and services on critical equipment as recommended by the
original equipment manufacturer, Naidoo said.
The company, which previously warned of potential supply
disruptions during the shutdown period, did not disclose details regarding impacts to supply commitments as a result of the
The Enref refinery, South Africa’s second largest, produces
automotive, industrial, aviation, and marine fuels, as well as
bitumen, lubricants, and a range of chemicals and solvents.
PDVSA restarts FCCU at Amuay refinery
Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) has restarted the fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) at its 645,000-b/d Amuay refinery
in northwestern Venezuela’s Falcon state following the unit’s
unplanned shutdown in early July.
Corrective maintenance on the 166,500-b/d FCCU has been
completed, with the unit reentering operations as of Aug. 25,
Repairs to the unit previously were scheduled to wrap on
or about July 28, the state-run company said previously (OGJ
Online, July 20, 2015).
PDVSA shuttered the unit on July 1 following unidentified
problems with its regenerator and associated minor equipment.
Remaining processing units at the Amuay refinery as well as
at the nearby 310,000-b/d Cardon refinery—which together comprise PDVSA’s 955,000-b/d Paraguana Refining Center continued
to operate normally during the unplanned maintenance period.
Despite the unit’s extended outage, the company said it
maintains sufficient fuel inventories to meet both its domestic
and international supply commitments.
TRANSPOR TATION QUICK TAKES
PHMSA will award $54.1 million in safety grants
The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
plans to award nearly $54.1 million in grants to support pipeline
safety programs in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, the US Department of Transportation agency reported.
“These grants ensure state programs have the funding they
need for resources, including personnel and equipment, to
protect communities, carry out inspections, and enforce safety
regulations that keep the entire pipeline network as safe as possible,” US Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx said.
PHMSA Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez announced the grants before an audience of state inspectors and
regulators as part of the annual National Association of Pipeline
Safety Representatives Board of Directors meeting in Tempe,
Ariz., on Sept. 1.
“These grants extend the reach of PHMSA and our State
partners into our communities,” she said. “[They] allow us to
have a strong local presence that is vital to effectively monitor
pipelines and help protect the public from pipeline incidents.”
PHMSA said the grants provide as much as 80% of operating
costs for state pipeline regulatory agencies that agree to inspect
intrastate pipelines on the federal agency’s behalf.
Participating states and territories account for 330 inspectors who are responsible for more than 80% of the nation’s
intrastate natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline mileage,
the DOT agency said. More than 2. 6 million miles of pipelines
transport oil and gas to homes and businesses throughout the
country, it noted.
Extension sought for Mackenzie Gas Project
The earliest possible construction start for the Mackenzie
Gas Project, which would connect natural gas fields in the
Canadian Arctic with northwestern Alberta, is 2022, according to a request by project sponsors for an extension in federal approval.
Canada’s National Energy Board approved the project in December 2010 and issued a certificate of public convenience and
necessity for the 1,220-km Mackenzie Valley Pipeline the following March (OGJ Online, Mar. 11, 2011). Unless extended, approval
expires at the end of this year if construction doesn’t begin.
“Due to the current challenging North American natural gas
market conditions, a decision to construct the project has not yet
been made,” lead sponsor Imperial Oil advised in letter to the NEB.
The company asked the board to extend the sunset clause to Dec.
31, 2022, “to provide time to determine if the currently oversupplied North American natural gas market will recover sufficiently
to warrant a resumption in the project work.”
If Imperial and its partners decided to proceed with the
project, the letter said, they would need about 4 years for preconstruction work including fiscal framework discussions, detailed engineering, and “extensive” permitting.
“As a result,” the letter said, “2022 is expected to be the earli-
est possible construction start.”
The project is based on a 6-tcf gas resource in three Macken-
zie Delta fields in Northwest Territories. In addition to the gas
pipeline and field developments, work would include construc-
tion of a gathering system, gas processing plant, and 457-km
natural gas liquids pipeline between Inuvik and Norman Wells.
Cenovus completes purchase of rail terminal
Cenovus Energy Inc. has completed the purchase of a crude-by-rail transloading facility in Bruderheim, Alta., from Canexus
Corp. Both companies are based in Calgary.
Originally called North American Terminal Operations, the
facility, about 50 km northeast of Edmonton, has been renamed
Bruderheim Energy Terminal.
Cenovus began moving oil through the terminal last year
and currently transports crude oil from its Foster Creek steam-assisted gravity drainage operation to Bruderheim via the Cold
Lake pipeline. The terminal also has connections to the Access
crude oil pipeline and links to the Canadian Pacific and Canadian National rail lines.
“The acquisition is part of Cenovus’s strategy to build a strong
portfolio of transportation options to help maximize market access and capture global prices for its oil,” the company said.