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Middle Eastern late February downstream update

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Maintenance has begun on Bahrain’s only refinery, despite the civil unrest currently sweeping the country. Bahrain Petroleum, the state owned operator of the 267 000 bpd refinery, started a partial shutdown on February 16 and has stopped the hydrocracker for servicing.


A strike has begun at Abadan’s oil refinery, the largest gasoline producing plant in Iran. Starting on February 14, workers will take to the streets to show their support with the people’s uprisings elsewhere in the region, and to protest against delayed receipt of wages. The walkout is set to disrupt the third phase of the refinery upgrade. 

Construction on the Marjan Petrochemical Complex began on 16 February in Assalouyeh. The work, undertaken with the backing of Haldor Topsoe, is due for completion in 2015. The unit will have the capacity to produce 1.65 million t of methanol and will cost € 342 million.


Gunmen have attacked Iraq’s largest refinery, located approximately 150 miles north of Baghdad, in the city of Baiji. The resulting explosions have forced the facility to shut down for at least two weeks.


CB&I Lummus has won a contract worth approximately US$ 50 million for the expansion and upgrade of the Sohar refinery. CB&I Lummus will provide design engineering and project management consultancy services, as well as overseeing the modernisation of Oman’s largest refinery into a world scale facility. The project will mark the fist undertaking of Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries, a newly established organisation responsible for the management of Sohar.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Aramco is to begin trading refined oil products this year. The world’s largest crude exporter is seeking to capitalise on their expanding refinery business, facilitated by a new wholly owned unit.


International Petroleum Investment Co. (IPIC) has agreed a deal to buy Cia. Espanola de Petroleos SA (CEPSA), Spain’s second largest oil company. IPIC, owned by the Abu Dhabi state, will buy out CESPA shareholder Total SA in a US$ 5.37 billion agreement.

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