Report April 2, 2019
We maximize value across the entire value chain, ensuring the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The different sectors we serve and products we make provide further diversification, helping to mitigate the impact of commodity price cycles. Our integrated business provides additional scale, allows us to share support organizations and facility infrastructure, and capture synergies in organizational capabilities and competencies.
Report April 2, 2019
North America integration
An excellent example of the value of integration involves our North American operations, where our Upstream business produces oil and natural gas in the Permian and other basins. Permian crude volumes are transported via integrated midstream assets to refineries and chemical complexes along the U.S. Gulf Coast and in the Midwest, where they are upgraded to higher-value fuels and products for global markets. We also create value by processing high-quality Permian crudes at manufacturing locations in Europe and Asia, including our Singapore steam cracker.
By maximizing integration across the entire value chain, we capture incremental value at transfer points or when short-term market disconnects occur. For example, when crude prices declined in the Permian and Western Canada in 2018, mainly driven by industry pipeline constraints, we leveraged our logistics capacity to move the lower-cost feedstocks into our refinery network. The Edmonton Rail Terminal provides logistics capacity for our production in Western Canada and is well positioned to respond to market dynamics, enabling maximum value capture. In the Permian, we leveraged excess pipeline takeaway capacity and terminal assets to transport crude efficiently – including both equity- and third-party crude – to the U.S. Gulf Coast. Capturing these market opportunities across the value chain resulted in an estimated $1 billion benefit in 2018. As Permian crude production grows, we continue to expand our logistics footprint beyond the level of equity production to retain this advantage and create feed flexibility for our global refining and chemical assets.
Synergies across all business lines
Nearly 80 percent of our refining capacity is integrated with chemical or lubricant manufacturing plants. At these integrated sites, we realize significant savings by sharing resources, using interconnected facilities, and coordinating operating practices. Integration increases margins by lowering the cost of feedstocks while enabling the production of the highest-value products.
An example of this integration is found at our Singapore manufacturing complex, where we are investing in an integrated project that will use proprietary catalyst and process technology to upgrade refinery residual products and chemical steam-cracked tar into higher-value fuels, chemicals, and lubricants. In addition, we continue to integrate the Singapore Banyan aromatics facility, one of the world’s largest aromatics plants, with our existing refining and chemical complex. Following acquisition of the facility in 2017, we are progressing the integration of the site with our adjacent petrochemical facility through pipelines, enabling further optimization of site profitability through improved feed and energy costs, enhanced molecule management, and increased utilization of existing logistics capabilities. We expect completion of these activities in 2019, ahead of schedule, resulting in accelerated value capture.
These applications of technology, coupled with scale and integration, will position our Singapore refinery in the top quartile of global refinery competitiveness and will further increase the site’s competitive advantage gained from cracking crude into chemical products.
We also applied extensive Downstream experience to implement a multivariable control system at the Shute Creek treating facility at the LaBarge natural gas field, increasing production and improving product purity. Multivariable control allows the plant to run closer to capacity and specification limits by optimizing operational parameters simultaneously.
Permian Basin developed as an integrated asset
Integration in the Permian Basin allows us to connect high-value light Permian crude to demand centers on the U.S. Gulf Coast (USGC), including facilities in Baytown and Beaumont. Further development of the logistics network will provide flexibility to move cost-advantaged feedstocks to our refineries and chemical plants in the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Europe.