ADNOC to introduce crude processing flexibility in Ruwais Refinery

Ruwais Refinery websiteThe Ruwais Refinery is located in Al Ruwais region in Abu Dhabi. (Image source: ADNOC)The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has announced crude processing flexibility worth US$3.1bn at its Ruwais oil refinery, one of the largest oil refineries in the UAE

Known as the Crude Flexibility Project (CFP), the announcement is in line with ADNOC’s downstream refining strategy that aims to enhance margins by introducing asset flexibility, backed by crude and product marketing initiatives.

For the project, a joint venture between Samsung Engineering (Korea) and CB&I (The Netherlands) won engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract from ADNOC.

The refinery modifications, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022, is set to enable ADNOC’s Ruwais Refinery-West complex to process up to 420,000 bpd of Upper Zakum crude, or similar crude types from the market, liberating Murban crude, which commands a higher price on global oil markets, to be utilised for export sales.

Abdulaziz Abdulla Alhajri, director of downstream directorate at ADNOC, said, “Enabling the Ruwais Refinery-West to process Upper Zakum, or similar, medium sour crude, in place of Murban light sweet crude, will allow us to extract greater value from our crude resources. It will mean we can maximise the benefit of price differentials to enhance refinery margins, improve the middle distillate products and release valuable Murban crude into the market.”

The planned modifications are expected to add an atmospheric residue de-sulphurisation (ARDS) unit that will enable the refinery to process the Upper Zakum crude, or other similar crudes from the market. The ARDS technology is used in upgrading medium to heavy petroleum oils and residues to more valuable clean environmentally friendly transportation fuels and to partially convert the residues to produce low-sulfur fuel oil and hydrotreated feedstocks.

As part of the selection criteria for the EPC contract, ADNOC has considered the extent to which bidders would help to drive In-Country Value (ICV) for the UAE. By integrating ICV criteria into the commercial evaluation process, ADNOC aims to maximise spend on local goods and services, to support socio-economic growth, improve knowledge transfer and create job opportunities for the UAE nationals.

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