Shell to increase profits by focusing on advantaged feedstocks

27 September 2010 22:40  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Shell Chemicals expects to become more profitable by focusing on processing advantaged feedstocks at several locations, an executive said on Monday.

“We have the aspiration of being more profitable than the average at Shell,” said Ben van Beurden, Shell’s executive vice president, chemicals, at a media briefing in London.

“We have discovered a whole seam of feedstock advantage," he said.

Van Beurden said that Shell’s chemicals business had not always delivered on its financial performance within the group.

He said he was confident, however, that the business could benefit from closer integration with the refineries and other sources of petrochemical feedstocks. "We can deliver above average feedstock advantage,” he added.

Shell had multiple choices to grow its chemicals business at selcted global sites, van Beurden said.

Shell operates crackers in North America, Europe and Asia with its production assets divided roughly evenly among the regions. Shell also has joint ventures in China and the Middle East.

It has the capacity to make 5m tonnes/year of ethylene and 8m tonnes/year of chemical products.

“We do have quite a strong funnel of opportunities,” he said in turning disadvantaged refinery feeds to chemicals and to link with Shell’s expanding expertise in gas to liquids and other gas converting technologies.

The chemicals business would help Shell monetise all its hydrocarbon streams, van Beurden said, and tap into ethylene chain growth. “If you want to be in [the business of] upgrading hydrocarbons, adding a petrochemicals part to it makes a lot of strategic sense,” he added.

At the briefing, Shell executives said the company would dig deeper into refinery and advantaged gas streams in Europe, North America and in Asia to produce petrochemicals. 

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By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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