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Chexpress - July 14, 2011

North America

Oil Rig Contract

General Electric Co. won a $45 million contract to supply and service a Chevron deep water oil drilling rig in the Gulf Coast. GE will build an oil rig in Chevron’s “Big Foot” oil field that will drill at a depth of 5,200 feet. GE is modifying a normal tension leg platform rig to be able to withstand wave and current conditions at deep water levels. The new rig will be Chevron’s sixth operated facility in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and will be located at 225 miles south of New Orleans, Louisiana.


Honeywell International Inc. will invest $33 million in its Baton Rouge, Louisiana plant so it can produce a propellant the company has developed for use in cleaners, insulation, warning systems, marine navigation and novelty aerosols. The investment will enable the 61-year-old factory to produce Honeywell HFO-1234ze, which has a global warming potential well below the threshold set by European authorities, on a commercial level. Production is to start in late 2013.

Joint Venture

Dow Chemical Co. and Ube Industries Ltd. have agreed to form a joint venture to manufacture electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries. The 50-50 joint venture will be named Advanced Electrolyte Technologies LLC and is expected to be finalized later this year, pending regulatory approval. Dow said the joint venture will allow it to expand its alternative energy offerings. The joint venture’s first manufacturing facility is expected to be built at Dow’s home base in Midland, Michigan, for startup next year.

Worker Dies

A contract worker at WRB Refining LLC in Wood River, Illinois died after falling from an asphalt storage tank. The refinery is operated by ConocoPhillips. The worker was performing routine maintenance on the tank when he fell. The worker was pronounced dead at the scene. He was an employee of Matrix Service Industrial Contractors Inc., which is working with ConocoPhillips and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to determine the cause of the accident.


Cooking Oil

Air France-KLM has announced it will start flying planes in September using a blend of kerosene and used cooking oil. More than 200 flights between Paris and Amsterdam will be the first to embrace the alternative fuel. Dynamic Fuels, which produces the renewable diesel, refines the used cooking oil so that it meets precisely the same technical specifications as traditional kerosene. The airline’s planes require absolutely no modifications to embrace the new fuel.

Oil Pipeline

The Republic of Southern Sudan is planning an oil pipeline through Ethiopia as one of its options to circumvent the 2005 oil-sharing agreement with Khartoum. Producing more than 70% of Sudan’s oil, the South Sudanese administration feels the 2005 agreement, which calls for a 50-50 sharing of oil revenue between the two entities, is unfair and cannot be implemented.

Catalyst Manufacturing Plant

Axens and GENTAS have signed a Letter of Intent to build a world-scale hydroprocessing catalyst production plant in Saudi Arabia. The plant will be designed to produce latest generation catalysts able to satisfy customer needs for the production of clean fuels that meet the most stringent environmental specifications.

Gas Terminal

Pars Enerji has built a marine terminal for liquefied natural gas storage and shipment on the Turkmen port of Kiyanly. The terminal capacity is 200,00 tons of liquefied gas/year. The Turkmenbashi refinery produces a mixture of butane and propane.


Chevron Neftegaz, Inc. has started the construction phase of the $5.4 billion expansion of the Caspian pipeline. The capacity of the 900-mile pipeline, which carries crude oil from western Kazakhstan to a dedicated terminal in the Black Sea, will increase to 1.4 million barrels/day from its current capacity of 730,000 barrels/day. The project will be implemented in in three phases with capacity increasing progressively from 2012 to 2015.

Eucalyptus Oil

Virgin Australia intends to experiment with indigenous eucalyptus oil as a potential biofuel feedstock. A commercial scale plant supplying Virgin Australia with eucalyptus oil aviation fuel could be operational by 2014. Virgin Australia, in conjunction with three partners, has developed plans for a demonstration refinery in Western Australia for next year, with full scale production to begin in 2014. The consortium plans to use pyrolysis technology developed by Canadian firm Dynamotive to process mallees, a variety of eucalyptus tree that can be grown in many parts of Australia, for the feedstock.


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