Azerbaijan petcoke

Azerbaijan Petcoke Production Dropped 17 Percent This Year

Azerbaijan petcoke production has sunk sharply this year.

Green petroleum coke (petcoke) production dropped by 17 percent at SOCAR’s Baku refinery, to 184,900 tons, between January and November this year compared to the same period last year.

This data comes via Azerbaijan’s State Statistical Committee, the Interfax news agency reports.

The drop in petcoke production happened due to extensive maintenance at the refinery’s secondary units this year.

Baku refinery is producing ultra low-sulphur petroleum (sulphur content of below 0.6 percent).

Azerbaijan petcoke, particularly low-sulphur petcoke, is in high demand from the aluminum and graphite industries in Russia.

While Azerbaijan decreased its production and export loadings, demand for ultra low-sulphur petroleum coke from Turkmenistan rose.

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Low-sulphur petcoke supplies

Low-sulphur Petcoke Supplies Will Decrease in August Due to Refinery Maintenance

Low-sulphur petcoke supplies will sink this summer in the former Soviet Union region, as major refineries—Turkmenbashi and Baku—will undergo maintenance during July and August.

This may lead to a low-sulphur petcoke supply deficit in the third and fourth quarters of 2016, according to DYM Resources.

Turkmenbashi Refinery

Turkmenbashi refinery informed clients on July 14 that it has planned maintenance for 15 days starting July 15, and its coking unit will be fully shut. The refinery has loaded previously accumulated stocks of green and calcined petcoke from July 15 to 22. The calcining unit continued production on previously produced feedstock.

“It is minor maintenance, a regular stop that is needed to check if everything is okay with the coker,” a source said. “It should restart in early August.”

But some market participants expect that volumes loaded from the refinery will be lower in late July and early August this year.

Turkmenbashi refinery has a coker with an annual capacity of 200,000 tons of below 0.6 percent sulphur green petcoke. The refinery has a calcining unit as well. Calcined petroleum coke was exported into Tajikistan in the first half of 2016.

Turkmenbashi refinery exported 52,500 tons of green coke to Russia by rail in the first half of 2016. The refinery loaded 15,000 to 30,000 tons to Tajikistan during the same period.

Baku Refinery

Baku refinery will undergo maintenance during the same period, in August 2016, which should significantly impact low-sulphur petcoke supplies and exports.

“We already see loading volumes decreased from Baku refinery in July. Possibly that refinery is accumulating stocks for the maintenance period,” a market participant commented.

Baku refinery is able to produce 300,000 tons of below 0.6 percent sulphur petroleum coke per year.

Baku exported 98,800 tons of petroleum coke to Russia between January and June 2016.

In 2016, Baku refinery exported at least 261,000 tons of petroleum coke and around two thirds, or 177,000 tons, ended up in Russia. Petroleum coke was also exported to Ukraine, Canada, and India.

Low-sulphur Petcoke Supplies and Alternatives

Romania’s Petrom 1 percent sulphur petroleum coke could be an alternative in August and September for the ex-USSR market.

DYM Resources is able to supply 1 percent low-sulphur petroleum coke from Romania by dry-bulk vessel or rail tank cars in August and September 2016 within the Black Sea,” Yury Burenko, head of petroleum coke operations at DYM Resources, said.

Romania loads petroleum coke from the Constanta port. In 2016, Petrom’s petcoke was exported to China and within the Black Sea region.

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baku petcoke

Quarter of Baku Petcoke Exported to India in 2015

Azerbaijan’s Baku refinery exported 53,000 tons of petroleum coke (petcoke) to India in in 2015. That’s about a quarter of Baku petcoke production for the year.

That number is especially significant given the fact that India imported no petroleum coke from Azerbaijan in 2014.

“Azerbaijani petcoke exports to India and other overseas countries is evidence that the petcoke market is becoming more global,” said Yury Burenko, director of petroleum coke at DYM Resources. “In 2015, we saw low-sulphur petcoke going from Baku to Canada, from Romania to Russia, which shows great potential for Turkmenistan 0.6 sulphur petcoke as well.”

The Heydar Aliyev Baku Oil Refinery

Baku refinery is a part of the state-owned company SOCAR. Among other products, it produces anode grade petcoke with a very low content of sulphur (up to 0.6 percent) and metals (V, Fe, Si and others) due to oil properties that come from the Caspian Sea.

The refinery produces 700 to 800 metric tons of petcoke daily, with an annual output estimated at 200,000 metric tons.

Azerbaijan Petcoke Export Structure

Russia remained one of the biggest importers of petcoke from Azerbaijan, although the sales geography was quite broad. Azerbaijan’s petcoke was supplied to a number of countries in 2015, including:

  • Russia: 177,306 metric tons
  • India: 53,376 metric tons
  • Canada: 15,266 metric tons
  • Ukraine: 14,733 metric tons
  • USA: 591 metric tons

Regional Context for Baku Petcoke

A similar crude oil source from the Caspian Sea is being used by another refinery in the region that produces petcoke: Turkmenbashi refinery. Turkmenistani petcoke also has a very low sulphur content (0.6 percent max) and very low metal content, especially of vanadium.

Caspian sea oil and natural gas infrastructure

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Geological Survey, IHS EDIN

“Turkmenistani petcoke has the chance to be exported on the same markets as Azerbaijani petcoke,” Burenko said. At the moment, the main geographical markets for Turkmenbashi refinery petcoke are Russia and Tajikistan.”

Currently, logistics remain the main problem for Turkmenistanti petcoke trading, as Turkmenistan has no access to deep seaports. Export opportunities from Turkmenistan by the Volga-Don Canal are constricted due to low water levels, which limit cargo size by 3,000 tons. The issue could be solved by loading bigger vessels with Turkmenbashi petcoke from the Black Sea.

DYM Resources specializes in trading anode grade petcoke originating from ex-USSR countries and Eastern Europe. The company provides door-to-door logistical solutions including railway and dry bulk vessel transport.

Photo: Azerbaijan petcoke operations at Baku seaport

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caspian basin and central asia oil markets

DYM Resources Interviewed for Insights on Caspian Basin and Central Asia Oil Markets

DYM Resources’ Denis Varaksin was featured recently on CBC TV for his insights into the Caspian Basin and Central Asia oil markets.

Varaksin was interviewed during the SOCAR conference “Caspian Basin and Central Asia: Trade, Logistics, Oil Processing and Oil and Chemistry” in Baku, Azerbaijan.

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turkmenistan oil market

DYM Resources to Share Turkmenistan Oil Market Insights at Baku Conference

DYM Resources will present exclusive information on the Turkmenistan oil market at an upcoming industry conference in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The company will speak at the SOCAR Caspian and Central Asia Downstream Conference this month. The conference takes place April 25 to 28, 2016, and is focused on trading, logistics, refining and petrochemicals.

“Our presentation will focus on crude oil and oil product exports out of the mysterious Turkmenistan. There will be data that is not publicly available, which is especially precious as it is difficult to get any statistics in Turkmenistan,” DYM Resources project manager Denis Varaksin commented.

Varaksin will present the Turkmenistan oil market information in Baku on behalf of DYM Resources.

The conference is expected to be attended by BP, Eni, Exxon, Shell, Statoil, Dragon Oil, Lukoil, Rosneft, Chevron, Total, Hellenic Petroleum, Georgian Oil and Gas, NIORDC, BNP Paribas and other key players in the field of oil and gas.

DYM Resources is a professional and reliable niche oil products supplier active in Russia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Romania as well as Europe. The company is active in low-sulphur petroleum coke, coal chemicals, petrochemicals, base oils, slack waxes and paraffin. DYM Resources is registered and based in Berlin, Germany.

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baku refinery

Baku Petcoke Production Halts for Third Time in Nine Months

Azerbaijan’s state owned Baku refinery has another petroleum coke (petcoke) production issue and cannot guarantee petcoke supplies to its customers in February, according to an industry source.

Baku exports low-sulphur petroleum coke to Russia and neighboring countries for electrode production. The refinery is not providing a timeline for when petcoke production may resume. This is at least the third time in the last nine months when the refinery has had problems with production. Every time, the refinery had to stop its petcoke export loading.

“Another disruption raises questions about the reliability of Baku refinery as a long-term, low-sulphur petroleum coke supplier,” the market source commented. “Supply shortage and high demand support high prices for low-sulphur petroleum coke in Russia and [the former Soviet Union], which are stable compared to last year’s levels.”

Baku refinery has the capacity to produce 20,000 to 25,000 tons of petroleum coke (with sulphur content below 0.6%) per month. The only low-sulphur alternative supplier in the ex-USSR market is Turkmenbashi refinery, which exports 10,000 to 15,000 tons of petroleum coke per month.

Source: DYM Resources

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