More Oil Refining News

INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS

Aug 13, 1990 U.S.S.R. increased its capacity to export liquefied petroleum gas. A new tanker built in West Germany to transport LPG and chemicals made its first voyage from the Baltic port of Riga to western Europe and Mediterranean countries. France has been a leading buyer of Soviet LPG. BRAE GROUP obtained a 50% interest in Scottish Area Gas Evacuation system, which will deliver Brae area gas reserves to U.K. markets when complete in late 1992. Mobil North Sea Ltd., operator of Beryl field, will

INDIA'S DOWNSTREAM EXPANSION CONTINUING

Aug 20, 1990 India's downstream expansion continues. India has commissioned its first gas cracker complex, a $925 million project built by Indian Petrochemicals Corp. Ltd. in Nagathone, Maharashtra. Separately, India's government is pursuing development of another gas cracker complex, this time to utilize surplus gas in Assam state. Indian Prime Minister M.S. Gurupadaswamy has called for expedited permitting of the project to help promote economic development in the civil strife-torn state. In

U.S. BRIEFS

Aug 20, 1990 CONSUMERS POWER CO., Jackson, Mich., agreed to buy electricity from three waste to energy projects in Michigan-35,000 kw from Pollard Generating Station Inc., Montrose, 1,500 kw from the Granger Renewable Resources Inc., Lansing, Landfill No. 1 in DeWitt township, and 1,000 kw from Granger's Venice township plant. O'BRIEN ENERGY SYSTEMS, Philadelphia, brought its 1,200 kw Orange County, Calif., and 1,000 kw Lafayette, N.J., biogas power plants on stream.

OIL SHORTAGE LOOMS IN 4TH QUARTER IF CRISIS CONTINUES

Aug 20, 1990 World oil markets face a serious oil supply shortfall in the fourth quarter if the Middle East crisis is not resolved soon. There are ample supplies of strategic stocks to accommodate world demand for oil in the near term. That was an immediate concern in the aftermath of Iraq's blitzkrieg invasion and takeover of Kuwait (OGJ, Aug. 13, p. 17). However, the loss of oil exports from Kuwait and Iraq will mean a shortfall in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' ability to

PRICE GOUGING CONTROVERSY PLAGUES INDUSTRY

Aug 20, 1990 Bob Williams Senior Staff Writer U.S. refiner/marketers are scrambling to defuse controversy over wholesale gasoline price spikes following Iraq's invasion and takeover of Kuwait. Charges of price gouging have sparked moves by states to take legal action or introduce legislation related to the sudden runup in gasoline prices that totaled about 18/gal in the days after Iraq's invasion.

OGJ NEWSLETTER

Aug 20, 1990 Oil prices remain volatile in response to events in the Middle East (see stories, pp. 23-26, and 28-30). After falling from a high of almost $27/bbl seen immediately after the invasion, Brent last week rebounded to $26.20/bbl only to fall again to $25.20/bbl at Aug. 16 closing once the implications of the Iran/Iraq peace initiative had been absorbed. Dubai also seesawed to regain the $23.50/bbl peak of the previous week before falling back to $$22.60/bbl.

MOBIL TO BUY ESSO UNIT IN AUSTRALIA

Aug 20, 1990 Mobil Oil Australia Ltd. has reached preliminary agreement to buy Esso Australia Ltd.'s downstream business unit for a reported $500 million (Australian). Pending expected approval by Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board, the deal is to be complete by yearend. The acquisition will cut the number of refiner/marketers in Australia to five, boosting Mobil to a tie for second in market share with BP Australia at about 21% each. Market leader Shell Australia Ltd. has about 25% of the

PROPOSED OSHA SAFETY REGS TARGET PROCESS PLANT PROCEDURES

Aug 20, 1990 Richard A. Corbett Refining/Petrochemical Editor Existing codes, standards, and good engineering practices, already adhered to by much of the U.S. hydrocarbon processing industry, will gain the force of federal regulation when the process plant safety standard proposed by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) goes into effect, possibly late this year or early next (OGJ, July 23, p. 18).

EPA PROPOSES CUT IN SULFUR CONTENT OF DIESEL

Aug 20, 1990 The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed an 80% reduction in the sulfur content of U.S. diesel fuel beginning Oct. 1, 1993. EPA Administrator William K. Reilly called the move "an important step" for cleaner air. He said the reduction will have the largest effect in urban areas where particulate levels are the highest and the number of people exposed the greatest. "This action, along with the stringent heavy duty particulate reduction standards for 1991 and later vehicles, will

INTERNATIONAL BRIEFS

Aug 27, 1990 ULTRAMAR PLC of the U.K. let a $212 million contract to Samsung Shipbuilding & Heavy Industries Ltd. of South Korea to build three crude oil tankers for Canadian unit Ultramar Canada Inc. They will service the Ultramar Quebec refinery on the St. Lawrence River. The 148,500 metric ton vessels with 1 million bbl capacity will be ice strengthened and double hulled. Two are scheduled for 1992 delivery, the third in 1993.

ANALYSIS SHOWS PROCESS INDUSTRY ACCIDENT LOSSES RISING

Aug 27, 1990 John A. Krembs, James M. Connolly M&M Protection Consultants Chicago An analysis of the 150 largest losses caused by accidents and natural phenomena in the hydrocarbon processing and chemical industries during a period of 30 years ending Jan. 1, 1989, shows that the cost and number of losses is increasing. The analysis is taken from data gathered for, "Large Property Damage Losses in the Hydrocarbon-Chemical Industries: A Thirty-Year Review," published by M&M Protection Consultants.

U.S. INDEPENDENTS RESPOND TO MARKET RACES

Aug 27, 1990 Several U.S. independent producers plan to hike 1990 capital outlays mainly because the Middle East crisis has improved the outlook for oil and gas production. But action by another independent reflects the summer doldrums in spot wellhead gas prices. Questar Corp., Salt Lake City, will spend 15% more this year than it earlier planned because of what it foresees as increased U.S. gas usage due to environmental and national security concerns.

GUESSING GAMES IN AN OIL CRISIS

Aug 27, 1990 Reacting to crisis without benefit of policy, the U.S. Department of Energy may be headed for a trap with regard to crude oil inventories. DOE last week pointed confidently to commercial stocks as a ready source of near term supply and kept the Strategic Petroleum Reserve on the sidelines. Embargo of Iraqi and Kuwaiti crude exports hasn't created a U.S. disruption sufficient to warrant SPR withdrawals, the agency said.

OGJ NEWSLETTER

Aug 27, 1990 The worsening Middle East crisis has shot oil prices to more than 30/bbl for the first time in almost 5 years.

UNLEADED GASOLINE SALES STILL RISING IN MOST EUROPEAN MARKETS

Aug 27, 1990 Roger Vielvoye International Editor Unleaded gasoline continues to expand its share of European markets, although the pace of change from leaded fuels is still uneven. Market penetration by unleaded gasoline has a strong regional bias. Northern Europe, where unleaded was first introduced in West Germany 6 years ago, has high levels of unleaded consumption. But in southern Europe, unleaded sales are slow, reflecting limited supply and in some cases absence of any incentive for drivers to make

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