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OMV raises its refinery utilisation by 6% in Q3 on downstream recovery

October 13/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Austrian oil and gas group OMV saw its indicative refining margins double and raised its refinery utilisation by 6% to 91% in the third quarter, as upstream production volumes weakened compared with the second quarter, reported S&P Global with reference to the company's statement on Oct. 8.

In a trading statement, the Central European company put its European refining margin indicator for the quarter at USD4.43/b compared with USD2.21/b in the second quarter and just 87 cents/b in the third quarter of 2020. Its sales of fuel and other oil products were up 16% on the quarter at 4.66 million mt.

The company's upstream production, of both liquids and gas, fell back slightly compared with the second quarter, to 198,000 b/d of oil equivalent and 272,000 boe/d respectively. Its gas production, a significant portion derived from Russia, was also down 3% on the year, however, its oil output was up 20% compared with a year earlier.

OMV's overall hydrocarbon production rose by 6% on the year, and over the first three quarters of 2021 has outstripped last year's full-year level of 463,000 boe/d. Its oil output has been boosted by significant acquisitions in the UAE in recent years, although volumes from there have been crimped by OPEC+ restrictions.

The jump in refining margins reflect a strong recovery in European mobility and stands out from more incremental improvements reported by European majors BP and Shell.

Shell on Oct. 7 put its third-quarter global refining margin indicator at USD5.7/b, up from USD4.17/b in the second quarter.

BP's global refining marker margin in the third quarter to Sept. 29 was a hefty USD15.2/b, up from USD13.7/b for the second quarter, however, a breakdown of the indicator shows US Midwest margins roughly double those in Europe.

Meanwhile Hungary's Mol, a significant Central European rival, has reported a USD1/b improvement in its group refinery margin between the second and third quarters, to USD5.4/b, on its website.

As MRC informed earlier, OMV reported utilization of 83% at its European refineries in H1, 2021, down by 3% on the year yet "relatively resilient in light of the COVID-19 impact." It expects the utilization rates at its European refineries to remain at the 2020 level this year. Last year its refineries reported 86% utilization. The company's refineries in Europe ran at 85% utilization in Q2, up from 81% in the year-ago quarter.

We remind that OMV is investing EUR40 million (USD48 million) to expand and modernize a steam cracker and associated units at its refining and petrochemicals complex at Burghausen, Germany. The upgrade will increase the sites ethylene and propylene production capacity by 50,000 metric tons/year. Following a planned turnaround of the refinery, the revamped cracker and petchem units are expected to start operations in the third quarter of 2022. Initial groundwork is already underway ahead of the upgrade.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,396,960 tonnes in January-July 2021, up by 7% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 841,990 tonnes in the first seven months of 2021, up by 29% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymers (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) subsided.

OMV produces and markets oil and gas, innovative energy and high-end petrochemical solutions in a responsible way. With Group sales of EUR 23 bn and a workforce of around 20,000 employees in 2019, OMV Aktiengesellschaft is one of Austrias largest listed industrial companies.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Europe, PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, BP Plc, MOL Group, OMV, Austria.
Category:General News
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