Abu Dhabi —
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Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., which pumps most of the UAE’s 3 million b/d of crude oil, will look to bring in partners for its new refinery project in the industrial hub of Ruwais as part of plans to boost refining capacity to 1.5 million b/d by 2026, a company executive said.
“We are looking to bring in partners but we did not start this exercise yet,” Hassan al Hosani, vice president of the refining business at ADNOC, said on Wednesday at the Middle East Executive Petroleum Conference in Abu Dhabi.
“We want to develop the project first and then we will look for partners,” he said, adding that ADNOC is likely to retain a majority stake in the project.
State-owned companies are transforming themselves – not just to survive, but to thrive. Many NOCs are opening up, diversifying, driving a new wave of downstream development and trading businesses to reach new markets and evolve beyond just national champions.
ADNOC plans to spend $45 billion with partners to develop its downstream operations in Ruwais, west of the capital of Abu Dhabi. These projects include adding refining and petrochemical capacity. ADNOC is also on track to boost its oil production capacity to 4 million b/d by 2020 and 5 million b/d by 2030, CEO Sultan al Jaber said in September.
ADNOC Refining currently has a processing capacity of crude and condensate exceeding 922,000 b/d.
Earlier this year, ADNOC awarded Scotland-based Wood an $8 million contract to deliver pre-front end engineering and design (pre-feed) for the new refinery project in Ruwais, which is expected to have a capacity of 600,000 b/d.
The new refinery will be designed to have full conversion and will be integrated with petrochemical projects planned in Ruwais.
ADNOC also this year awarded Austria’s OMV and Italy’s Eni 15% and 20% stakes, respectively, in ADNOC Refining as part of plans to boost its downstream business. The remaining stake is with ADNOC.
ADNOC has shortlisted a number of companies and will select one of them as technology licensor in the second quarter of next year, Hosani said.
Once the technology licensor is selected then the company can have a rough idea of the cost of the refining project, which could be built in phases.
“The intention is 600,000 b/d, but we are looking at it from a business case point of view,” he said. “It all depends on the configuration and feedstock. We can do a new refinery. We could do a new refinery with a smaller one and debottleneck the existing one, that’s all under discussion.”
The current refinery project is made up of a West facility with a capacity of around 400,000 b/d, an East facility with 140,000 b/d and a condensate processing facility, he said.
ADNOC is also on track to upgrade the existing West refinery to process crudes other than Murban to free it up for export, he added. The $3.1 billion crude flexibility program is currently in the engineering procurement and construction stage and will be done per schedule by 2022.
The program will allow the West refinery to process crudes such as Upper Zakum and others.
(Updates with ADNOC output.)
— Dania Saadi, firstname.lastname@example.org
— Edited by Claudia Carpenter, email@example.com