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Israel’s two refineries racked up record output last year despite domestic oil demand falling. A cut-price crude source – distressed cargoes from Iraqi Kurdistan – is the likely explanation.
Both of Israel’s refineries – the 196,000 b/d capacity Bazan plant in Haifa and the 100,000 b/d Paz plant in Ashdod achieved record runs in 2014. Total products output was 295,000 b/d, up by 4.5% from 282,000 b/d in 2013. Bazan output was 192,000 b/d and Paz 103,000 b/d on the back of fourth quarter output that was over 100% of nameplate CDU capacity (see table p11).
At first glance these figures seem odd: Israel has to import all the crude it refines, domestic demand is falling, and as the mothballing of several European refineries testifies, refining in the Mediterranean region is not generally a money-spinning enterprise.
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