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Doing Deals

Under a three-year agreement,Italian energy company Eni will provide Italys National Association of Small Farmers, its associates, consortia, subsidiaries and affiliates, with lubricants and greases designed for agricultural machinery, as well as Enis low environmental impact lubricants, which are biodegradable and made from renewable sources.

Krahn Chemie, a German chemical distributor, acquired a majority share of Athens-based lubricant additives distributor InterActive S.A. InterActive distributes to the Israeli, Greek and Cypriot markets.

Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd. extended its engine oil supply agreement with Indian two- and three-wheeler manufacturer Bajaj Auto for another three years.

Monheim am Rhein, Germany-based carboxylic acids producerOxea integrated into new energy company OQ.

Nynas Reorganizes

Nynas, one of the worlds largest suppliers of naphthenic base stocks, filed for reorganization in a Swedish court. The company, a joint venture between Venezuelan national oil company Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. and Finnish refiner Neste, said sanctions imposed by the United States on the Venezuelan oil company had eroded its profits.

The company said it had developed a plan to return to profitability in three years, but its banks declined to adjust the terms of the companys loans and blocked Nynas from its accounts. It has since regained access to those accounts and will pay off expenses incurred since reorganization began, taking a step toward recovering from financial troubles that led the company to file for reorganization protection.

As part of this effort, Nynas is seeking to change its ownership structure to avoid the sanctions. The majority shareholders of Nynas – Neste and PdVSA – have agreed to a proposed change that could potentially accomplish that. The proposal was sent to the U.S. Office of Foreign AssetsControl on Jan. 17. The company said if it gets a written confirmation from OFAC that such a change in ownership will no longer subject it to sanctions, it will go ahead with the restructuring.

Nynas revealed that it has assetstotaling U.S. $1.3 billion in value before depreciation of fixed assets, shares in subsidiaries and stock. Its liabilities total $1.19 billion.

The process is scheduled to continue until March 13, although the company can request beforehand that reorganization continues for anadditional three months.

Belarus Halts Base Oil,Lube Exports

The Belarusian government stopped exports of base oils and finished lubricants in an effort to mitigate a potential energy crisis after Russia cut off crude oil deliveries to the country on Jan 1.

Belarus meets more than 80 percent of its crude oil consumption from Russian suppliers but has not yet agreed to a contract for 2020. Russia aims to raise prices after failing to get Belarus to agree to greater economic and political integration. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko rejects political union with Moscow and has balked at the price increase because it would likely lead to hikes in prices for oil products in Belarus.

One trading source said that some spot volumes in January had been secured, but expressed skepticism that regular supplies would resume soon.

Russia agreed to send about 900,000 metric tons of crude oil to Naftan, a Russo-Belarusian lubricant additive production joint venture, to continue some operations for January. However, that amount is insufficient to cover normal levels of production.

A halt to Russian crude deliveries could lead to domestic shortages of refined products. Lukashenkos government is hoping that halting the countrys own exports could leave more oil products for its own market.

On Site

Regional authorities in the France authorized U.S. additive company Lubrizol Corp. to resume some operations at its Rouen lubricant plant, which was closed after a fire there on in September 2019. Under the decree, Lubrizol may restart blending and solubilizing multifunctional additive packages and viscosity modifiers.

Personnel Column

Gulf Oil International U.K. Ltd.appointed Mike Jones as its new CEO. Jones is the former global vice president of strategic partnerships at BP.

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