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Recap/Updates: Refinery & Upgrader Coker Projects 4Q08-1Q09

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    Charles Randall

    Here is Charlies Quick Recap of 4Q08-1Q09 Refinery & Upgrader Coker Project News Alerts:(will post on both upgrader & Coker news sections)  Regards CER
    The sharp drop in energy prices and deeping of a now global financial crisis have forced companies to cancel, delay or place on hold the spending for several of the refinery & upgrading coker projects that I have been tracking. The Canadian oil sands have been especially hard hit due to both the scale and expensive cost of the ventures.
    The news changes project status week by week and below is list sorted for just the related Energy/Oil Industry refinery projects with potential impacts to upgrader & refinery cokers for 4Q 2008 thru 1Q 2009 (QTD):
    Feb  3 – Marathon Detroit expansion (coking) project is delayed 1 year to mid-2012 (started construction 2008 & targeted to end 2010) due economics & align Ca Crude P/L completion. 
    Feb  3 – Marathon Garyville expansion (coking) project is 75% completed and on target to complete 4Q2009.
    Feb  3 – Chevron Pascagoula has placed on hold its new VRSH commercial plant (hyped replacement technology for coking process) due to financial environment & chance add R&D improvements.
    Feb  2 – India Essar Oil has delayed the 2nd Phase expansion of the Vadinar refinery to 680 MBD by a year to Dec 2011. The current expansion of existing 210 MBD refinery to 320 MBD would be carried out on schedule by Dec 2010.
    Jan 28 – Petrobras releases it’s updated 5 year plan for 2009 which has the 3 New Grassroots Refinery in North and expansions on existing refineries with coker additions.
    Jan 28 – ConocoPhillips to defer refinery upgrade projects at two of its plants to reduce capital spending but did not identify which projects.
    Jan 27 – Valero Energy Corp is cutting capital spending in 2009 by $80 MM by delaying projects at St. Charles, LA and Memphis,TN refinery (no coker @ Memphis). Earlier (Oct 28, 2008) Valero had canceled its Pt. Arthur Refinery Coker Expansion project.
    Jan 27 – Total Pt Arthur Refinery celebrates the arrival of coke drum units for its $US 2.2 B Deep Conversion Project that is still going ahead as scheduled to complete 2011. Twelve business had been started in town since the expansion was announced in Feb 2008 and six were in direct support of the project.
    Jan 22 – OPTI Canada announces start-up & first premium sweet synthetic crude production of the Long Lake Upgrader project. The SAGD Long Lake 1st Phase uses gasifiers currently on vac residue will switch to asphaltene feed one the initial phase production is completed and the Syngas will be used in SAGD operation.
    Jan 22 – Husky Energy Inc Canada chopped 2009 spending on Sunrise by 78% to $C 65 MM and the head of Oil Sands business resigned. The fate of $C 10 Billion ($US 8 B) Sunrise upgrader and the related BP Toledo JV coker project are uncertain.
    Jan 22 – Petrobras to build New $US 4.1 Billion Grassroots Northern Refinery minus Venezulan 40% financial aid or sourcing of bitumen crude. The project was a JV linked to new PDVSA Upgrader but Petrobras is tired of corruption & government foot dragging that has caused delays in moving forward at speed the project should and with new big Brazil crude fields PDVSA is on notice.
    Jan 21 – PetroCanada approved the suspended Sturgeon Upgrader which was part of Fort Hills partnership which deferred investment decision on $US 8.7 Billion upgrader in Nov 2008.
    Jan 20 – Suncor Energy Inc, Canada halts construction of its $C 20.6 B oil sands expansion now in its Voyageur phase. The project includes the planned upgrader & new stages of SAGD operation known as Firebag phase. Suncor also halved previously lowered 2009 capital spending to $C Billion.
    Jan 17 – Enbridge Inc Canada shelved $C 346 MM ($US 277 MM) Pipeline reversal that could have shipped 170 MBD oil sands crude from Sarnia, Ontario to Maine tanker port. This would have supplied refineries in Montreal en route & replace  imported oil that the line now carries in opposite direction.
    Jan 10 – EnCana trims budget for 2009 to $C 6.1 B down from 2008 budget of $C 7.4 B but the Upgrader and coker projects for COP WRN refineries at Borger & Woodriver will not be impacted.
    Jan  7 – China CNOOC Huizhou Grassroots Refinery is ready to start construction of 2nd Phase $US 6.58 Billion expansion of 200 MBD by 2011 despite uncertain outlook of economy. The 240 MBD Huizhou Refinery & Coker was completed in Dec 2008 but will not be officially online until Mar 2009 due to some weather delays on deliveries.
    Jan  6 – Essar Oil Ltd. may delay $US 6 Billion expansion plan Vadinar Refinery for 2nd Stage & 2nd Coker project. The 1st stage expansion and coker addition completes in June 2010.
    Jan  2 – India Oil Corp (IOC) to expand Panipat Refinery (~by 60 MBD crude) and commission a naphtha cracker complex adjacent to the unit this year. This is IOC 7th refinery & it had a coker addition that was completed in 2006 that doubled refinery capacity to 240 MBD.
    Dec 15 – Connacher Oil & Gas Ltd Canada slows bitumen production at its Great Divide thermal OS project to 5 MBD from 9 MBD and suspends second $C 346 MM Alger project construction. <No coker but impacts availability Bitumen syncrude>.
    Dec  5 – Turkey Tupras Izmit Refinery to complete coker addition in 2008 which began construction in 2006. Foster Wheeler completed Izmit Refinery Clean Fuels project in the previous year 2007.
    Dec 5 – Kuwait may cancel its 4th Al-Zour Grassroots Refinery a $US 15 Billion with 615 MBD capacity due to alleged violations with Fluor Engineering firm bid and parliament opposition to high cost other bids to Japan & S. Korea. 
    Dec 4 – StatoilHydro Norway scraps a $C 16 B upgrader for oil sands. The company will go ahead with plans to produce up to 200 MBD bitumen but will sell it o the open market instead of turning it into more valuable synthetic oil.
    Dec 3 – Texas firm Fluor wins refinery construction contract on Illinois WRN Woodriver Refinery a COP & Encana JV to expand coker to use more Canadian Bitumen crude form EnCana Upgraded. Bechtel was also chose as contractor on project.
    Dec 2 – Chevron may sell refineries as Demand and Margins shrink due recessions in worlds largest economies. CVX operates or owns stakes in 18 plants that process 2.94 MMBPD crude and last refinery divestiture was in Netherlands plant for $US 900 MM in 2007.
    Nov 28 – Venezuela/ PDVSA reevaluates $US 7.5 billion funding for 300 MBD Ecuador & 150 MBD Nicaragua refineries to use its Bitumen crude, because of slumping oil prices. <Both projects later put on hold / canceled>
    Nov 27  – Irving Oil Ltd slows construction on its planned $C 7 Billion refinery at St John, New Brunswick and breaks it into two $C 4 B phases of 150 MBD each & stretching construction over 8 years instead 4 &  beginning in 2011.
    Nov 27 – BP Plc to finish work on New $US 300 MM Spanish Castellon Refinery 20 MBD Coker by end 2008.
    Nov 22 – Western Refining Inc is actively shopping its Yorktown Coking Refinery acquired in 2007 Giant $US 1.3 Billion acquisition that is causing its current debt problems. Giant had considered a Yorktown heavy crude & coker expansion prior to its purchase.
    Nov 21 – Province of Alberta is stepping back from aggressive new royalty regime scheduled for Jan 1, 2009 and offers a concession on royalties for transitional one time rate over five years. (Concession due to large number of canceled projects due economics & Royalty threat)
    Nov 18 – BP Whiting refinery is moving full speed ahead with $US 3.8 billion project to process Canadian Bitumen crude from Alberta Oil Sands despite the recent downward spiral in crude prices. The 4 year project has contractors working on the project now and will significantly increase workforce in 2009.
    Nov 17 – PetroCanada defers construction of an upgrader for its $C 21 B Fort Hills OS project.
    Nov 17 – Enbridge Inc has ongoing construction on its $US 2.1 Billion 424 miles Canadian crude P/L Southern Access Expansion project from Superior, Wisconsin to Pontiac, IL. The stage 1 for 321 miles P/L in Wisconsin completed Apr 2008 and is now in operation. A Stage 2 Southern Access Extension begins 2010 at end current work.
    Nov 14 – Foster Wheeler wins Contract FEED (front-end engineering & design) for Colombia Ecopetrol Barrancabermeja Refinery & coker addition for expansion to Clean Fuels & 300 MBD crude by 2013.
    Nov 13 – Harvest Energy Trust defers its $C 2 B expansion of Come By Chance refinery in Newfoundland.
    Nov  8 – NCRA Board Directors have decided to put on hold for now a new coker that was planned for the McPherson,KS refinery. The current economic situation was cited as reason. E & P work is suspended but site prep for the coker site will continue.
    Nov  9 – Saudi Aramco & Total SA delay bid round for the 400 MBD refinery at Jubail to Feb 2009.
    Nov  7 – Relinace Industries Ltd may delay the start of its new oil refinery & coker at Jamnagar. The plant doubling of capacity to 1.2 MM BPD will be completed in Dec 2008 but the plant may not start until early 2009 due to margins & tax incentives. 
    Nov 7 – Motiva recieves the delivery of three coker furnace cells for Port Arthur refinery $US 7 Billion expansion project to double capacity to 600 MBD.
    Nov  6 – CNRL (Canadian Natural Resources Ltd) slows spending on the 2nd Phase of its Horizon Oil Sands (OS) project for 2009 after the cost rise to $C 9.7 B on 1st phase – up 42% from the 2004 estimates.
    Nov  6 – ConocoPhillips & Saudi Aramco halted bidding on 400 MBD Yanbu JV refinery. The current bidding process to be delayed to 2Q 2009 on the project citing uncertainties in the financial & contracting markets.
    Nov  5 – Sunoco Inc scraps the Tulsa Refinery $US 375 MM upgrade to save money (refinery is up for sale, but if not sold may have to become an oil terminal).
    Oct 31 – Petrobras to take over ownership Pasadena Refinery System Inc (PSRI) & purchase Astra Oil Trading 50% stake in jointly owned refinery. Petrobras paid $US 360 MM for its 50% stake in 2006 has been eager to double refinery (& coker) to 200 MBD.
    Oct 31 – 125 MBD PetroCanada Edmonton Refinery Canada will begin to process 100% synthetic crude oil from oil sands instead of mix of synthetic and conventional crude after the returning in November from its August shutdown to upgrade equipment.
    Oct 31 – Marathon delays Detroit Refinery planned $US 1.98 Billion expansion amid lower crude prices. The project was to complete in 2010 but MRO is in the process of reevaluating the project construction schedule & working on new timeline & cost estimates.
    Oct 30 – Royal Dutch Shell delays its investment decision on a 2nd expansion of Athabasca OS project.
    Oct 28 – Valero has said it will cancle or defer projects at several refineries to cut cost by $500 MM or 17% and is expected to spend only $US 3.5 billion on capital & maintenance in 2009 instead of $US 4 B. The company canceled its Pt Arthur Refinery Coker expansion project and delayed to 2011 a hydrocracker project at Pt Arthur.
    Oct 23 – Suncor Energy delays OS upgrader Voyageur phase by one year to 2013. Expansion will boost OS production operations near Ft McMurray, Alberta to
    550 MBD from 350 MBD.
    Oct 23 – Nexen Inc & Opti Canada Inc delay a 2nd phase of Long Lake Oil Sands project to 2009.
    Oct 20 – Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez visited Nicaragua to lay cornerstone to new $US 3.9 Billion oil refinery but falling oil prices at 55% of July peak may dent ability of Venezuela to provide more than a mere brick. Deutsche Bank says Venezuela needs prices to stay at $95/Bbl for VZ to balance its budget which depends on 90% of export earnings. <A trap similar to that of Mexico’s PDVSA>

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