New capacities at the Ruwais complex will come online by 2022, and will offer ADNOC some heavier crude capabilities as well. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Abu Dhabi National Oil Company's $3.5 billion refining upgrade at the Ruwais complex is well on track, according to an update issued by the company.

On completion in 2022, the project will allow ADNOC to process up to 420,000 bpsd (barrels per stream day) of heavier and sourer grades of crude oil, as part of the 840,000 bpsd refinery in Ruwais.

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The ‘Crude Flexibility Project’ (CFP) upgrade initiative is a core driver of the energy giant's downstream strategy. The project is expected to increase the value it derives from each barrel of oil, both by boosting refining margins and by leaving more high-value Murban crude available for export.

“This investment is another step in our progress to develop Ruwais into a global hub for downstream activity,” said Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of ADNOC.

For more than 40 years, ADNOC has predominantly refined Murban grade crude, extracted from its onshore fields. The CFP allows for the Upper Zakum grade, extracted from Abu Dhabi's offshore oil fields, to be processed along with over 50 other types of different crudes, the company said.