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ADNOC awards $510 mil contract to Saipem to expand Shah sour gas plant capacity

(SP Global) -Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. has awarded a $510 million contract to Italy's Saipem to expand the capacity of Shah sour gas plant as the UAE's biggest energy producer seeks gas self-sufficiency. ADNOC Sour Gas, a joint venture between the oil company and US energy major Occidental, awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the expansion of the Shah gas field, which will be completed in 2023, ADNOC said in a statement June 15.

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Oman's Yibal Khuff mega project nearing completion

(Trade Arabia) - A key milestone has been reached in the delivery of the Yibal Khuff project, among the big-ticket integrated Oil & Gas developments of Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), the project’s principal contractor announced.

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Investors from Turkey ready to implement project in Kazakhstan's chemical industry

(Inform.kz) - NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM - Prospects for the implementation of the project in the chemical industry were discussed during the visit of Turkish investors to Kazakhstan, organized by «NC «KAZAKH INVEST» JSC. During the working trip, the founder of the Turkish company «BRIMSTONE Sulphur Provider Company» Efe Munip Nurdogdu held a meeting with the Chairman of the Board of «NC «KAZAKH INVEST» JSC Meirzhan Yusupov, Kazinform has learnt from KAZAKH INVEST’s press service.

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Concerns Mount Over CN, KCS Rail Merger as Timetable Set for Regulatory Review

(TTNews) - The Surface Transportation Board is taking public comments until June 28 on the proposed multibillion dollar merger of Class I freight rail companies Canadian National and Kansas City Southern. The STB also said the railroads will have until July 6 to respond to those public comments. As part of the review process, Canadian National and Kansas City Southern are asking the STB to approve what’s called a plain vanilla trust.

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$15bn Needed to Upgrade Oil Refineries in Africa

(This Day Live) - Oil refineries in Africa will require approximately $15.7 billion to upgrade the existing 36 facilities to produce petroleum products that will conform with the planned level of sulphur content, the African Refiners and Distributors Association (ARDA) has said.                         

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Vale to Suspend Operations at Sudbury After Failed Labour Talks

(Mining) - Vale said in a securities filing on Tuesday it will suspend operations at its Sudbury, Canada nickel mine, after its proposal for a five-year contract was rejected by the United Steelworkers union. United Steelworkers Local 6500, which represents 2,600 workers at the mine, said in a statement that 70% of those who voted were opposed to the Vale offer and wanted the union — whose bargaining committee had recommended the preliminary deal — to return to the bargaining table.

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Maersk Calls for Carbon Tax on Ship Fuel

(Bloomberg/gCaptian) - The world’s largest container shipping line has called for a $150-a-ton carbon tax on shipping fuel that would drive up the costs for an industry that delivers 80% of world trade. A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S says such a levy would help bridge the price gap between fossil fuels that vessels consume today and greener alternatives that are currently much more expensive. Fuel costs would effectively almost double if the measure were imposed today because of how carbon dioxide emissions are counted.

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Andritz to supply world's first sulfuric acid plant for Klabin's mill in Brazil

(Lesprom) - Andritz has received an order to supply a sulfuric acid plant for Klabin’s Ortigueira mill in Brazil. The plant will be the first of its kind worldwide and is designed to produce 150 tons of commercial-grade (>98%) sulfuric acid per day from concentrated odorous gases and elemental sulfur. It will serve Klabin’s Puma I and Puma II pulp lines at Ortigueira once completed and make Klabin’s Ortigueira site completely self-sufficient in sulfuric acid.

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Sandwich strategy makes solid-state lithium battery last longer

(Physics World) - Researchers in the US have created a new solid-state lithium-metal battery that can charge and discharge over a record-breaking number of cycles at a high current density. The proof-of-concept device, which is fundamentally different to existing liquid electrolyte lithium-ion batteries, could extend the lifespan of electric vehicle batteries to 10-15 years, similar to that of petrol and diesel cars.

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An Acid Squeeze Is the Latest Obstacle Facing Giant Copper Mines

(Yahoo Finance/Bloomberg) - Add sulfuric acid to the list of challenges facing copper miners as the world clamors for more of the wiring metal. The compound, used to extract copper from ore, is getting harder to come by. A slowdown in oil refining during the pandemic has resulted in less availability of sulfur, a key input for the acid. At the same time, more acid made in Asia is being used locally as industries there rebound. At least one copper mine in top-producer Chile has already been impacted and spot prices have surged.

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STB Action Creates More Equitable Demurrage Approach

(Railway Age) - Picture a customer who receives a hefty invoice from an auto repair shop with several additional charges and no details regarding the nature of these fees. The customer is left facing the question of whether to dispute the bill, and if so, how. Such has been the experience of U.S. rail shippers in recent decades when receiving invoices from the railroads for demurrage charges, which are applied by railroads for costs incurred when shipments are held up beyond a reasonable time.

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Shipping rule cleans the air but dirties the water

(Science Mag)- In an unwelcome twist, a global effort to curb pollution from the heavy fuel oil burned by most big ships appears to be encouraging water pollution instead. A 2020 regulation aimed at cutting sulfur emissions from ship exhaust is prompting many owners to install scrubbing systems that capture pollutants in water and then dump some or all of the waste into the sea.

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Ice core data show why, despite lower sulfur emissions in U.S. and Western Europe, air pollution is dropping more slowly

(Washington.edu) - The air in the United States and Western Europe is much cleaner than even a decade ago. Low-sulfur oil standards and regulations on power plants have successfully cut sulfate concentrations in the air, reducing the fine particulate matter that harms human health and cleaning up the environmental hazard of acid rain.

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Limetree Bay Refinery Will Start Monitoring Sulfur Dioxide

(Patch) - ST. CROIX, USVI -- Limetree Bay refinery has agreed to resume sulfur dioxide monitoring. This decision from the executive management comes days after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Limetree Bay was in violation of the Clean Air Act.

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China pulls bunker demand from other Asian ports as competition grows

(Hellenic Shipping News) - Lower bunker fuel prices in China following tax changes last year that have underpinned a ramp-up in production are drawing demand away from the key regional bunkering hub of Singapore and other ports across the region, according to market sources. "Prices are so low [in China] there is no reason not to go to China now," a Singapore-based bunker trader said.

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U.S. Truck Boom Shows Why Oil's Demand Comeback Is Here to Stay

(Finance.Yahoo) - For a look at how dramatically U.S. oil consumption is roaring back, consider this: Bennie Baucham, a trucker for four decades, hasn’t been this busy in years.
Baucham is making three round trips a night with containers from the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports to warehouses in Southern California’s Inland Empire, up from two a night during more normal times. The drive is an hour each way. He’s got to fill the tank on his 65-foot-long 18-wheeler every other day for all the shoes, clothing and electronics he’s moving.

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Engen converting South Africa's oldest refinery to terminal

(Ajot) - The Engen oil refinery in South Africa, the country’s oldest, will be converted into a terminal capable of importing cleaner fuels after suffering annual losses for much of the past decade.
It would be too costly to refit the plant in Durban, which opened in 1954, to meet evolving emissions regulations, Engen Chief Executive Officer Yusa Hassan said in an interview. The move will be closely watched by companies including Glencore Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc, which own stakes in other processors in the country that have experienced accidents or are under review.

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Many European Refiners May Not Survive COVID

(Oil Price) - The coronavirus pandemic has shortened Europe’s energy transition. What was initially perceived as a gradual movement towards fewer emissions and greener generation has now become an unprecedently ambitious endeavour – by the time Europe recovers from the COVID-triggered slump, its fuel demand will have already dropped to the point where some downstream assets are no longer needed. This process of refinery backsliding that ultimately leads to the closure of less-efficient assets, be it due to lower refining complexity, geographic remoteness or other institutional factors, has already started. In this article we will look at those refineries that have announced their shutting down in the upcoming years or are on the brink of doing so, providing an explanation as to what exactly has worn it away.

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Smart Farming in 2020: How IoT sensors are creating a more efficient precision agriculture industry

(Business Insider) - The farming industry will become more important than ever before in the next few decades.
The UN projects that the world's population will reach 9.7 billion by 2050, causing global agricultural production to rise 69% between 2010 and 2050. To meet this demand, farmers and agricultural companies are turning to the Internet of Things for analytics and greater production capabilities.

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Ship Pollution: NIMASA to ensure availability of sulphur compliant fuel

(Hellenic Shipping News) - The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has said it is determined to ensure availability of marine fuels that comply with the regulation by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) limiting the sulphur in the fuel oil used on board ships to 0.50 per cent m/m (mass by mass).

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Member News

Activist Hedge Fund Grabs Two Seats On Exxon Mobil's Board Of Directors

(Texas Standard) - It’s another example of Big Oil being pushed toward renewable energy. But achieving net-zero carbon emission goals will still be a big challenge. Texas-based oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. saw a major shakeup in the boardroom last week, with a new activist investor group called Engine No. 1 grabbing two spots on the company’s board of directors. The hedge fund has been targeting Exxon since December with its “Reenergize Exxon” campaign, pushing the company to rethink its business strategy in a time when green energy and climate activism is becoming increasingly mainstream.

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Shell to Let Shareholders Vote on Shift to Cleaner Energy

(WSJ) - LONDON-- Royal Dutch Shell PLC detailed a first-of-a-kind shareholder vote over its pivot away from oil, asking investors to endorse its energy transition strategy in a nonbinding vote next month.

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Rio Tinto achieves battery grade lithium production at Boron plant

(Investing News) - Rio Tinto has commenced production of battery-grade lithium from waste rock at a lithium demonstration plant at the Boron mine site in California, United States. The demonstration plant is the next step in scaling up a breakthrough lithium production process developed at Boron, to recover the critical mineral and extract additional value out of waste piles from over 90 years of mining at the operation.

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Mosaic, AgBiome collaborate to develop biological plant nutrition products

(Agriculture.com) - Ag input suppliers are betting big on microbial solutions for plant nutrition, and the Mosaic Company is one of the latest to enter the fray.
Last week, Mosaic – a producer and seller of phosphate and potash crop nutrients – entered into a strategic collaboration with AgBiome, a company with one of the world’s largest collections of diverse microbial communities. The goal is to discover, develop, and launch biological solutions to enhance soil fertility, the companies said in a press release.

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Two Mosaic Products Earn Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizer Designation

(Agriculture.com) - The Mosaic Company announces that two of its products, MicroEssentials and Sus-Terra fertilizer, are now labeled as Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizers (EEF) as defined by the Association of American Plant Food Control Officials (AAPFCO).

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Hempel Acquiring Wattyl Australia, New Zealand

(Coatings World) Hempel A/S said it signed a purchase agreement to acquire Wattyl – one of Australia and New Zealand's leading manufacturers of paint for the decorative and protective segments with a turnover of €150 million and 750 employees – from The Sherwin-Williams Company.

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Shell to License Tech for New Refinery

(Rig Zone) PT Pertamina Rosneft Pengolahan dan Petrokimia (PT PRPP) has signed a licensing and basic engineering agreement to apply Shell Catalysts and Technologies processes at a new refinery in Tuban, Java Timur, Indonesia, Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) reported Wednesday

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CSX, Union Pacific caution about bad winter weather

(Freight Waves) Bitter cold and strong winter storms could impact rail operations over the next several days, according to service advisories from several U.S. Class I railroads.

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U.S. Department of Commerce Issues Final Affirmative Countervailing Duty Determinations on Phosphate Fertilizer Imports from Morocco and Russia

Yahoo Finance - February 9, 2021
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced its final determination that phosphate fertilizer imports from Morocco and Russia are unfairly subsidized. Commerce calculated a subsidy rate of 19.97 percent for Moroccan producer OCP. In the Russia investigation, Commerce calculated rates of 9.19 percent and 47.05 percent for PhosAgro and EuroChem, respectively, and a rate of 17.2 percent for all other producers/exporters

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Oil May Not Be Chevron's Largest Business in 20 Years

CNN Business - February 8, 2021
While oil and gas will certainly be needed for decades to come, the oil and gas division may not be Chevron's top business in 20 years, although it will still be a very big part of the U.S. supermajor's operations, chief executive Michael Wirth told CNN Business in an interview published on Monday.

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