The Argus Oil Products 2021. CIS and Global Markets conference took place on 20-21 May in St Petersburg.
This was the first Argus event in 2021 to be held in a hybrid format, with some delegates gathering at the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, while others joined the online broadcast.
The general partner of the conference was St Petersburg Oil Terminal. Gazpromneft acted as a strategic partner. The event was also supported by the IPP transshipment complex located in Novorossiysk.
More than 200 participants from 17 countries took part in the conference. As usual, the event became a platform that brought together refiners, exporters and consumers of oil products, ports and logistics operators, as well as financial service providers. The participants included representatives from companies including Gazpromneft, Rosneft, Lukoil, Surgutneftegaz and many others.
The conference was opened by David Fyfe, chief economist at Argus, who presented an overview of the global oil products market. He noted the gradual recovery of the global macroeconomic environment. However, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, weak performance in emerging economies and mobility concerns could hamper an upturn in crude demand. “Overall, despite a rebound of 5.6mn b/d in 2021, a full recovery in global demand to the 2019 level may not occur until late 2022-early 2023, mainly due to a drop in demand for jet fuel,” Fyfe concluded.
Mikhail Antonov, head of the Oil and Gas Processing Directorate of Gazpromneft, presented a report on the development of oil refineries. Specifically, he outlined several success factors for a refinery, including a light oil products yield of more than 80pc of the total volume, a conversion rate of more than 95pc, a share of petrochemicals in the product basket of more than 15pc, the use of modern digital technology in production management, and compliance with environmental and industrial safety regulations.
At the session dedicated to the regional markets for oil products, reports were presented on the prospects for oil products in Russia, the European motor fuel market and the processes taking place in the markets of the Caspian region. Additionally, Dmitry Korpachev, head of the Foreign Sales Department of Gazpromneft-Aero, commented on the situation in the jet fuel market.
The environmental aspects of oil refining were discussed separately. Representatives of Accenture, Gazpromneft, Eco-Express-Service, the Committee for Nature Management, Environmental Protection and Environmental Safety as well as Argus global experts in the field of biofuels and greenhouse gas emissions spoke at the relevant sessions.
The business programme of the conference ended with a session dedicated to the transportation and logistics of oil products, which covered the development of port infrastructure for transshipment of oil products, the introduction of digital solutions, including the unique Arctic logistics management system Captain by Gazpromneft, and environmental security at port facilities.
In addition to the participants attending the venue, delegates who joined online also got actively involved in the discussions, and were able to ask questions to speakers using a digital platform.
On the second day of the conference, the participants visited the Petersburg Oil Terminal (POT), a major Russian product terminal in the Baltic region. As part of the excursion, they saw a demonstration of spill containment technology using floating booms, a system for collecting spills using oil skimmers, and the operation of fire-extinguishing systems.
According to Mikhail Skigin, chairman of the board at POT, environmental and industrial safety issues remain of utmost importance for the company, which is why the excursion to the terminal as part of the conference offered an excellent opportunity for POT to demonstrate the technologies it uses to market participants and regulators.