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China Leads Global Refining Boom

Oil refinery

China will lead global refinery capacity expansion and investments with 3.12 million bpd additional refining capacity and US$67.3 billion capital expenditure through 2022, data and analytics company GlobalData said in a new report.

Total refining capacity in the world is expected to grow by 15.1 percent between 2018 and 2022, with global crude distillation units (CDU) capacity expected to hit 117 million bpd by 2022, GlobalData said in its report.

Asia will lead the pack with the highest planned and announced CDU capacity of 5.4 million bpd in 2022, followed by Africa and the Middle East with 3.2 million bpd and 2.7 million bpd, respectively. In capital expenditure (capex), Asia will again be the leader with expected capex for new build refineries of US$194.9 billion, followed by Africa and the Middle East, with US$126.6 billion and US$87.1 billion, respectively, GlobalData has estimated.

Among individual countries, China is the leader, with ten new-build refineries expected to come on line by 2022, followed by Nigeria and Kuwait. The top ten also includes Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia, GlobalData’s report shows.

“China’s ambitious refinery capacity expansion programme continues fuelled by the country’s industrial growth, and growing demand from the transportation sector. The capacity expansion program is powering China’s crude imports, and will transform the country to become a strong contender for exports of petroleum products globally,” Sumit Kumar Chaudhuri, Oil & Gas Analyst at GlobalData, said, as carried by East African Business Week.

Related: Why U.S. Shale May Fall Short Of Expectations

Last month, Chinese refiners processed a record daily amount of crude oil. At a calculated 12.49 million bpd, the September run rate of Chinese refineries was more than 600,000 bpd higher than the August figure.

According to the GlobalData report, Nigeria is also planning a massive refinery expansion to meet growing domestic demand for petroleum products. The African OPEC member is expected to expand its CDU capacity by 2.003 million bpd, spending US$57.6 billion. Kuwait will add 615,000 bpd of CDU capacity by 2022, and is expected to spend US$7.5 billion through 2022.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • gepay on October 29 2018 said:
    it is my understanding that refineries are built or modified to refine one type of crude. Many of the large american refineries in Louisiana were used for the heavier Venezuelan crude. The type of crude varies with where it is produced. What kind of crude are the new refineries in China being built for?
  • Mamdouh G Salameh on October 27 2018 said:
    With the world’s largest economy based on purchasing power parity (PPP) and the world’s second-fastest growing economy after India among the major economies of the world, China needs to keep expanding its refining capacity and its crude oil imports.

    China’s refining capacity has grown from 11.66 million barrels a day (mbd) in 2017 to
    12.49 mbd in September 2018, a 7% rise in less than one year. By 2022, China is projected to have a refining capacity of 15.61 mbd.

    China’s refining capacity expansion is being fuelled by the country’s industrial growth and growing demand from the transportation sector. This is also powering China’s crude imports which are projected to far exceed 10 mbd this year probably even touching 11 mbd.

    For oil-producing countries of the Middle East, refining expansion has a dual purpose. One is to satisfy growing domestic demand and the other is to enhance refined products’ exports. Exporting more of their oil as refined products rather than crude not only adds value to their exports but it also aids the diversification of their economies.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London

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