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RE: OGJ WW Refinery Survey 2011 – China Coker Errors

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Charles Randall

 Here is follow-up email on some big errors in the OGJ WW Refinery Suvery 2011 for China cokers. Since this survey is used by EIA/IEA & lot major Oil Consultants for forecast basis it creates real accuracy issue!
I have emails sent to few the petcoke reporters (CRU/Jacobs/AZ Blk China/Argus/ Purvin Gertz/CERA ect)  trying to confirm  what they are using to compare against what I think is being produced and what existing capacity really is in China.  Perhaps this helps (so far none groups confirmed this is what they are showing in their reports/presentations). All report values are much better than low number of 8 cokers listed in OGJ …. but somewhat below full listing of current operable (Idle + Operating) China cokers.

Also as point correction/clarity point here –  When I refer to “cokers” below it means refinery “coking site” with at least one “coking unit”.  Nearly half of these coking sites now have their second or third coking unit installed – as you know/have seen.

About half of China production is anode/calcined grade (somewhere ~8-11 MM mtpy) and half fuel grade of total 16-25 MM mtpy production ….wide range depending on whose numbers you use. These were 2009/2010 estimates after ~5MM mtpy new production came online.  Best estimates are for another 5-6MM mtpy to come online between 2010-2015.  Hope this helps.
China Prod & Capacity:
See if these estimates for various agencies look right to you on China capacity & production petcoke (total green not just calcined) from what you have seen from recent reports or studies:
Petcoke Reporter #1 China: (cokers 79/48 operating)  total capacity ~29 MM mtpy petcoke and ~19 MM mtpy production
Petcoke Reporter #2 China: (cokers 56/43 operating) total capacity ~ 25 MM mtpy petcoke and ~15 MM mtpy produciton
Petcoke Reporter  #3 China: (cokers 82/59 operating) total capacity ~34 MM mtpy petcoke and ~ 19 MM mtpy production
Petcoke Reporter #4 China: (cokers 56/45 operating) total capacity ~24 MM mtpy petcoke and ~ 12-14 MM mtpy production
CRandall China: (cokers 86/61 operating) total capacity ~39 MM mtpy petcoke and ~ 20-25 MM mtpy production
<OGJ China: (cokers 8) total capacity ~ 1.6 MM mtpy petcoke and N/A MM mtpy production>

I’m trying to nail down what China petcoke capacity & production really is to get handle on cokers/refineries to put in spreadsheet.
Everyone seems have about same numbers on Governments big 3 (Sinopec, CNPC & CNOOC) which is ~44-52 cokers with capacity of 18-23 MM mtpy petcoke and probable min production level of 16-20 MM mtpy.
The rub comes in everyone underestimating the Independent refinery cokers. There are 40-44+ coking refineries with capacity of 16-20 MM mtpy petcoke but since only half are operating (20+ cokers) would give about 8-10 MM mtpy petcoke, which at min utilization 65-80% would give production level of 6.5 MM mtpy. Which is only one large scale equivalent coking refinery production but long way from “not that much” according to several of experts. (And hell long way from OGJ survey value of only 4 kmtpd or 1.1 MM mtpy for all China petcoke production!)
And as crosscheck most folks agree that at least ~17 of  largest Shandong independents are operating providing about 85-100% of total independent refinery production – just so happens those top 20 in that region are all coking refineries. Since both cokers & refineries cannot turndown below a 65% utilization even in batch without major problems sort fixes it for the half that operates.

So that now gives us total “operating” capacity of 26-30 MM mtpy (“operable” capacity still remains 34-43 MM mtpy) and estimated operating production of 24 MM mtpy petcoke. But think on “operable” capacity would be back closer original estimates since most independent can start up in batch operation within same time frame as normal shutdown. And so the actual production volume would look like much lower utilization total below the 50% range.  …….. perhaps.
Anyway still depends lot on conjecture since tracking tons which are largely used domestic/regional would be fairly invisible compared to US which has export +60% of its coke make. But I think it starts framing China as much larger player & total global petcoke production at ~+15 MM mtpy higher than any experts are showing.

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