Colombia's electricity woes add to unrest against Petro

  • Spanish Market: Electricity, Oil products
  • 22/04/24

Colombians took the streets of major cities and towns across the nation on Sunday to protest mainly against health, pension and labor changes, but potential power outages are also creating discontent.

Authorities estimated that about 250,000 Colombians marched in widespread protests, sparked by changes in healthcare. Congress in April had rejected President Gustavo Petro's proposals in the sector, and the government the next day seized the two largest private-sector health insurers. Protesting healthcare workers say the government did this to implement changes through a back channel.

"Regulatory noise and risk are likely to remain high amid announcements, proposals, and measures [that do not require congressional approval], aimed at changing the game's rules in strategic sectors," brokerage Credicorp Capital said.

Colombians also protested being on the verge of electricity rationing like that in neighboring Ecuador as hydroelectric reservoirs remain at record-low levels. Several unions and other associations have long warned the Petro administration to take measures to offset the effects of the El Nino weather phenomenon.

Electricity distributors last year called for allowing bills for energy purchased on the spot market to be deferred and for loosening price index rules, among other proposals. The national business council sent at least three letters to the president on the issue. At least nine separate letters calling for preparation to prevent blackouts were sent to the president and ministers. Several actions were only recently implemented.

"There are no risk of electricity rationing in Colombia," former energy minister Irene Velez said in 2023. "We do not understand why some people are interested in generating panic."

Government weather forecasts also overestimated rainfall expected for March, leading hydroelectric plants to use more water in the reservoirs than they otherwise would have, said director of the thermoelectric generation association (Andeg) Alejandro Castaneda.

Reservoir levels stood at 29.5pc today, rising thanks to rains since 19 April, up from 28.75pc on 18 April. Electricity rationing is set to begin when reservoirs drop below 27pc, according to grid operator XM.


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23/05/24

Richmond City Council proposes Chevron refinery tax

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.

US poised to back New Jersey offshore wind farms


23/05/24
23/05/24

US poised to back New Jersey offshore wind farms

Houston, 23 May (Argus) — US regulators could soon approve two offshore wind projects near New Jersey, but with stipulations that would slightly reduce the number of turbines installed in the Atlantic Ocean. The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) favors a design for the Atlantic Shores South system that would result in up to 195 turbines, as many as 10 offshore substations and eight transmission cables to ferry electricity ashore to New Jersey, the agency said today in its final environmental impact statement for the project. Atlantic Shores South comprises two separate projects, Atlantic Shores 1 and Atlantic Shores 2, which are 50:50 partnerships between Shell and EDF Renewables. The pair's overall capacity is tentatively set at 2,837MW, with the first phase targeting 1,510MW and a size for the second to be determined. Atlantic Shores 1 has a contract to deliver up to 6.18mn offshore renewable energy certificates each year to New Jersey, with first power expected in 2027. The state selected the project through its second offshore wind solicitation, with the 20-year contract scheduled to begin in 2028. The developers had proposed installing up to 200 turbines, but BOEM decided to favor a modified plan, adopting alternatives put forward by the companies in the name of mitigating impacts on local habitats while limiting turbine height and their proximity to the shore to reduce the project's "visual impacts," a point of contention among New Jersey residents who fear damage to tourism in oceanside communities. The BOEM-endorsed design would have mostly "minor" to "moderate" effects on the surrounding environment, with exceptions including consequences for North Atlantic right whales, commercial and for-hire fisheries and local scenery, which could be "major." The areas potentially hit hardest by the projects would be open to "major" consequences regardless of the project design, according to BOEM's analysis. The preference is not BOEM's final ruling, but it does herald the path the agency is likely to take. Regulators will publish the review in a "coming" edition of the Federal Register, starting a mandatory 30-day waiting period before BOEM can publish its final decision on the project. By Patrick Zemanek 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.

Somo issues first gasoil export tender: Correction


23/05/24
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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