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Monday, September 25, 2017

USCG, EPA Cleaning up a Dozen Texas Chemical Spills after Harvey

The U.S. Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency are working with Texas state regulators to clean up oil and chemicals spilled from a dozen industrial facilities after flooding from Hurricane Harvey, authorities said. The spills came from oil refineries, fuel terminals and other businesses, but EPA spokeswoman Terri White said it was not possible to provide an estimate for the amounts spilled. "Initial reports were based on observation," White said. Refineries owned by Valero Energy Corp in Houston, Motiva Inc in Port Arthur, and Exxon Mobile Corp in Baytown, were among the facilities that had reported spills, according to White. Representatives for those companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Beaumont Port Still Restricted after Harvey

While crude deliveries by larger ships to Beaumont in Texas remain restricted after Hurricane Harvey, a workaround using pipelines can supply Exxon Mobil's refinery there, shipping sources said. Silt and clay lingering in the Port of Beaumont still threaten to entrap large ships, two weeks after Hurricane Harvey ravaged Texas, but pipelines are available to move crude up to refineries there from nearby terminals which are less affected by sediment. Beaumont's port has been closed to ship traffic over 26 feet (8 meters) since Sept. 9 by the U.S. Coast Guard, because of shoaling - sediment or sand that washes up on the bottom of the waterway and hampers shipping traffic.

Cosmo Oil to Boost Diesel Output to meet 2020 Ship Demand

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

Cosmo says considering adding units to process more heavy crude; looking to maximize diesel output at Sakai coker. Japan's Cosmo Oil plans to increase diesel output at its Sakai refinery in Osaka, looking to capitalize on an expected jump in demand when a global mandate for ships to switch to cleaner fuels kicks in from 2020, its top executives said. The company, wholly owned by Cosmo Energy Holdings, is considering adding units such as a desalter that will allow its 100,000-barrels…

Dominican Republic Shuts Most Ports ahead of Hurricane Maria

© claudio968 / Adobe Stock

Dominican Republic closed most of its ports ahead of Hurricane Maria, but the country's 34,000-barrel-per-day refinery was still running, the government said on Wednesday. Ports that suspended operations under the "red alert" declared for extreme weather conditions are La Romana, Samana, Arroyo Barril, Puerto Plata and Manzanillo, the Dominican Port Authority said in a statement. Maria was a Category 4 hurricane when it hit Puerto Rico earlier on Wednesday. The ports of San Souci and Haina…

Oil/Chemical Spills from Harvey Are Big, but Dwarfed by Katrina

More than 22,000 barrels of oil, refined fuels and chemicals spilled at sites across Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, along with millions of cubic feet of natural gas and hundreds of tons of other toxic substances, a Reuters review of company reports to the U.S. Coast Guard shows. The spills, clustered around the heart of the U.S. oil industry, together rank among the worst environmental mishaps in the country in years, but fall far short of the roughly 190,000 barrels spilled in Louisiana in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina - the last major storm to take dead aim at the U.S. Gulf Coast. Harvey slammed ashore in Texas on Aug. 26, unleashing record flooding around Houston that destroyed countless homes, displaced around a million people and killed scores. The U.S.

Phillips 66 Charters Foreign Tanker for Domestic Voyage

Phillips 66 has chartered a Marshall Islands-flagged vessel, making use of a temporary waiver of the Jones Act that was put in place to meet fuel shortages in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Argus Media reported on Thursday. The vessel, Nave Jupiter, departed from Houston, Texas on Sept. 9, and was docked near the company's Alliance refinery in Louisiana, the report said. The nearly 100 year-old law mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts. Last week, the U.S. Homeland Security Department had waived the law for a week, the first such waiver since December 2012 after Hurricane Sandy. The department said earlier this week that it was extending the temporary waiver until Sept. 22.

Houston Ship Channel Re-opens to Some Vessel Traffic

The Houston Ship Channel re-opened to some vessel traffic on Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard said, after an early morning tanker fire prompted closure of the waterway. The U.S. Coast Guard Houston Vessel Traffic Service said it would commence with tow vessel transit outbound from Old River and San Jacinto River. That would be followed by inbound movements, it said. The Houston Ship Channel links the busiest U.S. petrochemical port to the Gulf of Mexico. Four Houston-area refineries were unable to receive crude oil from tankers on Tuesday after a portion of the channel was shut by an early-morning fire aboard an empty tanker. The fire began shortly after midnight CDT (0500 GMT) aboard the 810-foot (247-meter) tanker the Aframax River and was extinguished within a few hours.

Hvide And Tesoro Commence Double Hull Service

Hvide Marine and Tesoro Maritime have begun a new double-hull petroleum transport service in Alaskan waters. The 46,000-ton HMI Cape Lookout Shoals - one of Hvide's new U.S.-flagged Lightship-class double-hull tankers - began charter the first week of August. Operating under a three-year contract with Gold Star Maritime, which is a subsidiary of Tesoro Maritime Company, the vessel will service a trio of refineries owned and operated by Tesoro. The refineries are located in Nikiski, Alaska on Cook Inlet; Anacortes, Wash.; and Kapolei, Hawaii. The tanker, which will for the most part be employed in northern waters, will have a typical itinerary that includes transporting Cook Inlet crude from the Drift River Loading Platform to the Kenai Pipe Line Company dock…

French CGT Oil Sector Workers to Join May Strike

French oil sector workers of the CGT trade union will join a national strike at refineries and other installations from May 17 to May 20 against a planned government reform of French labour law, a CGT union official told Reuters on Friday. The union will also propose to shutdown production at refineries and other oil sector sites during a May 20 meeting, Thierry Defresne, CGT union official at Total, said after a general assembly meeting of the trade union. "What we have decided this morning is to launch a strike on all refineries in France from May 17 in the morning until midday on May 20," Defresne said, adding that the strike will affect Exxon Mobil and Esso facilities.

Hedge Funds Watch U.S. Refinery Restarts

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Jason Lee)

Hedge funds are betting crude oil stocks will adjust quickly to the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma but gasoline and distillate inventories may take more time to normalise. Hedge funds and other money managers increased their combined net long position in the five major petroleum contracts linked to crude, gasoline and heating oil by 46 million barrels in the week to Sept. 5, according to the latest regulatory and exchange data. Fund managers recovered some of their pre…

PDVSA's Cardon Refinery Slowed by Equipment Outages

Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA said its 310,000 barrel-per-day Cardon refinery was hit by an electrical fault during a weekend storm, resulting in the halting of some units. A storm on the Paraguana peninsula knocked out electricity late on Saturday, the company said in a statement. "Operating personnel took immediate control of the installations and proceeded to halt the affected units as a preventative measure," it said. A PDVSA spokesman on Monday could not say what units were affected or whether they had been restarted. The nearby 645,000 barrel-per-day Amuay refinery is being restarted after a blackout had shut it down Tuesday night. PDVSA said it still had enough fuel inventories to cover domestic and international demand.   By Andrew Cawthorne

Part of Houston Ship Channel Shut; Tankers Stopped to 4 Refineries

Four Houston-area refineries were unable to receive crude oil from tankers on Tuesday after a portion of the Houston Ship Channel was shut due to a fire aboard an empty tanker, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. In Texas, Valero Energy Corp's Houston refinery, LyondellBasell Industries' Houston refinery, Petrobras' Pasadena refinery and Royal Dutch Shell's joint-venture Deer Park refinery have crude on-site in storage tanks and also have access to long-distance and short-haul pipeline systems. The four refineries have a combined crude oil throughput of 761,505 barrels per day (bpd), equal to 4 percent of U.S. refining capacity. The Coast Guard was conducting assessments about how long it would take to move the Aframax River…

Ecoslops Seeks Authorization for Marseilles Project

Image: Ecoslops

Ecoslops, an innovative technology company that upgrades ship-generated hydrocarbon residues, or “slops”, into valuable new fuels and light bitumen,  has  announced the formal application to the French competent authorities for an authorization to operate an oil residue waste-processing unit at La Mède, near Marseilles in partnership with Total group. Within this partnership, in which Ecoslops will get a majority stake, and as soon as a unique authorization is given (building and operation permits)…

Shell Geelong Refinery for Sale

Photo: Shell

Shell Australia announced its Geelong Refinery is for sale. The proposed sale of the 120 kb/d refinery is in line with Shell’s global strategy to concentrate investment on large scale sites, such as the company’s world scale Pulau Bukom refinery in Singapore. The announcement underpins Shell’s local strategy to grow its retail and bulk fuels business, along with terminals and pipelines. Shell recognizes that other parties, with a different portfolio, may have a different strategy and want to enter or expand in the Australian refining market.

News: Barge/Refinery Explosion Shakes Staten Island, NY

The maritime industry makes local headlines when something goes wrong, but the headlines on February 21 went national. In a spectucular eruption of flame and smoke, the like of which New York had not seen since 9/11, an estimated million gallons of gasoline erupted from a barge near the southwestern tip of Staten Island. The barge captain and mate were killed in the 10 A.M. explosion, and a nearby worker at the ExxonMobil facility suffered third-degree burns. The New York Times the next day showed a plume of dense black smoke over the city, but reported that the calamaty had been quickly controlled. Almost certaiinly it was not the work of terrorists and, being a gasoline fire, The Times reassured, it could burn itself out without leaving a slick to endanger the birds.

Bulk Equipment is Delivered to Syzran Refinery

A reactor and a cold high-pressure separator is delivered to the site of Rosneft subsidiary Syzran Refinery

A reactor and a cold high-pressure separator is delivered to the site of Rosneft subsidiary Syzran Refinery for the constructed diesel hydro-treater. The unit is designed for the removal of sulphur and nitrogen compounds, as well as of other solids to improve diesel-fuel and to bring its environmental specifications to Euro-5 level. The weight of the reactor is 400 tons, the length is 36 m, and the diameter is 4.5 m. The weight of the cold high-pressure separator is 345.5 tons, the length is 26.5 m, and the diameter is about 4.5 m.

Mexico's Pemex Sees Restart of Salina Cruz Refinery

Photo: PetrĂłleos Mexicanos

Mexican state oil producer Pemex said on Thursday that it expects to restart operations on July 30 at Salina Cruz, its largest oil refinery, after it was hit last week hit by flooding and subsequent fire that forced a shutdown of the plant. The program contemplates three-way actions: Restarting operations; cleaning and rehabilitation of the affected site and general maintenance, taking advantage of the shutdown of the process. This last activity would allow for the advancement of the maintenance that was scheduled for next April…

Huge Heavy Lift Project Wraps up in Colombia

Mammoet crane at Reficar Refinery, Cartagena, Colombia (Photo: Mammoet)

Mammoet USA informs it has completed a heavy lifting and transport project at the largest refinery in Colombia, the Reficar Refinery. Mammoet was contracted to assist in the modernization and expansion of the refinery in 2011. The scope of lifting and transport services for this project was large and diverse with more than 1,000 lifts and moves with 150 of the lifts weighing 100 tons or more. Mammoet served as a key contractor, handling all overland transport, inland shipping and on-site lifting.

Total Refinery Plans Revealed by Next Spring

La Mede/Lavera plant merger project failed; Total may invest 300 mln euros in La Mede near Marseille. Total, Europe's biggest oil refiner, is giving itself until the spring of 2015 to review its options for the French refining sector, which could include capacity cuts but no site closures, union sources told Reuters on Friday. Total's European refining margins have dropped to near four-year lows this year, as the sector struggles to compete with more efficient plants in the Middle East, overcapacities in Europe and a decline in gasoline and diesel consumption. The French group held a works council meeting on its refining strategy on Thursday evening, where head of refining Patrick Pouyanne replied to a list of 25 questions presented by unions on the future of the industry in France.

KNOC Sells Aging Newfoundland Refinery to SilverRange

Korea National Oil Corp said on Friday that it would sell its 115,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Come by Chance, Newfoundland, to SilverRange Financial Partners LLC for an undisclosed price following a months-long search to find a buyer. KNOC's Harvest Operations Corp unit is selling the aging refinery, as well as 53 gas stations and convenience stores, to SilverRange. The New York-based merchant bank has entered into a multiyear refining deal with an unspecified global oil company, Harvest Operations and SilverRange said in a release. "(The refinery) is strategically located along Atlantic crude oil shipping routes and provides access to petroleum markets in Europe and the U.S. Eastern seaboard," SilverRange official Harsh Rameshwar said in the release.

PES to Begin Operating Benzene Terminal in November

Philadelphia Energy Solutions plans to start operating a new benzene offtake terminal next month at its 335,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Philadelphia, two people familiar with the plans said. While most U.S. refiners are either selling benzene or refining it further, Philadelphia Energy Solutions is using the new terminal to help bring the chemical into the facility, according to an IPO document filed last month. The benzene facility is the latest step in building up infrastructure at a plant that was nearly shuttered in 2012. Benzene boosts the octane level of gasoline and reduces knocking in car engines, but is also a carcinogenic and the federal Environmental Protection Agency requires refiners to strip most of it out of the finished product.

Oil, Chemical Spills from Harvey Adding Up

File Image: a typical spill boom as deployed (CREDIT: Elastec)

More than 22,000 barrels of oil, refined fuels and chemicals spilled at sites across Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, along with millions of cubic feet of natural gas and hundreds of tons of other toxic substances, a Reuters review of company reports to the U.S. Coast Guard shows. The spills, clustered around the heart of the U.S. oil industry, together rank among the worst environmental mishaps in the country in years, but fall far short of the roughly 190,000 barrels spilled in Louisiana in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina - the last major storm to take dead aim at the U.S. Gulf Coast.

New Marine Terminal for Delaware River

Paulsboro in 1965: Photo Wiki CCL

Holt Logistics Corp. says it has entered into a partnership with the South Jersey Port Corporation (SJPC) for the construction of a new, state-of-the-art marine terminal in Paulsboro, New Jersey. The announcement was made at a press conference attended by Governor Chris Christie, Senate President Stephen Sweeney, the Board and staff of the South Jersey Port Corporation, various Gloucester County executives and representatives of Holt Logistics at the future site of the facility, located at the former Paulsboro BP refinery on the banks of the Delaware River in Paulsboro, Gloucester County.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Sep 2017 - Maritime Port & Ship Security Edition

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