Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) subsidiary ADNOC Refining (formerly Takreer) will undertake a $3.1-billion project to increase crude processing flexibility and improve margins at the 417,000-b/d West plant of its more than 800,000-b/d Ruwais refining complex in the UAE.
Part of ADNOC’s program to accelerate downstream strategy delivery, the crude flexibility project (CFP) will enable the Ruwais West plant to process up to 420,000 b/d of Upper Zakum crude or similar medium-sour crude types from the market in lieu of fellow UAE-produced, light, sweet Murban crude, the operator said on Feb. 7.
Increased crude-processing flexibility at the refinery, in turn, will free higher-priced Murban crude for export sales to global oil markets to help UAE garner greater returns from its domestically produced oil resources, according to ADNOC.
The operator also confirmed it has let a contract to a joint venture of CB&I BV, The Hague, and Samsung Engineering Co. Ltd., Seoul, to provide engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services for the CFP, which will involve the addition of an atmospheric residue desulfurization unit at the refinery to upgrade medium-to-heavier crudes like Upper Zakum into cleaner transportation fuels, as well as convert residues for production of low-sulfur fuel oil and hydrotreated feedstocks.
While it did not reveal a specific value or duration of the EPC contract, ADNOC did say it expects to complete the CFP by yearend 2022.
ADNOC’s multibillion-dollar investment in crude-quality arbitrage at Ruwais follows the operator’s late-2017 announcement that it will boost production capacity of supergiant Upper Zakum offshore field by 350,000 b/d to 1 million b/d (OGJ Online, Nov. 15, 2017).
The field currently produces 650,000 b/d of 33.9° gravity crude, which is partially processed offshore then moved by pipeline to Zirku Island, 55 km away, for further processing, storage, and tanker loading.
Contact Robert Brelsford at [email protected].