Russian regions have seen quite a few examples of attempts to set up refineries of low or average capacity initiated by local authorities which try thereby to strengthen the “fuel autonomy” of the territories they are in charge of. Usually such attempts result in failure (see, for example, article Mini-Refineries in Russia in NiK (Oil And Capital) No. 7 2005). The Achilles heel of such projects is the improper solution of the issue of crude oil supply. As practice showed in most cases it is this factor that is crucial. The Tyumen Region has not become an exception from this rule since no fewer than five projects on building a refinery near the regional center were announced there at different times. Despite the fact that the Tyumen Region is an economically developed area with stable and intensive demand for fuel which is situated not far from the centers of oil extraction and the territory of which is crisscrossed with powerful oil trunk pipelines none of projected refineries have been constructed there yet. The Tyumen projects have one specific feature in common: the owners of future refineries have no crude oil source of their own.
However, Antipinsky Oil Refinery capable of refining up to 1.1 million tons p.a. after its second-phase commissioning is likely to begin functioning in the area of Tyumen by next spring. Though its proprietor is not directly engaged in oil extracting activity judging by the nature of business it has no problem regarding access to crude.
The authorities wanted to build an oil refinery somewhere nearby Tyumen since long ago, practically just after the collapse of the soviet national and economic system. Even in the mid-nineties projects of low capacity refineries, such as Isetsky, Antipinsky, Torgilinsky, Tobolsky, popped up one after another. This “project-drafting” is going on even nowadays. Only two projects have materialized a little on the basis of illusory plans, namely, Isetsky and Antipinsky refineries. The construction of them has really begun.
… in the late 90s the subsidiary of Transneft, Sibnefteprovod OJSC, decided to build a plant in the suburbs of Tyumen near Antipino. One of the main advantages of this project is the location of the industrial site in the close proximity to the pumping station at the oil trunk pipeline and to the railway. The company purchased required equipment, all the underground utility systems were connected, foundation was laid for the installation of technological units. However, in 2000 construction had to be stopped. Notwithstanding the work done Sibnefteprovod gave up its idea. Among the reasons for such decision they mentioned the fact that oil refining was not the major area for an oil pipeline monopoly and, besides, doubts arose with regard to the project profitability.
The “oil capital” considered several variants of the future refinery location and according to the company information it opted for Antipino. But there was one more candidate for that place.
In January 2005 the Moscow-based holding company “Neftegazokhimicheskie Tekhnologii” (NGKHT) purchased the unfinished facility in Antipino. The new owner immediately invested $25 million in the facility. NGKHT was founded in 2002, its main activity was the refining of oil according to give-and-take schemes at the plants of Bashkiria and Tatarstan, the sales of natural and liquefied gas in central Russia. Moreover, it is common knowledge that NGKHT is the major supplier of gas for Itera company: last year the volume of supplies totaled 1 billion cum and it is planned to remain at the same level upon results of 2005. “Neftegazokhimicheskie Tekhnologii” (NGKHT) confirmed the fact of trade operations with Itera but refused to mention other partners. It is also known that the company takes part on the Karachaganak project in Kazakhstan in the area of gas condensate processing (up to 40-50 thousand tons per month) and its supplies to Russia.
Antipinsky refinery is the first experience for NGKHT, which in its essence is an intermediate company, to enter the real economy sector. Its subsidiary, Antipinsky Oil Refinery CJSC is the ordering customer of works performed by Tyumenpromstroi LLC. As was reported to Oil And Capital (NiK), today Antipinsky Oil Refinery CJSC faced no problems related with construction, and the encountered problems related with the allotment of an extra land plot for the construction of a crude oil loading terminal and laboratory were solved after regional governor Sergei Sobyanin had visited the construction site.
The first-phase facilities of the refinery with the capacity of 400 thousand tons of oil products p.a. are to be commissioned early in the year 2006. The capacity of the second phase amounts to 500-550 thousand tons p.a. The estimated capacity of the oil refinery is 1.1 million tons of crude p.a. The refinery will receive oil from Shaim, Krasnoleninsk, and Nizhnevartovsk oil fields. Agreements have been reached on oil deliveries with Surgutneftegaz, Khantymansiiskneftegazgeologia, TNK-BP, and Shell.
The new refinery will produce diesel fuel of two brands, gasoil, and tar. In the nearest future it is planned to put a unit for the vacuum processing of residual-oil fractions into operation. Most of gasoil and tar will be supplied outside the region to the roof-felt producing plants, whereas the diesel fuel will be sold within the region. The products of the refinery will also be delivered to the neighboring Kurgan and Sverdlovsk regions. According to the estimates of the company the project will yield return on investments already in three years.