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From Fuel Oil to Euro-5: Oil and Gas Region Launches Its First Production of High-quality Fuel

23 December 2015

Over 2.7 billion US dollars is the amount invested in the construction and gradual modernization of the oil refining facility in the Volgasintez over 11 years. The refinery has finally launched the production of Euro-5 compliant diesel fuel, but it still has some way to go before it can start manufacturing high-octane gasolines. It is by no means surprising: creating a modern oil refinery is one of the most financially challenging industrial projects.

The refinery started from primitive fuel oil distillation using technologically primitive albeit imported equipment: its ex-owners failed to put it into operation and it just sat there doing nothing until a buyer turned up. He decided to start with small refining volumes as his financial resources did not allow him to quickly move forward with the project. His annual turnover was initially a few thousand tons, while today it has grown quite considerably even by Russian standards and reached 9 million tons of crude oil per annum. For the sake of comparison, the oil fields located in the southern part on the region produced a total of 12 million tons of crude oil in 2015.

However, total victory has not yet been achieved. Fuel oil distillation is still there at the refinery. It is planning to get rid of it next year with the commissioning of its deep refining complex. According to the refinery’s process engineers, the refining depth will increase from today’s unenviable 52 to ideal 97 percent. It is essentially a breakthrough. The average refining depth at RF oil refineries (a total of 34 in the county) is 72 percent, while in the U.S. it exceeds 90.