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Petrobras postpones Premium 1 refinery Update
Santiago, 26 July (Argus) Brazil’s state-controlled Petrobras has postponed its 600,000 b/d Premium 1 oil refinery as part of the companys new $224.7bn business plan for 2011-2015, which places more focus on upstream activity.
The project in Maranhao state is one of four major refineries Petrobras plans to build to absorb part of its growing crude production.
The first 300,000 b/d phase of Premium 1 is now set to come on stream in 2016, two years later than originally planned. The second 300,000 b/d phase will go on line in 2019.
We are not reducing the idea that integration is good for the company, Petrobras chief executive Jose Sergio Gabrielli said in a conference call today.
New refineries, modernization of existing refineries and fuel quality measures such as desulfurization account for $70.6bn of the companys investments over the five-year period, according to the most recent plan.
The first of the four new refineries scheduled to come on line is the 230,000 b/d Northeast refinery, also known as Abreu e Lima, in 2012. Venezuela’s state-run oil company PdV could participate with a 40pc stake, but it recently announced an audit to investigate cost overruns before it commits.
The 330,000 b/d Comperj refinery will come on line in stages in 2013 and 2018, Petrobras said. The 300,000 b/d Premium 2 refinery is slated for start-up in 2017.
To meet rising domestic demand for refined products, Petrobras has re-oriented its main new refineries to the domestic market.
“At the beginning, the two Premium refineries were designed to reach the international market, but now, given the size of the growth of the Brazilian market, we are delegating those refineries to supply products to the Brazilian market,” Gabrielli said.
Petrobras plans to process 2.205mn b/d of crude in Brazil in 2015, up from 1.811mn b/d in 2011. The level would increase to 3.217mn b/d in 2020 under current plans.
At the same time, domestic crude and NGL production will climb from 2.1mn b/d in 2011 to 3.07mn b/d in 2015 and 4.91mn b/d in 2020.
Of the total yield at the new refineries, 65pc will be middle distillates in 2020 compared with 43pc at the existing refineries in the same year. At the same time, the average sulfur level in the diesel produced in Brazil will shrink from 1,000-1,500ppm currently to 231ppm in 2020 under Petrobras’ plans.