July 16, 2008 at 10:41 am #3531
PetroChina unit starts processing Venezuelan oil
Reuters BEIJING, July 16 – Northeast China-based Liaoyang Refinery, a unit of PetroChina, started processing relatively cheap Venezuelan crude last week in a bid to cut costs in the face of capped domestic fuel prices, an industry website said on Wednesday.
Liaoyang plans to refine a total of 500,000 tonnes of Venezuelan crude this year, said a report at http://www.cnpc.com.cn, run by China National Petroleum Corp, parent of PetroChina.
China raised Venezuelan crude imports sharply since the beginning of the year, with the first five months’ purchases more than doubling from the year earlier to 3.85 million tonnes, or 185,000 barrels per day, according to official Chinese customs data.
Venezuelan crude is normally high in acid, metal and sulphur, making it a cheaper choice for Chinese refiners desperate to trim refining losses under capped fuel markets. But plants have to retool their processing facilities to process this type of crude.
Liaoyang spent three months revamping its 70,000-bpd crude facility to suit the new crude, said the report.
The plant started up a separate 110,000-bpd crude unit at the end of 2006 which is designed to process lower-sulphur Russian crude, CNPC has said earlier.
The report on Wednesday did not specify the operation ratio at the 110,000-bpd unit, but said the plant faced “tremendous pressure” processing Russian crude.
July 16, 2008 at 10:43 am #6713
The PetroChina Liaoyang Refinery coker makes ~1%Sulfur petcoke and had recent crude unit expansion in 2006 that had been processing LS Russian crude (which wouldn’t have bothered the coke quality).
These cargoes of Venezuelan crude will of course push some of the petcoke into fuel quality at the 500 kmtpy levels stated here -but it appears to be targeted for the smaller, older 70 MBD crude unit that has been retooled for the Venezuelan crude (no mention if they will be able to keep resid separated or perhaps make it into fuel oil or asphalt instead of coker charge).
July 20, 2008 at 4:59 pm #6707
<Here is update from Xinhua News on the Completed Venezuelan crude test run at Liaoyang coking Refinery- CER>
PetroChina Completes Test Run with Venezuelan Crude – Report
by Xinhua Economic News Wednesday, July 16,2008
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PetroChina Liaoyang Refinery has completed a test run of processing Venezuelan oil and it plans to refine 500,000 tons of crude from Venezuela this year, said CNPC’s official web site.
To refine high-acid Venezuelan oil is regarded as a move to trim refining losses for PetroChina under the capped oil products pricing system. It is reported that Liaoyang Refinery spent three months revamping its 3.5-million-t/y utility for the purpose.
China for the first five months doubled its Venezuelan crude imports compared to one year earlier to 3.85 million tons, Customs statistics show.
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