Skip to main content

Russian refining: part five

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Read part four of this article here.

Russia's refining companies and capacities (continued)


Slavneft operates the 15 million tpy (300 000 bpd) YaNOS refinery, plus a miniature refinery. The company also operates the Mozyr refinery in Belarus. Slavneft was jointly owned by Gazneft and TNK-BP. As noted, TNK-BP was acquired by Rosneft, and Gazprom is the other shareholder. The YaNOS refinery is the largest in central Russia, and it has undertaken a steady programme of upgrades and expansions, including a visbreaker in 2004, a hydrocracker in 2005, a catalytic reformer in 2006, an isomerisation unit in 2011, and a hydrotreater for catalytically cracked gasoline in 2012. The company began producing a full output slate of Euro 5 gasoline and diesel in July 2012, three years ahead of schedule. In 2014, crude runs totalled 15.3 million tpy, a utilisation rate of 102%.


Bashneft is a vertically integrated oil company with three refineries, which are integrated with one another as well as with petrochemical production. The total installed capacity is listed at 24.1 million tpy, or approximately 487 000 bpd. All three refineries have been upgraded and expanded, and additional projects are underway.

The Bashneft-Ufaneftekhim refinery is integrated with petrochemical production. It has an installed capacity of 9.5 million tpy (192 000 bpd). Throughput in 2013 was 170 000 bpd, a utilisation rate of approximately 89%. In 2009, the company added a 1.2 million t delayed coker, which it expanded to 1.6 million t (approximately 29 000 bpd) in 2012. Bashneft also retrofitted its catalytic reformer in 2011 and renovated its hydrocracker in 2012. This raised hydrocracker capacity from 0.9 million t to 1.35 million t (approximately 26 000 bpd). The Ufaneftekhim refinery also includes cat cracking, visbreaking, deasphalting, bitumen production, lubes, and an aromatics extraction plant.

The Bashneft-Ufimsky refinery is rated at 7.5 million t (152 000 bpd). The refinery includes a catalytic cracking unit, and in 2013 it completed a hydrotreater for catalytically cracked gasoline. This allowed the production of Euro 5 gasoline. An elemental sulfur production unit is under construction, and a delayed coker was planned to be built in 2018.

The Bashneft-Novoil refinery has a capacity of 7.1 million t (142 000 bpd). In 2009 - 2010, a new diesel hydrotreater was commissioned. In 2012, the company revamped its catalytic gasoline facilities, upgraded its isomerisation unit, and completed a sulfuric acid alkylation unit. Hydrogen production capacity is currently being expanded to pave the way for a proposed new hydrocracker. Bashneft reports that this refinery was the site of the first delayed coker in Russia, built originally in 1955.

These programmes enabled Bashneft to begin producing Euro 5 diesel in 2011 and Euro 5 gasoline in 2012, though not all output met this standard, and Euro 4 grades were still produced.


Surgutneftegaz operates the Kirishi refinery, near Leningrad in Northwestern Russia (sometimes known as KINEF). This is a large refinery, currently approximately 380 000 bpd, but it started life in 1966 as a simply configured plant with tie ins to petrochemical manufacture. In 1993, its rated crude capacity was 16 million tpy, approximately 246 000 bpd. It has recently been the site of a major expansion and upgrade programme, most of which was completed at the end of 2013. Early investments focused mainly on petrochemicals and sulfur. The catalytic reformer was rebuilt in 2003, followed by various projects related to aromatics extraction and purification. An Isomalk unit was completed in 2005 to increase gasoline output. In 2010 - 2012, the elemental sulfur recovery unit was upgraded. The main atmospheric and vacuum crude unit was revamped in 2007, and shortly thereafter, kerosene and diesel hydrotreating was upgraded and expanded, cutting middle distillate sulfur levels from 2000 ppm to 50 ppm. By the end of 2013, the company had completed the bulk of work on its major programme to convert KINEF to a deep conversion refinery. A 4.9 million t (approximately 90 000 bpd) vacuum distillation unit was completed to provide feed for a 2.9 million t (58 000 bpd) vacuum gasoil hydrocracker and a 1.9 million t (34 000 bpd) visbreaker. A hydrogen unit was added, as well as additional sulfur recovery and a wastewater treatment plant. The refinery now produces a full slate of Euro 5 ultra low sulfur diesel. The company is at work on the next phase of investment, which will focus on producing Euro 5 gasolines. This will include additional isomerisation, catalytic reforming, and hydrotreating. This phase is expected to be complete by 2017 - 2018.


Tatneft has the distinction of having built Russia's first major grassroots refinery and petrochemical plant in at least a decade, located in Tatarstan. The project, known as Taneco, was launched in 2005 and completed in 2012. Its original capacity was 7 million t, or 140 000 bpd. A revamp in 2012 reportedly allowed utilisation rates of 115%. Taneco includes a visbreaker, a naphtha stabilisation unit, hydrotreating, and a large asphalt plant. Nameplate capacity is to be doubled to 14 million t by the year 2020. Several key upgrades have been made and are underway that will transform the refinery into a sophisticated refinery petrochemical complex. The hydrocracker was commissioned in 2014, allowing the production of Euro 5 diesel. The hydrocracker is approximately 59 000 bpd in size, including around 4000 bpd of base oil production. A 25 000 naphtha hydrotreater is being built, along with a platformer and aromatics extraction for petrochemical production as well as gasoline production. A delayed coker is under construction and scheduled for completion in 2015.The company is also working to develop some of Tatarstan's bituminous crudes, employing technologies similar to those used in producing Canadian oilsands (such as steam assisted gravity drainage, or SAGD). The company is moving into the retail sector, announcing that it had added 641 gas filling stations across Russia, Ukraine, and in the Republic of Belarus as of the beginning of 2013.


Alliance Oil is not a large company, but it is noteworthy because it is an independent, vertically integrated company. The Alliance Group (Alyans) was formed in 2008 when Alliance, a Russian company, merged with West Siberian Resources, a Swedish firm with upstream assets in three major oil regions. Alliance runs a refinery at Khabarovsk in Eastern Russia. Refinery capacity was recently expanded to 100 000 bpd. Throughput, however, declined slightly. Refinery volumes in the first quarter of 2015 were 87 342 bpd, compared with 89 029 bpd in the first quarter of 2014. The expansion programme was undertaken to enable the production of Euro 5 fuels, as well as international specification jet fuel for export to East Asia. In 2012, an isomerisation unit was added, and in 2013 the cat reformer was revamped. The ongoing modernisation programme will include a hydrotreater, a hydrocracker, and a visbreaker. The refinery is planning to build a link to the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline, and it expects to be able to receive up to 40 000 bpd of crude from this line. The majority of its crude production takes place far to the west of the refinery, in Tomsk, the Volga-Urals region, Kazakhstan, Moscow, and the Timano-Pechora region. Most of its retail outlets, oil product terminals, and transport infrastructure are in the Russian Far East. Low crude prices and the drop in export duties from the ‘tax manoeuvre’ are currently causing a jump in product exports at the expense of bunkering.

Part six of this article will be available soon.

Written by Nancy Yamaguchi, Contributing Editor. This is an abridged article taken from the August 2015 issue of Hydrocarbon Engineering.

Read the article online at:


Embed article link: (copy the HTML code below):