SINGAPORE: State-owned Abu Dhabi National Co (Adnoc) will likely skip term exports of the ultra-low sulphur diesel until the middle of next year, due to a secondary unit shutdown, industry sources said yeserday.
Adnoc was expected to offer the cleaner diesel with 10 parts-per-million (ppm) sulphur through term contracts for the whole of next year, but this will likely be pushed to June or July at the earliest, one of the sources said.
The refiner is planning to shut a secondary unit at its 415,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Ruwais refinery, which produces cleaner diesel fuel and is part of its “green diesel project”, in the first quarter of next year, the source added.
Adnoc is unlikely to offer spot exports of the fuel until at least April, the source said.
It has been offering the cleaner diesel fuel for exports in the spot market since late June, after it installed a new hydrocracker and diesel hydrotreating units, which remove sulphur from heavy fuel oil or crude oil.
The company had term contracts to export about 600,000 tonnes of gasoil a year with a higher sulphur content of 5,000 ppm until the end of last year.
This year, it skipped term exports of gasoil as it was trying to meet specifications required in new markets, especially in Europe, but faced some unspecified difficulties.
Diesel exports to Europe have to meet very stringent criteria, among them the cold weather properties of the fuel used as heating oil in winter.
Meanwhile, Adnoc has finalised its term contract to sell about 160,000 to 200,000 tonnes of 500 ppm sulphur gasoil with at least one buyer, dropping two other current term buyers, industry sources said.
The contract was finalised at a premium of about $2.85 a barrel above the new benchmark Middle East quotes, they added.