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Argus: ExxonMobil, BP say IMO-compliant fuels are stable

21 Jun 2019

Global energy and commodity price reporting agency Argus Media in on Thursday (20 June) provided a marine fuels industry related update:

ExxonMobil and BP have reassured shipowners about the stability of their new 0.5pc sulphur marine fuels, ahead of the implementation of the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) sulphur emissions cap next year.

"There is not really a best-before-use date… the stability of our fuel can be good for one year," ExxonMobil marine fuels technical advisor Armelle Breneol told the Sulphur 2020 Countdown conference this week.

Stability of the fuel itself is not the only factor to consider, Breneol said. Shipowners also need to heat the fuel to avoid sludge formation and to dry the tanks daily to avoid vapour condensation from accumulating. "The housekeeping on board the vessel will be of paramount importance," Breneol said.

BP said fuel stability and compatibility were the two biggest concerns that came up in discussions with shipowners when it started running 0.5pc sulphur marine fuel trials around a year ago.

"We had one shipowner who kept the product on board and untouched in tank for three months, having lifted it in Rotterdam. And another one who…, having lifted it in Singapore, kept it in tank for five months before use. And the product was fine for use, there were no issues at all encountered during the consumption of that fuel," BP key account manager Adrian Pask said.

Demand for 0.5pc fuel oil started to emerge in Europe recently, as companies begin storing the product in preparation for next year's sulphur cap.

Belgium-based shipowner Euronav has purchased at least seven 30,000t cargoes of low-sulphur fuel oil since March as part of its strategy to blend and store IMO-compliant marine fuels.

Source: Argus Media
Published: 21 June, 2019


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