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christa.jpg (5628 bytes) Chemical Industry News Editor Christa Semko
Every two weeks, Christa will bring you the latest chemical industry news from around the world.  If you have a press release that you'd like to share with us, please mail it to us through our online contact form here.

Dateline: October 14, 2010

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North America


Awesome Products will invest $44 million and add 240 employees as it expands its east Arkansas operation. The company already employs 80 people at its West Memphis facilities, which will be upgraded. In addition, it will build a new plant in Marked Tree.


Gulf Coast Fractionators, a partnership among ConocoPhillips, Devon Energy Corp., and Targa Resources Partners LP, will expand the capacity of its natural gas liquids fractionation facility in Mont Belvieu, Texas. The maximum gross fractionation capacity will be expanded to 145,000 barrels/day. The expansion is expected to be operational during the second quarter of 2012, subject to regulatory approvals.


Offshore Drilling Ban

The Obama administration is lifting the six-month moratorium on deep water oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico imposed after the BP oil spill. The administration has been under heavy pressure from the industry, regional officials, political leaders and businesses to lift the moratorium on the grounds it has thrown workers off their jobs and damaged the economy. The move to lift the moratorium will include new requirements for those seeking to drill exploratory wells.



Apache Corp. has completed its $3.25 billion acquisition of most of BPís upstream natural gas assets in Canada. The transaction is part of Apacheís previously announced $7 billion acquisition of BP assets in Texas, Canada and Egypt. Apache has already closed the $3.1 billion deal for oil fields and gas processing plants in Texas and southeast New Mexico. The oil exploration and production assets in Egypt are worth about $650 million. Apache will take control of the Canadian properties on November 1.


New Office

Honeywell International Inc. will open an office in Baghdad, Iraq to make equipment for the countryís oil and gas industry. The company also plans to open other offices in the country over the next five years.

Long-Term Contract

Air Liquide has signed a long-term agreement with RusVinyl, a joint venture between Sibur and Solvin. Air Liquide will supply oxygen, nitrogen and compressed dry air to RusVinylís new PVC plant being built in Kstovo, Russia. Air Liquide will invest, build and operate a new Air Separation Unit with a capacity of more than 350 tons/day of oxygen in Kstovo, which is scheduled to start up at the end of 2012.

Prototype Process

Global Bioenergies announced the first prototype of its manufacturing process for the biological production of isobutene. The process relies on the use of a bacterial strain harboring an artificial metabolic pathway created by the company. An initial series of bacterial strains were developed that can produce isobutene by transforming glucose.        

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