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Mid August global downstream news

Hydrocarbon Engineering,



The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar has condemned the insinuation that refineries in the country cannot work because they are owned by the government.

Omar said ‘it is not an excuse to say that refineries are not working, because they are owned by the government. All these refineries were working and built by the government, why will it be different now?’

‘If these refineries were working fully in the past under the government, why will another government say it cannot make them work?’

He added that the country will not move forward while people perpetuate fraud. He urged the government to fix refineries.


The Ugandan government announced on Wednesday that its first oil refinery will come on stream by 2018.

The refinery, to be located in Holma district, will supply refined petroleum products to the domestic market, as the country seeks to reduce its imports bill and become self sufficient in fuel products.

In a statement, the Ministry said that ‘the government plans to develop a refinery…starting with a capacity of 30 000 bpd by 2018, which will be increased to 60 000 bpd before 2020’.

The project is expected to cost US$ 2 billion.


European refiners are set to cut crude oil processing rates by approximately 500 000 bpd, as soaring oil prices bite deeper into their already weak profit margins, according to traders.

Refiners including BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total would reduce total output to approximately 11.5 million bpd.

Seasonal maintenance in the North Sea, and lower than usual exports of Russian Urals and disruptions to exports from Iraq and Libya have pushed benchmark Brent futures prices this month to their highest levels since April.

Higher crude oil prices mean refiners make less profit per barrel from selling refined products, as the margin or crack shrinks.

New Zealand

A US$ 365 million expansion of Marsden Pt Oil Refinery has been approved by Minister of Energy and Resources Simon Bridges.

The US$ 365 million CCR project will lift the refinery’s capabilities to 80% of New Zealand’s fuel needs, providing a more reliable fuel source.

Building work will additionally create approximately 300 on site jobs and hundreds more off site over the next four years.

South America


A minor fire has affected a unit of the Cardon refinery, located in Paraguana. This is the third occurrence of fire in the Venezuelan refining circuit in three days, revealing deteriorated preventive maintenance in the plant of state run oil holding Petroleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa).

The Cardon refinery fire broke out in High Vacuum Unit 3 (AV-3) and caused ‘slight injuries’ in two workers.

From May onwards, 15 events have been reported, including fires, shutdowns, blackouts and leakage, in Amuay and Cardon (which form part of Paraguana Refining Center, CRP), El Paito, Puerto La Cruz and Isla.

The string of troubles in the refining circuit and the duty to meet the growing domestic demand without further capacity to process additional byproducts caused losses in Pdvsa’s refining, marketing and supply last year for US$ 7.7 billion.

This means that refining and marketing related losses surged to 851% in 2012, over US$ 819 million in 2011.

Taking refining in Venezuela only, losses in 2012 were equal to US$ 8.4 billion. This was later offset by foreign refining profits.

 Edited from various sources by Emma McAleavey.

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