The strikes at Total’s French refining facilities came to an end on 24th February 2010 after Total finally agreed not to shutdown or sell any of its facilities for the next 5 years after the Dunkirk plant. However, the European refining industry is facing big challenges which may lead to what can be considered the inevitable closure of more refineries.
Major refiners such as BP and Shell have seen big drops in profits and this has been contributed to by the increasing number of low cost refineries in Asia and the Middle East and low fuel demand in Europe. It is mainly small European refineries that are suffering as the major oil companies focus on large complex facilities.
Aiming for import cuts
The EU’s new energy strategy is going to aim to cut approximately 60 billion Euros worth of oil and gas imports over the next 10 years. This is one of several measures being discussed by the EU as it tries to bring the European economy successfully out of recession and achieve energy security.
Also, as part of the strategy, the EU is aiming to increase energy efficiency by a fifth in the next 10 years and rely more heavily on domestic renewable sources. The strategy also further outlines the EU’s commitment to curbing carbon emissions.
Aid for Uzbekistan petrochemicals
South Korea has decided to aid Uzbekistan’s developing petrochemicals industry with a bilateral investment deal. The two countries aim to invest US$ 4 billion in the extraction of gas from the Surgil field, Uzbekistan to be processed in a new plat to produce polyethylene and polypropylene.
Flowserve awarded contract by LUKoil
Russian oil company LUKoil Neftochim Burgas AD has awarded a contract to Flowserve Corporation for a pump and solutions order. The contract, worth approximately US$ 31 million, is specifically for Flowserve proprietary ebullating pumping systems and heavy duty high end energy barrel pumps.
The pumps will be used in a new H-Oil and VGO facility in Burgas, Bulgaria owned by the LUKoil subsidiary. The facility, once complete is expected to produce approximately 27 000 bpd.
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. and BP Raffinagerij Rotterdam have renewed their 5 year Master Site Agreement. The agreement supports small project work at BP’s Rotterdam refinery, the Netherlands.
As part of the agreement, Jacobs will provide engineering, procurement and construction management services for various small projects at the site. Any work will be carried out from Jacob’s Leiden, the Netherlands office. The original agreement was signed in 2004. The Rotterdam refinery is Europe’s largest capacity facility processing approximately 400 000 bpd.