New fuel standards in the US
The US government recently finalized standards that will increase fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 mpg for cars and light-duty trucks by model year 2025. When combined with previous standards, this move will nearly double the fuel efficiency of those vehicles compared to new vehicles currently on the road. In total, the program to improve fuel economy is expected to reduce US oil consumption by 12 billion barrels. The standards issued by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) build on the previously issued standards for cars and light trucks for model years 20112016. Those standards raised average fuel efficiency by 2016 to the equivalent of 35.5 mpg.
Valero has decided to further reduce operations and reorganize its 235,000-bpd Aruba refinery as arefined products terminal, the company said. The terminal will feature both deepwater berths and smaller berths, and will have the flexibility to load the very largest crude ships. Terminal activities will, however, require a considerably smaller workforce, according to the company. The reorganization and reduction in workforce is expected to be complete before the end of 2012. Valero will continue to supply jet fuel, gasoline, diesel and fuel oil to the island, as well as engage in third-party terminal services. In the terminal operations mode, Valero will continue to invest in Aruba with facility improvements and dock and tankage upgrades, the company said. In the near-term, the refinery will continue to be maintained in a state that would allow a restart, should Valero be successful in the pursuit of alternatives for the refinery prior to the terminal transition.
US investment group Carlyle has agreed to buy the performance coatings business of DuPont for $4.9 billion
in cash. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. DuPont Performance Coatings is a global supplier of vehicle and industrial coating systems, with 2012 expected sales of more than $4 billion and more than 11,000 employees. As part of the transaction, Carlyle will assume $250 million of DuPonts unfunded pension liabilities. Carlyles industrial and automotive investments include Allison Transmission, Hertz and PQ Corp., as well as recent commitments to invest in Hamilton Sundstrand Industrial and regional rail freight operator Genesee & Wyoming.
Enterprise Products recently began an open commitment period to determine additional shipper demand for capacity on its Appalachia-to-Texas (ATEX Express) ethane pipeline. The 1,230-mile system will deliver growing ethane production from the Marcellus/Utica Shale areas of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio to Mont Belvieu, Texas. The open commitment period will be used to determine market interest in executing additional 15-year binding transportation agreements. The ATEX Express is expected to begin operations in the first quarter of 2014.
Cosmo Oil will permanently close its 140,000-bpd Sakaide refinery in western Japan by July 2013 to meet a government regulation that encourages refining capacity cuts amid falling local demand. The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry set rules in July 2010 requiring refiners to raise residual cracking capacity to a designated percentage of crude refining capacity, as calculated by a formula, by March 2014. By closing the refinery, Cosmo expects to save Y10 billion a year in costs.
Technip has completed the acquisition of the Stone & Webster process technologies and associated oil and gas engineering capabilities. Technip sees this acquisition as a way to further diversify its onshore/offshore segment, adding revenues based on technology supply. It will also use the Stone & Webster brand to expand in promising growth areas such as the US, where downstream markets will benefit from the supply of unconventional gas. To make the most of these strengths, a new business unit, Technip Stone & Webster Process Technology, will be developed within the companys onshore/offshore segment. Technip paid cash consideration of around 225 million from existing cash resources, which will be subject to customary price adjustments.
Air Liquide has officially opened its first public hydrogen filling station for passenger cars in Düsseldorf, Germany.
This station will be followed by 10 new hydrogen filling stations that will be designed, built and rolled out in the next three years under the auspices of the German governments major demonstration project. By 2015, Germany will have a supply network of at least 50 public hydrogen filling stations. Driven by the same dynamic, two other stations have been installed recently by Air Liquide in Oslo, Norway, and in Brugg, Switzerland. In Japan, the government sees hydrogen as a promising major energy source for cars and expects to install about 100 hydrogen distribution stations for fuel cell vehicles by 2015. In response to this government policy, Air Liquide Japan has recently set up a specialized team focused on the hydrogen business. So far, they have installed three hydrogen energy stations (in Tokyo, Kawasaki and Saga). One of these stations demonstrated the feasibility of a complete blue hydrogen chain, from wood chips to clean mobility.
Western Refining and Glencore International announced that two of their subsidiary companies (York River
Fuels and Glencore Ltd.) have entered into a long-term commercial supply and trading agreement. Glencore has agreed to provide global sourcing, supply and trading and inventory and risk management services to support York Rivers mid-Atlantic wholesale business. In return, York River has agreed to provide rack marketing and contract and credit management. Glencore has entered into a long-term commitment with Epic Terminals at its terminal in Savannah, Georgia. The Savannah terminal includes over 450,000 bbl of storage capacity for various grades of gasoline, distillates, ethanol, biofuels and fuel blends. The terminal will enable the two companies to expand their wholesale capabilities and provide fuel products to their customers from southern Georgia to northern Maryland.
Western Refining operates refineries in El Paso, Texas, and Gallup, New Mexico. The company also runs products terminals in Albuquerque and Bloomfield, New Mexico. HP