UAE’s BPGIC says limited impact from virus on oil storage facilities

The United Arab Emirates’ Brooge Petroleum and Gas Investment Co (BPGIC) said that it was moving ahead with its oil storage expansion plans as there has been a limited impact from the coronavirus pandemic on the company’s operations.

BPGIC also reported on Wednesday that its 2019 revenue rose 23% from a year earlier to $44 million and gross profit climbed 29% from the prior year to $34 million.

“The disruption to oil markets caused by COVID-19 showed the high strategic value of having well-located storage assets,” said Nicolaas Paardenkooper, Brooge’s chief executive officer, in a statement.

“(Our) facilities remain fully operational at this time, having experienced limited impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Brooge said the second phase of its storage capacity expansion plans in Fujairah, which will add eight storage tanks with capacity of 3.8 million barrels, is expected to be completed by the end of 2020. The company’s Fujairah refinery is expected to become operational in the third quarter of next year, it added.

Fujairah is one of the seven emirates in the UAE. It is one of the world’s biggest ship refueling hubs because of its location just outside the Strait of Hormuz, an important shipping lane for oil exports from Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran.

Under phase 3 of its Fujairah storage plans, BPGIC will expand its capacity by another 22 million barrels, increasing total storage capacity to about 4.5 million cubic meters, or about 28 million barrels, which will come online in late 2022, it said in the statement.

U.S.-listed BPGIC, established in 2013, is one of the largest holders of storage assets in Fujairah. (Reporting by Rania El Gamal; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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