Petrobras’ refineries ramp up utilization in third-quarter 2023

Oct. 10, 2023
Petrobras boosted utilization of its refineries during third-quarter 2023 to achieve the best performance of its refining business since 2014.

Petróleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) boosted utilization of its refineries during third-quarter 2023 to achieve the best performance of its refining business since 2014.

By end-September 2023, Petrobras’ nine refineries reached an overall utilization rate of 97%, marking a second consecutive month to reach that level, the operator said on Oct. 10.

Improved performance of the refining units during August and September increased the total utilization factor (FUT) of the refineries for third-quarter 2023 to 95.8%, the highest FUT since 2014 when the refining system achieved an FUT of 98%.

Petrobras’ 434,000-b/d Refinaria de Paulínia (REPLAN) refinery in Paulínia, São Paulo—Brazil’s largest refinery—broke its utilization record in September, processing the highest volume of crude oil since February 2015, Petrobras said.

REPLAN’s September processing rate averaged 427,000 b/d for total of 12.8 million bbl processed by the month’s end to result in an FUT of 98.4%, according to the operator.

The nine refineries’ production of oil products during third-quarter 2023 also exceeded records, with output of S-10 diesel reaching 464,000 b/d compared with a previous high of 419,000 b/d produced in second-quarter 2023.

The refineries’ third-quarter 2023 production of gasoline increased to 423,000 b/d to hit the refining system’s highest quarterly gasoline output since fourth-quarter 2013.

Petrobras said the refineries’ improved performance and product output during third-quarter 2023 resulted from high operational reliability and availability of the refining units combined with efficient logistics and market service operations, all of which were supported by enhanced technology and process digitalization.

According to the latest data available from the operator, Petrobras—in addition to REPLAN—currently owns and operates its:

  • 88,000-b/d Refinaria Abreu e Lima (RNEST) refinery in Ipojuca, Pernambuco, in northeast Brazil.
  • 208,000-b/d Presidente Getúlio Vargas refinery (REPAR) in Araucária, Paraná.
  • 170,000-b/d Refinaria Presidente Bernardes (RPBC) refinery in Cubatão, São Paulo.
  • 252,000-b/d Refinaria Henrique Lage (REVAP) refinery in São José dos Campos, São Paulo.
  • 157,000-b/d Refinaria Gabriel Passos (REGAP) refinery—including a set of pipelines of more than 720 km—in Betim, Minas Gerais.
  • 201,000-b/d Refinaria Alberto Pasqualini (REFAP) refinery in Canoas, Rio Grande do Sul, in southern Brazil.
  • 239,000-b/d Duque de Caxias (REDUC) refinery in the Baixada Fluminense area of Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro state.
  • 57,000-b/d Refinaria de Capuava (RECAP) in Mauá, São Paulo.