ExxonMobil plant expansion in operation


Irving-based Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Singapore Chemical Plant has begun producing ethylene from its second steam cracker, which reduces the size of molecules from oil and natural gas into smaller ones. In the next few weeks, the petrochemical complex is expected to increase production at its three polyethylene plants, two polypropylene plants and other facilities. “This expansion gives ExxonMobil unparalleled feedstock flexibility in the industry and positions the Singapore petrochemical complex well to serve growth markets from China to the Indian subcontinent and beyond,” said Matthew Aguiar, chairman and managing director, ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd., in a news release. “We are committed to meeting the regional demand for petrochemical products and to contributing to Singapore’s growth,” Aguiar said. With the steam cracker commissioned, the company is focused on ensuring safe and reliable plant operation, said Georges Grosliere, venture executive and manufacturing director of the Singapore plant. “The scale and complexity of this expansion project, which doubled the steam-cracking capacity, demanded a strong focus on safety, operational integrity and discipline,” Grosliere said. ExxonMobil has operated in Singapore for 120 years and is one of the country’s largest foreign manufacturing investors. It has manufacturing, technology and marketing operations worldwide. More information is available at www.exxonmobilchemical.com.

Pioneer, Sinochem close $1.7B Wolfcamp Shale transaction Pioneer Natural Resources Co. has closed its previously announced transaction with Sinochem Petroleum USA LLC, a U.S. subsidiary of the Sinochem Group. Dallas-based Pioneer is selling 40 percent of its interest in about 207,000 net acres leased by the company in the Wolfcamp Shale play in West Texas for $1.7 billion. At closing, Sinochem paid to Pioneer $631 million in cash, of which $522 million comprised the up-front portion of the transaction price, with $109 million representing Sinochem’s 40 percent share of net expenditures in the joint interest area. Sinochem will pay the remaining $1.2 billion by carrying 75 percent of Pioneer’s share of future drilling and facilities costs until the drilling carry is fully utilized, according to Pioneer. Daily production from the joint interest area is approaching 10,000 barrels of oil equivalent. Sinochem is acquiring 82,800 net acres of Pioneer’s leasehold, with Pioneer retaining 60 percent of its interest in the Wolfcamp and deeper horizons. Sinochem is receiving 40 percent of Pioneer’s interest. Pioneer will continue serving as operator and will conduct all leasing, drilling, operations and marketing activities in the joint interest area. The joint interest area spans certain parts of Upton, Reagan, Irion, Crockett and Tom Green counties. Pioneer Natural Resources Co. is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company. More information is available at www.pxd.com. Sinochem is a Chinese conglomerate whose core businesses comprise energy, agriculture, chemicals, real estate and financial services. More information is available at www.sinochem.com.

Kinder Morgan to expand Eagle Ford pipeline Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP of Houston plans to sink about $107 million into expanding its Kinder Morgan crude and condensate pipeline system deeper into the Eagle Ford Shale play in Karnes County. Supported by a long-term contract with ConocoPhillips, the expansion will extend the 178-mile pipeline 31 miles from the DeWitt Station in nearby DeWitt County to ConocoPhillips’ central delivery facility near Helena in Karnes County. Construction is expected to being in July. “This expansion further assists our commitment to deliver up to 300,000 barrels per day of crude and condensate from the Eagle Ford Shale,” said Rob McClain, president of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners Products Pipelines, commenting in a news release. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP, the largest midstream and the third-largest energy company in North America, owns an interest in or operates about 51,000 miles of pipelines and 180 terminals. More information is available at www.kindermorgan.com.

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Chevron Phillips expands ethylene production by 200M pounds Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP plans to expand its ethylene production by 200 million pounds by adding a 10th furnace to an ethylene unit at its Sweeny complex in Old Ocean, along the Texas Gulf Coast. The Woodlands-based company recently received construction approval from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Construction is expected to begin in third-quarter 2013, with the expansion becoming operational in 2014. “This furnace addition will provide additional ethylene supply to meet the growing global demand to better serve our customers,” Dave Smith, olefins and natural gas liquids vice president for Chevron Phillips Chemical, said in a news release. The furnace also will provide added supply before the company activates its proposed U.S. Gulf Petrochemicals Project in 2017, Smith added. Those plans are on track to build an ethane cracker at the company’s Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown and two polyethylene units in Old Ocean. The Sweeny complex can produce more than 11 million pounds of ethylene per day, or about 4.1 billion pounds annually, according to the company. Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LLC, produces olefins, a type of hydrocarbon, and polyolefins and supplies alpha olefins, styrenics, specialty chemicals, plastic piping and polymer resins. More information is available at www.cpchem.com.

First Titan moves to gain South Texas reserves First Titan Corp. of Bradenton, Fla., has made an offer to acquire more than 100,000 net barrels of proven oil reserves in South Texas. The Eagle Ford Shale reserves are located in Lopez Field in Webb County near the U.S.-Mexico border. “There’s high potential here to redevelop this shallow oil field with horizontal injectors and producers,” said CEO Harvey S. Bryant in a news release. “Recent vertical wells have established high production rates over 1,500 barrels of fluid per day. This asset represents a tremendous opportunity to increase our asset base in Texas,” Bryant said. First Titan’s offer is part of an expansion strategy to capitalize on Texas’ ongoing oil boom. In 2012 alone, the state’s oil production reached 546 million barrels, about 60 percent more than in 2007, according to the Texas Railroad Commission. First Titan also is negotiating to acquire a working interest in about 1,000 acres in Hardin County near Beaumont that include producing assets. The company already owns a working interest in energy assets in Terrell County. The company expects to announce many new additions to its asset portfolio in the coming months. First Titan Corp., through its wholly owned subsidiary, First Titan Energy LLC, develops oil and natural gas resources worldwide. More information is available at www.firsttitanenergy.com.

Send energy news to A. Lee Graham at lgraham@bizpress.net