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Abu Dhabi state Adnoc has awarded a $3.1bn contract for a long-planned Crude Flexibility Project (CFP) to enable its Ruwais West refinery to process 420,000 b/d of Upper Zakum crude, freeing up more valuable Murban crude for export.
Murban’s premium to Upper Zakum averaged $1.80/B for 2017, implying $275mn more revenues had 420,000 b/d of Murban been exported in place of Upper Zakum ( MEES, 20 October 2017 ). Assuming identical products output post-CFP, the extra crude income implies an 11-year payback of CFP costs. And savings may be even greater given that the discount for high sulfur crude will likely widen post-2020 when the IMO tightens rules on shipping fuel sulfur content. Upper Zakum is 1.74% sulfur, Murban is 0.74%.
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