Saudi Arabia is on track to raise refining capacity by 26% this year, as it puts the 400,000 b/d Yasref refinery and the second 200,000 b/d crude distillation unit (CDU) at the Satorp refinery into operation. The new plants will add to 2.1mn b/d of capacity at seven fully operational refineries and 200,000 b/d at the first Satorp CDU, which was started up last year (MEES, 13 September 2013).

This will take Saudi Arabian refining capacity to almost 3mn b/d by the end of 2014 (see table 1). Rising domestic refining capacity, together with demand for oil for petrochemicals production and direct burn in power stations threaten to eat into the volumes of crude the OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia has available for export; increased product exports should compensate, however. (CONTINUED - 786 WORDS)