Abu Dhabi’s Adnoc says that commissioning of a major $3.5bn upgrade of its 420,000 b/d Ruwais West refinery project is to begin “early next year.” The state firm says that the Crude Flexibility Project (CFP) will enable the refinery’s crude distillation unit to run on heavier, sourer crudes such as its own 34°API Upper Zakum rather than just its 40°API Murban. Murban is Adnoc’s flagship crude grade and the NOC is looking to reduce domestic consumption to free up volumes for export, especially given the upcoming 29 March launch of the Murban futures contract (MEES, 13 November 2020).

Early-2022 commissioning ties in with Adnoc’s expedited timeline for mid-2022 completion. It was notable that Adnoc has recently imported cargoes of 34°API Shabwah crude from Yemen and Nigeria’s 30° Forcados to Ruwais (MEES, 22 January). (CONTINUED - 133 WORDS)