Thu, Mar. 12, 2:12 PM
- Negotiators from the United Steelworkers union and Shell Oil (RDS.A, RDS.B) are continuing to meet today, part of a four-day stretch of negotiating that is the longest the two sides have met since the strike began Feb. 1.
- In a sign that union negotiators may see a deal coming, the Steelworkers sent a message last night to members that the union’s policy committee is traveling to Houston to be available to review any proposals that come out of the talks.
- The dispute started initially with nine facilities but has since expanded to 15 refineries and chemical plants across the U.S., affecting TSO, BP, MPC, LYB, OTCQB:HUSKF and Shell.
Thu, Mar. 12, 8:43 AM
- Authorities hope to reopen the Houston Ship Channel today after a tanker carrying 216K barrels of gasoline additive MTBE collided Monday with a bulk carrier hauling steel, prompting the shutdown of a five-mile stretch of the channel.
- Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) says it cut production rates at its 560K bbl/day refinery in Baytown, Tex. - the second-largest refinery in the U.S. - as crude deliveries continue to be delayed by wreckage that have partially closed the Houston Ship Channel.
- Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) says it is evaluating the closure's impact on its 327K bbl/day joint venture refinery in Deer Park; LyondellBasell (NYSE:LYB) says its 263K bbl/day plant in Houston has experienced no operational impacts.
- Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE:EPD) suspended docking operations for ships and barges at its Oiltanking Partners unit on the ship channel, applying force majeure retroactively to the shutdown on Monday.
Wed, Mar. 4, 3:28 PM
- Even as U.S. refiners and striking union workers returned to the bargaining table today for a new round of talks, the two sides appear to be digging in for a protracted struggle that could last through the spring.
- Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) said Monday that by midsummer its Deer Park refinery in Texas will be fully staffed with newly trained employees who are not affiliated with the United Steelworkers union, and added that ~20% of striking workers at the plant have defied the union and returned to work.
- Workers also have begun returning to their jobs at refineries owned by Shell and Saudi Aramco JV Motiva Enterprises, and LyondellBasell (NYSE:LYB) and Tesoro (NYSE:TSO) also say a growing number of employees are coming back to work.
- LYB said yesterday it had filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board alleging the union had threatened and harassed people trying to cross picket lines.
- The union has filed its own complaints to the NLRB in recent weeks, alleging Shell, LYB, TSO, BP and Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) have engaged in unfair practices, including threatening and coercing workers and failing to bargain in good faith.
Tue, Feb. 24, 7:57 AM
- LyondellBasell (NYSE:LYB) says it has reached a separation agreement with CFO Karyn Ovelmen, who will continue on the job for up to three months while LYB looks for her successor.
- Before working at LYB, Ovelmen was finance chief of the European petroleum refiner Petroplus Holdings, and has worked at Argus Atlantic Energy and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
- LYB appointed a new CEO in December, and reported to steeper than expected Q4 decline in revenue marked by a big inventory adjustment charge.
Mon, Feb. 23, 8:26 AM
- The United Steelworkers union expanded its strike over the weekend to the Motiva Enterprises refinery in Port Arthur, Tex., a 50-50 joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Saudi Aramco which produces more than 600K bbl/day, as well as a Shell chemical plant in Louisiana.
- The union and Shell, the lead negotiator for the refinery companies, reportedly will meet on Wednesday for the first time since negotiations broke up on Feb. 20 without a deal.
- The union says it is seeking protections for worker safety and fatigue; Shell is now saying the strike is all about the desire of national union leaders to replace routine maintenance contractors with union-represented workers.
- The strike already has affected refineries and chemical plants owned by LyondellBasell (NYSE:LYB), Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC), Tesoro (NYSE:TSO) and BP.
Sat, Feb. 21, 7:05 AM
- Lead negotiator Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) says last night's face-to-face negotiations with the United Steelworkers union again failed to reach an agreement to end the 20-day-old U.S. refinery strike.
- Workers at several refineries and chemical plants were waiting for instructions to join the 5K-plus workers at 11 plants, including nine refineries accounting for 13% of U.S. production capacity.
- The strike has hit refineries and plants owned by Shell, BP, LyondellBasell (NYSE:LYB), Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) and Tesoro (NYSE:TSO) in California, Kentucky, Texas and Washington state; temporary replacement workers so far have kept plants running at nearly normal levels.
- The USW is seeking a three-year, industry-wide pact that would cover 30K workers at 63 U.S. refineries that together account for two-thirds of domestic capacity.
Mon, Feb. 9, 4:59 PM
- Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) says it will resume negotiations tomorrow with the United Steelworkers union over a new labor contract for U.S. refinery workers.
- Worker walkouts affecting 11 plants including nine refineries that account for 13% of U.S. refining capacity today stretched into their ninth day.
- Over the weekend, walkouts widened to include BP's Whiting, Ind., refinery and its joint venture refinery with Husky Energy (OTCQB:HUSKF) in Toledo, Ohio; other facilities affected so far are owned by Tesoro (NYSE:TSO), Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) and LyondellBasell (NYSE:LYB).
Sat, Feb. 7, 8:25 AM
- BP says United Steelworkers members plan to go on strike at two of its refineries beginning at midnight tonight at its Whiting, Ind., refinery and a smaller plant it owns with Husky Energy (OTCQB:HUSKF) near Toledo, Ohio.
- The move follows the union's rejection Thursday of a sixth contract offer from Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), the lead negotiator in talks with the union on wages, benefits and safety issues at dozens of oil facilities across the U.S.
- The nine plants already on strike plus the two refineries account for ~13% of U.S. refining capacity; a full strike of USW members employed at more than 200 U.S. refineries, fuel terminals, pipelines and chemical plants, would threaten to disrupt nearly two-thirds of U.S. fuel output.
- Facilities now hit by the strike are owned by BP, Shell, Tesoro (NYSE:TSO), Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) and LyondellBasell (NYSE:LYB).
Thu, Feb. 5, 7:12 PM
- The United Steelworkers union has rejected the latest offer from U.S. refiners, continuing the strike at nine plants over wages, benefits and safety issues.
- The nine affected sites include seven refineries that account for ~10% of U.S. fuel-making capacity, but the union’s action could be expanded if its terms aren’t met, as the United Steelworkers represent hourly workers at 65 refineries as well as dozens of other plants.
- The plants hit by the strike are owned by Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) - the lead negotiator in talks with the union - Tesoro (NYSE:TSO), Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) and LyondellBasell (NYSE:LYB), and are located in Washington, California, Texas and Kentucky.
Tue, Feb. 3, 6:24 PM
- Tesoro (NYSE:TSO) has been hit the hardest in the strike at U.S. oil refiners, with workers walking out of three of its plants, as the United Steelworkers union targets the company, according to a Bloomberg report.
- More than 1,400 TSO employees were called to strike, more than a third of the total workers who walked out nationally, and that's no accident: TSO won a reputation in negotiations with local union members three years ago for being an especially hard bargainer, which has put a bullseye on the company during the current negotiations.
- The union also called for strikes at two plants owned by Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), two refineries and a co-generation unit owned by Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC), and a LyondellBasell (NYSE:LYB) refinery; modern refineries are highly automated, and plant owners say they will be able to sustain normal operations during the strike by using non-union workers.
- Negotiations are resuming tonight between union leaders and Shell, the lead negotiator for the refineries, amid increasingly strident language.
Tue, Feb. 3, 7:06 AM
Mon, Feb. 2, 5:30 PM
Mon, Feb. 2, 8:19 AM
- One of the nine U.S. oil refineries and chemical plants where union workers are striking has shut down, but the other refineries so far are running normally as operators initiated contingency plans, calling on trained managers as replacement workers.
- Tesoro (NYSE:TSO) says its 166K bbl/day Martinez, Calif., refinery, was being shut because it was in the midst of planned maintenance work; TSO says management was operating its refinery in Carson, Calif., and that managers were set to take over from union workers at its plant in Anacortes, Wash.
- Other companies hit by the strike so far are Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) and LyondellBasell (NYSE:LYB).
- If a new agreement isn’t hammered out this week and the strike spreads, “You can forget about $2 gasoline,” says Carl Larry, director of oil and gas at the Frost & Sullivan consulting firm. “People are going to be freaked out."
- Crude oil prices are rising this morning, as investors focus on the falling U.S. rig count that signals lower production ahead; WTI +0.5% at $48.50/bbl, Brent +1.1% at $53.60.
Dec. 19, 2014, 10:58 AM
- Surging U.S. operations for LyondellBasell (NYSE:LYB) and Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) have made them two of the biggest beneficiaries of the shale boom, but now they could be among the biggest losers of the ongoing oil price crash, Credit Suisse says.
- Chemical companies have been sharply expanding their U.S. production to take advantage of plentiful supply, but they are suffering along with energy companies as prices for natural gas liquids - which include ethane, propane, butane, isobutane and natural gasoline - have all plummeted this year.
- Prices for the fuels are closely linked to oil, so the ~45% drop in crude prices has pressured NGLs; also, many U.S. petrochemicals companies were counting on access to cheap supplies of naphtha, an oil product, to gain an advantage over international competitors, but naphtha prices also have fallen.
Dec. 19, 2014, 8:57 AM
- Malaysia's Petronas says it has selected LyondellBasell's (NYSE:LYB) process technologies for its planned 900K metric tons/year polypropylene plant.
- LYB is preparing the front-end engineering and design work to develop a detailed scope, execution plan and cost estimate for the plant and is expected to complete it by February.
- The plant is part of Petronas' Pengerang Integrated Complex project that could cost as much as $27B.
Dec. 18, 2014, 8:05 AM
- LyondellBasell (NYSE:LYB) names Bhavesh Patel as its new CEO, effective Jan. 12, succeeding James Gallogly, who had previously announced his plans to retire.
- Patel has served as executive VP for Olefins and Polyolefins Europe, Asia & International and Technology since Oct. 2013 after joining LYB in 2010.
LYB vs. ETF Alternatives
LyondellBasell Industries NV is a plastics, chemical and refining company. The Company produces polypropylene and polypropylene compounds, propylene oxide, polyethylene, ethylene and propylene. It also provides technology licenses.
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