Oil Refiners News

23 Jan 2019

IMO 2020: Fujairah Tightens Exhaust Rules Ahead of 2020

Key Middle East oil terminal bans open-loop scrubbersFujairah in the United Arab Emirates has become the latest major port to ban a type of fuel exhaust cleaning system to comply with a coming tightening in rules regarding global sulphur emissions, mirroring similar moves in Singapore and China.Under International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules that come into effect from 2020, ships will have to reduce the sulphur content in their fuel to less than 0.5 percent, compared with 3.5 percent now, forcing huge changes upon global shippers and also oil refiners.Fujairah's harbour master said in a faxed document seen by Reuters that the port "has decided to ban the use of open-loop scrubbers in its waters ...

06 Jul 2018

Asian Refiners Rush to Secure Feedstock as Trade War Looms

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Carabay)

U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods came into effect Friday; China retaliates, duty on U.S. crude possible. Asian oil refiners are racing to secure crude supplies in anticipation of an escalating trade war between the United States and China, and as Washington plans tough sanctions against Iran aimed at shutting the country out of oil markets. As part of a wave of retaliation for Friday's U.S. tariffs, China has threatened a 25 percent duty on imports of U.S. crude. Meanwhile, Washington's new sanctions against Tehran are due to kick in from November.

18 Jun 2018

Shipping Industry Critical Meeting in July on Sulphur Cap

Image: International Chamber of Shipping

The shipping industry - as represented by its international trade associations (BIMCO, ICS, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO and WSC) - calls on the Member States of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to make progress on key challenges around the global sulphur cap to avoid compromising safety or unfairly penalising individual ships. The trade associations have co-sponsored a number of submissions to IMO to help smooth the implementation of the global 0.5 percent sulphur in fuel cap, in advance of the critical meeting that will be held in London during the second week of July.

09 May 2018

Buyers Seek US Waivers to Buy Iranian Oil amid New Sanctions

© nicolagiordano / Adobe Stock

South Korea said on Wednesday it would seek U.S. exemptions to buy Iranian oil, a path many big oil consumers are likely to follow in the wake of new U.S. sanctions on Tehran, which will tighten world oil markets and push up prices.Iran is the third-largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a key supplier, especially to refiners in Asia.The United States plans to impose new unilateral sanctions after abandoning an agreement reached in late 2015 which limited Iran's nuclear ambitions in exchange for removing joint U.S.-Europe sanctions…

08 May 2018

ICS Chairman on Implementation of Global Sulphur Cap

Esben Poulsson. Photo: Elaborate Communications

“Time is fast running out” for implementation by IMO Member States of the 0.5% global sulphur in fuel cap by 1 January 2020, says Esben Poulsson, Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). The IMO global sulphur cap for marine fuel is expected to see shipping’s bunker prices increase significantly. “While ICS fully supports the objectives of the IMO cap, the overnight introduction of this regulatory game-changer will have enormous implications for ship operations.

20 Apr 2018

Scrubbers 'No Silver Bullet' for Shipping -Wartsila

© Diego Cardini / Adobe Stock

Global shipping fleet must cut sulfur emissions by 2020. Wartsila received record orders for sulfur scrubbers last year. Shipping industry hopes that so-called sulfur scrubbers are a quick-fix solution to compliance with drastic emissions reduction demanded by 2020 are somewhat misguided, one of the world's biggest manufacturers of the equipment told Reuters. The International Maritime Organization's (IMO) cut to the amount of sulfur the world's fleet can emit will have massive implications for shippers, oil refiners and even crude oil producers.

01 Feb 2018

Essar UK to Buy More US Crude in 2018

© Christopher Halloran / Adobe Stock

Essar UK, one of Britain's biggest oil refiners, will buy more U.S. crude this year after testing it last year, showing how rising output from the United States is squeezing out traditional European suppliers from the North Sea and Africa. Essar took at least three cargoes U.S. crude in 2017 for its 200,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Stanlow oil refinery. "We will continue to take U.S. cargoes because we find value in them," Chief Executive Officer Srinivasalu Thangapandian told Reuters at a Platts middle distillates conference in Antwerp.

25 Jan 2018

Gunvor Gets Approval for Rotterdam Refinery Upgrade

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Sharrif Che'Lah)

The Netherlands has given provisional approval to Gunvor to add a fuel upgrading unit at its Rotterdam refinery, according to a document seen by Reuters, as the international oil trader prepares for tough new environmental rules on shipping fuels. The rules from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), due to come into effect in 2020, aim to cut sulphur emissions produced by ships, creating a challenge for shipping companies and oil refiners. Refiners have to decide whether…

10 Nov 2017

S.Korean Refiners Look to Cash in on 2020 Mandate

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Sharrif Che'Lah)

Three refiners to spend more than $5 bln to upgrade or add units. South Korean refiners are planning to spend over $5 billion on plant upgrades in response to tighter rules on shipping fuel, boosting production of low-sulphur fuel oil as well as other high-end products. The refiners hope the investment, which comes ahead of the 2020 introduction of the new rules, will make them one of the biggest beneficiaries of the new regulations, with many competitors still waiting to commit to new spending. "Not many refiners are doing so.

19 Dec 2016

Refiners Prep for Low Sulfur Diesel Demand

Even if the diesel engine's scandal-driven fall from grace pushes it out of the world's passenger cars, an increasing need for it on ships, in trucks and heavy industry could save the refineries that invested heavily in producing the fuel. The unfolding crisis that kicked off when Volkswagen falsified U.S. car emissions has spurred a litany of changes at vehicle manufacturers, which are now putting their cash behind electric cars, or back to gasoline engines. "I'm not concerned for refineries," said Steve Sawyer, head of refining with consultants FGE. Although oil refiners disagree over how quickly the global market will turn its back on fossil-fuel-powered cars, the shipping industry is set to turn to low-sulphur diesel in droves due to new regulations.

13 Apr 2016

ICS to Pursue Critical Issues at IMO's MEPC Meet

Peter Hinchliffe ICS Secretary General Photo by ICS

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has made a number of submissions to a critical meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Committee (MEPC) which begins in London next week (18-22 April). These address further measures to reduce the sector’s CO2 emissions, outstanding problems with the implementation of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention, and the need for an immediate IMO decision on whether or not ships will have to use 0.5% sulphur fuel in 2020. ICS says its immediate…

24 Dec 2015

The Impact of Lower Oil Price on LNG Vessels

Image: OPEC

Opec study on the impact of lower oil price assumptions on the penetration of LNG vessels has released. In light of the regulations on sulphur emissions issued by the IMO the prospect of using LNG as an alternative bunker fuel was explored. It was concluded that LNG had the potential to become an important marine bunker fuel in the long-term. This year the subject is re-considered in light of recent market and price developments, as well as the continuing uncertainty surrounding the implementation of new IMO regulations.

14 Jul 2015

Iran Deal Could Help India Boost Exports by Over a Third

India's exports to Iran could jump by over a third to $6 billion this fiscal year as an easing of sanctions against Tehran would help boost sales of agricultural commodities though competition for non-farm items would rise, a leading trade body said. Iran has been buying most of its basmati rice and sugar from India in the past few years using rupees for its oil due to restrictions on its dollar trades. On Tuesday, Iran and six major world powers reached a deal that will see the Islamic nation curbing its nuclear programme that the West has suspected was aimed at a nuclear bomb. "It's true that some of our exports, especially non-agricultural ones…

14 Jul 2015

Train Lobby Pushes to Weaken Safety Rule

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is set to be a chief beneficiary of a bid by Senate Republicans to weaken new regulations to improve train safety in the $2.8 billion crude-by-rail industry, a key cog in the development of the vast North American shale oil fields. A series of oil train accidents, including the July 2013 explosion of a train carrying crude in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, that killed 47 people, led U.S. and Canadian regulators to announce sweeping safety rules in May. Among other things, U.S. oil trains are required to install new electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes. But in late June, the Republican-controlled Senate Commerce Committee approved a measure to drop that requirement, and order years of new research to confirm the safety benefits of ECP brakes.

20 May 2015

How Do You Lose 100 Million Barrels of Oil?

Oil-market watchers are struggling to reconcile the large estimated oversupply in the market with the much smaller buildup of reported inventories and narrowing contango in futures prices. Some blame the barrel counters who compile official statistics on supply, demand and stocks. But the truth is that information on the world oil market is incomplete and it is easy for hundreds of millions of barrels of oil to disappear from the supply chain without being counted. According to the three main statistical agencies, the global market has been oversupplied by between 1.5 million and 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) since the start of the year. Stockpiles should have increased by between 200 million and 350 million barrels, according to the International Energy Agency, OPEC and the U.S.

13 Jan 2015

Local Glitches Drag U.S. Refinery Capacity Down

U.S. oil refiners work to recover from weekend glitches, fires. Three of the largest U.S. oil refineries will be working to restore operations on Tuesday after a series of weekend glitches temporarily knocked out some 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of processing capacity, the worse spate of outages in years. A fourth plant, Husky Energy Inc's 155,000-bpd Lima, Ohio, refinery, is not expected back online until the end of the week after a blast at its 25,000-bpd isocracker unit, which sources have said was extensively damaged. The disruptions - which included three fires on Saturday and one shutdown late last week - affected about one-fifth of the refining capacity in the eastern half of the United States, fueling deeper losses in U.S.

11 Dec 2014

US Lawmakers Give Preview of Oil Export Fight

U.S. lawmakers gave a preview on Thursday of a looming fight next year on lifting the ban on crude exports with supporters saying it would sustain the drilling boom and others questioning its impacts on industry and fuel prices. In a House of Representatives hearing on the ban, Texas Republican Joe Barton said exporting oil would boost the economy, lower gas prices, and help give allies alternative oil supplies to Russia. By some measures the United States is the world's top oil producer and Barton said the country should use that power. "When you're number one, you use that status," said Barton, who introduced a short, 1.5 page bill this week to lift the ban Congress passed in 1975 after the Arab oil embargo. The U.S.

09 Dec 2014

Congressman Introduces Bill Lifting Oil Export Ban

U.S. Representative Joe Barton (Credit: U.S. House Office)

U.S. Representative Joe Barton will introduce a bill on Tuesday to lift the 40-year ban on exports of crude oil, but the measure has almost no chance of passing due to lawmaker concerns about fuel prices and costs to refiners. Barton, a Republican from Texas, will introduce a bill to lift the export ban Congress passed in the 1970s after the Arab oil embargo led to fears of fuel shortages, an aide said. The lawmaker will introduce the measure ahead of a hearing later this week…

06 Dec 2014

Sen. McCain Vows Jones Act will be Repealed

Senator John McCain

Senator John McCain said a more than 90-year-old law that requires ships servicing coastal businesses to be built and mostly staffed by U.S. crews will be repealed sooner or later if lawmakers keep fighting the trade restriction. Oil refiners, and many manufacturers and state governments oppose the Jones Act, saying the requirement increases costs by blocking shipping by cheaper foreign-built and foreign-flagged vessels. The Department of Homeland Security issued a rare waiver of the act in 2012 when superstorm Sandy led to fuel shortages at gas stations on the East Coast…

30 Oct 2014

Easing US Oil Export Ban Unlikey to Raise Gasoline Prices

A government study on Thursday essentially supported the notion that easing the decades-old restriction on exporting U.S. crude was more likely to lower than raise gasoline prices for American motorists, a conclusion that could ease concerns among lawmakers about changing the policy. U.S. gasoline prices are mainly set by global oil prices, the Energy Information Administration said in a highly anticipated analysis. "The effect that a relaxation of current limitations on U.S. crude oil exports would have on U.S. gasoline prices would likely depend on its effect on international crude oil prices, such as Brent, rather than its effect on domestic crude prices," said the EIA.

24 Oct 2014

Oil Drillers Group to Fight U.S. Export Ban

More than a dozen U.S. oil producers have joined to lobby the federal government to reverse the 40-year-old ban on U.S. crude exports, a move that supporters hope would create jobs and boost national security, a spokesman for one of the companies and a lobbyist for another one said on Friday. Producers for American Crude Oil Exports, or PACE, is the first lobbying group to form on reversing the ban. "The end game here is legislative repeal of the ban," said a lobbyist for one of the member producers, who did not want to be named because the group was only recently formed. Congress passed the trade restriction in the 1970s after the Arab oil embargo caused fears of domestic oil shortages.

18 Sep 2014

Senator Says 2015 Could Be Time for US Oil Export Bill

The top supporter in the U.S. Congress for reversing the 40-year ban on crude oil exports, Senator Lisa Murkowski from Alaska, said next year could be the time for a bill on lifting the restriction. "I think it may be timely then," Senator Lisa Murkowski, the top Republican on the Senate Energy Committee, told reporters on Thursday when asked if next year would be a good time for legislation. Lawmakers have avoided introducing a measure to lift the ban ahead of the Nov. 4 midterm elections amid concern that exporting oil could lead to higher gasoline prices. But the fuel prices are based on global markets and several recent studies from the Brookings Institute and other groups have shown that fuel prices would actually fall.

04 Sep 2014

U.S. Refiners Want Condensate Exports Halted

A lobbyist group for four U.S. oil refiners urged the federal government on Thursday to stop issuing approvals for energy companies to ship abroad a lightly processed crude oil, saying it is prohibited by a nearly 40-year-old ban on oil exports. Consumers and Refiners United for Domestic Energy (CRUDE), wrote to Commerce Department officials five months after the department's Bureau of Industry and Security gave approval to Pioneer Natural Resources and Enterprise Product Partners to export certain condensates. CRUDE, whose members include Alon USA Energy Inc and PBF Energy Inc, formed this year with the goal of preventing a hasty reversal of the export ban at a time sharply rising oil production has spurred calls for a change.

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