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3/6/2020 12:00:00 AM

A number of refineries in the Middle East are carrying out planned maintenance in Q1. Petro Rabigh started works in March, while Ras Tanura’s maintenance, which was also expected for March, will now be carried out in June.

Separately, a minor fire at Iran’s Abadan refinery that occurred in storage tanks of light oil products last week night local time has been controlled and extinguished quickly, according to local media reports. The fire, which was caused by lightning, did not affect operations.


–Saudi Aramco confirmed that it plans to commence the “temporary shutdown” of Ras Tanura on June 1. “The company conducts periodic maintenance on its facilities from time to time to ensure continuous reliable supply to its customers,” it said in a statement. Previously, the refinery was expected to undergo a month-long turnaround in March. According to traders, the maintenance would last around a month.

–Saudi Arabia’s Petro Rabigh said that maintenance at the plant starts March 1 and will last around 60 days. The company plans “to perform comprehensive and scheduled periodic maintenance work for all operating facilities and production units in the company complex, which requires the complete suspension of these units,” it said in a statement. Traders had previously said that maintenance on the site is expected in Q1.

–Maintenance has been completed at Dubai’s Emirates National Oil Co.’s Jebel Ali refinery, with expansion work at the facility still ongoing, trading sources said. Some maintenance reported last year to various units at ENOC’s plant has been completed, sources said.


–Bahrain’s Bapco will halt its Sitra refinery for works around mid-March, according to sources close to the matter. Market sources expected the works to last around three weeks. The shutdown was expected to impact gasoil and jet fuel, but gasoline and fuel oil are not likely to be affected, according to traders. The FCC and hydrocracker are not expected to be affected by the works, while the reformer will likely be halted for the duration of the maintenance.

–Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s refinery in Ruwais is scheduled to restart end-March following its shutdown in February for maintenance, market sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. Despite being shut for a turnaround for more than a month, the company does not expect any impact to supply, one of the sources said, as it is a scheduled maintenance program. ADNOC declined official comment. Both the west and east part are undergoing works, while the condensate part would keep running, according to sources.

–Saudi Yasref (Yanbu) refinery is due to carry out a full turnaround early in 2020, according to market sources.

–Germany’s Uniper said it has “identified even more improvements than previously expected” for its Fujairah facility, which will be implemented in phases over 2019-20. The first of the phases started in August and was “expected to contribute to our production gains and operating flexibility objectives for IMO 2020”. Uniper has two 40,000 b/d distillation columns in Fujairah that have been designed to process low sulfur crude oils to produce ULSFO.



–Iran’s Bandar Abbas and Imam Khomeini refineries will build coke plants, according to local media reports. The units, which will use fuel oil as feedstock, will take three years to complete and will produce high value products. They will produce around 700,000 mt/year, mostly of needle coke. Separately, the sulfur granulation unit at Isfahan has been completed and launched. It has 300 mt/day production capacity. The refinery last year launched a Phase 3 distillation unit, which adds 120,000 b/d capacity to the existing two distillation units, whose total capacity is 145,000 b/d.

–Maintenance has been completed at Dubai’s Emirates National Oil Co.’s Jebel Ali refinery, with expansion work at the facility still ongoing, trading sources said. Some maintenance reported last year to various units at ENOC’s plant has been completed, sources said. ENOC is currently undertaking a $1 billion expansion program to boost the refinery’s capacity to 210,000 b/d and meet Euro 5 emissions standards. It signed a contract with France’s Technip in September 2016 for the engineering, procurement and construction of a new 70,000 b/d condensate processing train.


–Bahrain Petroleum Company’s (Bapco) expansion of its Sitra refinery is set for commissioning by 2022, according to a local media report. The project is 40% complete and will raise the refinery capacity to 380,000 b/d. The expansion is handled by a consortium including TechnipFMC, Samsung Engineering and Tecnicas Reunidas.

–The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and India’s Reliance Industries signed an agreement to explore development of an ethylene dichloride facility in Ruwais. The facility would be adjacent to the Ruwais integrated refining and petrochemical site, with ADNOC supplying ethylene to the potential joint venture and RIL delivering operational expertise and “entry to the large and growing Indian vinyls market,” ADNOC said.

–Saudi Arabia’s Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co., or Petro Rabigh, has successfully passed a reliability test of the phase 2 expansion. The test will enable the integration between phases 1 and 2, with phase 2 adding 15 chemical units in the Petro Rabigh complex. Petro Rabigh — a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Japan’s Sumitomo producing 2.4 million mt/year of chemicals on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast — delayed the start-up of its expansion complex to add 2.6 million mt/year of petrochemical production capacity. Separately, US-based Jacobs has been awarded a contract to provide front-end engineering and design work, as well as project management consultancy, for a fuel oil upgrade project dubbed “Bottom of the Barrel”. The project aims to convert residue from crude distillation.

–Saudi Aramco plans to complete a $2.5 billion clean fuels projects at its Ras Tanura refinery in the first quarter of 2021. Work on the clean fuels project at Ras Tanura, which started in 2018, is 62% complete. The clean fuels project will produce lower sulfur diesel with low benzene content.

–Saudi Aramco has awarded a contract to KBR to provide technology, license, basic engineering design and equipment for its solvent deasphalting for the Riyadh refinery residue upgrading and clean fuels project. The solvent deasphalter technology assists refiners in complying with new International Maritime Organization fuel regulations in 2020, KBR said.

–Satorp has awarded a contract to KBR to debottleneck Train 2 in Jubail, KBR said. The debottlenecking project is expected to increase the original refinery’s throughput by 15% once completed in August. The project will be delivered “to support the upcoming major refinery turnaround in 2020,” KBR said. The refinery’s capacity was increased by 10% in 2018, to 440,000 b/d, after major maintenance on one of its distillation units. Upon the completion of the debottlenecking project, the refinery’s capacity will be increased to 460,000 b/d. A major project for a new petrochemical complex at the site is moving to the FEED stage. The $5 billion project, first announced in April 2018, will be next to the Satorp refinery in Jubail and is due to start up in 2024.

–US engineer CB&I has been awarded a $95 million contract for the expansion and modernization of Sasref.

–Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. will look to bring in partners for its new refinery project in the industrial hub of Ruwais as part of plans to boost refining capacity to 1.5 million b/d by 2026. ADNOC Refining currently has a processing capacity of crude and condensate exceeding 922,000 b/d. ADNOC awarded Scotland-based Wood an $8 million contract to deliver pre-front end engineering and design (pre-feed) for the new refinery project in Ruwais, which is expected to have a capacity of 600,000 b/d.

–KNPC launched a new diesel production unit at its Mina Abdullah refinery, part of the Clean Fuels refinery project. Work on the estimated $16 billion project has been going on since 2014. It will see the 466,000 b/d Mina al-Ahmadi and 270,000 b/d Mina Abdullah refineries integrated into a single complex, with new units added that will increase total capacity to 800,000 b/d.

–Iraq has agreed a $1 billion soft loan with Japan to fund a landmark fluid catalytic cracking complex at the Basra refinery. The Japan International Cooperation Agency said the new plant was expected to process 55,000 barrels per stream day of residue crude from the crude distillation unit in the existing Basra refinery. The complex is targeting a 2024 completion date. Separately, throughput at Shuaiba is set to rise to 280,000 b/d.

–Iraq has added another 10,000 b/d of refining capacity after completing the rehabilitation of a CDU at the Kasik refinery in the north of the country, the oil ministry said. Rehabilitation work continues at the refinery’s other 10,000 b/d CDU.

–The Kermanshah oil refinery in the west of Iran plans to raise capacity by 15,000 b/d and upgrade its products output. “With the implementation of this project, Kermanshah oil refining capacity will reach 40,000 b/d and quality of its products will be upgraded to Euro 5,” the head of the refinery’s board of directors, Sohrab Barandishan, was quoted as saying. No target date for the start or completion of the work was given.

–Iran’s Persian Gulf Star condensate refinery plans to raise its capacity by 140,000 b/d to 540,000 b/d.

–Following a major upgrade project, Iran’s Tabriz refinery expects to reduce its fuel oil production. The refinery currently produces 4 million l/d (1.416 million mt/year) of fuel oil, which is primarily used as a feedstock for tar, production of which amounts to around 1.2 million l/d. Around 2022, the refinery is expected to reduce fuel oil, or mazut, production from around 25% of product output to below 5%.

–Iran’s Abadan, with 400,000 b/d nameplate capacity, aims to stabilize its throughput at 360,000 b/d. It is building a 210,000 b/d distillation unit as part of its upgrade project, which started in 2012 and is scheduled to be finished in 2021. It expects — following the upgrades that consist of four stages — to reduce its fuel oil output by 40%. It is also working on increasing its gasoline production to 20 million l/d from 12 million l/d.

–A gas condensate project is under construction in Iran as part of eight planned 60,000 b/d condensate refineries around Siraf, Bushehr province. The National Development Fund is financing one of the plants.

–Iraq has added another 10,000 b/d of refining capacity after completing the rehabilitation of a CDU at the Kasik refinery in the north of the country, the oil ministry said. Rehabilitation work continues at the refinery’s other 10,000 b/d CDU.

–Jordan Petroleum Refinery Co. has awarded a contract to US engineer KBR for the design of a new residue hydro-processing unit as part of its expansion of the Zarqa refinery in Jordan.



–The first 25,000 b/d unit of UAE-based Brooge Petroleum & Gas Investment Co.’s refinery plans in Fujairah will be operational by the end of the year, CEO Nicolaas Paardenkooper said. The company earlier this week inked an agreement with Al Brooge International Advisory to finalize the technical and design feasibility studies for the refinery. It is slated to produce low sulfur fuel oil in compliance with the International Marine Organization’s sulfur regulations on marine fuels that went into force January 1. BPGIC and BIA are also in talks on sublease and joint venture agreements, under which BIA would sublease land from BPGIC and construct the refinery, and BPGIC would operate the refinery. Once complete, the refinery would be the third in Fujairah alongside units owned by Vitol and Uniper. BPGIC formally signed its land lease agreement for 450,000 square meters in the Fujairah Oil Industrial Zone to build a separate 180,000 b/d oil refinery and 3.5 million cu m of storage tanks.


–Saudi Aramco’s Jazan refinery on the Red Sea was expected to be ready for full operations in the second half of 2020. The refinery and petrochemical complex, expected to reach full capacity of 400,000 b/d by 2021, was on track to start up by the end of this year, Saudi Aramco’s Senior Vice President for Downstream Abdulaziz al-Judaimi said in October.

–Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company has awarded Honeywell a contract to expand the Al-Zour refinery, Honeywell UOP said. Honeywell UOP will revise the configuration and capacity of the gasoline production facilities and will also supply licenses and design services and key equipment “to produce clean-burning fuels, paraxylene, propylene and other petrochemicals.” The gasoline section will include a 98,000 b/d RFCC complex, a UOP Selectfining unit for the production of low sulfur gasoline components as well as two UOP Merox for treating propane for propylene production and isobutane for clean-fuels blending components. The CCR platformer and naphtha hydrotreater have been expanded “to meet the needs of the larger gasoline and aromatics complexes.” The petrochemical section will include an aromatics complex with capacity to produce 1.4 million mt/year paraxylene. The 615,000 b/d refinery is targeted for completion by 2020. The petrochemicals complex at Al-Zour is due for completion in 2023, with start-up expected in 2024.

–Angola’s state-owned oil company, Sonangol, is working with Iraq’s ministry of oil to build a complex refinery in Mosul. The discussions between Sonangol and the ministry are for a refinery with a capacity of 100,000-150,000 b/d of complex products.

–The Duqm refinery project in Oman was expected to start up in 2022. Construction of the plant, located in the special economic zone in Duqm, began in June 2018.

–Kuwait may add a new refinery in the south of the country, which could add 130,000-160,000 b/d of capacity.

–Canada’s Pacific Future Energy has been awarded a contract to build a 150,000 b/d refinery outside the southern Iraqi town of Nassiriya. Though the contract would be between Pacific Future Energy and the oil ministry, it would be supervised by state-owned South Refineries Company.

–Iraq opened a downstream tender, hoping to attract engineering and construction companies to build a new refinery in Basra province.

–Iraq signed a contract with two Chinese companies for the country’s first new refinery to be built with foreign investors. The contract, with PowerChina and Norinco, covers construction and operation of a new 300,000 b/d export-oriented refinery, along with an integrated petrochemicals complex near Iraq’s existing oil export facilities on the southern Al-Fao peninsula, which leads to the Persian Gulf. The oil ministry is still seeking investors for a 100,000 b/d refinery in Wasit province, a 70,000 b/d refinery in Samawa province, and a 70,000 b/d refinery in Kirkuk. For the latter, it signed a contract with Rania International in February 2018. It has also added a 70,000 b/d site at Diwaniya, in Qadisiya province, south of Baghdad, a new 150,000 b/d project to be built in the west Anbar province and another in Qayarah, a territory previously occupied by the IS. It did not say if it will be a completely new construction or a building out of the existing Qayarah refinery, which has a 20,000 b/d nameplate capacity but has been operating at 4,000 b/d.

–Construction of the 140,000 b/d Karbala refinery, Iraq’s first new downstream facility in decades, has been stalled due to lack of finance. Work has yet to start on the 150,000 b/d Missan refinery.

–Houston-based GTC Technology has agreed to a deal to provide a gasoline production unit to Iraq’s Al-Barham Group, which plans to build a refining complex in the northern city of Kirkuk.

Source: Hellenic Shipping