Germany extends lockdown, tightens Easter measures

  • Market: Oil products
  • 23/03/21

Germany has extended its nationwide Covid-19 restrictions to 18 April and will tighten measures for the Easter holiday weekend, the government said today.

This is a blow to any prospect of demand increases in Europe's largest market for road fuels. Fuel demand increased in March on the month but remains sluggish compared to last year's levels.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and the heads of the German states have agreed to extend into next month contact restrictions and home-working requirements. The government said that 1 April and 3 April will be "quiet days" in which "far-reaching reduction of all contacts" are required. This essentially extends the Easter weekend.

The new measures could further lower already sluggish fuel demand. Filling station operators have decreased term buying by around 20pc on the year this month, after year on year reductions of around 45pc in February. Still, average gasoline spot-volumes for pickup from terminals have increased by 65pc on the month so far in March, and diesel volumes by 45pc, according to deals submitted to Argus.


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24/05/24

Dangote refinery to export 10ppm diesel in June

Dangote refinery to export 10ppm diesel in June

London, 24 May (Argus) — Nigeria's 650,000 b/d Dangote refinery will start exporting diesel conforming to European specifications along with gasoline sales in June, its vice president for oil and gas Devakumar Edwin has said. "We expect before the end of next month we'll also have gasoline in the market, and we'll also have Euro V diesel for export, that is below 10ppm", Edwin said this week at a Society of Petroleum Engineers event in Lagos. Dangote chief executive Aliko Dangote reiterated the planned June start for gasoline on 17 May. Dangote started its crude distillation unit in January, and received approval to start up a mild hydrocracker with its desulphurisation units in March. A source at Nigeria's downstream regulator NMDPRA said the refinery has now received approval to start its residual fluid catalytic cracker. Dangote started naphtha exports in March, low-sulphur straight run fuel oil (LSSR) exports in May and began selling diesel and jet fuel domestically in April. It has a waiver from NMDPRA to sell diesel with sulphur levels above 600ppm into the local market. At full capacity Dangote will be able to more than meet Nigerian domestic gasoline demand. But a trader in the region said gasoline production is unlikely to start next month, citing the amount of cargoes to be delivered to the country. Exports of naphtha, a key blending component in finished-grade gasoline, are continuing from the refinery, with 80,000t due to load on 31 May according to Kpler. And Edwin hinted at a slowing of spot sales. "We had a meeting to see, probably, how we can slow down our sales because we've already made quite a few forward bookings," he said this week. "Export, for example, aviation/jet, the last vessel went to the Caribbean islands. The next vessel, we are booking for US market." Dangote recently added TotalEnergies as a buyer in a deal that could see the French company take refined products for its African network of 4,800 retail fuel stations, including more than 540 in Nigeria. The deal could also see the oil major supply crude to the refinery. A source told Argus there is a deal for TotalEnergies to supply two crude cargoes each month, or around 2mn bl. Indications based on the refinery's slate to date and TotalEnergies' Nigerian crude equity suggest one cargo of the very light Amenam blend one of Bonny Light. By Adebiyi Olusolape and George Maher-Bonnett Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Richmond City Council proposes Chevron refinery tax


23/05/24
News
23/05/24

Richmond City Council proposes Chevron refinery tax

Houston, 23 May (Argus) — The Richmond City Council in California's Bay Area has paved the way for a tax on Chevron's 245,000 b/d refinery, voting unanimously at a 21 May meeting for the city's attorney to prepare a ballot initiative. The newly proposed excise tax would be based on the Richmond refinery's feedstock throughputs, according to a presentation given by Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) at the meeting. It is a "…legally defensible strategy to generate new revenue for the city," CBE attorney Kerry Guerin said. The city has previously looked to tax the refinery, with voters passing ‘Measure T' in 2008 before it was struck down in court in 2009. This led to a 15-year settlement agreement freezing any new taxes on Chevron's refinery, but the agreement expires on 30 June 2025. The city is projecting a $34mn budget shortfall for the 2024 to 2025 fiscal year and is seeking to shore up its finances with additional revenue. Ballot initiatives allow Californian citizens to bring laws to a vote without the support of the state's governor or legislature, and the tax proposal could go to voters as early as November this year, according to CBE's Guerin. "Richmond has been the refinery town for more than 100 years, but it won't be 100 years from now," Richmond Mayor Eduardo Martinez said during the meeting. Chevron reiterates risk to renewables A tax on the refinery is the "wrong approach to encourage investment in our facility and in the city that could lead to new energy solutions and reductions in emissions from the refinery," Chevron senior public affairs representative Brian Hubinger said during the meeting's public comments. Hubinger's comment echoes prior warnings from Chevron that a potential cap on California refining profit in the process of being implemented by the California Energy Commission (CEC) would make the company less willing to investment in renewable energy . "An additional punitive tax burden reduces our ability to make investments in our facility to provide the affordable, reliable and ever-cleaner energy our community depends on every day, along with the job opportunities and emission reductions that go with these investments," Chevron said in an emailed statement. The Richmond refinery tax is a "hasty proposal, brought forward by activist interests," the company said. The company last year finished converting a hydrotreating unit at its 269,000 b/d El Segundo, California, refinery to process both renewable and crude feedstocks. The facility was processing 2,000 b/d of bio feedstock to produce renewable diesel (RD) and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and said it expected to up production to 10,000 b/d last year. But Chevron has so far lagged its California refining peers in terms of RD volumes with Marathon's Martinez plant running at about 24,000 b/d in the first quarter — half of its nameplate capacity — and Phillips 66's Rodeo refinery producing 30,000 b/d with plans to up runs to over 50,000 b/d by the end of the second quarter . Chevron did not immediately respond to a request for current RD volumes at its California refineries. By Nathan Risser Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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India's RIL seeks use of state-run jet fuel pipelines


23/05/24
News
23/05/24

India's RIL seeks use of state-run jet fuel pipelines

Mumbai, 23 May (Argus) — Indian private-sector refiner Reliance Industries (RIL) is seeking access to pipelines and storage facilities built by state-controlled firms to supply jet fuel from their refineries and depots to airports. India's Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) had invited comments on the development of pipelines to distribute jet fuel to existing and planned airports, to encourage competition and reduce fuel costs. Fuel costs account for 30-40pc of Indian airlines' expenses. RIL suggested that for the common carrier pipeline scope should encompass the associated storage facilities and pumping stations at the "off-site" terminal facilities. The state-controlled refiners in their feedback to the PNGRB said they were open to declaring and developing new pipelines as common carriers. They also claimed that existing jet fuel pipelines are not monopolies as they compete with other modes of transport like roads. But state-controlled refiner IOC in its submission noted that "captive/self-use ATF pipeline being operated were designed with infrastructure of IOCL at both ends and are out of purview of [the] PNGRB Act and its congruent regulations." Hindustan Petroleum suggested that the existing jet fuel pipeline from its 190,000 b/d Mumbai refinery should not be declared as a common carrier pipeline as it will affect refinery production or transport. Bharat Petroleum suggested that all major airports be connected through at least one pipeline. For pipelines operating at more than 70pc capacity, it said the PNGRB should invite bids for a new pipeline to ensure redundancy and offset the risk of dependency on a single pipeline. India's production of jet fuel for the 2023-24 fiscal year ending 31 March rose by 14pc from a year earlier to 369,000 b/d, while demand rose by 11pc to 178,045 b/d, according to oil ministry data. RIL produces around a quarter of India's jet fuel at its 1.24mn b/d Jamnagar refinery complex and exports a large part of it. By Roshni Devi Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Somo issues first gasoil export tender: Correction


23/05/24
News
23/05/24

Somo issues first gasoil export tender: Correction

Corrects sulphur content in paragraph 2 Dubai, 23 May (Argus) — Iraq's state-owned Somo issued its first gasoil export tender, likely because additional volumes are coming from its new 140,000 b/d Karbala refinery. Somo is offering 82,000t (612,000 bl) of gasoil with a maximum sulphur content of 0.9pc over a three-month period from the date of signing the deal, with an option to extend the agreement upon Somo's approval. Somo indicates gasoil is to load from North Company refineries. The bids are to be submitted by 26 May. This is the very first gasoil export tender issued by Somo as Iraq has historically been heavily dependent on gasoil imports to satisfy its domestic demand. Market participants suggest Iraq can now afford to export gasoil because it has ramped up its new 140,000 b/d Karbala refinery south of Baghdad. Karbala refinery began commercial operations in April last year and primarily supplies oil products to domestic market, but in doing so it creates gasoil surplus in the northern part of the country. Iraq has also recently reopened its 150,000 b/d North refinery — part of Iraq's largest downstream facility the 290,000 b/d Baiji complex. The refinery was running at around 70,000 b/d in March, according to market sources. Additional production potentially caused Iraq to stop importing gasoil this year. Iraq's gasoil imports dropped to zero in February and March, show the latest data from Joint Organisations Data Initiative (Jodi). This is compared with around 24,500 b/d gasoil imports in 2023. By Ieva Paldaviciute Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Mexico crude exports up after Tula refinery outage


22/05/24
News
22/05/24

Mexico crude exports up after Tula refinery outage

Mexico City, 22 May (Argus) — Mexican crude exports have bounced back in May after a power outage hit state-owned Pemex's 315,000 b/d Tula refinery last week, likely freeing more crude for the export market. Crude exports rose to about 838,000 b/d so far in May, up by 18pc from full-month April but still 22pc lower compared with all of May 2023, according to trade analytics firm Kpler data. The month-over-month hike was likely supported by a power outage at the Tula refinery on 13 May, which affected up to 20 processing plants, according to market sources. It remains unclear if the refinery has resumed operations, but sources said the restart could take about two weeks. The Tula refinery, which supplies refined products to Mexico City's metropolitan area, processed 246,500 b/d of crude in March, of which 182,000 b/d, or 74pc, was medium or light sour crude, according to the latest Pemex data. Medium and light sour crude exports rose by 13pc to 336,000 b/d so far in May from the previous month, Kpler data show. Additionally, fires at the Salina Cruz and Minatitlan refineries in late April could have also added to the uptick of crude exports. Mexico this year trimmed crude exports to feed its domestic refineries as President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador seeks to cut fuel imports in his final year in office, in line with his campaign promise to make Mexico more energy independent. Pemex's six domestic refineries processed over 1mn b/d in March for the first time in almost eight years, driven by billion-dollar investments in maintenance since 2019 and the cut in crude exports. The start-up of the new 340,000 b/d Olmeca refinery could further reduce crude exports, but the refinery still faces multiple delays . By Antonio Gozain Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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