Adnoc to start production from Ruwais refinery

The refiner will not offer 10ppm diesel term for exports until production is stable

Adnoc has started negotiations for jet fuel export term for 2015.
Adnoc has started negotiations for jet fuel export term for 2015.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is expected to start production from its Ruwais refinery in the second half of November, industry sources told Reuters.

If plans come to fruition, Adnoc will stay on track to meet initial oil production targets from the newly expanded refinery.

Earlier this year Adnoc's chief executive said that Ruwais’s expansion will be fully commissioned by the end of this year.

The expansion is expected to more than double the capacity of the refinery, which currently stands at 415,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Once fully commissioned, the expanded Ruwais will process Abu Dhabi's Murban crude oil grade.

It is also expected to produce an additional 8mn tonnes a year of diesel and 4mn tonnes a year of jet fuel. The refinery currently produces 5mn tonnes a year of diesel and 6mn tonnes a year of jet fuel.

"Production will start in the second half of November but I'm not too sure when the first oil product will be offered from the refinery," said one of the sources. "It takes time to stabilise production of new units," they added.

Adnoc will not be offering term exports of diesel outside the local market until production is stable at the expanded Ruwais refinery, the first source said.

"With an additional 8 million tonnes a year of diesel, offering term supply makes sense, but the production needs to be stabilised first," the source added.

Adnoc is currently negotiating with local fuel retailers Emirates National Oil Co (ENOC) and Emirates General Petroleum Corp (Emarat) to supply unspecified volumes of diesel with 10 parts per million (ppm) sulphur for 2015, industry sources told Reuters.

The Abu Dhabi oil company switched its term contracts with ENOC and Emarat earlier this year after the UAE government raised its fuel standards.

The majority of supply from the expanded Ruwais refinery is expected to meet rising domestic demand, with the rest likely to be shipped to Europe, traders said.

Adnoc's distribution arm signed an agreement in 2012 to take over fuel stations run by Emarat.

"The additional volumes from the refinery at this stage are expected to go to local market. From January, they (ADNOC) will be supplying all seven emirates of the UAE, including Dubai," a Gulf-based trader said.

Adnoc has also begun term negotiations to supply jet fuel for 2015 with existing clients and is expected to offer similar volumes to this year's contract, traders said.

It is asking for $2.10 a barrel above Middle East quotes, they said, though discussions are still on.


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