ADNOC's $3.5 billion project to upgrade Ruwais refining 73% complete
The project allows for the Upper Zakum grade to be processed along with over 50 other types of different crudes
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) announced that its crude flexibility project (CFP) is 73% complete. The project will upgrade the refining capabilities in Ruwais and strengthen the role of Ruwais as a critical driver for industrial growth for Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
For more than 40 years, ADNOC has predominantly refined Murban grade crude, extracted from its onshore fields in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The CFP allows for the Upper Zakum grade, extracted from Abu Dhabi's offshore oil fields, to be processed along with over 50 other types of different crudes.
H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and ADNOC Group CEO said: “We continue to focus on stretching the margin of every barrel of oil we produce to maximize the value of our resources, while also making responsible investments in the current market environment. This investment is another step in our progress to develop Ruwais into a dynamic, global hub for downstream activity, further strengthening ADNOC's role as a key driver of the UAE's long-term industrial growth and economic diversification".
In 2018, ADNOC announced plans to diversify the feedstocks it processes. The $3.5 billion (AED 12.8 billion) CFP upgrade initiative is a core driver of ADNOC Downstream’s 2030 smart growth strategy. The project will increase the value ADNOC derives from every barrel of oil, both by boosting refining margins and by leaving more high-value Murban crude available for export.
Much of the physical infrastructure required for the CFP has now been put in place. Major structural elements, notably 2 new fractionators and 24 atmospheric residue desulfurizer reactors have been installed at the site over the past two months. Each of the 317-ton fractionators was transported to the UAE from South Korea. Installing the 80-meter structures took three weeks across June and July 2020. They will serve to separate the component products within the crude oil to allow for further refining.
Upon completion in mid-2022, the CFP will allow ADNOC to process up to 420,000 bpsd (Barrels per Stream Day) of heavier and sourer grades of crude oil, as part of the 840,000 bpsd refinery in Ruwais.
The development of a more flexible and adaptive refining capability in Ruwais represents a cornerstone of ADNOC Downstream’s 2030 smart growth strategy, launched at ADNOC’s Downstream Investment Forum in 2018. Since the Forum, ADNOC has attracted significant foreign investment to Ruwais and expanded its downstream partnerships across its refining, fertilizer, and pipeline assets.