ADNOC investing $3.1 billion in Ruwais Refinery to introduce crude processing flexibility and free valuable Murban crude for export

Abu Dhabi, UAE –  A US $3.1 billion project to introduce crude processing flexibility, at the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) owned Ruwais oil refinery, was announced today.

Known as the Crude Flexibility Project (CFP), the announcement is another significant step forward as ADNOC accelerates delivery of its Downstream refining strategy that aims to enhance margins by introducing asset flexibility, backed by strong crude and product marketing initiatives.

ADNOC’s Ruwais Refinery-West complex
ADNOC’s Ruwais Refinery-West complex

The announcement follows the awarding of the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract, for the project, to a joint venture between Samsung Engineering (Korea) and C B & I (Netherlands).

The refinery modifications, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022, will 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 ADNOC’s Downstream Directorate 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 will 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 extensively 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 Refining carefully 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 UAE nationals.

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