Venezuela draws US naphtha as Iran condensate lags

  • Spanish Market: Condensate, Oil products
  • 01/03/23

Venezuela has turned to importing naphtha from the US to upgrade its heavy crude since December, as recorded condensate shipments from Iran for the same purpose have fallen from year-earlier levels.

US major Chevron has shipped about 1.57mn bl of naphtha from Galena Park near Houston, Texas, to Venezuela's Jose port in Anzoategui, since December, based on data from oil analytics firm Vortexa. Such shipments were not allowed prior to the lifting of some US sanctions in November.

In January a tanker from Iran offloaded about 440,000 bl of South Pars condensate, the only cargo so far this year and down from 2mn bl in January 2022.

Chevron, the only US company that could import the material under sanction rules of the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (Ofac), is sending the naphtha to help increase crude production through its joint ventures with state-owned PdV. Chevron would not be able to use Iranian condensate in its Venezuela operations because of Ofac rules regarding Iranian products.

Chevron is producing "probably above" 90,000 b/d in Venezuela now, company officials said during a presentation to investors yesterday. Independent estimates and in-country sources have pegged Chevron's output at about 100,000 b/d, with aims to increase up to 200,000 b/d this year.

Iran sent roughly 8mn bl of condensate to Venezuela in 2022, in four shipments. The two countries signed a 20-year energy cooperation agreement in June 2022. The Iranian condensate has been key to boosting declining Venezuelan production.

Both chemicals are used in the transporting and upgrading of Orinoco extra heavy crude.


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27/05/24

Oversupply drops Germany's E5 gasoline prices

Oversupply drops Germany's E5 gasoline prices

Hamburg, 27 May (Argus) — The end of this year's maintenance season and a general oversupply are pushing down E5 gasoline prices in Germany. Meanwhile, dumping prices for diesel in the south and east are causing disruptions. Traders are offering E5 gasoline at significantly lower prices at the end of May than in April. The prices in the past week, which were €4.60/100l lower than last month, have dropped because the maintenance season in Europe is largely over and refineries have resumed production. At the same time, imports are increasing. Gasoline cargo imports from trading hub Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp to Germany steadily increased in recent weeks. German seaports received 8,500 b/d in May, according to data from Vortexa. German gasoline exports by cargo were down to 3,700 b/d. At the same time, market participants in the south and east are struggling to understand the unusually large price differences in the respective regions. According to traders, some sellers have been offering diesel with free delivery since at least the end of 2023, with prices €4-6/100l below domestic price quotations and thus far below usual purchase prices. As a result, other traders cannot compete. Furthermore, various customs offices have been made aware of this price discrepancy and asked to investigate, but a result is still pending, market participants said. The General Customs Directorate cannot not provide information on any ongoing investigations, it told Argus . The companies that offer diesel so cheaply have only been active for a short time or were not previously active in the oil market. Two of them confirmed to Argus that they sell diesel below domestic price levels, but did not provide information on who exactly imports the goods to Germany and puts them on the market, meaning who is responsible for the energy tax, EBV contribution, CO2 levy and THG costs. It was just typical trading business, they said. By Johannes Guhlke Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Dangote refinery to export 10ppm diesel in June


24/05/24
24/05/24

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.

Richmond City Council proposes Chevron refinery tax


23/05/24
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.

Günstiger Frei-Haus Diesel wirft Fragen auf


23/05/24
23/05/24

Günstiger Frei-Haus Diesel wirft Fragen auf

Hamburg, 23 May (Argus) — Im Osten und Süden Deutschlands bieten mehrere Unternehmen mindestens seit Ende 2023 Diesel zur Lieferung frei Haus teils mehrere Euro pro 100l unter den Preisen ab Lager oder Raffinerie an. Händler berichten von Umsatzeinbußen. Marktteilnehmer in den entsprechenden Regionen im Osten und Nordbayern suchen nach einer Erklärung für diese großen Preisdifferenzen. Sie berichten von Diesellieferungen frei Haus, deren Preis 4,00 €/100l bis 6,00 €/100l unter den Inlandspreisnotierungen und damit weit unter ihren Einkaufspreisen liegt. Entsprechend könnten sie preislich nicht mithalten. Händler und Großhändler haben deswegen Kunden in geschäftsrelevanten Größenordnungen verloren. Inverkehrbringer von Diesel schätzen, dass täglich etwa zwischen 600 und 1000 m³ von den Niedrigpreisanbietern umgesetzt werden. Weiter geben Marktteilnehmer an, es seien diverse Zollämter auf diese Preisdiskrepanz aufmerksam gemacht und um Überprüfung gebeten worden, ein Ergebnis stehe jedoch noch aus. Die Generalzolldirektion teilte auf Anfrage von Argus mit, zu etwaigen laufenden Ermittlungen keine Auskunft geben zu können. Die Firmen, die Diesel so günstig anbieten, sind erst seit kurzer Zeit aktiv beziehungsweise waren zuvor nicht im Mineralölmarkt tätig. Gegenüber Argus haben zwei der besagten Anbieter bestätigt, dass sie Diesel unter Inlandspreisniveau verkaufen, gaben jedoch keine Auskunft darüber, wer exakt die Ware nach Deutschland importiert und diese in Verkehr bringt, also für das Aufkommen von Energiesteuer, EBV-Beitrag, CO2-Abgabe und THG-Kosten verantwortlich ist. Es handele sich um ganz normale Trading-Geschäfte. Eines der anbietenden Unternehmen teilte mit, dass Diesel mit einem Abschlag von 4,00 bis 5,00 €/100l auf Inlandspreisbasis verkauft würde. Hierbei handele es sich jedoch um große Mengen von mindestens zehn kompletten Tankzügen in der Woche. Bei kleineren Mengen wäre der Abschlag geringer. Die Ware würde im großen Umfang von mehreren Unternehmen in Rostock oder im Raum Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerpen zusammen zugekauft und dann an mehrere Lagerhäuser verteilt. Dabei hat die Firma auf Nachfrage nicht angegeben, ob es sich bei den Lagerhäusern um Tanklager handele. Lagerraum würde individuell verwendet werden. Die Auslieferung an den Kunden erfolge per eigenem Spediteur. Ein anderer Anbieter ist nach eigener Aussage nur als Zwischenhändler tätig, und das seit etwa einem Jahr. Sein Vorlieferant kaufe Handelskontingente in Polen, Tschechien und auch Deutschland zu, um diese dann in Deutschland günstig auf den Markt bringen. Die Ware würde allen deutschen Vorgaben entsprechen. Von Gabriele Zindel Senden Sie Kommentare und fordern Sie weitere Informationen an feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

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


23/05/24
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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