Filed under: Aruba News, Business and Economy, Oil Industry, Press Releases
Valero Energy (VLO) Tuesday said its Aruba refinery may resume operations after completing turnaround maintenance in September if it is profitable to do so.
Operations at Valero’s Benicia, California, refinery will return to full operating rates by late August following about 60 days of unplanned maintenance at a coker unit, the co. said Tuesday. The coker was shut June 19-20 and was originally expected to return to service by early August. Also, work continues to install an emissions-reducing scrubber at the plant; that project will be finished by the end of the year.
Valero will proceed with hydrocracker projects at its St. Charles refinery in Norco, Louisiana, to be completed in late 2013 and at its Port Arthur, Texas, plant that will be completed in late 2012, the co. said Tuesday. The FCCU at St. Charles will be revamped during the 2nd quarter of 2011. Also six coke drums will be replaced at Port Arthur.
And plant-wide turnaround is expected to take place at Valero’s Ardmore, Okla., refinery which will impact 1st quarter 2011 results.
Sunoco Inc. (SUN) Sunday shut the smaller of two FCCUs at its Philadelphia, Pa., refinery for one week of unplanned maintenance to repair a leak, a person familiar with operations at the plant said Monday.
A sulfur recovery unit at Pasadena Refining’s Pasadena, Texas, oil refinery will continue to operate Monday while repairs are made at an associated quench tower, a filing with environmental regulators said. The work to replace a valve at the tower will take approximately 12 hours.
Valero Energy (VLO) Friday reported maintenance at an exchanger in Complex 2 at its Texas City, Texas, oil refinery. The work, at an unspecified unit, started at around 10:00 p.m. Friday and will end at about the same time on Aug. 4, a filing to environmental regulators said.
SAN NICOLAS — The refinery at San Nicolas will become partially operational again. In this, owner and operator Valero wants potential buyer PetroChina to observe the refinery’s operation and its status. The starting up of facilities will take approximately three weeks.
The definite decision on whether the Chinese state-owned oil company will take over the refinery will be made after the observation. Meanwhile, Valero is looking for contract-workers to operate the relevant partial facilities.
It was only last week, when persistent rumors had circulated that Valero and PetroChina had agreed on the sale. Representatives of PetroChina had visited Premier Mike Eman last Thursday. He had indicated that the number of Chinese employees, which PetroChina required ‘was less than anticipated’. He had no indication on the Chinese wishes regarding tax arrangements.
Former-premier Nelson Oduber (MEP) had announced not so long ago that the negotiations with PetroChina had foundered, as the Chinese company had requested the employment of a substantial number of their own workers. In addition, PetroChina had supposedly demanded the same tax advantages and environment exemptions, which Coastal as Valero’s predecessor had enjoyed at the time.
Valero Energy Corp. has decided to close the company’s refinery in Aruba indefinitely because of unfavorable market conditions, a Valero spokesman said Wednesday.
The San Antonio-based refiner said in June it would close the Aruba plant for two to three months because the plant wasn’t profitable, and the plant stopped production in mid-July.
“It’s clear now that conditions have not improved any, and we don’t see any significant improvement in the near future,” Valero spokesman Bill Day said. “So the outage will be extended indefinitely.”
Employees at the plant, located on a Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela, were told of Valero’s decision Wednesday.
Several hundred contract workers will be let go over the next two to three weeks, but about 780 Valero employees will keep their jobs, Day said. The employees will perform maintenance and receive training, he said.
The refinery has been losing tens of millions of dollars a month, Day said.
Demand for fuel is in a slump because of the troubled global economy, and the heavy crude oils the Aruba facility can process now are more costly to acquire. Those conditions have slammed the plant’s profitability.
When the plant was shuttered in June, Valero put it in “hot mothball” status, keeping key units powered up so the refinery could be re-started in a relatively short period of time. Now the plant is going to “cold shutdown” mode.
The plant’s status will be reviewed from time to time, “but we’re not setting a timetable for ourselves” to restart it, Day said.
Valero has had the refinery on the auction block since November 2007, but no buyer has emerged.
Venezuela’s state-owned PDVSA shut down all of its processing units at the 325,000-barrel-per-day (BBL/d) Willemstad Isla refinery in Curacao because of an unexpected power outage on April 27.
Power and air were restored to the plant within 24 hours, and steam production resumed on April 29. The 160,000-BBL/d Crude 3 and 48,000-BBL/d Feed Cracker 2 are expected to be restarted during the day, followed by all of the other units over the weekend and early next week.
On April 24, the 52,000-BBL/d fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) was shut down because of steam-related issues. Plant authorities said they considered accelerating the September 2009 turnaround and maintenance repairs on the FCCU and 48,000-BBL/d Feed Cracker 1; however, they decided to perform only necessary immediate repairs on both units to have them online by May 6. The 40-day maintenance turnaround is being rescheduled and could be postponed until the first quarter of 2010.
The refinery experienced four power outages in 2008. The first one occurred on April 9 as several units from the hydrotreatment operation area were reaching normal production rates after a 50-day planned maintenance shutdown.
Filed under: Business and Economy, Oil Industry, Press Releases
WILLEMSTAD, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Several units at a 320,000 barrel-per-day oil refinery operated by Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA on the island of Curacao were offline on Monday due to a power outage, a refinery spokesman said.
WILLEMSTAD. An explosion on board the vessel Seamec II in the Curacao ship repair company CDM killed five local workers Thursday morning. The youngest victim was twenty, but they were all experienced workers and some of them had been with the company for more than twenty years.
The workers had made a hole in the hull of the offshore oil platform support vessel to remove a machine that required electronic work. As usual, the company’s chemist checked for possible gasses or other dangerous substances and gave the green light.
What exactly happened is unclear, but the suspicion is that there was somehow a gas leak. The first explosion was followed by a second, and then a fire with a lot of smoke.
The Fire Department had to deal with the smoke and the fact that the fire heated up the boat’s steel construction. There was also the risk of more explosions.
Several people who were down in the hull were also injured, but their lives were not in danger. All work at CDM has been stopped until it is clear there is no longer any danger.
When the bodies were finally recovered, emotional family members came to identify their loved ones, after which the bodies were released to them.
Source: The Daily Herald St. Maarten
Output in Isla, a refinery based in Curacao, property of state oil holding PetrÃ³leos de Venezuela (Pdvsa), is still reduced after a fire that damaged a catalytic unit last Sunday, spokesman Elise Krijt told AFP.
“We are under the standard processing of 200,000 b/d, at 160,000 b/d. Next week, following commissioning of the cracking unit, we will be up again,” Krijt noted.
Last Sunday night, a fire started in a pipe of the catalytic unit, which was stopped for security reasons.
Krijt commented that a crew is investigating into the causes of the fire and ascertaining the damages caused. So far, there are no official estimates of the losses.
The official stressed that the refinery will be fully operational next week.
Filed under: Business and Economy, Oil Industry, Press Releases
AMSTERDAM – December 8 – Communities living on the fenceline of Shell’s operations from around the world met today with Shell CEO Van de Veer to ask for concrete commitments to solve their serious environmental and health problems.
Van de Veer agreed to a direct line of communication from the fenceline communities to the highest level of decision making within Royal Dutch Shell. However, Van der Veer did not want to take ultimate responsibility for the operations of his local facilities, which is a matter of concern to the fenceline groups.
Shell admitted that stakeholder dialogue must be improved and that monitoring of emissions can be done better, but claims that it cannot prescribe or dictate specific improvements to local plant managers. Shell refused to agree upon criteria for the engagement of community groups on environmental issues.
Before the company’s AGM in April 2006, the groups will report to Shell and the public what progress has been made on these issues. The groups will continue to campaign locally and globally to stop the company’s wrongdoings. Shell will be expected to deliver on its promises, particularly in projects under development where crucial construction decisions will be made, such as those in County Mayo, Ireland and Sakhalin Island.
“Shell talks about its philosophies, but philosophy doesn’t fix pipelines and it doesn’t cure pollution-related illness” says Norbert George from Curacao. “The ball is in Shell’s court to show that they live up to their standards, and this should be demonstrated by concrete actions.”
“Shell’s double standards have been well documented,” said Desmond D’sa from Durban, South Africa. “They use cleaner and safer technologies at the Shell refinery in Denmark than they do in Durban, for example.”__
Shell’s management agreed to a direct line of communication for fenceline neighbors to the CEO, and also agreed to consider the installation of real time fenceline air monitoring at their refineries. However, the company declined to agree to the following requests: objective criteria for engaging appropriate stakeholders on environmental issues (denied); expedited timeline for upgrading aging equipment in developing countries (denied); a joint process to determine responsibility for contamination from operations (denied); and the erasure of double standards in their operations in developed nations versus developing nations (disagreement upon the facts).__
The delegation from Shell consisted of high-level senior managers. From the fenceline communities, there were representatives from Nigeria, South Africa, Curacao, Texas and Brazil. Shell’s operations have been a concern of the global alliance of fenceline communities for three years, and affected groups have issued numerous reports documenting Shell’s poor performance.
For more information see: www.shellfacts.com
Venezuela’s Curacao Isla oil refinery will resume operations this week at its 18,500-barrel-a-day unit after a nearly three-week shutdown because of a leak, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Source: Associated Press
PinnacleSports.com Releases Odds on the Cost of Gasoline in the U.S.
WILLEMSTAD, Curacao, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ — Oil prices soared to record highs this week following the recent death of Saudi King Fahd, the closure of refineries in Texas and Louisiana, and the news that Iran plans to resume its uranium-enrichment program added to ongoing tensions in the Middle East and increased worldwide demand. In the end, it is consumers that pay most, feeling it at the pump with gas prices approaching record highs as we near the end of the busy summer travel season. With the cost of gas continuing to capture the headlines, PinnacleSports.com today became the first bookmaker in the world to release betting lines on the price of gasoline in the United States.
The largest sports betting site on the Internet, PinnacleSports.com has created numerous betting options on the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the U.S. as reported by AAA on http://www.fuelgaugereport.com . With current prices already approaching the highest recorded average price of $2.321 per gallon, set on July 14, PinnacleSports.com believes gas prices will surpass that mark and may rise even higher by the next national holiday. The company has created a unique betting line on whether the average price of gas will reach a previously unheard of $2.35 per gallon by Labor Day. PinnacleSports.com has also set a betting line on the price of gas reaching an astronomical $2.40 per gallon by New Year’s Day, which is a slight underdog to occur at 2/1 odds. Bettors can also wager on the price of gas hitting $3.00 per gallon in either of the nation’s two biggest cities by January 1, 2006, with the odds that the price per gallon in New York or Los Angeles will reach that mark set as a 30/1 long shot.
“Gasoline prices continue to be a thorn in consumers’ sides this summer as several factors, including increased demand and political concerns, boosted oil prices above $62 a barrel within the last week,” said Simon Noble, PinnacleSports.com. “Although the new Saudi regime does not plan to alter its current energy policy, concerns remain regarding declining gas supplies and increased refinery problems. With the national average price already hitting $2.30 per gallon, it won’t be a stretch to see consumers paying $2.35 or more at the pump before Labor Day.”
PinnacleSports.com will continually update lines on the gasoline price betting options and will offer similar lines on a monthly basis. All prices will be determined as reported each day by AAA on http://www.fuelgaugereport.com .
Current Odds: (All Odds Subject to Change)
— Will the average price of regular gas reach $3.00 per gallon
in New York or Los Angeles by 01/01/2006?
— Will the average price of gas in the U.S. reach $2.35 per gallon by
Labor Day, 09/05/2005?
— Will the average price of gas in the U.S. reach $2.40 per gallon
For a more information and a complete list of odds, please visit http://www.pinnaclesports.com .
PinnacleSports.com (http://www.pinnaclesports.com) is the Internet’s largest sports betting site, serving customers in more than 80 countries worldwide. Founded in 1998, PinnacleSports.com was the first sportsbook to introduce reduced margin wagering, using a -105 pricing model that gives bettors up to 50% better value on wagers than traditional bookmakers. With low minimum bet requirements and the highest maximum limits on the Web, PinnacleSports.com has earned an industry-leading reputation for providing consistent value to the player, professional customer service and the quickest payouts online. Fully licensed and regulated in Curacao and the United Kingdom, the company offers a secure environment for sports betting, racing and casino gaming.