Asian Refiners Strive to Finish IMO Preparations
At SK Energy's largest refinery in South Korea, engineers are rushing to complete a new processing unit ahead of schedule as the firm looks to boost sales of low-emission fuels before new marine fuel standards take effect in just one month.In Japan, the country's second-biggest refiner Idemitsu Kosan Co is taking a more cautious stance, increasing capacity for low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO), but also relying on blending to produce IMO 2020 compliant bunker fuel.The different approaches…
VLCC Rates Surge as U.S. Sanctions COSCO
Freight rates to ship U.S. crude to Asia continued to surge, with costs to charter a supertanker rising to a record $12 million on Thursday, shipping sources familiar with the matter said.South Korea's top refiner, SK Energy, tentatively chartered the supertanker Maxim to ship U.S. crude to South Korea in November for a record $10 million earlier in the week but that fixture has since failed, the sources said.The company now has conditionally booked the Pacific M at a new record of $12.35 million…
S.Korean Refiners Look to Cash in on 2020 Mandate
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.
Asian Traders Mull U.S. Crude Liftings in Harvey's Wake
Harvey closed nearly a quarter of U.S. refining capacity; helping to push WTI-Brent spread to widest in two years. Some oil traders in Asia are looking to snap up crude cargoes from the United States after Hurricane Harvey closed U.S. refineries, denting local demand and pushing out the price spread between U.S and Atlantic Basin crude benchmarks. Hurricane Harvey barrelled into the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast around 10 days ago, closing nearly a quarter of the nation's refining capacity, although some of that is now coming back online.
South Korea Mulls LNG Bunkering Hub
A group of South Korean companies including shipbuilders have come together to establish an association dedicated to developing liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunkering facilities and infrastructures including LNG-fueled vessels, says a report in the Pulse. Last week, officials representing 21 private and state-run entities in Korea gathered to attend the inaugural meeting of the LNG Bunkering Industrial Association. They were from major shipbuilding and energy companies including Hyundai Heavy Industries Co.…
S. Korea Boosting Condensate Imports from Iran
South Korea, Asia's largest buyer of condensate, will step up purchases of the ultra light oil from Iran by more than 50 percent in June, two sources said, as competitive pricing squeezes out rival oil from Qatar. Expected June shipments of condensate from Iran may reach at least six million barrels, or 200,000 barrels per day (bpd), said the sources. This would be a record level of imports, four times that in January when sanctions on Tehran were lifted, according to data from Korea National Oil Corp. In contrast, condensate imports from Qatar in April have fallen to 5.32 million barrels, down 19 percent from January, KNOC data showed.
S.Korea Plans to Boost Iran Oil Imports
South Korea plans to boost imports of Iranian oil, especially condensate, this year to meet growing demand after sanctions on the Islamic nation were lifted in January. The world's fifth largest importer of crude is also a big buyer of condensate, a super light oil that can be processed into fuels and petrochemicals. Iran's return would help ease tight condensate supply in a market dominated by fellow OPEC producer Qatar. "We will increase oil and natural gas (liquids) imports from Iran, especially Iranian condensate," South Korea's trade and energy ministry said on Tuesday. Iran is exporting 100,000 barrels of oil a day to South Korea, one of its main crude customers, and hopes to double that figure by the end of 2016, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying on Monday.
EU-bound Jet Fuel Stays at Sea
Tankers anchored off Europe, extend voyage seeking buyers; outlook dim as imports to the region rise. A jet fuel market in Europe saturated by imports from Asia and the Middle East has forced sellers to keep their oil offshore on tankers or chose longer voyages as they seek out buyers. Jet fuel and diesel stocks in Europe have been steadily building as refineries around the world operate at near-maximum capacity to benefit from a rare run of strong profit margins driven mainly by global gasoline demand. In a sign of the growing pressure, the 90,000 tonne tanker Mindoro anchored for nearly two weeks of the southern coast of England, according to shipping brokers, traders and Reuters ship tracking.
BP Remains Singapore's Top Marine Fuel Supplier
BP Singapore kept its spot as a top marine fuel supplier by volume for the eleventh straight year in 2014 at the world's biggest bunkering port, the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said. MPA does not specify the volumes each supplier sells, but traders pegged the oil major's sales at around 400,000 tonnes a month, or about 10 percent of the country's monthly sales. Overall Singapore sold 42.4 million tonnes of marine fuel last year. This is slightly behind the sales volume achieved in 2013 at 42.7MT.
Maersk Taking $1.7b Charge on Brazil Assets
Full-year underlying profit guidance unchanged; writedown raises questions over company's oil strategy. Danish oil and shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk moved to shrink its Brazilian petroleum operations on Tuesday, selling its stake in its only producing Brazilian oilfield and saying it will write off $1.7 billion of investments in the country. The write-off affects two exploration areas, Itaipu and Wahoo, which failed to deliver on oil volume expectations, and the Polvo field, both northeast of Rio de Janeiro in the Campos Basin, Maersk said. Maersk bought the assets from South Korea's SK Energy Co Ltd for $2.4 billion in 2011. On Tuesday, Brazil's HRT Participacoes em Petroleo SA said it bought Maersk's 40 percent Polvo stake for an undisclosed sum.
Asia Distillates: Gasoil Firms as Vitol, Glencore Buy
Asia's cash premium for benchmark 500ppm gasoil stayed firm on Friday as a buying spree in the Singapore cash market continued with a total of 10 deals for 500ppm gasoil, with Vitol and Glencore buying most of the cargoes. Buying interest in the Singapore cash market would likely continue for a while, traders said, although it was not immediately clear where the cargoes will head to. Traders added that they are pinning their hopes on regional demand picking up and refinery cuts to curb supply. India's Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd has cut runs at its 300,000-barrels-per-day refinery after the detection of a leak in one of the plant's two hydrocrackers, a company source said. "There was a marginal leak detected in Hydrocracker-II at about 3:30 p.m.
Brazil’s Offshore ‘Whale Park’ a Key Maersk Oil 2013 Project
The ‘Whale Park’ complex of oil fields, located just north of Itaipu and Wahoo, offshore Brazil, illustrate the quality of the Brazilian presalt in this area, and here Maersk Oil say they have secured access under legacy terms with significant value potential. Maersk Oil explain that they entered Brazil in 2001 and since then have expanded their footprint in the offshore Campos Basin through licensing rounds and acquisitions. Up to the first quarter of 2013, Maersk Oil has drilled four wells as operator and participated as partner in 13 other wells.
Panama Canal, Vehicle Carriers Discuss Expansion Program
As part of the permanent dialogue with the shipping industry, a Panama Canal Authority (ACP) delegation headed by Administrator Jorge L. Quijano visited South Korea to hold discussions with the vehicle carrier market segment and obtain feedback on the future toll structure being developed by the ACP that will go in effect upon completion of the Canal Expansion Program. Canal officials met with the Korea Shipowners’ Association, Hanjin Shipping and STX Pan Ocean, Ltd. The delegation also met with several vehicle and heavy equipment companies.
Hyundai, 2 Affiliates Go for Daewoo
Hyundai Heavy Industries said it will make an independent bid together with its two affiliates for a controlling stake in Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), according to Korea Times. The remarks come after SK Energy said it is considering joining a consortium led by POSCO. Industry experts say SK Energy will join the POSCO-led consortium and plans to invest less than about $90m, a token amount for the size of Daewoo Shipbuilding. Hyundai Heavy submitted a letter of intent to bid for DSME a week ago. Other bidders include POSCO, Hanwha and GS Group. Reports indicate that Daewoo Shipbuilding may go up to 10 trillion won in its total price with the four companies courting it.
Marubeni to Participate in Peru LNG Project
Marubeni Corporation has signed the Sales and Purchase Agreement with SK Energy for the acquisition of 10% interest in the Peru LNG Project. The international project consortium for the project consists of Hunt Oil Company (50%) of the United States, SK Energy (20%) of Korea, Repsol YPF (20%) of Spain and Marubeni Corporation (10%) of Japan. This project, located on the west coast of Peru in the South America, has geographical advantage to supply competitive LNG products not only to the Latin America market and U.S. West Coast market but also to Asian Far East market as possible alternative destination. Natural gas feedstock will be supplied from Camisea gas field and processed at LNG Plant located at Pampa Melchorita area, south of Peruvian capital Lima.