A supertanker carrying the first crude oil cargo has begun to discharge at the US$16bn Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project in the Malaysian state of Johor. The refinery project is nearing completion and is entering the commissioning and testing phase. Refining operations are set to begin in 2019 and petrochemical production will begin 6 to 12 months later.
Russian independent gas producer Novatek has shipped its first LNG cargo from the Yamal LNG project (Russia) to the Bahia regasification terminal in Brazil. Novatek aims at diversifying its supply geography and customer base. In July 2018, Novatek shipped its first LNG cargo to China via the Northern Sea Route.
According to China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), the Sanmen-1 AP1000 nuclear reactor project being built in the Zhejiang province of China has completed 168 hours of full power continuous operation and is now deemed to enter commercial operation. A second reactor at the Sanmen site achieved hot testing phase in February 2018 and should be commissioned by the end of the year. With the commissioning of Sanmen-1, CNNC now has a total of 19 operational nuclear reactors, with an installed capacity of 16,716 MW.
According to the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) benefited from a 29% increase of their net oil revenues in 2017 to US$567bn compared with 2016, thanks to both the increase in crude oil prices and in net oil exports. The EIA predicts that these revenues are likely to continue to ramp up in 2018 to US$736bn (+30%), following the annual crude oil prices trends. However, they could decline starting from 2019, by 2.4% to US$719bn, driven mainly by lower prices and by slightly lower OPEC production and exports to a lesser extent.