Germany reliant on diesel imports as output limited

  • Spanish Market: Oil products
  • 16/10/23

Demand for imported diesel in Germany has risen, and the conflict between Israel and Hamas led to a recent peak in traded heating oil spot volumes.

Traders in northern Germany report that import demand is improving, with increased need from the south because production has been greatly reduced at the 207,000 b/d Bayernoil refinery since a fire on 6 October. More diesel is being sent by rail from Hamburg to southern locations.

Despite an uptick in arrivals to northern Germany, imports along the Rhine river are more profitable, as reflected in the recent $15/t price premium of cif Hamburg diesel to fob barge prices. Import margins from ARA to locations along the Rhine increased by $24/t, to $36.5/t, on the month in October to date.

Demand for transporting gasoil and gasoline by barge increased significantly in October, according to German shipping operators. Both Miro's 299,000 b/d Karlsruhe and BP's 257,000 b/d Gelsenkirchen refineries are in part being supplied with product by barge due to maintenance work. In addition, there are more enquiries for gasoil imports into Switzerland and purchases from traders in Germany ahead of the heating season. This comes at a time when Rhine water levels continue to be very low and barge loadings are restricted to less than 40pc of capacity.

Traded heating oil volumes in Germany rose in the first two days of last week to the highest since July 2022, with the start of the conflict between Israel and Hamas leading to a price rise. But reported volumes have been falling since 11 October, as heating oil prices kept rising and it is likely consumers will not need as much additional stocks for the upcoming winter. According to data from Argus MDX, private heating oil stock levels increased slightly year on year and are around 60pc of capacity.

Some traders expect demand for imports into Germany could increase further in November, when winter diesel demand could exceed domestic production capacities. However, it is unclear from where Germany can source the required amounts. The coming winter is the first in which Germany will be unable to obtain diesel with German winter specification from Russia. If low water levels on the Rhine and production issues in the south persist, this could significantly complicate the sufficient supply of certain regions in Germany and hence increase the reliance on cargo imports.


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17/05/24

Houston refiners weather hurricane-force winds: Update

Houston refiners weather hurricane-force winds: Update

Adds Calcasieu comment, update on flaring reporting Houston, 17 May (Argus) — Over 2mn b/d of US refining capacity faced destructive winds Thursday evening as a major storm blew through Houston, Texas, but the damage reported so far has been minimal. Wind speeds of up to 78 mph were recorded in northeast Houston and the Houston Ship Channel — home to five refineries with a combined 1.5mn b/d of capacity — faced winds up to 74 mph, according to the National Weather Service . Further South in Galveston Bay, where Valero and Marathon Petroleum refineries total 818,000 b/d of capacity, max wind speeds of 51 mph were recorded. Chevron's 112,000 b/d Pasadena refinery on the Ship Channel just east of downtown Houston sustained minor damage during the storm and continues to supply customers, the company said. ExxonMobil's 564,000 b/d Baytown refinery on the Ship Channel and 369,000 b/d Beaumont, Texas, refinery further east faced no significant impact from the storm and the company continues to supply customers, a spokesperson told Argus . Neither Phillips 66's 265,000 b/d Sweeny refinery southwest of Houston nor its 264,000 b/d Lake Charles refinery 140 miles east in Louisiana were affected by the storm, a spokesperson said. There was no damage at Motiva's 626,000 b/d Port Arthur, Texas, refinery according to the company. Calcasieu's 136,000 b/d refinery in Lake Charles, Louisiana, was unaffected by the storm and operations are normal, the refiner said. Marathon Petroleum declined to comment on operations at its 593,000 b/d Galveston Bay refinery. Valero, LyondellBasell, Pemex, Total and Citgo did not immediately respond to requests for comment on operations at their refineries in the Houston area, Port Arthur and Lake Charles. A roughly eight-mile portion of the Houston Ship Channel from the Sidney Sherman Bridge to Greens Bayou closed from 9pm ET 16 May to 1am ET today when two ships brokeaway from their moorings, and officials looked in a potential fuel oil spill, according to the US Coast Guard. The portion that closed provides access to Valero's 215,000 b/d Houston refinery, LyondellBasell's 264,000 b/d Houston refinery and Chevron's Pasadena refinery. Emissions filings with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) are yet to indicate the extent of any flaring and disruption to operations in the Houston area Thursday evening, but will likely be reported later Friday and over the weekend. Gulf coast refiners ran their plants at average utilization rates of 93pc in the week ended 10 May, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), up by two percentage points from the prior week as the industry heads into the late-May Memorial Day weekend and beginning of peak summer driving season. The next EIA data release on 22 May will likely reveal any dip in Gulf coast refinery throughputs resulting from the storm. By Nathan Risser Houston area refineries Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul reallocates gas supply


17/05/24
17/05/24

Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul reallocates gas supply

Sao Paulo, 17 May (Argus) — Natural gas supply in Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul had to be redistributed because of the historic floods in the state, with diesel potentially making its way back as an power plant fuel to leave more gas available for LPG production. Gasbol, the natural gas transportation pipeline that supplies Brazil's south, does not have capacity to meet demand from the 201,000 b/d Alberto Pasqualini refinery (Refap), state-controlled Petrobras' Canoas thermal power plant and natural gas distributors in the region, according to Petrobras' then-chief executive Jean Paul Prates said earlier this week. The Santa Catarina state gas distributor has adjusted its own local network to meet peak demand in neighboring Rio Grande do Sul via the pipeline transportation network. The Canoas thermal plant is running at its minimum generation at 150GW, with 61pc coming from its gas turbine. The plant was brought on line to reinstate proper power supply after transmission lines in the south were affected by the floods. Petrobras plans to use a diesel engine to increase power generation. The current approved fuel cost (CVU) for diesel in the Canoas plant is of R1,115.29/MWh. Petrobras is also operating Refap at 59pc of its maximum installed capacity, at 119,506 b/d. Heavy showers in Rio Grande do Sul since 29 April brought unprecedented flooding to the state, causing a humanitarian crisis and infrastructure damage. The extreme weather has left 154 people dead, 98 missing and over 540,000 people displaced, according to the state's civil defense. By Rebecca Gompertz Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Houston area refiners weather hurricane-force winds


17/05/24
17/05/24

Houston area refiners weather hurricane-force winds

Houston, 17 May (Argus) — Over 2mn b/d of US refining capacity faced destructive winds Thursday evening as a major storm blew through Houston, Texas, but the damage reported so far has been minimal. Wind speeds of up to 78 Mph were recorded in northeast Houston and the Houston Ship Channel — home to five refineries with a combined 1.5mn b/d of capacity — faced winds up to 74 Mph, according to the National Weather Service . Further South in Galveston Bay, where Valero and Marathon Petroleum refineries total 818,000 b/d of capacity, max wind speeds of 51 Mph were recorded. Chevron's 112,000 b/d Pasadena refinery on the Ship Channel just east of downtown Houston sustained minor damage during the storm and continues to supply customers, the company said. ExxonMobil's 564,000 b/d Baytown refinery on the Ship Channel and 369,000 b/d Beaumont, Texas, refinery further east faced no significant impact from the storm and the company continues to supply customers, a spokesperson told Argus . Neither Phillips 66's 265,000 b/d Sweeny refinery southwest of Houston nor its 264,000 b/d Lake Charles refinery 140 miles east in Louisiana were affected by the storm, a spokesperson said. There was no damage at Motiva's 626,000 b/d Port Arthur, Texas, refinery according to the company. Marathon Petroleum declined to comment on operations at its 593,000 b/d Galveston Bay refinery. Valero, LyondellBasell, Pemex, Total, Calcasieu and Citgo did not immediately respond to requests for comment on operations at their refineries in the Houston area, Port Arthur and Lake Charles. A roughly eight-mile portion of the Houston Ship Channel from the Sidney Sherman Bridge to Greens Bayou closed from 9pm ET 16 May to 1am ET today when two ships brokeaway from their moorings, and officials looked in a potential fuel oil spill, according to the US Coast Guard. The portion that closed provides access to Valero's 215,000 b/d Houston refinery, LyondellBasell's 264,000 b/d Houston refinery and Chevron's Pasadena refinery. By Nathan Risser Houston area refineries Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Texas barge collision shuts GIWW section: Correction


16/05/24
16/05/24

Texas barge collision shuts GIWW section: Correction

Corrects volume of oil carried by barge in fourth paragraph. Houston, 16 May (Argus) — Authorities closed a six-mile section of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) near Galveston, Texas, because of an oil spill caused by a barge collision with the Pelican Island causeway bridge. The section between mile markers 351.5 and 357.5 along the waterway closed, according to the US Coast Guard. A barge broke away from the Philip George tugboat and hit the bridge between Pelican Island and Galveston around 11am ET today. Concrete from the bridge fell onto the barge and triggered an oil leak. The barge can hold up to 30,000 bl oil, but it was unknown how full the barge was before the crash, Galveston County county judge Mark Henry said. It was unclear when the waterway would reopen. An environmental cleanup crew was on the scene along with the US Coast Guard and Texas Department of Transportation to assess the damage. Multiple state agencies have debated the replacement of the 64-year-old bridge for several years, Henry said. The rail line alongside the bridge collapsed. Marine traffic does not pass under the bridge. By Meghan Yoyotte Intracoastal Waterway at Galveston Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Low-carbon methanol costly EU bunker option


16/05/24
16/05/24

Low-carbon methanol costly EU bunker option

New York, 16 May (Argus) — Ship owners are ordering new vessels equipped with methanol-burning capabilities, largely in response to tightening carbon emissions regulations in Europe. But despite the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions savings that low-carbon methanol provides, it cannot currently compete on price with grey methanol or conventional marine fuels. Ship owners operate 33 methanol-fueled vessels today and have another 29 on order through the end of the year, according to vessel classification society DNV. All 62 vessels are oil and chemical tankers. DNV expects a total of 281 methanol-fueled vessels by 2028, of which 165 will be container ships, 19 bulk carrier and 14 car carrier vessels. Argus Consulting expects an even bigger build-out, with more than 300 methanol-fueled vessels by 2028. A methanol configured dual-fuel vessel has the option to burn conventional marine fuel or any type of methanol: grey or low-carbon. Grey methanol is made from natural gas or coal. Low-carbon methanol includes biomethanol, made of sustainable biomass, and e-methanol, produced by combining green hydrogen and captured carbon dioxide. The fuel-switching capabilities of the dual-fuel vessels provide ship owners with a natural price hedge. When methanol prices are lower than conventional bunkers the ship owner can burn methanol, and vice versa. Methanol, with its zero-sulphur emissions, is advantageous in emission control areas (ECAs), such as the US and Canadian territorial waters. In ECAs, the marine fuel sulphur content is capped at 0.1pc, and ship owners can burn methanol instead of 0.1pc sulphur maximum marine gasoil (MGO). In the US Gulf coast, the grey methanol discount to MGO was $23/t MGO-equivalent average in the first half of May. The grey methanol discount averaged $162/t MGOe for all of 2023. Starting this year, ship owners travelling within, in and out of European territorial waters are required to pay for 40pc of their CO2 emissions through the EU emissions trading system. Next year, ship owners will be required to pay for 70pc of their CO2 emissions. Separately, ship owners will have to reduce their vessels' lifecycle GHG intensities, starting in 2025 with a 2pc reduction and gradually increasing to 80pc by 2050, from a 2020 baseline. The penalty for exceeding the GHG emission intensity is set by the EU at €2,400/t ($2,596/t) of very low-sulplhur fuel oil equivalent. Even though these regulations apply to EU territorial waters, they affect ship owners travelling between the US and Europe. Despite the lack of sulphur emissions, grey methanol generates CO2. With CO2 marine fuel shipping regulations tightening, ship owners have turned their sights to low-carbon methanol. But US Gulf coast low-carbon methanol was priced at $2,317/t MGOe in the first half of May, nearly triple the outright price of MGO at $785/t. Factoring in the cost of 70pc of CO2 emissions and the GHG intensity penalty, the US Gulf coast MGO would rise to about $857/t. At this MGO level, the US Gulf coast low-carbon methanol would be 2.7 times the price of MGO. By comparison, grey methanol with added CO2 emissions cost would be around $962/t, or 1.1 times the price of MGO. To mitigate the high low-carbon methanol costs, some ship owners have been eyeing long-term agreements with suppliers to lock in product availabilities and cheaper prices available on the spot market. Danish container ship owner Maersk has lead the way, entering in low-carbon methanol production agreements in the US with Proman, Orsted, Carbon Sink, and SunGaas Renewables. These are slated to come on line in 2025-27. Global upcoming low-carbon methanol projects are expected to produce 16mn t by 2027, according to industry trade association the Methanol Institute, up from two years ago when the institute was tracking projects with total capacity of 8mn t by 2027. By Stefka Wechsler Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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