The UAE is set to become self sufficient in gasoline by the end of 2014, when its refining capacity will be boosted by the Ruwais plant expansion, an official from Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) said.
“We’re trying to increase our capacity to meet domestic demand. We used to be balanced in gasoline, but due to rising demand that changed again,” the official who declined to be named said on the sidelines of an energy conference organised by Conference Connection.
Heavy gasoline subsidies by the OPEC member have propelled demand to more than five million tonnes, according to analyst and ADNOC estimates. The UAE produces around 2.7 million tonnes and relies on imports for the rest, the official added.
ADNOC produces the bulk of the UAE’s crude oil and refined oil products. It has also taken over the petrol stations in the northern emirates, where there were oil shortages in 2011 when the Dubai government-owned Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), squeezed by a heavy subsidy bill, stopped supplying those emirates.
Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company (TAKREER) has been working to expand the Ruwais complex, the UAE’s biggest refinery with a capacity of 415,000 barrels per day (BPD), which is located around 240 kilometers west of capital.
The expansion will be in the form of a new plant adjacent to the existing plant and within the Ruwais industrial complex, the official said. The expansion is to double the refining capacity of Ruwais at an estimated cost of $10 billion.
“We think the technical commissioning will be around late 2014,” the official said, adding that the country will “definitely” import gasoline this summer, while for next year, ADNOC will assess the market.
“Next year around this time, we will know if we’d import or not for the summer,” the official said.