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REFINERY NEWS ROUNDUP: Maintenance in Russia continues in Oct, to wind down in Nov

Maintenance continues at a number of Russian refineries in October, which is expected to wind down in November.

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As a result, the planned sales of oil products on Russia's St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (Spimex) in October will be lower month on month.

A number of refineries will continue works in October, including Ryazan, Taif, Yaisky, Ukhta, Angarsk, Omsk and Komsomolsk. Ryazan, Taif and Ukhta, however, are restarting over the course of the month.

Astrakhan is not expected back until the end of October.

In September, products sales also fell on Spimex, although the Surgut gas processing plant resumed sales after halting production, following an incident at the facility that supplies it with feedstock.

Meanwhile, smaller refineries are expected to continue working at full capacity in October after ramping up runs in the last months amid healthier export product markets, with product price rises seen matching the higher crude prices and securing healthy margins. The high natural gas prices in Europe had further boosted demand for alternative fuels, such as gasoil and fuel oil, which smaller refineries produce predominantly, improving their economics and supporting demand for crude oil.

Ukraine's largest oil refinery UkrTatNafta will switch to producing and exporting more fuel oil away from production of bitumen as demand has accelerated among power and heat producers, the company said Oct. 7.

The local power generating company in the city of Kremenchuk will use fuel oil produced by the refinery after prices of natural gas skyrocketed over the past several weeks, a spokesman at UkrTatNafta said.

Russian companies Gazprom Neft and Aeroflot are to work together on producing the country's first minimum-carbon-footprint sustainable aviation fuel for use on various types of aircraft, that will be fully compliant with international requirements on limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

The companies' announcement came the same week Russia started preparing an action plan to adapt its economy to the global energy transition, aimed at decreasing oil and gas use in its energy mix.

The low-carbon-footprint aviation fuel will be produced from plant-based feedstocks and should be able to cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80%, the companies said.

Key research for Russia's first-ever green fuel will be conducted in Gazprom Neft's Industrial Innovation Technology Centre in St. Petersburg.

Russian petrochemical company Sibur said Sept. 24 that it had signed an agreement with Russia's TAIF on the final conditions for the merger of their petrochemical businesses. The merger will make the combined entity one of the five largest polyolefin and rubber producers in the world, following completion of approved investment projects.

Separately, Kazakhstan is considering importing 385,000 mt of diesel by the end of the year from Russia in order to avoid any shortages, according to local media reports.

Kazakhstan has already imported 145,000 mt of diesel so far this year, which is part of the planned total volumes of 530,000 mt, which allows it to import another 385,000 mt.

The diesel imports could cover any shortfall by the planned maintenance at the country's Pavlodar refinery in October.

The country plans to produce 4.9 million mt diesel this year, a record amount, up from 4.678 million mt in 2020, due to the completed refinery modernization. Over the first eight months of the year, Kazakhstan's refineries have produced 3.27 million mt of diesel, up 9% year on year.

However, consumption was also higher, especially in August, when demand peaked at 519,000 mt, up 84,000 mt from 2020 and up 37,000 mt from 2019. The increase has been attributed to seasonally higher demand by transit haulers as diesel prices are lower in Kazakhstan than neighboring countries.

Kazakhstan's Atyrau refinery will defer its planned maintenance to avoid diesel shortages in the domestic market, according to local media reports citing refinery sources. S&P Global Platts reported earlier that the plant was expected to defer its autumn maintenance to the spring of 2022, citing market sources.

Kazakhstan, looking to ramp up its petrochemical production and exports, is working on several projects, according to delegates at the online Kazenergy Eurasian Forum.

Kazakhstan aims to complete construction of polypropylene production facilities in the Atyrau region in the fourth quarter with commissioning earmarked for next March.

The construction of the 500,000 mt/year facility has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, said Dmitrii Makeyev, head of crude processing and petrochemicals at national oil company Kazmunaygas.

KMG is working on two more projects, a 1.25 million mt/y polyethylene and 186,000 mt/y butadiene production facilities.

Kazakhstan has completed the modernization of its three refineries -- Atyrau, Pavlodar and Shymkent -- enabling them to fully meet domestic demand. As a result of the upgrades, they have started production of Euro 4 and Euro 5 products.

However, the refineries are not working at full capacity as crude oil exports are more lucrative than processing, although they are producing sufficient volumes to supply the domestic market, Makeyev said.

NEW AND ONGOING MAINTENANCE

Refinery
Capacity b/d
Country
Owner
Units
Duration
Astrakhan
146,000
Russia
Gazprom
Full
May
Salavat
200,000
Russia
Gazprom
Part
Back
Pavlodar
100,000
Kazakhstan
KMG
Full
Oct
Atyrau
110,000
Kazakhstan
KMG
Part
2022
Angarsk
204,000
Russia
Rosneft
Full
Back
Ryazan
342,000
Russia
Rosneft
Part
Back
Taif
166,000
Russia
Taif
Full
Back
Yaisky
60,000
Russia
Neftechimservis
Part
Back
Syzran
170,000
Russia
Rosneft
Full
Sep
Omsk
428,000
Russia
Gazprom Neft
Part
Sep
Ufa
132,000
Russia
Rosneft
Part
Sep
Ufaneftekhim
190,000
Russia
Rosneft
Part
Sep
Novoil
142,000
Russia
Rosneft
Part
Sep
Ukhta
80,000
Russia
Lukoil
Full
Back
Tuapse
240,000
Russia
Rosneft
Full
Nov
Perm
262,000
Russia
Lukoil
Part
Back
Moscow
220,000
Russia
Gazprom Neft
Part
Back
Saratov
135,000
Russia
Rosneft
Full
Oct

UPGRADES

Naftan
166,000
Belarus
Belneftekhim
Coker
2020
Mozyr
240,000
Belarus
Belneftekhim
H-Oil
2020
Mariisky
34,000
Russia
New Stream
CDU, VDU
NA
Omsk
428,000
Russia
Gazprom Neft
Upgrade
2022
Moscow
243,000
Russia
Gazprom Neft
Upgrade
2025
Taneco
178,000
Russia
Tatneft
Upgrade
N/A
Norsi
341,000
Russia
Lukoil
Coker
2021
Haydar Aliev
120,000
Azerbaijan
Socar
Upgrade
2020
Turkmenbashi
210,000
Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Coker
N/A
Afipsky
120,000
Russia
SAFMAR
Upgrade
N/A
Ilsky (Yilsky)
60,000
Russia
KNGK-Group
Upgrade
2020
Orsk
120,000
Russia
Forte invest
Upgrade
2023
Bukhara
50,000
Uzbekistan
Uzbekneftegaz
Upgrade
N/A
Fergan
109,000
Uzbekistan
Uzbekneftegaz
Upgrade
N/A
Yanos
314,000
Russia
Slavneft
Upgrade
2024
Novoshakhtinsky
100,000
Russia
Yug Energo
Upgrade
2027
Antipinsky
180,000
Russia
Socar Energ
Upgrade
NA
Salavat
200,000
Russia
Gazprom
Upgrade
2020
Pavlodar
100,000
Kazakhstan
KazMunaiGaz
Upgrade
NA
Ryazan
342,000
Russia
Rosneft
Upgrade
NA
Achinsk
150,000
Russia
Rosneft
Upgrade
NA
Tuapse
240,000
Russia
Rosneft
Upgrade
NA
Novokuybishev
164,000
Russia
Rosneft
Upgrade
NA
Komsomolsk
160,000
Russia
Rosneft
Upgrade
NA
Perm
262,000
Russia
Lukoil
Upgrade
2025
Jalal-Abad
10,000
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzneftegaz
Upgrade
NA
Kirishi
420,000
Russia
Surgutneftegaz
Upgrade
NA

LAUNCHES

Khabarovsk
100,000
Russia
IPC
Launch
NA
Kulevi
80,000
Georgia
Fazis Oil
Launch
2024
Primorsk region
240,000
Russia
Rosneft
Launch
2029

Near-term maintenance

New and revised entries

** Refineries in Russia's Ufa hub resumed sales of 95 RON gasoline on the St. Petersburg exchange Sept. 27. The refineries halted sales of the high octane grade from Sept. 20 due to maintenance, according to market sources.

** The predominantly export-oriented 240,000 b/d Tuapse refinery on the Black Sea in southern Russia is expected to carry out works starting in early November and lasting until mid-December, according to sources. The company was not immediately available to comment.

** Works have been completed at Russia's Salavat. They included maintenance on the monomer plant. The refinery was planning partial works in September.

** Syzran refinery is planning a major maintenance in September, lasting into October, with the whole refinery to be affected.

** Saratov refinery is planning major works in October.

** Omsk refinery has delayed works from September until October, in a move to secure sufficient gasoline supply.

** Moscow refinery is back following some partial works.

** Angarsk refinery, which started works in August, is expected back in early October.

** Ryazan refinery started works in late August, after postponing them for around two weeks to provide gasoline supply, and is due back in the first two weeks of October.

** Yaisky refinery, which carried out maintenance work in September, is due back in early October.

** Taif refinery has had a staggered maintenance since mid August, and is expected back in early October.

** Astrakhan refinery, which predominantly processes gas condensate and produces only light products, is expected back later in October, after extending several times its maintenance, which started in May.

** Ukhta, which started major works in mid September to last around one month, is due back around mid October.

** Perm is expected back around mid October, after starting partial works in September.

** Kazakhstan's Pavlodar refinery has deferred the start of works on the primary processing by 10 days in order to secure sufficient diesel supply, according to local media reports citing a refinery statement. The maintenance was due to start Oct. 1. However, the work on the remaining units will be carried out according to plan. The refinery has deferred its maintenance twice this year -- once from July to September, and then from September to October. It carries out works once every three years and the last maintenance was in 2018.

** Kazakhstan's Atyrau refinery will defer its planned maintenance to avoid shortages on the domestic market, according to local media reports citing the refinery. S&P Global Platts reported earlier that the plant was expected to defer its autumn maintenance to the spring of 2022, citing market sources. The refinery was expected to carry out a planned maintenance from mid September to mid October.

Upgrades

New and revised entries

** Lummus Technology has been awarded a contract for two proprietary heaters that will be part of Russia's Kirishi upgrade. The heaters will be used "in the conversion of heavy oil residues, which would otherwise end up in fuels, to valuable lighter products," it said in a statement. The company's delayed coking heaters "can handle a wide range of feedstocks in refineries and upgraders for both fuel and specialty coke production." The award is complimentary to a delayed coking technology license awarded by the KINEF refinery in Kirishi to CLG, a joint venture between Chevron and Lummus, in 2018.

** Belarus Naftan refinery reported a fire at the new delayed coker, the refinery said. The fire occurred in the week ended Oct. 1, due to a diesel leak during testing of the delayed coker. The delayed coker at Belarus Naftan was expected to be launched and produce its first batch of product by the end of this year. The complex was previously expected to come online in 2020.

Tests are underway at the new hydrocracker at Belarus Mozyr refinery. The hydrocracker, along with a hydrogen and sulfur units, is part of the H-Oil complex. The completion of the hydrocracker H-Oil complex at Mozyr will cut fuel oil output and increase light products. The complex, with feedstock capacity of 3 million mt/year, will increase its light products yield to 70% and depth of processing to 90%.

** Russia's Afipsky refinery has started to assemble the pressure pipelines in its hydrocracker complex. The deadline for completion of that part of the work is March 2022. Work is underway on the two most important parts of the complex -- the hydrocracking unit and the sulfur production unit.

According to the Krasnodar regional administration, the hydrocracker is due for completion in 2023.

Separately, the Afipsky refinery is planning the construction of a 1.6 million mt/year delayed coker.

Safmar Group is reorganizing two of its refineries by merging the Krasnodar refinery to the Afipsky refinery in southern Russia. It aims to complete the process by the end of summer 2021 and will thereby retain the name Afipsky refinery. The Krasnodar refinery will specialize in primary processing and the Afipsky refinery in secondary processing.

** Gazprom Neft has completed the construction of the diesel hydrotreater and dewaxer at its Omsk refinery and has started testing the unit. The new unit, with 2.5 million mt/yr feedstock capacity, will replace two outdated units.

Gazprom Neft said it had successfully completed the construction of a delayed coker at Omsk. The delayed coker, along with a hydrocracker, will form part of the deep crude oil processing complex of the Omsk refining complex.

The finalizing of the works in the deep processing complex in 2021 will increase the depth of processing up to 100%, the company said. The 2 million mt/year complex will enable the refinery to increase the depth of processing and regulate the yields of gasoline, jet fuel and lubricants feedstock.

The company has started assembly of electricity equipment at the catalytic cracker at Omsk refinery as part of the unit's upgrade which aims at increasing the output of high octane components. The company had completed installation of the upgraded L 35/11-600 catalytic reformer. Two new compressors have been installed and three have been upgraded. Work had been due for completion in 2020.

Omsk has also completed the installation of the main equipment at the primary CDU-VDU processing complex. The complex, with 8.4 million mt/year capacity, will be completed in 2021, and will allow the refinery to take six outdated units out of service.

The refinery also started a project to upgrade the AVT-10 primary processing complex, which has a capacity of 8.6 million mt/year. The project is due to be completed by the end of 2021.

Existing entries

** Lukoil will build a catalytic cracker complex at its Perm refinery in Russia. The complex will have 1.8 million mt/year feedstock capacity. It will include a catalytic cracker, as well as a high-octane gasoline components unit. The complex is expected to be launched in 2026 and will increase the output of high-octane gasoline. It will also allow the refinery to produce propylene to be used as petrochemical feedstock. Perm is also working on a deep processing complex which will increase the refinery's depth of processing. The project's timeline is 2020-25. The complex includes a catalytic cracker, diesel hydrotreater, hydrogen unit and alkylation unit.

** Russia's Moscow refinery has started the construction of a deep processing complex, set to be completed in 2025, which will enable it to reach almost 100% depth of processing and halt production of fuel oil. The refinery will be able to produce additional volumes of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

Gazprom Neft's refinery has chosen Spanish engineering company Tecnicas Reunidas to construct the new delayed coker which is part of the complex. It has also selected South Korean company DL E&C Co to participate in the hydrocracker construction. The delayed coker, which will have a 2.4 million mt/year capacity, will enable the refinery to increase production of motor fuel and start producing petroleum coke. The 2 million mt/year hydrocracker, a sulfur production unit and a hydrogen unit are also part of the complex.

** Russia's Glavgosexpertiza, the state construction and engineering auditor, has approved the upgrade project for the Novoshakhtinsky refinery, clearing the way for launching its new gasoline complex in 2024. The complex will produce 92 RON and 95 RON Euro 5 gasoline and Euro 5 diesel. It aims to produce around 670,000-680,000 mt/year and construction is due to start in 2021. Separately, the refinery plans to launch in December 2024 a 1.8 million mt/year diesel hydrotreater. At the end of 2026 it expects to launch a deep-processing complex, which includes a hydrocracker and delayed coker.

Following the completion of all upgrades, the refinery will be able to produce up to 3.2 million mt/year of diesel and 400,000 mt of petroleum coke. The refinery completed a bitumen unit in 2014 and a second CDU in 2015, Glavgosexpertiza said.

** Russian oil company Lukoil started the construction of a polypropylene unit at its refinery near Nizhny Novgorod, also known as Norsi and Kstovo. The unit will use feedstock from the two upgraded FCC units with 4 million mt/year capacity. Nizhny Novgorod is completing the construction of a deep processing complex. It is due to be launched in the autumn and will allow the refinery to reduce fuel oil output by 2.6 million mt/year and increase 10 ppm diesel output by 700,000 mt/year. The refinery's depth of processing will reach 97% and the light products yield 74%. As a result of the launch, Lukoil's refineries' fuel oil output will be less than 4% and light products yield 75%. The deep processing complex includes a 2.110 million mt/year delayed coker; a diesel and gasoline hydrotreater, with 1.5 million mt/yr capacity; a hydrogen unit, with 50,000 Nm3/hour capacity; a gas fractionation unit, with 425,000 mt/year capacity; and a sulfur unit, with 81,000 mt/year capacity.

** Russian oil company Tatneft will use the technology of Hungarian oil company MOL to build a unit for the production of resin-modified bitumen. The unit, with 25,000 mt/year capacity, will be commissioned around mid-2023. Taneco refinery is building a second delayed coker with 2 million mt/year capacity, residue hydroconversion and diesel hydrodewaxing.

** Russia's Ryazan refinery has received equipment for the construction of the gas fractionation unit. The new unit will produce household LPG, isobutane, butane, and others.

** Russia's Salavat refinery plans to launch its new FCC in the second half of this year. Currently it is in testing stage. The FCC will have a feedstock capacity of 1.095 million mt/year.

** Russia's Yanos refinery in Yaroslavl has started building a delayed coker complex. As a result it will fully halt fuel oil output. Its depth of processing will exceed 99% and light products yield -- 70%. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2024. The complex will be built in two stages -- initially a delayed coker will be built which will enable the processing of more than 3.4 million mt heavy fractions, followed by a naphtha hydrotreater and light gasoil coker. They will provide feedstock for gasoline and diesel.

** Safmar plans to build new deep processing complexes at the Orsk refinery. They include a 1.2 million mt/year delayed coker and a gasoline dewaxer with 600,000 mt/year capacity. It also plans an upgrade of the hydrocracker complex and the isomerization unit which would increase their productivity by more than 15%. The hydrocracker is set for launch in Q3 2022. The refinery started building the delayed coker in Q3 2020 and plans completion in Q3 2023. Its depth of processing will increase from 76.7% to 98.1% by 2022-2023. Separately the refinery is building a new unit for hydrotreatment of distillate products from the delayed coker unit. The unit can also be used for hydrodesulfurization of diesel from the primary processing units.

** Russia's Komsomolsk refinery is planning to upgrade the ELOU AVT-3 primary processing complex.

The refinery is building a hydrocracker complex which will increase its depth of processing to over 92%.

The complex has 3.5 million mt/year capacity.

** Russia's Achinsk refinery will increase its depth of processing to over 95% and the light products yield to 88% upon completion of its upgrades, which will lead to the almost complete halt of fuel oil output. It is building a hydrocracker with integrated hydrotreater. Its launch will enable it to almost double the output of motor fuel aimed at covering domestic demand predominantly in Siberia and the Far East. It is also building a delayed coker complex.

** Russia's Ilsky is planning to launch a new gasoline complex, including a 1.5 million mt/year CCR and isomerization units, around the second half of 2023 which will enable it to produce high-octane gasoline components and gasoline meeting Euro 5 standards, LPG and xylenes. After launching the gasoline complex, it aims to start building a diesel hydrotreater, with construction likely to be completed in 2024.

** Uzbekistan's Bukhara will use Honeywell UOP technology to increase crude conversion and produce Euro-5 standard gasoline and diesel. Honeywell will provide "licensing and basic engineering design services" for a new naphtha hydrotreating, RFCC, SelectFining and Merox units. The existing diesel hydrotreater will be revamped. Uzbekneftegaz has decided to proceed with an upgrade of its Bukhara and Fergan refineries and put on hold building a new refinery in the Jizzakh region. Uzbekistan's Fergan refinery between 2020-2023 aims to commission hydrocracking process in a staggered way which will allow it to produce Euro-5 regular gasoline 92 RON as well as diesel.

** Renovation and rebuilding work on Azerbaijan's Heydar Aliyev refinery was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Production of Euro 5 diesel and Euro-5 standard A-92/95/98 gasoline was originally planned by the end of 2021, and prior to that the end of 2020 for Euro-5 diesel and early 2021 for Euro-5 standard A-92/95/98. These dates were later pushed back to the start of 2022 due to the effects of the pandemic, with all work on the plant slated to be completed by 2025. The ongoing work includes replacing all the units of the refinery except one and in the process increasing the capacity to 7.5 million mt/year from 6 million mt/year. Work on the Azerkimya facility, which is supplied with feedstock by the Heydar Aliyev refinery, will raise production from 60,000 mt/year previously to around 175,000 mt/year.

** Russia's Rosneft is working towards launching the hydrocrackers that it has built at four of its refineries -- Achinsk, Komsomolsk, Novokuybishev and Tuapse. Russia's largest refiner is also completing the reconstruction of the hydrocracker at Ufaneftekhim, which was damaged in a fire in July 2016.

Rosneft is expanding the capacity of its existing delayed coker at Novokuybishev. Rosneft plans to complete its refinery modernization program by 2025. The program includes construction and reconstruction of over 50 units, with work on more than 30 of the units having been finished.

** Kyrgyzneftegaz plans to upgrade its Jalal-Abad refinery. Its strategy involves a unit for secondary processing of fuel oil.

** Kazakhstan's Pavlodar refinery is looking to build a unit for the purification of LPG and has selected a Merox technology.

** The launch of four secondary units at the Mariisky refinery has been delayed. As per plans, after upgrades it expects to increase the AT-2's capacity to 1.4 million mt/year from 900,000 mt/year and the VDU capacity to 1 million mt/year from 476,000 mt/year.

** The next stage of upgrades at the Antipinsky refinery in Russia involves increasing the capacity of crude and refined product pipelines. Antipinsky, which can process 9 million-9.5 million mt/year of crude, currently receives 7.5 million mt/year of crude.

** A delayed coker will be installed at the Turkmenbashi refining complex in Turkmenistan.

Launches

Existing entries

** Russia's Rosneft could launch a planned new refinery as part of its VNHK (East petrochemical complex) in the Far East in 2029 and a petrochemical plant in 2026. In August 2020, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Rosneft has shelved a plan to build a new refinery and petrochemical complex in the Far East due to changes in taxation, but can resume the project provided profitability can be guaranteed. Meanwhile, at a new meeting with Russia's President, Sechin said that one of the factors for carrying out the Far East project would be taking measures for stimulating the production of ethane and LPG. The Far East refinery is planned to process 12 million mt/year of crude, while the petrochemical plant will have 3.4 million mt capacity. The production will include 1.8 million mt gasoline, 6.3 million mt diesel and 4.5 million petrochemical products annually.

** A new refinery is planned to be launched in Georgia, at the Black Sea port of Kulevi, in 2024.

Construction of the 4 million mt/year plant is due to start in 2021. The refinery is expected to have 98% depth of processing and produce Euro 5 and 6 gasoline and diesel and thus reduce Georgia's import needs for oil products by 15%-20%.

** Russia's Khabarovsk refinery plans to build a second phase to the plant close to the existing site. The second phase would double the refinery's capacity to 10 million mt/year, and aims to cover gasoline demand in the far east of Russia. The company is seeking an investor in the Asia-Pacific for the second phase, which includes an FCC, hydrotreater and delayed coker.