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U.S. crude stockpiles fall as refiners ramp up output -EIA

(Reuters) - U.S. crude oil stockpiles dropped more than expected as refiners increased activity heading into the summer driving season, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. Crude inventories (USOILC=ECI) fell by 5.9 million barrels in the week to April 9 to 492.4 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.9 million-barrel drop.

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Nornickel to boost production at Finnish nickel refinery

(Mining Technology) - Nornickel plans to increase production at its nickel refinery in Finland due to the surging demand for battery raw materials in the European market. Mainly powered by renewable energy, the Harjavalta plant uses sulphuric acid leaching for nickel semi-products to enable hydrometallurgical production of high purity nickel.

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Biostimulants Earn the Spotlight in Agriculture

(Crop Life) - Predicting the future is rarely a safe activity. Look no further than last year. Anyone's prognostications for 2020 were ripped to shreds by the appearance of COVID-19. That said, here is a prediction for the rest of 2021 and beyond: The industry will see continued interest in and the growth of biostimulants.

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India and United States collaborate on AI in agriculture

(Future Farming) - The United States allows India to use its AI technology in order to increase foodgrain production. India and the United States have launched the U.S. India Artificial Intelligence (USIAI) Initiative. This was announced by the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF), which is an is an autonomous bilateral organisation – jointly funded by the governments of India and the U.S. – that promotes science, technology, engineering and innovation through substantive interaction among government, academia and industry.

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How Agricultural Nanotechnology Will Influence the Future of Farming Sustainability

(AZO Nano) - The agricultural sector is dealing with enormous challenges such as rapid climatic changes, a decrease in soil fertility, macro and micronutrient deficiency, overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and heavy metal presence in the soil. However, the global population increase has subsequently escalated food demand. Nanotechnology has immensely contributed to sustainable agriculture by enhancing crop production and restoring and improving soil quality.

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Dry Bulk Shipping Rates Are Surging and the Rally Isn't Over

(gCaptain.com/Bloomberg) - For a glimpse of how quickly and unevenly economies are recovering from the pandemic, look no further than the market for shipping raw materials. Rising demand for everything from soybeans to steel has sent the cost of hauling dry goods soaring more than 50% this year. Manufacturing, which first picked up in China, is now accelerating elsewhere, and countries are stepping up commodity purchases to rebuild stockpiles after running them down during lockdowns that slowed port operations and hit economic activity globally.

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Quantum Computation of Dominant Products in Lithium-Sulfur Batteries

(aip.scitation.org) - Quantum chemistry simulations of some industrially relevant molecules are reported, employing variational quantum algorithms for near-term quantum devices. The energies and dipole moments are calculated along the dissociation curves for lithium hydride (LiH), hydrogen sulfide, lithium hydrogen sulfide, and lithium sulfide. In all cases, we focus on the breaking of a single bond to obtain information about the stability of the molecular species being investigated.

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ALMA Detects Volcanic Gases in Atmosphere of Io

(SCI-News) Using data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers from India have detected acetone, disulfur monoxide, and carbon monoxide in the atmosphere of Jupiter's moon Io. Io is the innermost of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter and the fourth-largest moon in our Solar System.

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AAR: Rail Traffic 'Rebound'

(Railway Age) - Taking into account last year's pandemic-related rail volume drop, "rail traffic has clearly rebounded" and "recent signs of strength in manufacturing are good signs for railroads, too," Association of American Railroads Senior Vice President John T. Gray noted in the AAR traffic report for March 2021 and the week ending April 3, 2021.

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OPEC+ Shows Confidence in Economic Recovery With Oil-Supply Hike

(Bloomberg) - OPEC+ expressed growing confidence in the global economic recovery by agreeing to increase oil production gradually in the coming months.

Before Thursday’s meeting, the cartel had been widely expected to maintain its cautious stance by rolling over the current supply cuts, just as it did last month. Yet Saudi Arabia and its allies showed they are more convinced now that fuel demand is on a firmer footing after a yearlong beating from the coronavirus.

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Sulfur surprise in soybeans

(Agriculture.com) - If soybeans could talk, they’d tell you anti-pollution legislation works. These laws – first passed in the 1970s – squelched sulfur-containing acid rain fueled by industrial emissions. Applications of fertilizer containing sulfur (S) previously benefited only crops grown on sandy soils, as atmospheric S would leach through them.

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Now-resolved Suez Canal blockage shows value of Arctic shipping route, Russia says

(Bellona.org) - While hundreds of ship and tankers were blocked from passing through the Suez Canal by a stranded container ship, Russia’s Energy Ministry wasted no time reminding the world of the Northern Sea Route, the 6,000-kilometer sea artery joining Europe and Asia through the Arctic said to lop days off conventional cargo passages.

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Canada finalizes critical minerals list

(CIM Magazine) Thirty-one: that is the number of minerals that Canada has identified as “critical minerals.” Addressing the virtual Prospector’s and Developer’s Association of Canada Convention on March 11, Canadian Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan read out the newly formed list and called critical minerals “essential to the economic and energy security.”

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Suez Canal Blocked After Giant Container Ship Gets Stuck

(The New York Times) CAIRO — Trying to convey the sheer scale of the nearly quarter-mile-long container ship that has been stuck in the Suez Canal since Tuesday evening, some news outlets compared it to the length of four soccer fields. Others simply called it gigantic. But the main thing to know was this: After powerful winds forced the ship aground on one of the canal’s banks, it was big enough to block nearly the entire width of the canal, producing a large traffic jam in one of the world’s most important maritime arteries.
Related Story: https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/suez-canal-blocked-weeks

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Canadian Pacific Railway acquires Kansas City Southern railway for $25 billion

(KTTN) The Associated Press reported Canadian Pacific Railway’s acquisition of Kansas City Southern is a $25 billion deal in cash and stock. The sale creates the first rail network linking the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
Railway officials say Kansas City, Missouri will be designated as the new U.S. headquarters for Canadian Pacific Kansas City, or CPKC. The combined company would operate about 20,000 miles of railway, employ 20,000 people and generate annual revenue of about $8.7 billion.

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ICL (ICL) Reports Acquisition of South American Plant Nutrition Business from Compass Minerals (CMP) for $402M

(Street Insider) ICL (NYSE: ICL), a leading global specialty minerals and specialty chemicals company, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Compass Minerals (NYSE: CMP) América do Sul S.A., which includes the South American Plant Nutrition business of Compass Minerals – after a planned carve-out of the existing water treatment and chemicals businesses – for approximately R$2,207 million (~US$402 million, based on a Brazilian real-to-U.S. dollar exchange rate of R$5.4951/US$1.00). This amount includes the assumption of approximately R$600 million (~US$109 million) of net debt and is subject to customary post-closing adjustments. In addition, the transaction includes an earnout of up to approximately R$88 million (~US$16 million).

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Refinery rained oil onto Virgin Islands community that awaits cleanup a month later

(Seattle Times) Two hours after midnight in this island paradise, a cloudy vapor rose from a massive oil refinery and floated over nearby homes as quietly as a ghost. The fine mist of oil and water from Limetree Bay Refining rained down on the community of Clifton Hill, showering the slick mix onto cars, gardens, rooftops and cisterns filled with rainwater that residents use for daily tasks.

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U.S. transport chief to testify on infrastructure push

(Reuters) - U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will testify March 25 before a key U.S. House panel on the Biden administration's infrastructure push. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Peter DeFazio said Buttigieg will testify as lawmakers are working on a "transformational surface transportation reauthorization legislation". As a candidate, President Joe Biden pledged to invest $2 trillion in fixing highways, bridges and airports; building climate-resilient homes; wiring cities for broadband internet; encouraging the manufacturing of fuel-efficient cars and installing 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations.

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European companies announce more clean fuel projects

(S&P Platts) - Finnish refiner and clean fuels producer Neste has identified Rotterdam in the Netherlands as the most likely site for its new "world scale" renewable products refinery, it said March 15. Neste also said a final investment decision for the project will be made either by the end of this year or early in 2022. "Based on the thorough studies and calculations, the overall cost of the investment is significantly lower in Rotterdam. Our decision relies on ensuring our future competitiveness and our renewables growth strategy execution," said Neste President and CEO Peter Vanacker.

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In numbers: how mining came to be Australia's most profitable sector

(Mining Technology) - Mining remains Australia's single largest sector, and a bastion of stability and profitability amid the uncertain times of the Covid-19 pandemic. We investigate the statistics behind the industry's recent meteoric rise to see how it has secured such a position of dominance and stability.

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Member News

Penflex Becomes The Sulphur Institute's Newest Member

(MSN) - Penflex Corporation recently became the newest member of The Sulphur Institute (TSI), an international, non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for the safe use of sulfur.

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Koch to acquire 50% stake in JFC III from OCP

(Agri Business Global) - Koch Ag & Energy Solutions (Koch) and OCP have signed an agreement under which a Koch affiliate will acquire a 50% interest in Jorf Fertilizers Company III (JFC III) from OCP, the world's largest phosphate mining and leading global fertilizer group. When closed, the transaction will establish a 50/50 joint venture.

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Exxon posts biggest profit in seven years on high oil prices

(Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) on Tuesday reported a fourth-quarter profit of $8.87 billion, its largest in seven years, as the top U.S. oil producer benefited from strong energy prices.

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Shell ends 2021 on high note, hikes dividend and boosts buybacks

(Reuters) - Shell (SHEL.L) again boosted its dividend and share repurchases on Thursday after fourth quarter profits hit their highest in eight years, fuelled by higher oil and gas prices and strong gas trading performance.

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The Mosaic Company Comments on 10-Year High Fertilizer Prices

(The Daily Scoop) - Citing three key factors in today's fertilizer markets, The Mosaic Company says it recognizes fertilizer prices have increased dramatically in the past several months.

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Phillips 66 converting Alliance refinery into terminal

(Oil & Gas Journal) - Phillips 66 has decided to move forward with a plan to transform its 255,000-b/d Alliance refinery on the Mississippi River in Belle Chasse, Plaquemines Parish, La., into a terminal that it will continue to operate as part of its midstream portfolio.

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Qatar energy and ExxonMobil sign Cyprus energy exploration deal

(Reuters) - A consortium consisting of Qatar Energy and ExxonMobil (XOM.N) has signed an agreement with Cyprus for energy exploration and production sharing in Block 5 in the southeast of the island, Qatari News Agency said on Friday.

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Ioneer gets $70 mln from Sibanye for U.S. lithium plant

(Reuters) - Australian lithium supplier ioneer Ltd (INR.AX) said on Thursday it had secured $70 million in funds from South Africa's Sibanye Stillwater (SSWJ.J)through a share placement to begin construction work at one of its mines in the United States.

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Veolia Regeneration Services recognized for HAZMAT safety by rail industry

(Association of American Railroads) The NAR Grand Slam Award is presented annually to companies that are exemplary shippers of hazardous materials. An award winner must have been recognized by at least four Class I railroads and have had zero non-accident releases involving their shipments the previous calendar year. A hazardous materials non-accident release is an unintentional release of a hazardous material while in transportation, but not involving an accident.

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Railroads Recognize Leadership in Hazmat Safety

(Association of American Railroads) The NAR Grand Slam Award is presented annually to companies that are exemplary shippers of hazardous materials. An award winner must have been recognized by at least four Class I railroads and have had zero non-accident releases involving their shipments the previous calendar year. A hazardous materials non-accident release is an unintentional release of a hazardous material while in transportation, but not involving an accident.

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