China, US pledge joint methane action at climate talks

  • : Coal, Crude oil, Petrochemicals
  • 24/05/13

The US and China have pledged to further co-operate on methane reduction, among other topics, following a first meeting between the countries' new climate envoys in Washington during 8-9 May.

The meeting follows video conferencing between the two sides in January under their "working group on enhancing climate action in the 2020s" initiative. China and the US reaffirmed their 2021 agreement to co-operate on reducing carbon emissions in the power generation sector, cutting methane emissions and boosting renewable energy in the "Sunnylands Statement on Enhancing Cooperation to Address the Climate Crisis" last November in San Francisco.

China confirmed the appointment of Liu Zhenmin to replace Xie Zhenhua as the country's climate advsior in January. Liu's US counterpart John Podesta replaced John Kerry in January. Liu and Podesta discussed co-operation "on multilateral issues related to promoting a successful COP 29 in Baku, Azerbaijan" at the latest talks, the US state department said on 10 May. They also discussed issues identified in the Sunnylands statement, including energy transition, methane and other non-CO2 greenhouse gases, the circular economy and resource efficiency, deforestation,as well as low-carbon and sustainable provinces, states and cities.

They plan to co-host a second event on reducing methane and other non-CO2 greenhouse gases in Baku and "conduct capacity building on deploying abatement technologies". It remains to be seen how the two new climate advisors will bring the two countries closer in climate negotiations. The Sunnylands statement and the close relationship of their predecessors were instrumental in bringing consensus at last year's Cop 28 UN climate summit in Dubai.

China released a much anticipated methane plan last November, although Xie has flagged challenges with data monitoring in the sector. But China and the US have agreed to develop and improve monitoring to "achieve significant methane emissions control and reductions in the 2020s".

China has also not signed on to the Global Methane Pledge to cut methane emissions by 30pc by 2030, from 2020 levels. The country's emissions may also rise more than expected after it redefined its meaning of energy intensity, according to the Helsinki-based Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.


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24/06/24

Trinidad considers offers for shut oil refinery

Trinidad considers offers for shut oil refinery

Kingston, 24 June (Argus) — Trinidad and Tobago is again seeking an operator for the mothballed state-owned 165,000 b/d Guaracara refinery, and will decide by the end of August on several offers for the facility, prime minister Keith Rowley said on Sunday. The government has received eight expressions of interest from domestic and foreign companies to purchase or lease the refinery at Pointe-a-Pierre on the southwest coast that was closed six years ago, government officials told Argus . Rowley did not name the potential operators. But Indian steel producer Jindal Steel and Power "is interested in the potential of the refinery," Rowley's office said last week after he met in Port of Spain with the company's chairman Naveen Jindal. Trinidad shut the refinery in 2018 after a steady decline in crude production forced increases in imported feedstock, sending up refining costs that the government said were "unsustainable." A new owner would likely face similar challenges in obtaining feedstock as the country's crude production has moved from 144,400 b/d in 2005 to average 49,880 b/d in January-March of this year. A restart of the refinery "will be feasible only if there are arrangements for access to competitively priced imported crude that will allow profitable operating margins," a government official told Argus today. The government is making "very good progress" in efforts to offload the refinery, energy minister Stuart Young said on 21 June. But the company that would take over the plant "would have to be able to address several issues including asset management and the financial capability to operate the refinery," Young said. The government has failed since 2018 to reach an agreement with domestic and foreign interests for reopening the refinery. It renewed efforts to offload the facility following the late 2020 collapse of a sale agreement with area labour union-owned company PET that made a $700mn offer, outbidding US private equity firm Beowulf Energy and German refiner and trader Klesch. The government and California-based electrical contractor Quanten failed to reach an agreement in December 2022 for the takeover of the refinery. Growing oil producer Guyana rejected a proposal from Trinidad in February that it should supply crude to allow the Guaracara plant to be reopened. By Canute James Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

MVP start-up shows permitting troubles in US


24/06/24
24/06/24

MVP start-up shows permitting troubles in US

Washington, 24 June (Argus) — The start-up of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) after a delay of over five years highlights the difficulty the US gas industry faces in building greenfield pipelines under current permitting rules — which are unlikely to change any time soon. The 500km natural gas pipeline began commercial operations on 14 June, at a $7.85bn price tag that was more than double the cost expected when the project was first proposed in 2015. The 2bn ft³/d (20bn m³/yr) pipeline will move shale gas from a mountainous region in West Virginia to demand centres in Virginia, with the possibility for future expansions. MVP is expected to run at just 35-40pc of its nameplate capacity until downstream bottlenecks are removed, according to analyst groups RBN Energy and East Daley Analytics. The pipeline offers the promise of eventually easing price pressure in markets in southeastern US and increasing Appalachian gas output that would otherwise remain constrained. The pipeline — soon to change ownership once US independent EQT closes its $5.5bn all-stock acquisition of operator Equitrans Midstream — is the sole survivor of a round of eastern US pipeline cancellations in 2020-21 caused by permitting issues. MVP was also delayed by permitting lawsuits that forced construction crews to repeatedly halt work, adding billions of dollars to project costs as inflation increased the price of both labour and materials. Construction on the project resumed last year only after extraordinary intervention from the US Congress, which approved all remaining pipeline permits as part of an unrelated law that raised the limit on federal debt. The permitting obstacles for pipelines in the eastern US show no signs of fading, despite smaller changes to speed permitting negotiated through legislation last year. Retiring US senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, is circulating a comprehensive permitting package he says would fast-track the approval process for pipelines and renewable energy projects. Gas groups say any meaningful permitting bill will have to revise the judicial process and limit the ability of states such as New York to continue using water permits to veto new pipelines. In exchange, renewable energy projects could follow a faster permitting schedule for electricity transmission. But that is a deal many progressive Democrats are reluctant to take, particularly as they face the prospect that former president Donald Trump will win in US presidential elections in November. Far-right Republicans are hesitant to give President Joe Biden a permitting win when they believe they can get a better deal if Trump is elected. But without legislative changes industry officials expect permitting delays to continue whoever is in the White House. "This is not a left or right thing," EQT chief executive Toby Rice says. Sticky red tape Trump's campaign says if he is elected he will speed up approval of gas pipelines serving the Appalachian basin by removing "all red tape". But his regulatory changes when in office failed to make a material difference in permitting timelines, and he repeatedly failed to broker a legislative deal to hasten permitting. Gas industry officials say they want to expedite permitting regardless of the election results, and believe momentum could occur when voters start feeling the effects of delays. "The motivation for pipeline reform I think will increase when the American consumers believe that their energy needs are impacted by the lack of infrastructure," Iowa-based Berkshire Hathaway Energy's gas transmission president, Paul Ruppert, says. The difficulty and time required to permit large greenfield pipelines in the eastern US has led developers to focus on adding capacity to existing pipelines or pursuing shorter expansions instead. By Chris Knight Mountain Valley and its peers Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Toyo, SCG enhance waste plastics recycling partnership


24/06/24
24/06/24

Toyo, SCG enhance waste plastics recycling partnership

Tokyo, 24 June (Argus) — Japanese engineering firm Toyo Engineering and Thai petrochemical producer SCG Chemicals plan to enhance their partnership in the chemical recycling of waste plastics, aiming to launch an upgraded demonstration plant in Thailand by early 2025. The agreement to co-operate on the future commercialisation of the chemical recycling technology of SCG subsidiary Circular Plas (CirPlas) and the development of a licensing business is a follow-up to the companies' initial deal to study the feasibility of chemical recycling in Thailand in January 2022. CirPlas is 60pc owned by SCG and has developed chemical recycling technology turning mixed plastic wastes into naphtha and then plastic resins. Toyo and SCG plan to add a new unit to the operating pilot plant in south Thailand's Rayong province. The companies are still examining the output capacity of the enhanced pilot plant and future commercial operation. They are unsure when they will start operations of the commercial venture. The circular economy has been a major topic in Japan's petrochemical industry on the back of the country's 2050 decarbonisation goal. Petrochemical producer Mitsui Chemicals in March began using pyrolysis oil , generated from waste plastics, to manufacture petrochemical products at its Osaka naphtha-fed cracker. Sumitomo Chemical plans to begin recycling polymethyl methacrylate in 2025. By Nanami Oki Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Cirrec aims for 250,000 t/yr PET tray recycling by 2025


24/06/21
24/06/21

Cirrec aims for 250,000 t/yr PET tray recycling by 2025

London, 21 June (Argus) — Netherlands-based PET tray-to-tray recycler Cirrec hopes to reach 250,000 t/yr of input capacity by 2025 with new sites in Denmark and Germany anticipated to come online in the next year. Cirrec is owned by the Faerch Group and is one of the largest PET tray-to-tray recyclers in Europe. The company is looking at further sites for expansion after 2025, including in the UK, according to recycling director Aron Damen, in a presentation made at PRSE in Amsterdam. Cirrec has an input capacity of 60,000 t/yr with a site in the Netherlands that opened in 2024. Damen said that action to beat challenges to the PET tray-to-tray recycling market included expanding knowledge in sorting centres to help identify and sort PET tray waste. PET tray waste has more variable levels of PET compared with bottle bales, Damen added. A sentiment shared with PETCORE Thermoforming technical manager Jose-Antonio Alarcon in a recent Q&A with Argus. The average PET tray bale contains 50-80pc of PET compared with a less variable 70-75pc PET for bottle bales. Issues with collection and supply can lead to a loss in terms of feedstock for tray-to-tray recyclers. If the industry wants to achieve full circularity, action needs to be taken across the value chain from consumers to recyclers and eventually end users, Damen added. "In order to achieve full circularity, the tray-to-tray industry needs to stop stealing from the bottle industry," said Damen, highlighting the need for greater sorting and variations in consumer behaviour when it came to recycling PET trays as opposed to bottles. Capacity for PET tray-to-tray recycling is largely driven by feedstock availability, which is likely to limit production in the next few years unless there is more competition on the market, which would incentivise the sale of feedstock, Damen said. By George Barsted Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Nigeria adds more oil blocks to 2024 licensing round


24/06/21
24/06/21

Nigeria adds more oil blocks to 2024 licensing round

Lagos, 21 June (Argus) — Nigeria's upstream regulator NUPRC has added 17 oil blocks to its 2024 licensing round and removed five, leaving the total on offer at 24, double the original number. The 17 additions are all deepwater blocks and have been added as a result of new data acquired. "We had indicated that the total number of blocks we are putting on offer is 12. Actually, our intention was to do more but we were constrained by availability of data," NUPRC chief executive Gbenga Komolafe said. Newly acquired data became available between 7 May and 11 June, leading to the round's offer being expanded, Komolafe said. Five blocks on the original list of 12 — PPL 3008, 3009, 267, 268 and PML 51 — have been withdrawn because of "ongoing litigation", according to NUPRC. The regulator did not elaborate on the litigation. It previously said that PPL 3008 and 3009 were formerly OPL 321 and 323, respectively, with the name change reflecting compliance with the provisions of petroleum industry legislation that came into effect in 2021. The blocks are located in the western Niger delta, close to the 44,000 b/d Abo field floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) facility operated by Italy's Eni. Nigerian upstream operator Oando, which is in the process of acquiring one of Eni's three Nigerian subsidiaries for an undisclosed amount, has a 30pc working interest in OPLs 321 and 323 through its subsidiary Equator Energy. According to Oando, South Korea's KNOC is operator of a joint exploration work programme for the two blocks, which were awarded in Nigeria's 2005 licensing round before becoming the subject of litigation involving the Nigerian government, the operator and Oando's subsidiary. Meanwhile, PML 51, PPL 267 and PPL 268 are new blocks carved out from the former OML 122, NUPRC said. The shallow water OML 122 block, east of the Shell-operated Bonga field, has long been the subject of litigation and is listed on the website of local upstream firm Peak Petroleum as its sole asset. An industry source told Argus that the withdrawn oil blocks were included in the 2024 licensing round after the regulator enforced forfeiture rules against the companies previously linked to them. But legal challenges are not surprising, the source added. At the launch of its 2024–26 regulatory action plan in January, NUPRC said enforcement of "drill or drop provisions" in the 2021 legislation is one of its main commitments. Nigeria plans to conclude the 2024 licensing round with ministerial consent and contracting in January 2025. NUPRC has pushed back the deadline for submissions of pre-qualification documents from 25 June this year to 5 July and the start of data access and evaluation from 4 July to 8 July. By Adebiyi Olusolape Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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