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> Saudi refineries’ CDU capacity has in theory been 2.9mn b/d since September 2014 when the 400,000 b/d Yasref plant in Yanbu’ on the Red Sea coast started up. The similar-sized Satorp plant in Jubail began operations a year earlier. But in practice ramp-up has been slow at both Satorp and now Yasref. There have been unconfirmed reports of problems with Yasref upgrading units and of tendered cargoes of diesel being lighter than the intended specification. Much of this ‘off-spec’ diesel has been exported, both within the region and beyond.
> Overall Saudi refinery runs hit an all-time record of 2.43mn b/d in May, the latest numbers from the Riyadh-based Joint Oil Data Initiative indicate. This is the first time since Yasref’s start-up that the country’s overall run-rates have topped 80% of nominal CDU capacity (see table, p11). The 83.4% run-rate for May is close to typical global refining capacity utilization of 85%.
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