Showing posts with label Refining. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Refining. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

ADIPEC panel session on dowstream innovation

The Oilholic will be moderating a downstream panel session later today at ADIPEC 2019 and looking forward to a fantastic industry dialogue. 


The subject under discussion - Sustaining industry momentum in downstream: how will companies build an agile and resilient business model capable of withstanding the inevitable cyclical highs and lows in the years ahead? (Click image to enlarge banner)

And the panel includes: 
  • Abdulaziz Alhajri, Executive Director Downstream Directorate, ADNOC
  • Thomas Gangl, Chief Downstream, Operations Officer, OMV
  • Philippe Boisseau, CEO, CEPSA
  • François Good, Senior Vice President Refining & Petrochemicals Orient, Total
  • Catherine MacGregor, President, New Ventures, TechnipFMC
Here's to day II to in Abu Dhabi.

To follow The Oilholic on Twitter click here.
To follow The Oilholic on Forbes click here.

© Gaurav Sharma 2019. Photo © ADIPEC 2019 / DMG Events

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hawaii’s crude reality: Being a petrohead costs!

In a break from the ‘crude’ norm for visits to the USA, the Oilholic packed his bags from California and headed deep out to the Pacific and say ‘Aloha’ to newest and 50th United State of Hawaii. It’s good to be here in the Kona district of the Big Island and realise that Tokyo is a lot closer than London.

It is interesting to note that Hawaii is the only US state still retaining the Union Jack in its flag and insignia. The whole flag itself is a deliberate hybrid symbol of British and American historic ties to Hawaii and traces its origins to Captain John Vancouver – the British Naval officer after whom the US and Canadian cities of Vancouver and Alaska’s Mount Vancouver are named.

What’s not good being here is realising that a 1.3 million plus residents of these northernmost isles in Polynesia pay the most for their energy and electricity needs from amongst their fellow citizens in the US. It is easy to see why, as part dictated by location constraints Hawaii presently generates over 75% of its electricity by burning Petroleum.

Giving the geography and physical challenges, most of the crude oil is shipped either from Alaska and California or overseas. Furthermore, the Islands have no pipelines as building these is not possible owing to volcanic and seismic activity. Here’s a view of one active crater – the Halema’uma’u in Kilauea Caldera (see above right). You can actually smell the sulphur dioxide while there as the Oilholic was earlier today. In fact the entire archipelago was created courtesy of volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. The Big Island’s landmass of five plates is created out of Mauna Kea (dormant) and Mauna Loa (partly active) and the island is technically growing at moment as Kilaueu still spews lava which cools and forms land.

So both crude and distillates have to be moved by oil tankers between the islands or tanker lorries on an intra-island basis. The latter  creates regional pricing disparities. For instance in Hilo, the commercial heart of the Big Island and where the tanker docking stations are, gasoline is cheaper than Kona by almost 40-50 cents per gallon. The latter receives its distillates by road once tankers have docked at Hilo.

The state has two refineries both at Kapolei on the island of O‘ahu 20 miles west of capital Honolulu – one apiece owned by Tesoro and Chevron. The bigger of the two has a 93,700 barrels per day (bpd) and is owned by Tesoro; the recent buyer of BP’s Carson facility. However in January Tesoro put its Hawaiian asset up for sale.

Tesoro, which bought the refinery for US$275 million from BHP Petroleum Americas in 1998, said it no longer fitted with its strategic focus on the US Midcontinent and West Cost. The company expects the sale to be completed by the end of the year. Its Hawaiian retail operations, which include 32 gas stations, will also be part of the deal. Chevron operates Kapolei’s other refinery with a 54,000 bpd capacity. Between the two, there is enough capacity to meet Hawaii’s guzzling needs and the pressures imposed by US forces operations in the area.

In this serene paradise with volcanic activity and ample tidal movement, power generation from tidal and geothermal is not inconceivable and facilities do exist. In fact, for the remaining 25% of its energy mix, the state is one of eight US states with geothermal power generation and ranks third among them. Additionally, solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity increased by 150% in 2011, making Hawaii the 11th biggest US state for PV capacity. However, it is not nearly enough.

One simple solution that is being attempted is natural gas – something which local officials confirmed to the Oilholic. The EIA has also noted Hawaii’s moves in this direction. Oddly enough, while Hawaii hardly uses much natural gas, it is one of a handful of US states which actually produces synthetic natural gas. Switching from petroleum-based power generation to natural gas for much of Hawaii’s power generation could lower the state’s power bills considerably as the massive disconnect between US natural gas and crude oil prices looks set to continue.

Strong ‘gassy’ moves are afoot and anecdotal evidence here suggests feelers are being sent out to Canada, among others. In August, Hawaii Gas applied for a permit with the Federal Government to ship LNG to Hawaii from the West Coast. While the deliveries will commence later this year, arriving volumes of LNG would be small in the first phase of the project, according to Hawaii Gas. At least it is a start and the State House Bill 1464 now requires public utilities to provide 25% of net electricity sales from renewable sources by December 31, 2020 and 40% of net electricity sales from renewables by December 31, 2030.

That’s all for the moment folks as the Oilholic needs to explore the Big Island further via the old fashioned way which requires no crude or distillates – its the trusty old bicycle! Going back to history, it was Captain James Cook and not Vancouver who located these isles for the Western World in 1778. Regrettably, he got cooked following fracas with the locals in 1779 and peace was not made between Brits and locals until Vancouver returned years later.

Moving away from history, yours truly leaves you with a peaceful view of Punaluʻu or the Black Sand beach (see above left)! It is what nature magnificently created when fast flowing molten lava rapidly cooled and reached the Pacific Ocean. According to a US Park Ranger, the beach’s black sand is made of basalt with a high carbon content. It is a sight to behold and the Oilholic is truly beholden! On a visit there, you have a 99.99% chance of spotting the endangered Hawksbill and Green turtles lounging on the black sand. For once, yours truly is glad there are no bloody pipelines in the area blotting the landscape. More from Hawaii later - keep reading, keep it ‘crude’!

© Gaurav Sharma 2012. Photo 1: Halema’uma’u, Kilauea Caldera. Photo 2: Punaluʻu - the Black Sand beach, Hawaii, USA © Gaurav Sharma 2012.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Speculators, production & San Diego’s views

It is good to be in the ‘unified’ port of San Diego, California for a few days to get some crude views, especially those of the trading types who have a pad on the city’s Ocean Beach waterfront looking out to the Pacific. While the view from one of their living room windows is a testament to the current serenity of the Pacific Ocean (an example on the left), markets are anything but serene with politicians blaming paper traders for the current volatility.

Instead of shrugging and quipping ‘typical’, most admit candidly that the ratio of paper (or virtual) barrels versus physical barrels will continue to rise. Some can and quite literally do sit on the beach and trade with no intention of queuing at the end of pipeline in Cushing, Oklahoma to collect their crude cargo.

Anecdotal evidence suggests the ratio of paper versus physically traded barrels has risen from 8:1 at the turn of millennium to as high as 33:1 in 2012. Furthermore, one chap reminds the Oilholic not to forget the spread betting public. “They actually don’t even enter the equation but have a flutter on the general direction of crude benchmarks and in some cases – for instance you Brits – all winnings are tax free,” he added.

Nonetheless, on his latest visit to the USA, yours truly sees the supply and demand dynamic stateside undergoing a slow but sure change. In fact old merchant navy hands in San Diego, which is a unified port because the air and sea ports are next to each other, would tell you that American crude import and export dispatch patterns are changing. Simply put, with shale oil (principally in Eagle Ford) and rising conventional production in Texas and North Dakota in the frame and the economy not growing as fast as it should – the US is importing less and less of the crude stuff from overseas.

The IEA projects a fall of 2.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in imports by US refiners and reckons the global oil trading map and direction of oil consignments would be redrawn by 2017. Not only the US, but many nations with new projects coming onstream would find internal use for their product. India’s prospection drive and Saudi Arabia’s relatively new oilfield of Manifa are noteworthy examples.

So a dip in Middle Eastern crude exports by 2017 won’t all be down to an American production rise but a rise in domestic consumption of other producer nations as well. Overall, the IEA reckons 32.9 million bpd will trade between different regions around the globe; a dip of 1.6 million bpd over last year. With some believing that much of this maybe attributed to dipping volumes of light sweet crude demanded by the US; the thought probably adds weight to Eastward forays of oil traders like Vitol, Glencore and Gunvor. Such sentiments are also already having an impact on widening Brent’s premium to the WTI with the latter not necessarily reflecting global market patterns.

Elsewhere, while the Oilholic has been away, it seems BP has been at play. In a statement to the London Stock Exchange on Monday, BP said it had agreed 'heads of terms' to sell its 50% stake in Russian subsidiary TNK-BP to Rosneft for US$28 billion via a mixture of US$17.1 billion cash and shares representing 12.84% (of Rosneft). BP added that it intends to use US$4.8 billion of the cash payment to purchase a further 5.66% of Rosneft from the Russian government.

BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg said, “TNK-BP has been a good investment and we are now laying a new foundation for our work in Russia. Rosneft is set to be a major player in the global oil industry. This material holding in Rosneft will, we believe, give BP solid returns.”

With BP’s oligarch partners at AAR already having signed a MoU with Rosneft, the market is in a state of fervour over the whole of TNK-BP being bought out by the Russian state energy company. Were this to happen, Rosneft would have a massive crude oil production capacity of 3.15 million bpd and pass a sizeable chunk of Russian production from private hands to state control. It would also pile on more debt on an already indebted company. Its net debt is nearing twice its EBITA and a swoop for the stake of both partners in TNK-BP would need some clever financing.

Continuing with the corporate front, the Canadian government has rejected Petronas' US$5.4 billion bid for Progress Energy Resources. The latter said on Sunday that it was "disappointed" with Ottawa’s decision. The company added that it would attempt to find a possible solution for the deal. Industry Minister Christian Paradis said in a statement on Friday that he had sent a letter to Petronas indicating he was "not satisfied that the proposed investment is likely to be of net benefit to Canada."

Meanwhile civil strife is in full swing in Kuwait according to the BBC World Service as police used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse large numbers of people demonstrating against the dissolution of parliament by Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah whose family have ruled the country for over 200 years.

In June, a Kuwaiti court declared elections for its 50-seat parliament in February, which saw significant gains for the Islamist-led opposition, invalid and reinstated a more pro-government assembly. There has been trouble at the mill ever since. Just a coincidental footnote to the Kuwaiti unrest – the IEA’s projected figure of 2.6 million bpd fall in crude imports of US refiners by 2017, cited above in this blog post, is nearly the current daily output of Kuwait (just to put things into context) ! That’s all from San Diego folks! It’s nearly time to say ‘Aloha’ to Hawaii. But before that the Oilholic leaves you with a view of USS Midway (above right), once an aircraft carrier involved in Vietnam and Gulf War I and currently firmly docked in San Diego harbour as a museum. In its heydays, the USS Midway housed over 4,000 naval personnel and over 130 aircraft.

According to a spokesperson, the USS Midway, which wasn’t nuclear-powered, had a total tank capacity of 2.5 million gallons of diesel to power it and held 1.5 million gallons of jet fuel for the aircraft. It consumed 250,000 gallons of diesel per day, while jet fuel consumption during operations came in at 150,000 gallons per day during flying missions. Now that’s gas guzzling to protect and serve before we had nuclear powered carriers. Keep reading, keep it ‘crude’!

© Gaurav Sharma 2012. Photo 1: Ocean Beach, San Diego. Photo 2: USS Midway, California, USA © Gaurav Sharma 2012.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Californian emission law, refiners & Muir woods

When in town, spending a few hours watching shipping lanes in the San Francisco bay area is an old pastime of the Oilholic’s, especially when it comes to spotting oil tankers which bring in some of the crude stuff to the area's refiners.

This morning, while sitting on Pier 39, yours truly spotted three pass by along with a few loaded containers - all following a well practised drill moving along a designated route under the Golden Gate Bridge, past Alcatraz Island before turning away left. Away from eye-view and the rather tranquil shipping lanes, there is local trouble at the mill for the already beleaguered refiners who have to contend with overcapacity and stunted margins.

It comes in the shape of a gradual but steady implementation of California's (relatively) new environmental regulations by 2020. This piece of regulation is known as California's Global Warming Solutions Act a.k.a. the AB 32, the central objective of which is to reduce Californian greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

According to the California Air Resources Board, in 2013 it will begin enforcing a state-wide cap on greenhouse gas emissions. The cap-and-trade programme coupled with the Low Carbon Fuel Standard would give California some of the most stringent air quality and emissions laws in the USA, although a spokesperson refused to describe it as such.

Ratings agency Moody’s believes refining and marketing (R&M) companies Tesoro, Alon USA, Phillips 66 and Valero are particularly exposed to the gradual implementation of the new environmental rules.

"California's increasingly stringent environmental regulations will challenge refiners over the next decade, increasing operating costs and negatively impacting refined product demand. These new rules will reduce cash flow that could be used for debt repayment or strategic growth and could discourage refiners from investing in California," says Gretchen French, a senior analyst and Vice President at Moody’s.

Among the majors, Chevron which has a significant refinery capacity in California, is likely to feel the impact most among its peers. Nonetheless as ratings agencies generally tend to rate integrated oil & gas companies higher than R&M only companies, Chevron should have no immediate concerns. The company's long-term debt is rated by Moody’s Aa1 with a stable outlook according to a communiqué dated March 27th.

The agency believes Chevron's ratings reflect its significant scale and globally integrated operations, its diversified upstream reserves and production portfolio, and a strong financial profile, which is underpinned by strong cash flow coverage metrics, low financial leverage, robust capital returns, and a conservative approach to shareholder rewards.

Furthermore, Chevron's strong liquidity profile is characterised by free cash flow generation, ongoing asset sales proceeds, and a large cash position. Chevron's liquidity is further supported by US$6 billion of unused committed credit facilities due in December 2016. Moody's does not expect the new rules to affect the ratings for Tesoro, Alon, Phillips 66 or Valero either over the near to medium term, but the new standards could limit credit accretion.

"Well diversified companies with high financial flexibility and strong liquidity will shoulder the new burdens and weaker demand most easily. Refiners with efficient cost structures and high distillate yields will retain the greatest advantage," French says.

Additionally, a pool of commentators here in the Bay Area seem to suggest that most players – especially Tesoro and Valero – have had a fair bit of time to indulge in regulatory risk mitigation. This piece of legislation was to be expected as California has admirably been a state keen on conservation, forestry and the environment.

The “Father of the US National Parks” – John Muir – an author, naturist and an early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the USA did most of his life’s important work here in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range. In 1908, Muir who also founded one the country’s most important conservation organisation – the Sierra Club – had a national park named after him. This amazing redwood forest - the Muir Woods National Monument near San Francisco - now provides joy to countless visitors among whom the Oilholic was one this afternoon.

More than six miles of trails are open for visitors to experience an easy walk on the valley floor through the primeval redwood forest. Though the forest is naturally quiet, the Oilholic is in agreement with the US National Park Service, that people are key to preserving the ancient tranquillity of an old-growth forest in our noisy, modern world. That’s all for the moment folks! Keep reading, keep it ‘crude’!

© Gaurav Sharma 2012. Photo 1: Oil Tanker in the San Francisco Bay Area shipping lane. Photo 2: Valero Pump. Photo 3: Collage of Muir Woods National Monument, California, USA © Gaurav Sharma.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Three Months, Three Cities, Three ‘crude’ reports

The three cities being – Delhi, Doha and Vienna, the three reports being Oilholic’s work on Latin American Offshore, Shale Oil & Gas and Refineries projects outlook, research for which was spread over December, January and February from the 20th World Petroleum Congress to the 160th OPEC Meeting to the streets of ‘crude’ Delhi.

The last of the three reports was published by Infrastructure Journal on Feb 29th and while the analysis in the reports remains the preserve of the Journal’s subscribers, the Oilholic is more than happy to share a few snippets starting with the Latin American offshore landscape, which shows no signs of a post ‘Macondo’ hangover [1].

In fact, the month of May, will be a momentous one for the region’s offshore oil & gas projects market in general and Brazil in particular, as the country would dispatch its first shipment of oil from ultradeepwater pre-sal (‘below the salt layer’) sources. The said export consignment of 1 million barrels destined for Chile is a relatively minor one in global crude oil volume terms. However, its significance for offshore prospection off Latin American waters is immense.

When thinking about Latin American offshore projects think Brazil; think Brazil and think Petrobras’ Lula test well in the Santos basin, named after the former president, which is producing 100,000 barrels per day (bpd). Almost over a third of the Chilean consignment originated from the Lula well according to the Oilholic’s sources.

What should excite project financiers, corporate financiers and technical advisers alike is the fact the company expects to pump nearly 5 million bpd by 2020 and its ambitious drive needs investment.

However, ignoring other jurisdictions in the region and focussing only on Brazil, its promise and problems would be a fallacy. Others such as Argentina, Columbia and prospection in Falkland Islands waters are worth examining, the latter especially from the standpoint of corporate financed asset acquisitions.

Data always helps in contextualising the market movements. Using the present Infrastructure Journal data series on project finance, which commenced in 2005, figures certainly suggest the sun is shining on the Brazilian offshore industry. Of the 15 Latin American offshore projects on record which reached financial close between October 2006 and Sept 2011, 13 were Brazilian along with one apiece from Panama and Peru (Click on pie-chart above to enlarge). With a cumulative deal valuation of just under US$9.3 billion, among these Brazil’s Guara FPSO valued at US$1.2 billion led the way reaching financial close in June 2011.

The year 2010, was a particularly good one for Brazil with five projects reaching financial close. Over the last three years, sponsors of offshore projects in the country have been consistent in approaching the debt markets and bringing three to five projects per annum to financial close, with 2011 following that trend.

Moving on to the Oilholic’s second report, for all intents and purposes, Shale oil & gas prospection has been the energy story of the last half decade and Q1 2012 would be an apt time to scrutinise the ‘Fracks’ and figures[2].

To say that shale gas has altered the American energy landscape would be the understatement of the decade, or to be more specific at least half a decade. Courtesy of the process of hydraulic ‘fracking’, shale gas prospection – most of which was initially achieved in the US by independent upstart project developers – has been an epic game changer.

US shale gas production stood at 4.9 trillion cubic feet (tcf) by end-2011, which is 25% of total US production up from 4% in 2005. Concurrently, net production itself is rising exponentially owing to the shale drive according to the EIA.

Project finance aside, it is in the corporate finance data where the shale story is truly reflected – i.e. one of a steady rise both in terms of deal valuation as well as the number of projects. From four corporate infrastructure finance deals valued at US$1.89 billion in 2009, both data metrics posted an uptick to seven deals valued at US$8.35 billion in 2010 and 10 deals valued at US$7.58 billion in 2011 (Click on bar-chart above to enlarge).

However, a short term global replication of a US fracking heaven is unlikely and not just because there isn’t a one size fits all model to employ. While American success with shale projects has not escaped the notice of Europeans; financiers and sponsors in certain quarters of the ‘old continent’ are pragmatic enough to acknowledge that Europe is no USA. The recent shale projects bonanza stateside is no geological fluke; rather it bottles down to a combination of geology, American tenacity and inventiveness.

Europe’s best bet is Poland, but European shale oil & gas projects market is unlikely to record an uptick between 2012 to 2017 on a scale noticed in North America in general and the USA in particular between 2007 and 2012. The financing for shale projects – be it corporate finance or project finance – would be a slow, but steady trickle rather than a stream beyond North America.

Finally, to the Refineries report, given the wider macroeconomic climate, refinery infrastructure investment continues to face severe challenges in developed jurisdictions and Western markets[3]. Concurrently, the balance of power in this subsector of the oil & gas infrastructure market is rapidly tipping in favour of the East.

Even if refinery investment of state-owned Chinese oil & gas behemoths, which rarely approach the debt markets, is ignored – there is a palpable drive in emerging economies elsewhere in favour of refinery investment as they do not have to contend with overcapacity issues hounding the EU and North America.

For some it is a needs-based investment; for others it makes geopolitical sense as their Western peers holdback on investing in this subsector. The need for refined products is often seen superseding concerns about low refining margins, especially in the Indian subcontinent and Asia Pacific.

Industry data, empirical, anecdotal evidence and direct feedback from industry participants do not fundamentally alter the Oilholic’s view of tough times ahead for refinery infrastructure. As cracking crude oil remains a strategic business, investing in refinery infrastructure reflects this sentiment, investor appetite and financiers' attitudes.

According to current IJ data, investment in refinery infrastructure via private or semi-private financing continues to remain muted; a trend which began in 2008. In fact, 2011 has been the most wretched year since the publication began recording refinery project finance data.

Updated figures suggest the year 2010, which saw the artificial fillip of Saudi Arabia’s mega Jubail refinery project (valued at US$14.04 billion) reach financial close, has been the best year so far for refinery project finance valuation despite closing a mere two projects. However, industry pragmatists would look at 2008 which saw ten projects valued at US$9.39 billion as a much better year (Click on bar-chart above to enlarge).

From there on it has been a tale of post global financial crisis woes with the market struggling to show any semblance of a recovery and most of the growth coming from non-OECD jurisdictions. In 2009, three projects valued at US$4.79 billion reached financial close, followed by two projects including Jubail valued at US$15.04 billion in 2010, and another two projects valued at US$1.49 billion in 2011. By contrast, the pre-crisis years of 2005, 2006 and 2007 averaged US$6.71 billion in terms of transaction valuations.

A general market trend in favour of non-OECD project finance investment in refineries is obviously mirrored in the table of the top deals between 2005 and 2011 (above). Of the five, four are in non-OECD countries – led by Jubail Refinery (Saudi Arabia) valued at US$14.04 billion which closed in 2010, followed by Guru Gobind Singh Bhatinda Refinery, India (valued at US$4.69 billion, financial close – 2007), Jamnagar 2 Refinery, India (US$4.50 billion, financial close – 2006) and Paradip refinery, India (US$2.99 billion, financial close – 2009).

Only one deal from an OECD nation, which is a very recent member of the club, made it to the top five, namely Poland’s Grupa Lotos Gdansk Refinery Expansion valued at US$2.85 billion which reached financial close in 2008. Simply put, the future of infrastructure investment in this sub-component of the oil & gas business lies increasingly in the East wherein India could be a key market. That’s all for the moment folks! Keep reading, keep it ‘crude’!

NOTES:

[1] Latin American Offshore O&G Outlook 2012: Brazil’s decade, By Gaurav Sharma, Infrastructure Journal, January 17, 2012. Available here.

[2] Shale Oil & Gas Outlook 2012: The ‘Fracks’ and figures, By Gaurav Sharma, Infrastructure Journal, January 25, 2012. Available here.

[3] Refinery Projects Outlook 2012: ‘Cracking’ times for Eastern markets, By Gaurav Sharma, Infrastructure Journal, February 29, 2012. Available here.

© Gaurav Sharma 2012. Graphics: Pie Chart 1 – Latin American Offshore Project Finance transactions (October 2006 to Sept 2011), Bar Chart 1 – Number of Shale Corporate Finance transactions (2009-2011), Bar Chart 2 – Refinery Project Finance Valuation (2005-2011) © Infrastructure Journal.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Hello Doha! Time for kick-off at 20th WPC

The Oilholic arrived in Doha late last night before the biggest bash in the oil & gas business kicks-off in Qatar – yup its 20th World Petroleum Congress! Sadly a very late arrival at the hotel meant, the first square meal was not a local delicacy – but a visit to Dunkin’ Donuts which was just about the only place open at 12:20 am local time. Still there’ll be plenty of opportunities to savour local delights over the next five days!

As the opening ceremony takes place later this evening, there is lots to discuss already following Shell’s announcement about its withdrawal from the Syrian market in wake of EU sanctions. Other oil companies are simply bound to follow suit. Syrian officials are expected to be in attendance but it is highly doubtful that the Oilholic would gain an attendance with them.

A few more bits before things get going, one hears that Fitch Ratings expects the credit profiles of the European oil majors to remain stable in 2012 despite the risk of a possible slowdown in revenue growth combined with still ambitious investment spending programmes of around US$90 billion over the following four quarters. The agency believes sector revenue growth in 2012 will probably slow to single digits from more than 20% in 2011, according to a new research note.

The Oilholic also had the pleasure of interviewing Eduardo de Cerqueira Leite, the chairman of (currently) the world’s largest law firm by revenue – Baker & McKenzie – on behalf of Infrastructure Journal. Leite does not believe the integrated model of combining upstream, downstream and midstream businesses is dead as far as major oil companies are concerned.

“We saw Marathon Oil Corp split off its refining business and know that ConocoPhillips is planning to do the same. By spinning off R&M infrastructure assets a company can focus on producing oil and gas, particularly in the more innovative areas of offshore oil exploration and unconventional oil and gas production,” he said.

“However, we are not seeing all of the majors spin off their R&M divisions. Many still have a need for refining expertise and processing plants due to the increasing development of liquefied natural gas, natural gas liquids and high-sulphur heavy crudes. So, I wouldn't call the integrated model dead, although we are seeing changes to it,” Leite concludes.

That’s it for now. Keep reading, keep it 'crude'!

© Gaurav Sharma 2011. Photo: Doha Skyline © WPC. Logo: 20th World Petroleum Congress © WPC.

Contact:

For comments or for professional queries, please email: gaurav.sharma@oilholicssynonymous.com

To follow The Oilholic on Twitter click here
To follow The Oilholic on Google+ click here
To follow The Oilholic on Forbes click here