A final rule signed May 31 by US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew R. Wheeler that waives summertime Reid Vapor Pressure limits and allows year-round sales of gasoline with a 15% ethanol blend was met with disappointment by refiners and with delight by corn ethanol producers.
Petroleos del Norte SA (Petronor) has started planned maintenance on the largest of two crude distillation units at its 240,000-b/d refinery at Muskiz near Bilbao, Spain. The more-than 140,000-b/d Refining Unit 1 was taken offline on May 27 for a scheduled turnaround that will run through the first half of July, Petronor said.
Crude oil-to-chemicals (COTC), a new chemical process technology, could more than double the profitability derived from a barrel of crude oil, according to IHS Markit. Based on its analysis, global, integrated refining and petrochemical companies currently earn about $8.50/bbl of refined crude oil. By leveraging the COTC process technology in a world-scale refining and chemical facility, owners could increase their plant net margins to $17/bbl.
The Druzhba oil pipeline between Russia and Europe will resume normal operations in mid-May after a month-long curtailment responding to contamination, according to Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak in a report by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
Indorama Ventures Olefins, an indirect subsidiary of Thailand’s Indorama Ventures, has achieved mechanical completion of its previously announced project to renovate and restart a dormant ethane cracker in Westlake, La., just west of Lake Charles in Calcasieu Parish.
Chevron USA has completed its purchase from Petrobras America of all outstanding shares and equity interests of Pasadena Refining System Inc., which includes the refinery in Pasadena, Tex., and PRSI Trading LLC for $350 million, excluding working capital.
A fire broke out on Apr. 12 at the jointly held Saudi Aramco-Petronas $27-28 billion Pengerang Integrated Complex in southeastern Johor, Malaysia. The fire occurred about 1:25 a.m. local time at the atmospheric residue desulfurization unit, which is currently in its commissioning phase, Petronas said. The situation is now under control, and there are no health-related risks as a result of the incident.
Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (HPCL) will receive major heavy equipment ahead of schedule that is to be installed as part of its previously announced program to expand and modernize its 166,700-b/d Vishakhapatnam (Visakh) refinery in Andhra Pradesh on India’s southeastern coast.
TechnipFMC PLC has completed remaining conditions required to enable work to begin on an earlier awarded contract let by the Egyptian government for delivery of engineering, procurement, and construction services related to the modernization and expansion of state-owned Middle East Oil Refinery Co.’s (Midor) 115,000-b/d refinery in El Amreya Free Zone, near Alexandria, Egypt.
HollyFrontier Corp. has completed unplanned maintenance during this year’s first quarter at subsidiary HollyFrontier El Dorado Refining LLC’s 135,000-b/sd refinery in El Dorado, Kan. As of Mar. 26, the crude unit was back online, and the refinery remained in the process of restarting all downstream units, the operator said.