ExxonMobil has revealed its low sulphur bunker fuel will be available from the third quarter of this year, joining the likes of BP and Sinopec in making clear it will offer compliant fuel around the world ahead of next year’s sulphur cap.
Luca Volta, marine fuels venture manager at ExxonMobil, told Forbes in an interview: “We will be ready with the products and point of sales by the third quarter of 2019. That’s when we expect marine customers will start to bunker as the deadline of January 1, 2020 approaches.”
Volta said the compliant fuel would be offered in select locations to begin with, near key refineries, before being rolled out further.
“Logically we can deploy an effective supply chain where ports are in proximity of our manufacturing assets. This is where we are focusing our first wave of IMO 2020 compliant fuels,” Volta said.
Initially ExxonMobil has named the ports of Antwerp, Rotterdam, Genoa, Marseilles, Singapore, Laem Chabang and Hong Kong, where compliant fuels would be available, with locations in North America to follow. Once again, like BP, which unveiled its global sale locations for compliant fuel last week, Fujairah in the UAE is off the initial selection from ExxonMobil. Fujairah is the world’s second largest bunkering port after Singapore.
Volta also gave Forbes some ExxonMobil projections of shipping’s fuel mix going forward.
“Today bunker consumption is around 5m barrels per day (bpd) and we see that increasing to more than 8m bpd by 2040. Notionally, when we look at the fuel mix – 10% will be LNG, 30% will be distillate fuel oil, and the remainder will be residual in nature from high to low sulphur,” the ExxonMobil executive said.