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ADNOC introduces crude processing flexibility at Ruwais Refinery

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has announced a US$3.1 billion project to introduce crude processing flexibility at its Ruwais oil refinery. This is a significant step forward as ADNOC accelerates the delivery of its downstream refining strategy, which aims to enhance margins by introducing asset flexibility, backed by strong crude and product marketing initiatives.

The company has awarded an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the project to a joint venture between Samsung Engineering and CB&I. As part of the selection criteria for the EPC contract, ADNOC carefully considered the extent to which bidders would help to drive in-country value (ICV) for the UAE.

The refinery’s planned modifications will add an atmospheric residue de-sulfurisation (ARDS) unit, which will enable the refinery to process the Upper Zakum crude, or other similar crudes. The ARDS technology is extensively used in upgrading medium to heavy petroleum oils and residues to more valuable, clean and environmentally-friendly transportation fuels, and to partially convert the residues to produce low-sulfur fuel oil and hydrotreated feedstocks.

Scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022, the modifications will enable ADNOC’s Ruwais Refinery-West complex to process up to 420 000 bpd of Upper Zakum crude to be utilised for export sales. This will help to liberate Murban crude, which commands a higher price on global oil markets,

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.”

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