Abu Dhabi plans to expand Ruwais energy complex

Sheetal Sukhija - Sunday 13th May, 2018

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - In a bid to expand the refining capacity of the Ruwais refining and petrochemicals complex, Abu Dhabi’s state producer, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) is planning a massive investment program.

ADNOC announced on Sunday that it is planning to invest $45 billion over five years to expand the Ruwais refining and petrochemicals complex.

Addressing an energy conference in Abu Dhabi, ADNOC Chief Executive Officer Sultan Al Jaber said that with the new investment, the national oil company is planning to create the world’s largest refining and petrochemicals complex about 150 miles west of Abu Dhabi.

He said that by 2025, the project will expand the complex’s refining capacity by more than 65 percent, or 600,000 barrels a day through the addition of a third refinery.

Jaber also said that the expansion would create a total capacity of 1.5 million barrels a day for Ruwais.

He said, "ADNOC continues to be focused on upstream, yet this time around ADNOC will expand its business focus into downstream by creating many multi-billion dollar opportunities in the downstream. We see a huge growth opportunity in the downstream market.”

Jaber said, ”This is a natural extension for Abu Dhabi's engagement in the oil and gas sector. Now it is time that we expand our portfolio significantly, and the way we are going do this is going to be very smart, centered around establishing long-term strategic partnerships."

He added, "And we are in the business of value maximization, by going further and downstream we will help stretch the dollar further from every barrel we produce, and this is exactly what we aim to achieve.”

Reports stated that the initiative allows Abu Dhabi to join an oil refining boom in the Middle East and through the project, ADNOC - which is the world's 12th-largest oil company by production - now joins other giant, state-run petroleum giants, like Saudi Aramco, in refining much of their own crude instead of just exporting it.

According to Scottish energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie, Aramco has boosted its global refining capacity by more than a third to 5.4 million barrels a day.

Jaber, who is also the U.A.E.’s minister of state, meanwhile added that ADNOC would raise the $45 billion on its own through its own cash and by raising debt.

He said, “Whatever provides us with the cheapest cost of money.”