Total said it expects to hold a 50% stake in the new JV.
Total’s announcement of the proposed partnership with
Nova Chemicals and Borealis follows the French operator’s
previous confirmation of its plan build a 1 million-tpy ethane
steam cracker at the Port Arthur production site, which alongside the refinery, also hosts BASF Corp. (60%)-TPRI (40%)
jointly owned BASF Total Petrochemicals LCC’s more than 1
million-tpy ethylene plant.
According to its 2016 annual report to investors released in
March, Total completed front-end engineering design for Port
Arthur’s proposed ethane steam cracker in mid-2016.
Total also said on Mar. 27 that it has let a contract to CB&I,
Houston, to provide engineering, procurement, and construction services for the new cracker.
Magellan Midstream settles Texas splitter dispute
Magellan Midstream Partners LP has entered into a fee-based,
take-or-pay agreement with Trafigura Trading LLC for the
exclusive use of Magellan’s 50,000-b/d condensate splitter in
Corpus Christi, Tex. The agreement was made as part of an
amicable resolution of a dispute between the parties under the
previous contract. Magellan has dismissed its lawsuit against
Trafigura as part of the resolution.
Magellan recently completed construction of the splitter,
which is fully supported by the long-term commitment from
Trafigura. Magellan expects to begin commercial operation of
the splitter during late second quarter.
In conjunction with the agreement, Magellan will build an
additional 300,000 bbl of storage to bring total storage supporting the splitter to 1. 5 million bbl. The firm also will make other
minor modifications to the splitter, increasing expected capital
spending for the project to $330 million.
TRANSPOR TATION QUICK TAKES
Chevron brings Gorgon Train 3 on stream
A joint venture led by Chevron Australia has begun production
of LNG from Train 3 at its Gorgon-Jansz project on Barrow Island in Western Australia.
The 5. 2 million-tonne/year train will enable the $54-billion
Gorgon facilities to ramp up to full production capacity of 15. 6
The start-up comes just after the project shipped its 50th
LNG cargo from the island earlier this month.
While describing the start of the third train as a milestone
event, Nibel Hearn, Chevron Australia managing director, also
recently noted that there is unlikely to be any near-term investments in a fourth train at the site.
The costly project has been plagued by problems during its
long construction period. Train 1 came on stream 12 months
ago, but shipped just one cargo before production was stopped
for lengthy remedial work. Train 2 came on stream in October
last year and quickly ramped up to 90% of nameplate capac-
ity before it, too, suffered a short suspension of production in
February. It was shut down again in early March for planned
maintenance work, which the company says will enable modi-
fication works to improve the train’s capacity and reliability.
Chevron added that the commissioning of Train 3 went
smoothly and the company has applied the experience gained
from the start-up of the first two trains to put the project on
track to reach its full planned capacity.
The Gorgon-Jansz consortium is Chevron 50%, and Exxon-
Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, 25% each.
Chevron’s other big project in Western Australia, the
$34-billion Wheatstone LNG development, is on schedule to
begin production at midyear.
Refining NZ seeks bigger oil cargoes into Northland
New Zealand Refining Co. Ltd. (Refining NZ) is seeking public
consultation on a proposed project to bring in bigger cargoes of
crude oil to its 107,000-b/d refinery at Northland, in Marsden
Point, New Zealand, near Whangarei.
A detailed overview of the project will be available in and
around Whangarei from Mar. 25 with refinery staff on hand to
answer questions and receive public feedback, which will be
followed by more formal information days from Apr. 7-8, where
interested parties will be able to speak with independent experts about a series of in-depth studies related to the proposal,
Refining NZ said.
This second round of public consultation follows the first
round of broader consultation in March 2015, the feedback
from which has continued to shape Refining NZ’s evaluation of
and approach to the project, the refiner said.
Under its current proposal, Refining NZ is seeking to accommodate deliveries of larger crude cargoes into Marsden
Point by deepening the shipping channel at the entrance to
Whangarei Harbor and around the refinery jetties and turning
basin (where ships turn as they depart) via dredging, as well as
straightening the channel’s current S-shaped bend through a
While Aframax oil tankers (700,000 bbl) deliver the majority of crude feedstock to the refinery, larger Suezmax tankers
( 1 million bbl) that occasionally carry crude to Marsden Point
can do so only partially loaded because the shipping channel is
not deep enough to allow the Suezmax tankers to carry in full-capacity shipments.
Since Suezmax vessels already visit the refinery, the planned
project would reduce the number of frequency of crude tankers
entering the harbor since crude deliveries would be arriving in
larger-sized parcels, Refining NZ said.
Should the project advance, up to half of the refinery’s delivered crude shipments (about 20 million bbl/year) would arrive
on ships carrying 1 million bbl at a time vs. current ship deliveries of 500,000-700,000 bbl), helping to improve Refining
NZ’s freight economics, and, as a result, its ability to compete
with imported fuels (OGJ Online, Oct. 25, 2016).
A definitive timeline for the project, however, has yet to be