UAE launches $45bn investment to boost oil refineries

UAE launches $45bn investment to boost oil refineries
2 min read
Abu Dhabi is pursuing petrochemical expansion to find new sources of revenue for the emirate.
Workers stand next to a oil pipeline in Fujairah, UAE [Getty]
Abu Dhabi announced on Sunday that its state oil firm will spend $45 billion to modify an existing facility into one of the world's largest integrated refining and petrochemical plants.

The project will boost Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.'s (ADNOC) refining at Ruwais by 65 per cent to 1.5 million barrels per day by 2025.

ADNOC also plans to triple petrochemicals output at the plant from 4.5 million to 14.5 million tonnes a year, its CEO Sultan al-Jaber said.

The work will be done in partnership with international energy firms. 

In addition to Ruwais, ADNOC is looking - along with other Middle Eastern energy giants - to boost its overall petrochemical capacity to bolster and diversify state revenue sources. 

The government producer is mulling over a joint investment in the $44 billion Indian Ratnagiri refinery - India is currently the world's fastest growing oil market. 

Abu Dhabi has also ramped up investments in its oil and petrochemicals sector in recent months. In November, it announced plans to invest $109 billion in the energy sector over the next five years.

ADNOC recently awarded concession rights at offshore sites to several international oil companies to boost its long-term production capacity. It also renewed and extended concessions at onshore oilfields for major companies including Exxonmobil and Total.

Last month, ADNOC invited bids for exploration contracts for six major blocks with untapped oil and gas reserves. ADNOC said the blocks are estimated to hold billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas.

In terms of oil production, the UAE, OPEC's fourth largest producer, aims to boost crude oil capacity from 3.2 million barrels per day at present to 3.5 million bpd at the end of the year.

But the UAE's participation in an OPEC plan to curb output and thereby raise prices means it won't be able to tap into that full capacity yet.

On Sunday, the UAE's oil minister also said that any oil shortages due to Iran sanctions could be filled by the country. 

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