日本科斯莫10月前或供应符合IMO标准的船用燃油

【S&P Global网9月10日报道】据悉,日本第三大炼油商科斯莫石油公司(Cosmo Oil)计划在10月前供应符合0.5硫磺标准的商业船用燃油。在10月第二周完成其Sakai炼油厂的焦化产能扩张后,科斯莫计划削减高硫燃料油产量并提高中间馏分油产量。此外,对于国际海事组织将于2020年1月1日开始实施低硫燃油标准,该公司原油及油轮部总经理Mitsuyasu Kawaguchis表示,随着2020年限硫新规临近,兼容性仍然是燃料质量的关键。

APPEC: Japan's Cosmo Oil likely to supply IMO compliant bunker fuels by Oct

Singapore — Cosmo Oil, Japan's third largest refiner, will likely be ready to commercially supply 0.5 sulfur compliant bunker fuels by October, ahead of the International Maritime Organization's low sulfur mandate starting January 1, 2020, Mitsuyasu Kawaguchi, general manager of crude oil and tanker department, supply unit, Cosmo Oil, said Tuesday.

"Actually, we are working on expanding our coker capacity. That will push our crude slate to the heavier side," he said on the sidelines of the 35th Annual Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference organized by S&P Global Platts in Singapore.

"On the other hand, we have to push our crude slate to the lighter side to tweak our API a little bit to the lighter side," he said, adding that this move would alter the company's overall crude slate requirement next year.

In August, Platts had reported that Cosmo Oil was planning to slash its output of high sulfur fuel oil and boost middle distillate production after completing a coker capacity expansion at its Sakai refinery during the second week of October.

For its Sakai coker expansion, the company is looking to buy more heavy crudes from various geographies including Central and South America, he said.

The company, which recently bought Canadian crude Cold Lake, could consider buying more Canadian crude, depending on economics, he added.

Cosmo Oil will load around 300,000 barrels of Cold Lake crude, together with about 700,000 barrels of US WTI Midland crude on Suezmax tanker Athens Spirit September 10, Platts reported Monday.

IMO 2020 BRINGS SEA CHANGE

"IMO 2020 will have a tangible and significant impact and oil market has already been responding to it," Kawaguchi said, while addressing APPEC participants during a presentation.

However, the impact will likely be tempered by a decline in heavy crude supplies, increased installation of scrubbers, among other measures, he said.

The world has lost some 3 million b/d of heavy crude since last year due to Venezuelan sanctions and other supply cuts, he said.

Meanwhile, US shale production is expected to keep increasing over 1 million b/d for the next five years, Kawaguchi added.

The global crude oil slate has also been getting lighter by about 0.4 API in the last two years, he said, adding that this trend will bring more naphtha and gasoline and less fuel oil into the market.

According to Kawaguchi, about 2,800-4000 scrubber installations are expected by January 2020.

The increased use of scrubbers is set to alleviate some pressure on demand for low sulfur marine fuels.

Scrubbers are "still the best economic option in 5 years' time scale," Kawaguchi said.

Cosmo Oil, for its part, has already installed scrubbers on three of six of its time chartered VLCCs, he said.

In terms of refinery optimization, FCC refineries swing production between very low sulfur fuel oil, or VLSFO, and FCC gasoline, which is a low octane gasoline blend, and the gasoline/VLSFO spread probably matters more than the diesel/VLSFO spread, he said.

In Asia, there is an existing FCC capacity of about 7.2 million b/d, in US it is around 6.5 million b/d, in Europe another 8.5 million b/d and in Middle East the combined FCC and residual FCC existing capacity is about 0.74 million b/d, he said.

The estimated size of VLSFO market [globally] is just under 1 million b/d, he said.

So even with a small fluctuation, the FCC capacity will have a big impact on the bunker fuel market, he added.

COMPATIBILITY STILL AN ISSUE

Compatibility remains a key bunker fuel quality concern as IMO 2020 nears, Kawaguchi said.

There is a potential for sediment formation when two compliant stable but incompatible 0.5% sulfur marine fuels are co-mingled, he said, adding that this could ultimately lead to sludge formation.

Oil majors are full aware of compatibility risks and there are trials being conducted to test compliant fuels in several locations including in Japan, he said.

These tests include sulfur contents, homogeneity of fuels, and compatibility between different batches of fuel and remaining fuels, sulfur oxides emissions and so on, Kawaguchi said.

"No major problem has been reported so far," he said.

Still, one needs to be cautious about the blending procedure and keeping the production and blending history traceable is desirable.

While the joint industry guidance issued recently is a welcome step, the industry is also awaiting the International Organization for Standardization's publicly available specification, or PAS, he said.

The PAS is expected to have an additional testing method on compatibility on top of a total sediment potential test, and will offer the industry more clarity, he added.

( 译者:丁阿雪  审校:刘会兰 )

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