Emarat has signed a new partnership agreement with, Aquacool Metering, a subsidiary of Emirates District Cooling (EMICOOL), to be the exclusive gas supplier to Aquacool’s entire residential, commercial and Industrial portfolio.
Committed to upholding industry standards, the agreement will see Emarat provide its partners with a safe and reliable gas delivery solution.
The deal with Aquacool is the first stage in Emarat’s ambitious LPG growth strategy as the corporation aims to increase its customer portfolio and provide innovative services and solutions across various industries within the UAE.
The deal will allow Aquacool to add another utility, LPG, to its integrated smart solutions.
Ali Khalifa Al Shamsi, Director General of Emarat, said: “Emarat is proud to lead this initiative which will allow us to distribute LPG cylinders directly to the end users in the Emirate of Dubai, through our exclusive partnership with Aquacool. We foresee great opportunities to re-invent the service standards and quality assurances in the local LPG."
Mohamed Al Saif Al Kebti, Chairman of Aquacool Metering LLC, commented: “With the possibilities of extending this partnership to be in various business models adapting latest solutions and enhancing the competences of LPG cylinder deliveries, directly from the source, the elimination of third parties is another added advantage offered to the end customers."
Rockwell Automation announced its partnership with INTECH Process Automation who will become its solution partner in the UAE.
With this Solution Partner agreement, INTECH Process Automation is now authorised to deliver Rockwell Automation’ solutions and services in the United Arab Emirates.
In line with Rockwell Automation’s strategy for growth in the Middle East, this solid partnering with INTECH Process Automation will meet the growing needs of the Middle Eastern market. Rockwell Automation and INTECH Process Automation teams will work closely to provide solutions, services and greater value to the customers in the United Arab Emirates.
Assem Salaam, Country Sales director, Gulf at Rockwell Automation said, “We are very pleased to have INTECH Process Automation joining our PartnerNetwork as Solution Partner. This is an important milestone achieved in the region and we believe it will bring great value to our customers in the United Arab Emirates. With this partnership, we will strengthen our overall position in the Middle East and enhance our solutions availability to our customers in the region.”
As a new Solution Partner of Rockwell Automation, INTECH Process Automation is now able to deliver an extensive package of Rockwell Automation’s solutions in several industrial automation categories.
“Becoming a Solution Partner for Rockwell Automation in the UAE is an important progression for our company. We are looking forward to accelerating the modernisation of industrial facilities in the UAE, through Rockwell Automation’s innovative solutions. Our team of professionals is committed to provide superior value to our customers and enable them to achieve an efficient production.” said Huseyn Tarek, Senior Vice President at INTECH Process Automation.
The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) announced the establishment of an integrated corporate development organisation to optimise the Company's portfolio.
The new corporate development division will be mandated to create value, assess existing assets and secure greater access to growth markets and technologies through portfolio optimisation and strategic alignment.
The new organization will be led by Senior Vice President Abdulaziz M. Al-Gudaimi, reporting directly to the President & CEO, and will become operational starting September 13, 2020.
The organisation will support rapid and effective decision-making on the Company’s portfolio and corporate development activities, with the goal of strengthening Armaco’s resilience, agility and ability to respond to changing market dynamics.
“We continue to leverage our capabilities in assessing our existing portfolio, identifying new opportunities and adapting to a rapidly evolving global landscape. The Corporate Development organisation will focus on growth opportunities as we further sharpen and strengthen our strategic focus to optimise our portfolio and, in doing so, maximize value for our shareholders. It will also enhance our abilities to harness robust processes to efficiently and effectively execute our business development strategy, as well as increase our agility and ability to adapt to changing market dynamics,” said Amin H. Nasser, President & CEO.
He added: “This constitutes a refinement of Aramco’s existing corporate development model and does not represent a fundamental organisational change, and will support the Company’s efforts to identify the best opportunities and successfully grow and optimise its business.”
Tristar Group announced that United Stars, its joint venture in Saudi Arabia, signed a long-term contract with Sharjah Oxygen Company (SOC) to transport cryogenic liquids between the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Tristar recently established the Cryogenic Gas Transport division which offers the leasing of cryogenic ISO tanks and road tankers, in addition to consultation, engineering and intermodal transport services for cryogenic gas. Soon, it will open a specialised maintenance and repair centre for cryogenic assets in Saudi Arabia.
Eugene Mayne, Group CEO of Tristar said: “Our latest contract win in Saudi Arabia reflects the strength of the local logistics market, supported by the efforts of local governments.
On the back of this ongoing growth and increased demand, I am pleased to announce the establishment of Tristar’s Cryogenic Gas Transport division, which will complement our existing downstream oil and gas surface logistics business. Tristar’s Cryogenic Gas Transport division will be led by Paul Vincent, who brings a wealth of experience from the cryogenic industry to Tristar.
Our business in Saudi Arabia is well established with strong relationships with key players in the LNG industry. We look forward to accelerating growth and expanding our market share in the GCC with our new offering for the cryogenics transport market.”
Weir Oil & Gas Dubai announced that it signed a three-year agreement for servicing and repairing pumps and motors with a national oil company in the UAE.
The contract secures the provision of Weir Oil & Gas Rotating Equipment services, machine shop services, emergency manufacturing and site works.
This strategic agreement will position Weir as a key provider for the client and allow Weir to expand their portfolio in the specific oil field.
The deal further consolidates Weir’s Rig-to-Grid capabilities in the Middle East.
“Weir takes great pride in our ability to deliver services, repairs, and upgrades to our clients, while in tandem, execute on supporting them with engineer-driven change management protocols and production facility turnarounds,” said Ronan Le Gloahec, Eastern Hemisphere president for Weir Oil & Gas. “With this additional contract we will support our client’s operations for several years, thanks to our state-of-the-art facility and in-country engineering know-how.”
“It is a pleasure to see our customers trust in Weir’s local capabilities that support the in-country value enhancement here in the United Arab Emirates”, said Matteo Benincasa, Eastern Hemisphere director Sales & Marketing for Weir Oil & Gas.
Fluor Corporation announced that its joint venture with Daewoo Engineering & Construction and Hyundai Heavy Industries has successfully achieved final provisional turnover of the facilities for Kuwait National Petroleum Company’s (KNPC) Mina Abdullah Package 2 (MAB2) Clean Fuels Project in southern Kuwait.
“This significant milestone marks the completion and successful handover of MAB2 facilities to KNPC,” said Mark Fields, president of Fluor’s global Energy & Chemicals business. “We look forward to providing ongoing support to the refinery’s commercial operations and helping KNPC deliver on its mission to strengthen Kuwait’s economy by producing high-quality fuels to meet both local and international demand.”
The Clean Fuels Program is being executed on the three KNPC-owned and operated refineries in Kuwait. As part of the program, KNPC plans to retire existing processing facilities at the Shuaiba Refinery and perform a major upgrade and expansion of the MAB and Mina Al-Ahmadi refineries to integrate the refining system into one complex with full conversion operations.
The MAB2 package facility is comprised of a world-scale hydrogen plant (steam reformers), sulfur block (sour water stripper, amine regeneration unit and sulfur recovery unit) and utilities, off-sites and non-process buildings. It also covers extensive modifications to the existing Mina Abdullah refinery units.
“Working together with the Fluor-led joint venture team to achieve this important milestone for the CFP is a true success not only for KNPC but for the State of Kuwait as well, as it will bring further prosperity for all of us,” said Abdulla F.S. Al Ajmi, deputy CEO of KNPC.
Following commissioning, both refineries will have a capacity of 800,000 barrels per day to meet local and international demand for clean fuels.
Germany’s Wintershall Dea has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sonatrach, aimed at strengthening cooperation in Algeria.
The MoU agrees to explore cooperation possibilities and has a term of two years, active as of 1st July 2020. It will provide a framework for Wintershall Dea to identify and potentially access additional business opportunities in the country, which is Africa’s largest gas producer.
The signing builds on the two companies’ existing relationship. Wintershall Dea has been active in Algeria since 2002, and holds a 19.5 per cent share in the Reggane Nord concession. The project involves six gas fields extended over a huge area of almost 1,800 square kilometres in the South-Western Sahara Desert, one of the hottest areas on earth. It is operated by Groupement Reggane Nord (GRN), a consortium comprised of Wintershall Dea, Sonatrach (40%), Repsol (29.25%) and Edison (11.25%). Following an extensive development programme, GRN celebrated first gas in 2017.
Dawn Summers, chief operating officer and Member of the Board responsible for the Middle East and North Africa said: “Wintershall Dea is well established in Algeria through our participation in the Reggane Nord project. In 2020 we are evaluating a potential increase of activities in the country, and this MoU is an important step forward.”
Dubai’s ENOC Group announced a partnership with Dynamic Fuels to become the official distributor of ENOC’s marine lubricants in Spain.
The agreement comes as part of the Group’s plans to bolster its international presence to cater to the needs of its international customers.
Under the agreement, Dynamic Fuels will market and distribute ENOC Group’s wide range of marine lubricants’ product portfolio in the country, specifically in the ports of Las Palmas, Gibraltar and Algeciras, the largest in Spain.
His Excellency Saif Humaid Al Falasi, Group CEO, ENOC, said: “Maritime and shipping sectors in Europe are crucial for the growth and success of its trade operations, contributing significantly to its GDP and employment rates. In addition, an estimated 90% of global trade is transported through shipping; making it a vital component to world trade.”
He added: “The ports of Algeciras, Las Palmas and Gibraltar are transhipment hubs that provide convenient access throughout the greater Mediterranean region and connect with distant ports in America and the Far East region; providing more coverage and reach for our products globally.”
ENOC Group’s marine lubricants are customised for all vessel types. With the International Maritime (IMO) 2020 regulations requiring 0.5 per cent emissions from marine vessels, ENOC Group sees further growth for its high-end lubricants in the region.
Adrián Solares, general manager from Dynamic Fuels, said: “With this Agreement Dynamic Fuels gives a step ahead in the strategy of continuous growth and improvement of the services provided to our clients. Starting this important project with ENOC not only will increase the service we can provide to our clients but will help us strengthen the presence of our partners in two of the main Bunker and Husbandry hubs in the world as Gibraltar Strait and Canary Islands”.
With this collaboration, ENOC Group will have the capabilities to offer its marine lubricants portfolio, and further expand its presence internationally to achieve plans to reach customers in over 900 ports.
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) announced that its operations and maintenance subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company (Nawah), in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Transmission and Despatch Company (TRANSCO), a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), has safely and successfully connected Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant to the UAE electricity grid.
During the process, the generator in Unit 1 was integrated and synchronised with the requirements of the UAE’s national electricity transmission grid.
Unit 1 connection marks the first time that clean electricity produced at the plant is delivered to the UAE national grid. This follows the safe and successful start-up of Unit 1 at the end of July 2020 by Nawah. Since then, the operations team have run a series of tests, steadily increasing the power levels to ultimately generate the first megawatts of baseload electricity produced by the Barakah plant, located in the Al Dhafrah Region of Abu Dhabi.
With clean electricity from peaceful nuclear energy now being delivered to homes and business across the UAE, this milestone is a significant moment in the continued safe, secure, and quality-led delivery of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program and its cornerstone, the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant.
“The safe and successful connection of Unit 1 to the UAE grid marks the key moment when we begin to deliver on our mission to power the growth of the Nation by supplying clean electricity, around the clock. Grid connection of Unit 1 really is the beginning of a new era in our project. This project, in addition to the UAE’s efforts made in implementing other forms of clean power generation, delivers one of the most ambitious clean electricity transformations in the region and the world, setting the Nation on a new track of sustainable development and electrification.” said H.E. Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of ENEC.
TRANSCO’s role in this effort is both critical and extensive, having constructed 952 kilometers of 400 kV overhead lines to connect the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant Unit 1 to the Abu Dhabi electricity grid – ensuring the power generated at Barakah is safely, securely and reliably delivered to consumers across the UAE.
Dr. Afif Saif Al Yafei, chief executive officer of TRANSCO, said: “TRANSCO plays an important role in facilitating a more sustainable energy future for the UAE. As the country forges ahead with utility-scale clean energy projects, TRANSCO continues to ensure these projects can effectively integrate with our existing network infrastructure to provide a secure and stable supply of power to the community. The integration of Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is an important step towards increasing clean energy generation capacity to the grid.
With the integration and connection complete, Unit 1’s nuclear operators will begin the process of gradually raising the power levels, known as Power Ascension Testing (PAT). Throughout this process, the Unit 1 systems follow international best practice to safely progress and test the unit as it proceeds towards full electricity production.
ENEC recently announced the construction completion of Unit 2, with operational readiness preparations now underway by Nawah. Construction of Units 3 and 4 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant are in their final stages, with Unit 3 being at 93 per cent completion, Unit 4 at 86 per cent completion, and the overall construction completion of the four units now standing at 94 per cent.
UAE-based Petrofac announced important environmental targets to advance its broader sustainability agenda as it looks to reach Net Zero emissions by 2030.
In a statement, Petrofac stated that sustainability is at the core of its strategy and critical to creating long-term value for all stakeholders.
Group Chief Executive Ayman Asfari said: “Our vision is to be the preferred services partner to the energy industry, trusted to deliver to high quality and standards. Our sustainability agenda is key to this aspiration and the environmental and diversity targets we are announcing today represent a significant step forward.
“Our Net Zero target supports the principles of the Paris Agreement, the UK government’s Net Zero goal, and is aligned with our clients’ own ambitions as the sector moves to a net zero future. Our gender diversity target will help develop more women leaders for Petrofac and our industry, and builds on our work of increasing female representation at both Board and junior levels.
“Sustainability is at the core of our strategy, underpinning best-in-class delivery, future growth and enhanced returns. It allows us to help clients decarbonise their activities as well as our own; promote safe, local delivery and ethical value chains underpinned by rigorous compliance and governance; and build a diverse workforce that helps address the sector’s skills gap.”
Petrofac aims to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 emissions to Net Zero by 2030, and work to influence its supply chain to set its reduction targets. The company’s Net Zero Strategy of ‘Reduce, Transform, Enable’ will focus the business on three areas:
Reduce - cut emissions by implementing energy efficiencies and low carbon strategies on sites and operations, optimising our operations and methods of construction and advancing flare and venting reduction and carbon abatement plans.
Transform - adopt new technologies such as phasing in hybrid and electric vehicles on site, decarbonising our heating and cooling systems by switching to renewable electricity where available and fitting smart building technology in our offices to maximise energy efficiency.
Enable - support our clients, partners and suppliers in their lower carbon ambitions, enable flexible and agile working practices, continue to embed emission reductions targets in management scorecards and incentivise our staff to be advocates for Net Zero.
Finally, Petrofac stated that on a divisional level, the company expects its Engineering & Production Services to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 emissions to Net Zero by 2025, while Engineering & Construction and Integrated Energy Services will achieve the same by 2030.
By: Kim Custeau,Global Asset Performance Management Lead, AVEVA
The dawn of the new decade has not arrived quietly. Companies are navigating an unprecedented and challenging economic landscape. Enterprise industrial businesses are facing massive cost pressures and need to do more with fewer resources. This is placing a huge emphasis on technology as companies try to extract more production capacity out of existing legacy assets.
Don't be blindsided by unplanned downtime
This movement, commonly known as Digital Industrial Transformation or Industry 4.0, is playing a key role in helping to increase productivity levels – and one important area of attack is unplanned downtime. This is an issue that costs the world’s top companies hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue every year and is often caused by; operator mistakes, poor maintenance and hardware or software error, not to mention natural disasters.
Industry analysts agree that unplanned downtime is disastrous for business. Clearly no business wants to be blindsided with unplanned downtime. The question organizations are asking is, ‘how can technology be applied to existing assets to expose a new competitive advantage?’ When it comes to preventative maintenance, it’s time for organizations to begin mapping their roadmaps to asset performance management and risk-based maintenance.
Zero-tolerance of downtime
Today, preventative maintenance, based on time or usage statistics, is one of the most commonly adopted approaches to keep industrial operations running. Maintenance is performed at regular intervals to reduce the probability of asset failure. However, in most cases, this approach often results in either over-maintenance or under-maintenance of assets due to differences in equipment ages, operating environment and unpredictable performance.
It’s a practice that needs to stop. In fact, a zero-tolerance approach to unplanned downtime will become the norm as companies develop and invest in their industrial digital strategies, the foundation of which is asset performance management (APM). This means managing assets and machinery by implementing technologies that exist today.
Factory failure is not an option
Machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud technology are all being applied to enable predictive maintenance strategies that significantly reduce unplanned downtime. Automation technologies connect operations acting as a data nerve system to enable experts to see what’s happening inside the facility in real time, while mobile tools can provide access to that data anywhere for improved collaboration across business units.
This Industrial IoT is connecting data through a network, feeding analytics to experts to enable more strategic decision-making, a seamless connection to wider business KPIs and ensuring that failure in the factory becomes a thing of the past.
This is why AVEVA offers a comprehensive APM software portfolio designed to overcome today’s industrial challenges by leveraging industrial big data, cloud, artificial intelligence, digital twin, and augmented reality technologies. With improved analysis, we are helping businesses eliminate inefficiencies, optimize operations, and improve profitability. Ascend Performance Materials business which avoided potential plant shutdowns saved $2 million with APM 4.0 solutions from AVEVA.
A zero-downtime future
Understanding problems before they happen is the panacea for industrial operations - maximizing output and revenue while reducing impact to workers and the wider environment.
What, on the surface, seems like a mutually exclusive option, is not only solved by APM, but its incorporation safeguards the future of the factory as we know it. And until a time when machines can fix themselves or not break at all, it is in fact the only digital transformation worth considering if we are to deliver a future without downtime.
Kim develops and leads the strategy for industrial Asset Performance Management solutions that help AVEVA customers improve asset reliability and performance to maximize return on capital investments and increase profitability.
Her remit includes global responsibility for delivering solutions that help customers improve asset reliability and performance to maximize return on capital investments and increase profitability.
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) confirms significant progress made on its “Crude Flexibility Project” (CFP), with 73 per cent project delivery of ADNOC’s ongoing upgrade of refining capabilities in Ruwais and strengthening the role of Ruwais as a critical driver for industrial growth for Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
For more than 40 years, ADNOC has predominantly refined Murban grade crude, extracted from its onshore fields in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The CFP allows for the Upper Zakum grade, extracted from Abu Dhabi's offshore oil fields, to be processed along with over 50 other types of different crudes.
H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and ADNOC Group CEO said: “We continue to focus on stretching the margin of every barrel of oil we produce to maximize the value of our resources, while also making responsible investments in the current market environment. This investment is another step in our progress to develop Ruwais into a dynamic, global hub for downstream activity, further strengthening ADNOC's role as a key driver of the UAE's long-term industrial growth and economic diversification".
In 2018, ADNOC announced plans to diversify the feedstocks it processes. The US$3.5 billion upgrade initiative is a core driver of ADNOC Downstream’s 2030 smart growth strategy. The project will increase the value ADNOC derives from every barrel of oil,both by boosting refining margins and by leaving more high-value Murban crude available for export.
Much of the physical infrastructure required for the CFP has now been put in place. Major structural elements, notably 2 new fractionators and 24 atmospheric residue desulfurizer reactors have been installed at the site over the past two months. Each of the 317-ton fractionators was transported to the UAE from South Korea. Installing the 80-meter structures took three weeks across June and July 2020. They will serve to separate the component products within the crude oil to allow for further refining.
Upon completion in mid-2022, the CFP will allow ADNOC to process up to 420,000 bpsd (Barrels per Stream Day) of heavier and sourer grades of crude oil, as part of the 840,000 bpsd refinery in Ruwais.
Akselos and Lamprell announced an agreement that will see the UAE-headquartered firm have exclusive rights to market structural digital twins for Lamprell-serviced assets in the Middle East and North Africa using Akselos’ software applications.
The deal follows successful use of Akselos’ technology in Lamprell projects which saw significantly improved reliability results.
Under the terms of the agreement, Lamprell will be the sole distributor of Akselos’ software to any asset the company has designed, constructed, delivered or assessed across 13 countries in the MENA region and other nominated projects. The deal will enable Lamprell to offer its customers leading high fidelity engineering simulations for the optimised design, delivery and maintenance of wind farm foundations, jackup rigs, FPSO modules and a number of other offshore assets.
Thomas Leurent, chief executive officer for Akselos said: “Having signed the initial MoU with Lamprell six months ago, it’s great to see our relationship grow. Lamprell began using our software on several complex projects and almost immediately saw unprecedented results compared to conventional engineering simulation. In a world where full-scale digital transformation is paramount to accelerate the energy transition, Lamprell is an early adopter in the fabrication and engineering space. We are very pleased to have found such a forward-thinking partner in the MENA region and I look forward to seeing what we achieve together.”
Akselos’ structural digital twins are underpinned by an algorithm that’s 1,000 times faster than competing software, enabling unrivalled accuracy and real-time use.
Christopher McDonald, chief executive officer for Lamprell said: “Our engineering teams have been very impressed with Akselos’ technology. The accuracy and reliability we have been able to achieve in asset design is remarkable as there is no limitation in terms of size or complexity of the models we create. The results are optimised, providing more accurate designs and reduced CAPEX for our customers. One of our key strategic priorities is to harness innovation through digital technologies, and the rate at which we are able to bring such benefits to our customers is what will continue to give us a competitive edge.”
The Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration has opened its first branch in the eastern province at King Salman Energy Park (SPARK).
Eng. Saif Al Qahtani, President and CEO of King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) and Dr. Hamed bin Hassan Merah, CEO of the Saudi Center for Commercial Arbitration (SCCA), inaugurated the new SCCA branch at King Salman Energy Park (SPARK), located in Al Khobar. This new branch, which is an addition to SCCA's headquarters in Riyadh and its representative office in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), promotes SCCA's strategic plan to expand and support its wide client base.
During the inauguration, which was attended by senior officials from SPARK and SCCA, Eng. Al Qahtani said, “The SCCA branch at SPARK will be a key component of our comprehensive, one-stop-shop service offering. Building on our strategic partnerships with business facilitation enablers such as the SCCA, we are able to provide an attractive environment for those investors.
Eng. Al Qahtani continued: “Joining as an integral part of SPARK’s unified service center, SCCA will contribute to creating a business-friendly environment for both foreign and domestic investment by eliminating obstacles and difficulties related to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)”.
Also commenting at the inauguration Dr. Merah said: “This opening of a SCCA branch in the Eastern Province, specifically at King Salman Energy Park (SPARK), is an extension of SCCA's continued determination to provide requisite professional, transparent and fast ADR - which includes arbitration and mediation - in accordance with international and professional standards and in multiple languages for both local and international parties. This plays a significant role towards achieving the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 by fostering an environment that attracts and supports investment, and further develops institutional arbitration in Saudi Arabia.”
As the only integrated global energy and industrial hub in the region, SPARK enables tenants to base themselves at the heart of the regional energy sector and benefit from being adjacent to other tenants. The arrival of the SCCA branch provides reassurance to investors that their investments will be protected by both local and international law, giving reassurance that SPARK is an environment that protects their assets and helps them manage risk as they grow their business in the Kingdom.
ADNOC Distribution reported its first half 2020 results and despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company remained resilient, delivering a 7.6 per cent increase in underlying EBITDA for the first six months of 2020, compared to the first half of 2019.
The first half 2020 underlying EBITDA stood at US$387 million, with net profit at US$248 million. For the second quarter, underlying EBITDA was US$216 million with net profit of US$139 million.
ADNOC Distribution said it maintains a robust balance sheet and remains well-positioned to expand both its domestic and international portfolio in-line with its smart growth strategy. As of 30 June 2020, the company’s liquidity was at US$1.4 billion in the form of US$663 million in cash and cash equivalents and US$750 million in unutilised credit facility.
Following the ease of lockdown and movement restrictions in the UAE, the Company has experienced a recovery of fuel volumes. In July 2020, ADNOC Distribution’s retail fuel volumes recovered to 90 per cent of volumes for the same period last year.
ADNOC Distribution continues to show resilience in operations and, in line with the UAE’s efforts to reopen the economy, has successfully and safely relaunched services during Q2, including car wash and oil change, while ensuring stringent health and safety measures are implemented.
The Company remains on-track to deliver 50-60 new stations by full year 2020, which includes 20-25 in Dubai. Following the announcement of its new ‘On-the-go’ community station concept in November 2019, 17 new ‘On-the-go’ stations were brought into operation in H1 2020, with more coming soon.
Ahmed Al Shamsi, acting chief executive officer of ADNOC Distribution said: “I am very proud of the proactive course of action that ADNOC Distribution has adopted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenging market conditions, we have continued to ensure access to our services, and introduced increased convenience. We have seen fuel volumes recover in line with the easing of movement restrictions. We have maintained our smart growth strategy to expand our domestic footprint and ensure our network has a wider reach across the Emirates, particularly in the heart of neighbourhood communities, which previously did not have convenient access to refuelling services.”
Abu Dhabi’s Masdar announced its second strategic investment in the United States in a deal with EDF Renewables North America that will see it acquire a 50 per cent stake in a 1.6-gigawatt (GW) clean-energy portfolio.
Under the terms of the agreement, Masdar has acquired a 50 per cent interest in three utility-scale wind farms in Nebraska and Texas totalling 815 megawatts (MW), and five photovoltaic (PV) solar projects in California – two of which include battery energy storage systems – totalling 689 MW of solar and 75 MW of lithium-ion battery energy storage.
The 243 MW Coyote wind project is located in Scurry County, Texas; the 273 MW Las Majadas wind project is in Willacy County, Texas; and the 300 MW Milligan 1 wind project is in Saline County, Nebraska. All three wind projects are currently under construction and expected to begin commercial operations in the fourth quarter of 2020.
In Riverside County, California, the Desert Harvest 1 and Desert Harvest 2 PV projects total 213 MW of solar and 35 MW / 140 MWh of battery storage. Also in Riverside County are the 173 MW Maverick 1 and 136 MW Maverick 4 solar PV projects. These four projects are also under construction and slated for commercial operations in the fourth quarter of 2020. The final project in the portfolio is Big Beau, a 166 MW solar PV and 40 MW/160 MWh battery energy storage project, which is in Kern County and will reach commercial operation in 2021. All solar projects utilize horizontal single-axis tracking technology.
Power from the diversified portfolio projects will be sold under long-term contracts to a variety of offtakers, including utilities, hedge providers and community choice aggregators (CCAs).
In total, the eight projects have created more than 2,000 jobs in the country’s clean energy sector, and will displace more than 3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.
“As the second largest renewable energy producer in the world in terms of installed power capacity, the US offers considerable scope for further growth and diversification of our renewable energy portfolio,” said Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar. “We are delighted to expand our presence there through this landmark deal to invest in eight clean energy assets in California, Nebraska and Texas, and to further strengthen our global partnership with EDF Renewables.”
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020 as it is subject to customary regulatory approvals. BofA Securities is acting as exclusive financial adviser to Masdar.
Tristan Grimbert, President and CEO, EDF Renewables North America commented, “EDF’s collaboration with Masdar runs deep in the Middle East and North Africa already. This deal writes a new chapter of cooperation between our two companies focused on the North American market. I would like to highlight the exceptional quality of work for both the Masdar and EDF Renewables North America teams over the last year to execute this transaction in particularly troubled times.”
The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Aramco) announced its results for the second quarter and first half of 2020 that saw a 73 per cent plunge in net profits to US$6.6 billion in the three months to June, down from $24.7 billion last time due to challenging market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, Aramco said it had navigated challenging market conditions that saw half-year net income fall from $46.9 billion in the corresponding periods of 2019 to $23.2 billion.
Capital expenditure was $6.2 billion in the second quarter and $13.6 billion for the first half of 2020. Aramco said it continues to implement its capital spending optimisation and efficiency programme, and expects capital expenditure to be at the lower end of the $25 billion to $30 billion range for 2020.
Despite continued global economic disruption and challenges facing the energy sector, Aramco continued to deliver on its commitment to shareholders by declaring a dividend of $18.75 billion for the second quarter, compared to $13.4 billion for the second quarter of 2019.
Commenting on the results, Aramco President & CEO Amin H. Nasser, said: “Despite COVID-19 bringing the world to a standstill, Aramco kept going. We have proven our financial resilience and operational reliability, setting a record in our business operations, while at the same time taking steps to ensure the health and safety of our people.
“Strong headwinds from reduced demand and lower oil prices are reflected in our second quarter results. Yet we delivered solid earnings because of our low production costs, unique scale, agile workforce, and unrivalled financial and operational strength. This helped us deliver on our plan to maintain a second quarter dividend of $18.75 billion to be paid in the third quarter.
“We will continue to pursue our long-term growth and diversification strategy to capture unrealized and additional value from every hydrocarbon molecule we produce – driving global commerce and enhancing people’s lives. The completion of our historic acquisition of a 70 per cent stake in SABIC is yet more evidence of that forward momentum and a testament to our healthy financial position.
“We are seeing a partial recovery in the energy market as countries around the world take steps to ease restrictions and reboot their economies. Meanwhile, we continue to place people’s safety first and have adapted to the new normal, implementing wide-ranging precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19 wherever we operate.
“We are determined to emerge from the pandemic stronger and will continue making progress on our long-term strategic journey, through ongoing investments in our business – which has one of the lowest upstream carbon footprints in the world.”
To meet future global and domestic energy demand, Aramco stated that it continues to expand its gas business. In line with this strategy, the Fadhili Gas Plant reached its full production capacity of 2.5 billion standard cubic feet per day during the second quarter, after successfully completing its commissioning activities.
Genel Energy reported an operating loss in the first half of 2020 as lower oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic took its toll.
Genel reported a US$340mln operating loss, while it generated US$88.4mln of revenue for the six months compared to US$194.3mln in the first half of last year.
Net production averaged 32,100 barrels of oil per day (bopd), versus 37,400 bopd in the comparative period of 2019.
Genel said in a statement that it had received US$110 million from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in H1 2020. $121 million still remains outstanding in relation to oil sales from November 2019 to February 2020, with discussions continuing with the KRG over settlement arrangements.
Bill Higgs, Chief Executive of Genel, said: “Genel’s robust business model, which is designed to provide resilience in a challenging environment, has demonstrated its value as the Company negotiates the headwinds facing the sector in 2020. Our low-cost production and the capital flexibility within our development programme have enabled us to preserve the strength of our balance sheet even while investing in growth. Given the lower oil price and overdue payments, the fact that we still expect to end 2020 in a net cash position – even after dividend distributions and making the investment to bring Sarta to production this year – is a testament to our resilience.”
Genel said that a capex of $45 million is expected in H2, with 50 per cent is going to be spent on moving Sarta to production in Q4, where work has continued despite the challenges resulting from COVID-19
Algeria’s national oil company Sonatrach and Spain’s Cepsa have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to analyse joint growth opportunities in the exploration, development and production of hydrocarbons in Algeria and internationally.
The signing of this agreement will allow Sonatrach and Cepsa to consolidate their current alliance by seeking new opportunities for cooperation.
At an official event at Sonatrach's headquarters in Algiers, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the heads of both companies, Toufik Hakkar, CEO of Sonatrach, and Philippe Boisseau, CEO of Cepsa. The signing of this agreement will consolidate the existing alliance between Sonatrach and Cepsa.
For Sonatrach, the finalisation of this memorandum confirms its desire to strengthen its alliance policy, in particular within the framework of hydrocarbon activities Law, which aims to increase hydrocarbon reserves and production levels.
For Cepsa, this agreement with Sonatrach represents a strategic alliance that continues the long and fruitful collaboration between the two companies during more than three decades, and reaffirms Cepsa's desire to continue its growth in Algeria alongside its reference partner.
UAE-based Petrofac has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with independent clean energy champion, Storegga Geotechnologies.
The MoU builds new energy capability and capacity in the UK and represents a significant strategic step in Petrofac’s continued expansion into new and renewable energy.
The agreement supports Petrofac and Storegga to collaborate on potential business development and project initiatives in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), Hydrogen and other low carbon projects. With an initial focus on the UKCS and North West Europe, the MoU also includes scope for the parties to work together internationally.
Commenting, Petrofac Engineering & Production Services’ Chief Operating Officer, and global Corporate Development Officer, John Pearson, said: “We are delighted to develop this strategic partnership with Storegga, who have a bold ambition to establish themselves as an operator of low carbon technology projects.
“Like our existing offshore wind portfolio, CCS, Hydrogen and other low carbon technologies require the complex engineering, project management and asset management capability we have developed in oil and gas. We very much look forward to having the opportunity to leverage our experience – from concept to commissioning – to work with Storegga to bring viable projects through to fruition and help drive the UK’s Energy Transition.”
Nick Cooper, chief executive of Storegga Geotechnologies, said: “There is great value in Storegga working with companies such as Petrofac to bolster our engineering and project management capability. This will enable Storegga to accelerate the delivery of our CCS and hydrogen projects in support of the energy transition. We very much look forward to collaborating on future opportunities.”