zuela and Jamaica earlier in the year, the expansion would
increase the refinery’s processing capacity to 50,000 b/d as
well as add new unit capacities for the following:
• Vacuum distillation.
• Distillate hydrotreating.
• Naphtha hydrotreating.
• Continuous catalyst regeneration platforming.
• Delayed coking.
• Sour water stripping.
• Amine absorbing.
• Sulfur recovery.
• Tail gas treating (OGJ Online, Feb. 23, 2017).
Elsewhere in the Caribbean, Citgo Petroleum Corp., an
indirect wholly owned subsidiary of PDVSA, said on Nov.
20 that it has nearly completed the first phase of accommodations for 400 workers involved in the planned refurbish-ment and eventual restart of Valero Energy Corp.’s former
235,000-b/d refinery in San Nicolas, Aruba (OGJ Online,
Oct. 11, 2016).
The start of construction on the revamp, which began in
October 2016, follows a June 2016 agreement between the
parties under which Citgo Aruba committed an investment
of $450-650 million to transform the refinery into a plant
designed exclusively to upgrade Venezuelan extra-heavy
crude oil production (OGJ Online, June 13, 2016).
Following the planned 18-24-month overhaul and revamp of existing processing units at the site, the refinery
will have a capacity to upgrade 209,000 b/d of extra-heavy
crude from Venezuela’s Orinoco heavy oil belt into intermediate crude feedstock that will be shipped to Citgo’s US
refineries for further processing. Naphtha recovered at the
plant, in turn, will be sold to PDVSA for use as diluent. Citgo
Aruba will operate the San Nicolas refinery—which is now
owned by Aruban government subsidiary Refineria di Aruba
NV—under a 15-year lease agreement with a 10-year extension option. The refinery is scheduled for full restart by yearend 2018, according to the parties.
In late 2016, Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. announced
it would embark on an aggressive program to modernize and
upgrade the country’s four state-owned refineries beginning
in 2017 as part of a strategy to meet Nigeria’s domestic demand for refined products and reduce its reliance on foreign
imports (OGJ Online, Feb. 13, 2017; Jan. 24, 2017; Dec. 22,
The comprehensive $500-million rehabilitation program—which will involve projects aimed at ensuring refineries operated by NNPC subsidiaries Port Harcourt Refining
Co Ltd. (PHRC), Warri Refining & Petrochemcial Co. Ltd.
(WRPC), and Kaduna Refining & Petrochemical Co. Ltd.
(KRPC) achieve optimal capacity utilization—comes as part
of the company’s determination to move away from its historical approach of quick fixes.
75 km north of Buenos Aires, has more than 750 retail sites
in Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay, and has material lubricant and aviation fuels businesses.
Supported by the combined skills and expertise of BP and
Bridas, the companies said they expect the new integrated
business will be able to pursue growth and development opportunities in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Mexico.
PAE was formed in 1997 by the merger of Bridas and
Amoco. CNOOC in 2010 acquired a 50% stake in Bridas,
which in 2012 acquired ExxonMobil Corp.’s assets in Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay, creating Axion Energy.
In June, operator Refineria Isla Curazao BV (RIC)—a subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned Petroleo de Venezuela SA
(PDVSA)—was continuing to restart processing activities
at the Curacaoan state-controlled Refineria Di Korsou NV’s
(RdK) 320,000-b/d Isla refinery at Emmastad, Curacao, following a late May fire at the plant’s crude distillation unit.
As of early June, the refinery’s thermal cracking plant 1
(TC- 1) was entered into operation as a crude distiller to allow partial processing of light-to-medium crude previously
destined for crude distillation unit 3 (CD- 3), which was impacted by the May 21 fire, PDVSA said.
Alongside the restart of crude distillation unit 2A (CD-
2A), RIC also started up the refinery’s crude distillation unit
2B (CD-2B) to process Venezuelan heavy Tía Juana crude.
CD- 3, however, was still in the process of restarting as of
late September, RIC said in a Sept. 26 release.
The midyear incident at the refinery follows the government of Curacao’s September 2016 memorandum of understanding with China’s state-owned Guandong Zhenrong
Energy Co. Ltd. (GDZR), Guangzhou, under which GDZR
has agreed to take over operatorship as well as finance an
upgrade of the RdK-owned refinery (OGJ Online, Nov. 14,
Alongside work to replace the plant’s current use of heavy
residual fuel oil to generate power with natural gas or LNG
to help reduce environmental impacts and emissions at the
manufacturing site as a means of extending its viability and
competitiveness for another 20-30 years, GDZR will fund
and execute a series of other modernization projects at the
refinery and associated installations. GDZR also has agreed
to take responsibility for arranging and securing in advance
delivery of crude supplies necessary to operate the refinery.
The MOU with GDZR follows RdK’s decision to select a
new operator for the Emmastad refinery beginning on Jan. 1,
2020, at which time its lease agreement with current operator RIC is set to expire (OGJ Online, Mar. 19, 2010).
In late September, Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Hol-ness reported that the planned $1-billion expansion and
overhaul of the Petrojam Ltd. joint venture’s 36,000-b/d hy-droskimming refinery in Kingston has been placed on hold
because of the continued political unrest in Venezuela (OGJ
Online, Sept. 22, 2017).
In an agreement finalized by the governments of Vene-