Petrobras Mulls Additional Lube Production

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Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras is developing a plan to increase lubricant production at its Comperj refinery in the state of Rio de Janeiro, a spokesperson told Lube Report.

The plan will replace a previous project to complete the construction of the refinery in partnership with Chinese multinational energy group China National Petroleum Corp. and its affiliates. The companies found the project – which would have given CNPC a 20 percent share in the concessions of petroleum production facilities Marlim, Marlim Sul, Marlim Leste and Voador – to be economically unviable.

Despite this, Petrobras and CNPC will continue to entertain the possibility of new opportunities to partner, according to the spokesperson.

Meanwhile, in December, Petrobras board of directors approved studies for an alternative plan that would integrate its Duque de Caxias Refinery (Reduc) with unused units at the Comperj facility in the city of Itaborai. The idea is to produce basic lubricants and high-quality fuels coming from the Reduc facility, sending these products through pipelines and then processing them at Comperj.

The study also contemplates the possibility of building a thermoelectric plant using pre-salt natural gas in partnership with other investors, the spokesperson said.

According to Petrobras refining and natural gas chief Anelise Lara, the company would invest approximately U.S. $400 million to build a plant at Comperj with capacity to make 225,000 cubic meter (202,000 metric tons) per year of lubricants, and this would increase the refinerys production capacity four-fold by 2022, news agency Reuters reported on Dec. 10.

When contacted by Lube Report, however, Lara was unavailable to confirm the investment, and the spokesperson refused to affirm the amount.

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