US: mixed blessings
1 January 2006
IT'S A GREAT time to be in the US petroleum storage business. With imports of crude oil and gasoline reaching record levels and domestic refineries churning out products at an almost unprecedented pace, utilisation rates have continued to climb at the tank farms that serve the energy industry, Anne Feltus reports
New variation on FPSO theme
1 October 2005
FPSOs have become the most-favoured production facility for oil in many areas. The latest development takes the concept into LPG production, Martin Quinlan writes
NW Europe: location, location
1 January 2005
Business conditions are increasingly polarised to location. Tank space at the big trading ports is seeing high occupancy and throughputs, but logistically driven operations elsewhere can face strong competition, Martin Quinlan writes
Singapore: new capacity
1 January 2005
Strong demand for tank space and the rising profile of the Asia-Pacific region have led to projects for two new petroleum terminals in Singapore. The construction of underground storage capacity is also under study. A sharp increase in oil-products trade is driving the growth, Martin Quinlan writes
Strength in reserve
1 January 2005
AT first sight it appears counterintuitive. Ploughing up to 170,000 barrels a day (b/d) of crude into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) ? stockpiled in vast underground salt caverns at four sites in Texas and Louisiana ? at a time of plus $40 a barrel oil prices, seems an expensive gambit for the US authorities, writes James Gavin
Profits down on exchange-rate effects
1 January 2005
THE WORLD's largest and second-largest independent storage operators, Vopak and Oiltanking, have both reported reduced profits ? largely as a consequence of the devaluation of the US and Singapore dollars against the euro
Corporate shuffling
1 January 2004
The past year’s corporate activity in the independent storage business centres – at last – on some re-shaping of Vopak, created in November 1999 through the merger of Van Ommeren with Pakhoed
Singapore: coming off the boil
1 January 2004
There are signs that the independent storage business will be less satisfactory this year than it was in 2003. However, Singapore has a way of defying pessimistic forecasts, Martin Quinlan writes
Northwest Europe: business strengthens in trading areas
1 January 2004
Storage operators at the big trading ports of northwest Europe are seeing high utilisation rates and high throughputs, with Rotterdam in particular benefiting from a booming fuel-oil trade. But business conditions for operators serving the logistical trade to the European hinterland are less exciting, Martin Quinlan writes
Business boost from political uncertainties
1 January 2003
Worldwide political uncertainties, price volatility in refined oil products, oil company restructuring and new trading opportunities all tend to be positive factors for the independent storage business. Accordingly, 2002 was generally a good one for terminal operators and the signs are that 2003 will also provide strong flows through tanks, Martin Quinlan writes
Storage feels the strain
1 September 2002
The construction boom in gas-fired power plants could overtax the US’ gas storage system as new generating plants come into operation. Anne Feltus takes a look at the alternatives for boosting capacity
Facing a downturn
1 January 2002
Conditions generally became less favourable for the worldwide independent storage business in 2001 – and there are forecasts of tough times this year, if the fall in demand for jet kerosene extends to other products. Lower utilisation rates will step up the pressure for industry restructuring, Martin Quinlan writes
Business cools in Rotterdam
1 January 2002
The past 12 months have seen conflicting trends for terminal operators serving the European hinterland. Oil products price movements have not favoured speculative storage, but – for some products – there has been logistically driven growth in demand for storage capacity. Forecasts of cooling economies were scaling back demand for tank space in the latter months of last year, Martin Quinlan writes
Consolidation, regulation, growth
1 January 2002
The trends that dominated the independent petroleum products terminaling industry during the closing years of the 1990s – consolidation, regulation and growth – have continued into the opening years of the 21st century, writes Anne Feltus
Singapore: the place to be
1 January 2002
Logistically driven operations are the key to the success of the independent storage business in Singapore. Large volumes of crude flow in, large volumes of refined products flow out, and – a fairly recent trend – substantial volumes of refined products flow in and out, in a balancing trade between Singapore and the new refineries of Asia’s high-growth countries. If it were not for terrorism and the resulting downturn of the last quarter, 2001 would have been a record year for Singapore’s oil movements, Martin Quinlan writes.
Demand takes the pressure off industry restructuring
1 January 2001
Last year was a relatively good one for the independent storage business – tank utilisation rates at hub locations increased, although not by enough to warrant a large increase in fees. Conditions were sufficiently strong, however, to slow the process of industry restructuring, which was launched by the creation of Vopak. Meanwhile, there are signs that the merging of former-Pakhoed’s and former-Van Ommeren’s operations to create Vopak is not proceeding as smoothly as planned, writes Martin Quinlan
Regional variations mean feast or famine
1 July 2000
Ask terminal operators around the country how their business is doing, and you’ll get an assortment of answers. Those that have throughput terminals on the Gulf or West Coast will probably have positive things to say, while operators that have storage tanks in some other regions won’t paint such a rosy picture.
Corporate upheavals expected in wake of the mega-merger
1 January 2000
Vopak – the merged Pakhoed and Van Ommeren – became a reality in November 1999, prompting the largest corporate shake-up in worldwide independent storage.
The Singapore train rushes on
1 January 2000
ANALYSING Singapore’s independent oil storage business – and its refining, supply and trading businesses – has, for some years now, been an exercise in trying to explain the unexpected. For a while, “booming consumption in Asia” was a useful explanation for continuing good business, despite the growth of refining and storage capacity in “the regions”, as Singaporeans refer to Asia’s developing consumption centres
Western Europe busy
1 January 2000
INDEPENDENT storage operators at the big “gateway” ports serving continental Europe had a healthy year in 1998, and continuing good conditions characterised much of 1999. But it seems that the trends behind the strong demand have changed, leading some to doubt whether 2000 will be equally satisfactory.
A strategy for oil
1 January 2000
In June 1997, Hungary became the first central European country to join the International Energy Agency (IEA). One month later, after years of mutual observation and cautious dialogue, the European Commission recommended the opening of formal negotiations with Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Estonia, with a view to accession of these countries to the European Union (EU). Entry to the EU requires candidates to make their legislation compatible with EU standards and rules, as well as achieving convergence on monetary, economic, military and environmental policies. It represents a huge effort and needs careful planning, writes Marc Partridge, head of oil and gas project finance, Crédit Lyonnais.
It’s good to be in storage, once again
1 January 1999
In a business that suffers from over capacity, an upturn in short-term storage rates took operators of independent storage by surprise