Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, or ADNOC, says it has plans to invest $45 billion in the coming five years to expand its refining and petrochemicals operations.  Company photo.

ADNOC looking to double its refining capacity, triple petrochemicals output

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, or ADNOC, says in the next five years it will invest $45 billion to double its refining capacity and triple its petrochemicals output.

Chief Executive Sultan al-Jaber told Reuters that the move will help the United Arab Emirates state-owned oil company capture new growth markets.

Al-Jaber presented the ambitious plan at an industry conference in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.  A number of oil industry heavy hitters, including CEOs from BP, Total and Eni were in attendance.

These companies have secured long-term crude production deals with the UAE.

According to Reuters, the centrepiece of the company’s strategy is the Ruwais industrial complex.  ADNOC says it wants to turn complex into the world’s largest integrated refining and petrochemicals facility.

Under the plan, ADNOC would expand refining and petrochemical operations at Ruwais by adding a third refinery.  The move would increase refining capacity by 600,000 barrels per day (b/d) by 2025.  With the third refinery complete, total output from Ruwais would be 1.5 million b/d.

“We are extending an invitation to existing and new partners to join with us in building a world-leading refining and petrochemicals complex and manufacturing ecosystem here in Ruwais,” al-Jaber said.

The United Arab Emirates produces about 3 million b/d and is looking to make overseas investments which will help secure access to growth markets.

Al-Jaber, appointed in 2016, has shaken up operations at the traditionally conservative company which has lagged behind its competitor Saudi Aramco for years.

Under al-Jaber, ADNOC is working to be more competitive and will shift its downstream focus to growing Asian markets.  The company recently set up a new trading unit and expanded partnerships with strategic investors.

ADNOC also completed 40-year concession agreements for its offshore oilfields with Western oil companies and Asian buyers.

“Everything we are doing here is centred around ensuring that we are operating in the most efficient manner,” al-Jaber told Reuters.  He added the company intends to squeeze out maximum value from every barrel of oil it produces.

Last November, ADNOC said it will spend over $109 billion in the next five years to increase gas output and invest in international downstream projects.

Reuters reports that on Saturday, that while visiting the UAE, India’s oil minister told Reuters that there is a consensus between Saudi Aramco, ADNOC and a number of Indian companies to form a joint venture in the Maharashtra oil refinery project.