Russian petrochemical producers are well-positioned for market recovery post-COVID-19, says GlobalData

The COVID-19 outbreak has led to an unprecedented decline in demand affecting all sections of the Russian economy, which has impacted the demand for petrochemicals in the short-term.

However, the pandemic triggered an increase in the demand for polymers in food packaging, and cleaning and hygiene products. With Russian petrochemical companies having the advantage of access to low-cost feedstock, and proximity to demand-rich Asian (primarily China) and European markets for the supply of petrochemical products, these companies appear to be well-positioned to derive full benefits from an improving market environment and global economy post-COVID-19, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Dayanand Kharade, Oil and Gas Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Oil and gas majors in the country are reducing spend in response to a substantial drop in crude prices and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Sibur Holding, one of the largest petrochemical producers in Russia, has lowered its capital expenditure (capex) outlook for 2020, which is approximately 30% lower in comparison to its initial budget. However, companies continue to evaluate their capital structure and focus on key projects ensuring sustainable growth.”

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The majority of the upcoming projects in Russia are in the early stages of development, for example, pre-construction phase. Changes in supply/demand patterns, due to reduced economic activity across the globe, is likely to affect the pace of progress of these projects. Major announced projects such as Baltic Chemical project and EuroChem- Northwest Kingisepp project in Leningrad Oblast, and Gazprom and Novatek projects in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug could face delays in startup. However, companies should continue to assess the impact based on prospective developments.

Kharade concludes: “With economic growth correlated to petrochemicals growth, the short-term outlook is expected to result in lowered petrochemical demand in the country. However, with an improving market environment, Russian producers are well-positioned to derive full benefit with the country’s access to low-cost feedstock.”

About GlobalData

4,000 of the world’s largest companies, including over 70% of FTSE 100 and 60% of Fortune 100 companies, make timelier and better business decisions thanks to GlobalData’s unique data, expert analysis and innovative solutions, all in one platform. GlobalData’s mission is to help our clients decode the future to be more successful and innovative across a range of industries, including the healthcare, consumer, retail, financial, technology and professional services sectors


German Startup makes decentral plastic waste recycling possible

The Dresden-based German company Biofabrik, specialized in plastic and oil recycling, has announced the successful commissioning of their most well-known technology – the WASTX Plastic machine. The first industrially manufactured WASTX Plastic plant has now been completed in cooperation with a global plant manufacturer and is ready to be delivered to the first customers in Germany and abroad.

Committed to finding solutions for some of the most challenging environmental problems, the community of Biofabrik has dedicated more than 7 years of researching and developing to present to the public a unique technology, which can convert plastic waste into energy. As one of the goals of the German start-up is to build hundreds of mini-recycling factories around the globe, the WASTX Plastic plant is also fully automatic and decentralized, which means it can be operated remotely.
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The commissioning of the first industrial WASTX Plastic machine comes only a short time before clients in the UK, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and many other countries around the globe start receiving their first pilot machines as official international distributors of Biofabrik. The final product - synthetic crude oil, can be used either directly on-site as an energy source or as a raw material for recycled plastic, depending on the desired application.

This news comes in the wake of many recent initiatives and accomplishments of the Biofabrik company, including:
    Meeting all requirements for the transfer to serial production in 2019
    The successful endurance of long-term tests and multiple check-ups on the quality of the final product
    Implementing numerous improvements in the pilot plant, such as an optimized reactor technology and the highest safety standards.

Biofabrik Technologies GmbH

Founded in 2011, in Dresden, Germany, The Biofabrik Company has one mission: make the world we live in a better place. Chaired by CEO Oliver Riedel and CSO Jorg Metzner, Biofarbik specializes in developing technologies that contribute to the sustainable management of energy, waste, and nutrition issues around the globe.

The Biofabrik team has successfully implemented two main technologies, which are currently on an international roll-out distribution: the WASTX Plastic and the WASTX Oil Plants. The WASTX Plastic technology is capable of processing plastic waste into energetically usable and tradable oil. Each plant can process up to 5,000 kg of plastic waste per day in a decentralized and fully automatic way.

The WASTX Oil technology transforms up to 3,000 litres of contaminated oil daily into a fresh base oil, which can be re-introduced into the cycle of materials. The WASTX Oil is currently the most compact system present in the world, that can solve the waste oil issue in every village and every city, regardless of location, bypassing the need to use large disposal companies.

Welltec asserts geothermal credentials with prestigious US initiative

Welltec® has been awarded a crucial role in an important project funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and led by the University of Oklahoma, to illustrate that near-field Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) can be successfully deployed.

Welltec will be utilizing its extensive expertise from Completions and Interventions in the oil and gas sector to demonstrate that low permeability or unproductive Geothermal wells can also be turned into highly productive assets using EGS techniques. This will be achieved via the application of Welltec Annular Barrier (WAB®) technology.

2020 10 23 083947The collaboration will see Welltec’s direct involvement in the Wells of Opportunity (WOO) project at the Coso Geothermal Field, further supporting FORGE objectives (Frontier Observation for Research in Geothermal Energy) to enable cutting-edge research, drilling, and technology testing to identify a replicable commercial pathway to EGS.

“This is the second DOE project where a WAB has been selected as the preferred method for geothermal zonal isolation,” said Ricardo Vasques, VP Engineering, Welltec.  “These awards will position the WAB as a ground-breaking technology for open-hole zonal isolation in geothermal environments and will ensure participation in additional DOE-funded projects,” Vasques added.

He went on to explain, “The all-metal WAB is being developed for the ongoing DOE-Welltec project where it will be applied as an integral part of the enhanced zonal isolation system for the EGS application in manmade reservoirs.  The WABs will be deployed as part of the lower completion and will enable a precisely controlled hydro-thermo-chemical effective stimulation to enhance productivity from geothermal wells.”

Advanced technology to overcome geothermal challenges
In one of three projects totaling up to $10.4 million USD, the introduction of WAB technology will enable the controlled manipulation of hydraulic pressure, thermal stress, and geochemical dissolution, with the stimulated volume monitored via micro-seismic, tracer, and production data.

With FORGE having previously shown these considerations to be incredibly challenging, this will be a major step in well completions technology development and stimulation design, aided by utilizing advanced modelling to account for thermal stress factors, chemistry and fluid pressure.

According to the DOE, the research and development conducted through these selections will improve the tools, technologies, and methodologies used to explore, identify, access, create, and manage EGS resources, which are also critical to reducing development costs and risks.

Coso Geothermal Field
The Coso Geothermal Field is located in the eastern portion of central California where Welltec will also collaborate with the Coso Operating Company and Geologica – it is expected that activities will run at least until 2022.

About Welltec

Welltec® is a global technology company that develops and provides efficient hi-tech solutions for the energy industry.

The company’s cutting-edge products and services are designed to optimize the performance and integrity of a well in any environment. Through advanced engineering and lightweight design, Welltec’s solutions help clients reduce environmental emissions and carbon footprints in a safe and sustainable way.

With over 25 years of experience, Welltec is proud to collaborate with a growing number of international partners, providing technology to help further explore Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS).

About Wells of Opportunity

About Frontier Observation for Research in Geothermal Energy


Gas to liquids process can help monetize stranded and flared gases, says GlobalData

Gas to liquids (GTL) plants can be installed at oil production facilities to capture the associated gas that is otherwise flared off. This approach provides oil producers with an additional way of generating revenue, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s latest thematic report, ‘Gas to Liquids (Oil and Gas) – Thematic Research’, highlights the potential opportunities and challenges that can influence the GTL market.

A key opportunity for the GTL market is in the landlocked countries with significant natural gas production. Turkmenistan’s state concern Turkmengaz currently operates a 15,500 bpd GTL plant, with plans to further expand its GTL portfolio.

Various high value products can be obtained from GTL conversion, including gasoline, diesel, naphtha and waxes.

The process of GTL conversion also results in the production of cleaner fuels that offer better environmental performance over conventional fuels produced from crude oil.

Ravindra Puranik, Oil & Gas Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “GTL products use natural gas as feedstock, which is a low carbon energy source. Hence, the fuels produced from GTL are also relatively low on emissions than crude oil-based fuels. The GTL fuels have a higher hydrogen-to-carbon (H/C) ratio. These products are also low on impurities of sulfur compounds, as compared to the conventional fuels generated from crude oil. This translates to better environmental performance of GTL fuels.”

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Capital expenditure required for constructing large-scale GTL plants are generally on the higher side when compared to conventional refineries. High capital cost has been a major deterrent for the development of larger GTL plants worldwide.

Puranik adds: “Projects that were likely conceptualized when oil prices averaged at US$80 or so, may find themselves under stress amid the ongoing oil price downturn as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is crucial for GTL operators to successfully navigate through the coming months in order to survive in the long-term.”

GlobalData’s thematic research identifies Chevron, PetroSA, Qatar Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell and Turkmengaz, among the leaders in the GTL theme in the oil and gas industry. It also highlights some of the major GTL technology providers for oil and gas industry, namely BgtL Inc, Calvert Energy, CompactGTL, Gas Technologies LLC, Greyrock, Haldor Topsøe, INFRA Technology, Primus Green Energy, Sasol Ltd, and Velocys.

A number of technology vendors have developed variants of the GTL process that can be implemented in a modular fashion at a smaller scale. Governmental pressure on oil companies to reduce their carbon footprints could prompt these companies to adopt small-scale, modular, and portable GTL technologies in their operations. 

Puranik concludes: “By reducing gas flaring, companies can effectively meet their emission targets to mitigate climate change. Moreover, cleaner GTL liquids can be marketed as an alternative fuel. Thereby, companies can increase their portfolio of higher value finished products.”

About GlobalData

4,000 of the world’s largest companies, including over 70% of FTSE 100 and 60% of Fortune 100 companies, make more timely and better business decisions thanks to GlobalData’s unique data, expert analysis and innovative solutions, all in one platform. GlobalData’s mission is to help our clients decode the future to be more successful and innovative across a range of industries, including the healthcare, consumer, retail, financial, technology and professional services sectors.


Emerson’s Digital Transformation Technologies Support Safe Operations for New Caspian Sea Platform

Company’s software and project expertise enables expedited timeline and on-time start for new BP-operated platform

Emerson (NYSE: EMR) has been awarded a $14 million contract to provide automation technologies for the new Azeri Central East offshore platform in the Caspian Sea, the latest development in the Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli oilfield. Emerson will serve as the main automation contractor, providing its Project Certainty methodologies and digital technologies that transform capital project execution to help BP bring this fast-track project onstream in 2023.

Digital twin solutions and cloud engineering services, part of Emerson’s Project Certainty methodologies, will help accelerate project execution. Emerson’s digital twin solution enables virtual testing and system integration while the platform is being built and provides a simulated environment for platform operators to train, helping ensure a safe, smooth start-up and ongoing operational excellence. Cloud engineering reduces engineering costs and time by enabling global teams to collaborate and engineer in parallel, regardless of location.

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Emerson will apply its portfolio of automation software and services to help BP achieve greater production and safe operations. This includes Emerson’s DeltaV™ automation system that controls critical safety functions in addition to wellhead production, drilling and the transfer of oil and gas to the onshore Sangachal Terminal.

Automation technologies also anticipate safety risks and enable remote monitoring, which reduces exposure of people and extends intervals between major maintenance turnarounds. Wired and wireless networks will connect more than 1,000 Emerson measurement instruments to monitor pressure, flow, temperature and pipework corrosion. Emerson will also provide all critical control, emergency shutdown and isolation valves, connected by its digital positioning technology.

“This latest project builds on the successful collaboration between BP and Emerson on the West Chirag and Shah Deniz Stage 2 developments,” said Jim Nyquist, group president for Emerson’s systems and software business. “Our extensive experience helping organisations achieve capital project success has enabled us to become a trusted partner to digitally transform mega projects such as Azeri Central East.”

About Emerson  
Emerson (NYSE: EMR), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global technology and engineering company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial and residential markets. Our Automation Solutions business helps process, hybrid and discrete manufacturers maximise production, protect personnel and the environment while optimising their energy and operating costs. Our Commercial & Residential Solutions business helps ensure human comfort and health, protect food quality and safety, advance energy efficiency and create sustainable infrastructure. For more information visit