We turn crude oil into products that are essential to the entire population's everyday life, working to meet the growing demand for oil products in Brazil. We currently have 13 refineries, spread nationwide, and a shale processing unit in Paraná. Our refining park produces upwards of two million barrels of oil products per day, such as diesel, gasoline, naphtha, jet fuel, liquefied petroleum gas, and lubricants, among other substances used as feedstock for many other products.
To produce more and reduce dependence on imports, we have invested in two fronts: Building new refineries and in the constant pursuit of increased productivity in the current refining capacity. All this always based on the best Brazilian and international industry practices and principles of safety, environment, and health that guide all our actions.
Ramping-up the refining capacity
Thirty-four years after we built the last refinery in our refining park, we put the Abreu e Lima Refinery (RNEST) into operation in Pernambuco (Northeast Brazil). The first refining set (Train 1) went on stream in December 2014, with authorization to process 74,000 barrels of oil per day, while the works to start up Train 2 are still underway. Also being deployed is the Comperj project. When entering operation, these new units will reduce the need for oil product imports to meet market needs.
Focused on increasing the capacity and efficiency of the current refining park, we have the Middle Product and Gasoline Production Program (Promega), one of the elements responsible for our successive refining records. Promega helped increase the average daily production volume of diesel fuel by 9.0%, of Jet Fuel by 12.4%, and of gasoline by 12.7% in 2014 as compared to 2012, the year the program was launched.
Oil product production at our refineries grew 28 percent in the 2004-2014 period (until March). The result was a significant increase in volume, of 474,000 bpd, in this interval. Refining more from the same refineries, with safety, quality, and efficiency is the result of significant investments in modernization, new processing units, and operating improvements.
In the past five years, for example, we put into operation 60 new units at the existing refineries. Since 2012, 22 units have gone on stream. Eight other units are currently under construction. These are largely Hydrotreatment (UHDT), Hydrodesulfurization (UHDS), Hydrogen Generation (UGH), Sulfur Recovery (URE) and Acid Water Treatment (UTAA) units and allow for the production of S-10 diesel fuel and S-50 gasoline, high-quality, low sulfur fuels that allow for lower vehicular emissions.
Understand the refining cycle
Producing oil products from oil involves, basically, three main processes:
- Distillation - the process of separating oil products: The oil is heated at high temperatures until evaporating. This vapor returns to a liquid state as it cools at different levels within the distillation tower. At each level there is a container that collects a particular oil product.
- Conversion - the process that transforms the heavier, lower value oil parts into smaller molecules, giving rise to the noblest oil products. This increases oil utilization.
- Treatments - processes aimed at adjusting oil derivatives to the quality required by the market. In one such process, for example, sulfur is removed.
Get to know this cycle better based on the cycle of gasoline, one of the oil products: