Norway is playing an active role in the oil sector as more Norwegian oil from Johan Sverdrup is arriving in Asia, being a challenge to similar crudes coming from Africa and South America. If Johan Sverdrup continues attracting refiners, there is a high possibility that it will jeopardise exports of its rival grades to the world’s top crude-consuming region.
Over the next 5 years, the global refinery landscape will continue developing, with the IEA forecasting the addition of over 9 million b/d of new capacity; almost twice the level of refined products demand growth over the same period.
SKTI informed that it will increase its offshore oil blending business by four times, reaching from the current 23,000 barrels a day, to 90,000 barrels next year. The company charters a large oil tanker and adds semi-finished products to produce LSFO. What is more, SKTI also plans to retrofit scrubbers on 19 ships.
The worldwide demand for cleaner shipping fuel could drive the value of Middle East crude to its lowest ever levels, despite fact that supplies are squeezed. This highlights the fact that the 2020 sulphur cap will hurt countries like Saudi Arabia and Iraq that produce high sulphur fuel.
Sinopec’s subsidiary refinery in Singapore’s province of Hainan delivered its first shipment of low-sulphur bunker fuel, complying withe upcoming IMO 2020 sulphur cap regulation. Namely, a ship with 2,200 tonnes of low-sulphur fuel departed the Hainan refinery in late February heading to Ningbo on the east coast. The fuel will be put to pilot use at a maritime institution in Shanghai.
Hellenic Petroleum, one of Greece’s biggest oil refiners, informed on February 28 that two of its three refineries are already ready to comply with the 2020 sulphur cap. Specifically, its refineries in Elefsina and Thessaloniki have adjusted to the new rules. As for the third refinery in Aspropyrgos, which produces high sulphur fuel oil, it will comply with the new rules in November.
IUMI, the International Union of Marine Insurance, forces refineries to test on low sulphur fuels ahead of the introduction of the global sulphur cap on 2020. IUMI stated that fuel testing is undertaken by the end-user but this has to change. IUMI is calling for regulation that obliges refineries to guarantee the quality of their fuel and for vessel operators to improve their systems, processes and training to protect their vessels against the potential impact of using low sulphur bunkers.
EIA published that the implementation of new regulations on marine fuel will affect crude oil and petroleum product markets the following decade. The Administration focuses mainly on the long-term implications of the market changes that will involve changes to ships, marine fuels, refining, and some infrastructure in the next six to eight years.
Saras will construct new bunkering terminal at its plant in Sardinia in order to market a cleaner marine fuel with even lower sulphur content which will be compliant with the IMO 2020 global sulphur limit. The Italian energy provider is investing in infrastructure that will allow ships to dock outside its 300,000-barrels-per-day Sarroch refinery in Sardinia to directly load ultra-low-sulphur marine fuel oil.
As of 1 January 2018, US operable atmospheric crude distillation capacity totaled 18.6 million b/cd, a slight decrease of 0.1% since the beginning of 2017, according to EIA. Annual operable crude oil distillation unit capacity had increased slightly in each of the five years before 2018.
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