Refinery-petrochemical integration vital: KNPC
Gas development will assume more importance says KNPC's Dr Al Rashidi
Refinery and petrochemical integration is not just an option, but a necessity, says Bakhit Al Rashidi, deputy managing director, Planning and Local Marketing, Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC). The largest refiners in the region, including KNPC, will be part of the high-level industry line-up at the upcoming Middle East Downstream Week, taking place in Abu Dhabi from 8-11 May.
Commenting on integration, Dr. Al Rashidi said: “Cyclic trends in refining margins and a thin band of margin operation for overall profitability make integration essential to even out the margin vagaries. All new refinery projects essentially incorporate integration with petrochemicals as much greater savings in investment cost and operating costs would result.”
Gas to assume more importance
With regards to the medium term outlook for the refining industry, Dr. Al Rashidi feels, “gas development will assume more importance, especially since its availability (un-conventional) seems to be more widespread. Environmental concerns will also push for the gas maximisation option.” With regards to his long term view, he adds: “Oil as a power generation fuel source will continue its downward slide with gas effectively replacing oil and a good share of coal.”
Political turmoil in MENA region
The Middle East Downstream Week will have a special focus on the impact of the unrest in Libya and the region on the wider downstream industry from the perspective of NOCs, IOCs, petrochemical producers, refiners, fuels marketers and distributors in addition to independent oil and gas experts and technology leaders. According to KNPC’s Dr. Al Rashidi the Libyan crisis has only a limited impact on sweet/light crude refiners and the impact is softened with Saudi Arabia’s production boost to compensate the deficit.