Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc) has restarted a secondary unit at its newly expanded Ruwais refinery and has increased its operating rates to over 80 percent, industry sources said on Monday.
The newly expanded Ruwais refinery with a total capacity of 922,000 barrels per day (bpd) lowered its run rate to just above 70 percent in August after it unexpectedly shut its residue fluid catalytic cracker (RFCC) - a unit which processes heavy fuel oil into higher valued products such as diesel and gasoline.
The RFCC was restarted about three weeks ago and is currently running at near maximum capacity, one of the sources said.
The refinery was operating at close to 95 percent in the first two weeks of October, before reducing to between 80 and 85 percent currently, the source added. The reason for the reduction in capacity since early October was not immediately clear, but is normal as crude oil intake fluctuates, the source said.
Adnoc resumed jet fuel spot exports in October, after a four-month hiatus. But those are unlikely to increase by much after the restart as the refinery is focusing on its term commitments, the sources said.
Adnoc will likely increase its term volumes for its jet fuel and diesel exports for next year, though this will depend on the market outlook, the sources said.
The refiner signed term contracts to supply ultra low sulphur diesel for exports for the first time over the July 2015 to June 2016 period and resumed its jet fuel exports for the period after skipping them for July 2014 to June 2015.
Adnoc's newly expanded refinery is not yet able to meet the more stringent diesel winter specifications in Europe, though that is the eventual aim.
For now, its diesel exports are mainly heading to Africa, with a couple of cargoes shipped to Australia despite higher freight rates for sending cargoes from the Middle East to Australia, one of the sources said.