry out the next wide-scale maintenance works involving its FCC unit and ancillaries starting in October.

–The next major turnaround at Sweden’s Lysekil will be in autumn this year. After 2019, the company plans to run major turnarounds every six years but with a total refinery shutdown every three years to perform catalyst changes and cleaning/decoking of necessary units.

–Finland’s Neste is preparing for “the 2020 major turnaround in Porvoo”.

–Total will invest EUR150 million ($166.5 million) at its Leuna refinery in Germany. The investment into an upgrade project aims to reduce the production of heavy products, demand for which decreases, and increase the production of methanol, which is an important feedstock for the chemical industry. This will deepen the integration of the refinery and the petrochemical operations and increase the competitiveness of the plant. The methanol production will increase as a result of increased output from the visbreaker unit and an upgrade of the POX/Methanol plant. Work will continue until 2021, with the major part done in the 2020 major shutdown of the refinery where another Eur150 million will be invested.

–The next major turnaround at Sweden’s Gothenburg will be in 2021.

–Saras will carry out maintenance and upgrade works on the 90,000 b/d FCC plant at Sarroch in 2020.

–Saras’ Sarroch refinery in Italy will carry out a full maintenance shutdown, carried out every 10 years, in 2021.

–Sarpom’s refinery in Trecate, Italy, is scheduled to undergo a large-scale, two-month general maintenance cycle in 2020 — of the type carried out at the plant every three to four years — a source close to the refinery said.

–A shutdown may be carried out at Portugal’s Porto at the end of 2019 or early 2020 for under three weeks for the atmospheric distillation unit, where it needs to install heat exchangers.

–Rompetrol’s Petromidia refinery will have its next general maintenance in 2020.

–Spain’s Cepsa has moved a step closer to permanent closure of its refinery on Tenerife after signing an agreement with the regional authorities of Santa Cruz, Tenerife, to transform the site into a mixture of public space and real estate. The complex, which has been in operation for nearly 90 years, refined its last oil in 2014, having been previously idled in 2013 for “economic reasons.”

–The next major maintenance at the Netherlands’ Zeeland will be in 2020.

–Romania’s Petrobrazi will undergo its next big turnaround in 2022.

UPGRADES

NEW AND REVISED ENTRIES

–Planned maintenance at PCK Raffinerie’s Schwedt plant in Germany has been completed at the end of May. The turnaround, dubbed Step 2, started in the middle of March. It included maintenance of 25 units as well as integrating new equipment for the upgrade of CDU 3. During the turnaround, two thirds of the crude processing capacity has been affected. The refinery said at the end of April that it was in the final stages of the turnaround and also said at the time that it had sufficient crude despite the an interruption of Russian Urals crude flows along the Druzhba pipeline following contamination with organic chlorides. But according to market sources the restart has been delayed by the reduced shipments along the Druzhba pipeline.

–OMV Petrom has completed upgrades to its coker unit at Romania’s Petrobrazi and invested Eur46 million ($52 million) in the project since the start of 2017, a company representative said. The project was aimed at eliminating emissions of volatile organic compounds from its coker unit. “The project was finalized and the upgraded unit it functional,” the company representative said. The upgrades project also involved complex civil works, installing 400 mt of pipelines and monitoring systems.

–A Spanish press report citing the Andalucia region’s chief officer for finance, industry and energy, Juan Bravo, said that Cepsa’s Eur1 billion “bottom of the barrel” project at its San Roque refinery may be delayed. The report in ABC de Sevilla said the project is being held up by an unspecified administrative procedure delaying the start of work. A Cepsa spokesman declined to comment. The report says the project may be held up a year and start in 2020, instead of 2019 as planned. The project entails a new hydrocracker at the site to adapt it to producing lighter products by increasing the conversion factor and also to increase the output of gasoline blending components. The upgrades are currently expected to be concluded by 2022, adding $1.4/b to its refining margin and increasing refining capacity by 36,000 b/d. The output of diesel should increase from 40% to 55% once the project is concluded. Cepsa is also to revamp the Isomax unit, fluid catalytic cracker and alkylation units and construct a methylene unit (Sorbex II) at San Roque, which will double production capacity, investing Eur1 billion ($1.14 billion) through to the end of 2019 as it aims to boost conversion rates and improve technology and sustainability. Cepsa said it raised non-aromatic solvents output by 30,000 mt/year in 2018 and started work on a fixed bed alkylation plant, which is expected to start up in 2020.

–Polish refiner Lotos said the commissioning of the last element of its EFRA refinery modernisation program, the delayed coker unit (DCU) has been delayed once again, this time by 30 days until June 30. “The main reason for the postponement is that Lotos Asfalt seeks to ensure unquestionable technical readiness of the DCU for start-up and commissioning,” Lotos said in a market filing. Lotos said the postponement of the ready for start-up date for the DCU “will not delay the full planned economic and financial effects of the operation of all EFRA project units”. The delay was agreed in a contract annex with contractor Kinetics Technology (KT). The key elements of the EFRA Project are the Coking Complex, comprising the Delayed Coking Unit, Coker Naphtha Hydrotreating Unit, and Coke Storage and Logistics Facility. Other units to be built are the Hydrogen Generation Unit, Hydrowax Vacuum Distillation Unit, and the Oxygen Generation Unit. Furthermore, many existing units will be upgraded and have increased production capacities.

EXISTING ENTRIES

–Total will invest Eur150 million ($166.5 million) at its Leuna refinery in Germany. The investment into an upgrade project aims to reduce the production of heavy products, demand for which decreases, and increase the production of methanol, which is an important feedstock for the chemical industry. This will deepen the integration of the refinery and the petrochemical operations and increase the competitiveness of the plant. The methanol production will increase as a result of increased output from the visbreaker unit and an upgrade of the POX/Methanol plant. Work will continue until 2021, with the major part done in the 2020 major shutdown of the refinery where another EUR150 million will be invested.

–ExxonMobil said it has “made a final investment decision to expand” the Fawley refinery in the UK to increase production of ULSD by 45% or 38,000 b/d. The more than $1 billion investment includes a hydrotreater to remove sulfur from diesel, supported by a hydrogen plant. The investment “will help reduce the need to import diesel into the United Kingdom, which imported about half of its supply in 2017,” the company said. The construction, which is subject to a local planning approval, is set to begin in late 2019 with start-up expected in 2021.

–McDermott International has been awarded a contract for engineering, procurement and construction management services for the upgrade of the hydrocracker at Czech Litvinov refinery. McDermott had previously completed the feasibility study and basic engineering design. The completion is expected for Q2 of 2020. Work on the project will begin immediately.

–Russian energy giant Lukoil plans to invest in its ISAB refinery in southern Italy and has also dropped plans announced in 2017 to sell the plant having not received suitable offers, the company and union sources told S&P Global Platts. Lukoil will invest $60 million in upgrades, including two hydrodesulfurization units, which will allow the refinery to fully move to the production of Euro 5 diesel and halt output of Euro 3 and Euro 4 product.

–Cepsa said it will carry out upgrades to its aromax and hydrocracker units at Huelva in 2019. It is also carrying out an aromatics optimization project at the refinery.

–Croatia’s INA will concentrate its refining in Rijeka, which will also be upgraded, and convert the smaller Sisak facility into an industrial site as part of its Downstream 2023 New Course program and 2019 business plan, the company said. The company plans to invest more than HRK 4 billion ($615.3 million) in a delayed coker project at Rijeka, a new port with closed petcoke storage and increased overall complexity that will make Rijeka “a top level European refinery.” A final investment decision on the delayed coker project will be taken this year, with commissioning earmarked for 2023 “given that all the prerequisites that will assure return on investment will be met.”

–The delayed coker at the Pancevo refinery, currently under construction, will be launched in third quarter of 2019, Kirill Tyurdenev, the managing director of NIS, said in Gazprom Neft’s in-house magazine. As a result the depth of processing will reach 99.2% and the refinery will produce 500,000 mt more light products. The Nelson index will increase to 9.6. The light products yield would increase to 85% from 75%. Gazprom Neft has previously said the delayed coker will have 2,000 mt/day capacity.

–The Netherlands’ Zeeland started work in June 2018 on an expansion of the hydrocracker, by adding a third reactor, due for completion in mid 2020 after which the new reactor will be put in operation.

–Total is considering building intermediate feedstock desulfurization units and a hydrogen unit at France’s Donges, but the investment depends on rerouting a railroad track that currently crosses the refinery.

–Poland’s Plock refinery aims to complete a new visbreaker unit by the end of 2020.

–Israel’s Haifa District Court has rejected an appeal by Haifa municipality along with six other neighboring communities and environmental groups against the proposed expansion of the Bazan refinery.

LAUNCHES

EXISTING ENTRIES

–Azerbaijani state-owned oil company Socar’s new Star refinery in Turkey is operating at up to 85%-90% capacity, albeit not continuously, Hasan Tan, head of Socar Turkey’s supply and marketing group, told Platts in late April. Tan said that sales of diesel, jet and LPG to the domestic Turkish market have started and that the refinery is also supplying naphtha to Socar’s Turkish petrochemical subsidiary Petkim. Tan said that Socar’s aim is to sell all the products from the Star refinery into the Turkish market, and will export anything it can’t sell. A Socar spokesman said production at Star has recently been affected by power cuts caused by seasonal storms and which had affected the Aliaga region in general, including Socar’s petrochemical subsidiary Petkim.

–Dutch Hes International (former Hestya Energy) aims to start operations at a unit of the currently closed Wilhelmshaven refinery in Germany “later this year,” it said in early January. The Netherlands-based company had previously said it would operate the unit, which it declined to name, under a tolling agreement. According to traders, it is the VDU that is likely to be restarted in 2019 and used for producing low sulfur fuel oil ahead of the 2020 IMO requirement for low sulfur bunker fuel.

–Azerbaijani state oil company Socar is considering the development of a second refinery in Turkey, in addition to its existing 214,000 b/d Star refinery at Aliaga on Turkey’s central Aegean coast. Development of a second refinery would be necessary if the company decides to go ahead with plans for a second petrochemical plant at its existing Petkim facility. A final investment decision is expected in March.

–Turkey’s Ersan Petrol plans to start construction of its 1.4 million mt/year Nazli refinery at Kahramanmaras in southeast Turkey by the end of 2018, with the plant expected to begin operations by the end of 2022.
Source: Platts

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