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Amur refinery is not applied

The project for 123 billion rubles is still looking for raw materials and ways to deliver them

The decision on "system expediency" of the ambitious project of the Amur oil refinery will be taken by two deputy prime ministers - Arkady Dvorkovich as head of the government commission for the fuel and energy sector and Yuri Trutnev as curator of the Russian Far East. This was stated by Deputy Energy Minister Kirill Molodtsov. The official admitted that at the moment the authorities did not take a decision on the feasibility of the project of the refinery and the position on this enterprise is very ambiguous. As EastRussia found out, in the project's supply, the key raw material is not only the authorities, but also the industry as a whole.

Amur refinery is not applied
According to the initial plans of the Amur Refinery project initiator Amur Energy Company (AEK), the processing of up to 6 million tons of oil per year should be made in the Amur region by the year of 2018. Estimated cost of construction - 123 billion rubles. The adjusted plan assumes start of the process equipment only in 2019 year, and in 2021-2022 years - expansion of assortment. The plant will be focused on export of petroleum products to the PRC - up to 86,3% of the output is planned to ship abroad. It is in cooperation with China that the pledge of the economic success of the project, Explained EastRussia AEC CEO Alexander Gordeev: “There is one duty on the export of crude oil, and three times less for the export of finished products. For example, you have to pay $ 60 per ton, and for the supply of already processed raw materials - $ 20. This is the first and most obvious benefit. ”

AEC is controlled by the Chinese company Meng Lan Xing He on 90%, and InterRusOil Moscow controls the 10%. The issue with raw materials, insisted in the AEC, is already being resolved: the project initiators from the People's Republic of China bought the Yakut Tuyamaada-Neft NK and reached preliminary agreements on the supply of products from the Krasnoyarsk Kharyaga Oil Company and the Dulisma Irkutsk CJSC. At the first stage, the raw materials will be delivered by rail, and then - via the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline, insisted in the AEC. Director General "InterRusOil" Gennady Shuklin said in the media that AEC is exploring "their own fields, which will provide 50% demand." “The fact that we do not have oil today does not mean that we will not have it by the time it is needed. We have signed agreements that oil will be available by 2018, ”he said.

However, in the autumn of 2016, experts of the design institute of VNIPIneft, in conclusion for the feasibility study of the Amur Refinery for the Ministry of Energy, concluded that there is no confirmed resource base and the possibility of connecting to the ESPO at the refinery. The main question for the project is where will it get the raw materials from, confirm EastRussia's interlocutors in the industry. "Kharyaga" has not yet engaged in oil production, but only owns licenses for exploration and production of oil at the Shushukskoye field with small reserves. Tuymaada-Oil owns licenses for oil exploration and production at four sites in the Olekminsky district of Yakutia with total oil resources of 130 million tons. According to the deputy director of Tuymaada-oil for oil and gas projects, Alexander Matveev, the company will start production not earlier than 2021.

One of Rosneft's geologist experts says that unstable oil production will significantly complicate the implementation of the project, and the chosen methods of delivery are inapplicable. "The supply of oil by rail very much kills the economy of the project. From this go to the maximum. For example, the Khabarovsk refinery did, as far as is known. Without a pipe, the project could still somehow start, try to wait for the expansion of the ESPO, deliver by rail, but without a resource base - it's definitely a gamble, "he notes.

Also, the representative of the industry stresses that preliminary agreements with "Kharyaga" still do not say anything: the deposits there are very complicated, the extraction may be unstable. "And exactly in this field there is no 6 million tons of oil that the plant needs. And Tuymaada-oil is too small. Of course, they plan to carry out geological exploration and production of hydrocarbon raw materials, but we must understand that geological exploration is always a risk and high costs, especially in Yakutia, "the geologist says. The listed factors, in his opinion, "strongly spoil any attempts to invest in the long term in the plant."

Adviser to the president of PJSC "Transneft" Igor Demin confirmed to EastRussia that there are no real agreements with oil companies on supplies of raw materials for the Amur Refinery from AEK: "Earlier, when the Amur Refinery named some companies, we went out to them, asked about the agreements, they Denied. We do not know who the AEC has signed with. " "We have heard that the Amur Refinery is currently negotiating with two oil companies that are currently conducting exploration, they are not mining at the moment. And the maximum in their plans for oil production is 3 million tons. But these are only plans, in reality there can be only 1 million tons of oil produced, "Igor Demin points out.

But the main thing that Transneft pays attention to for already the first year is that there are no unnecessary free capacities in the ESPO. Refusal to connect the Amur Refinery to the ESPO Transneft issued in July 2014, referring to the limited resources. According to the monopoly, all volumes of oil have been distributed long ago, which brings the Amur refinery out of the list of potential recipients. "Distraction of 6 million tons of low-sulfur oil per year for supply to the Amur refinery is impossible due to existing contractual obligations between Transneft and oil companies," the official release said.

"Even if the Amur refinery still attracts some volumes, the capacity of the pipeline is not enough. According to our pipelines, up to 2030 year, it is planned, where and in what volumes will be supplied oil. There are no extra capacities, no one will refuse to sign contracts. If the company wants to still supply the pipeline system, it is necessary to build the pipeline through the inserts in parallel and put an additional NPS to create pressure. According to our calculations, in order to deliver the West Siberian oil to the Amur refinery, it is necessary to invest about 147 billion rubles, "says Igor Demin. In the feasibility study of the project, we note that the expenses of Transneft for expanding the ESPO capacities for the needs of the Amur Refinery are estimated at 123,2 billion rubles. VAT included.

Now ESPO is designed to pump 80 million tons, of which 50 million tons go to the Pacific Ocean, 30 million tons go to the Chinese side. The rest of the oil is distributed as follows: 8 million tons - to the Komsomolsk refinery, 6 million tons - to the Khabarovsk refinery, 12 million tons - to the VNHK (Eastern Petrochemical Plant), 24 million tons are supposed to be transshipped through the port of Kozmino. “Nobody offered us to cooperate on any terms. There were no specific agreements, the plant is making requests to build a pipeline, but they neither name nor offer the amount, ”says Igor Demin.

The representative of Transneft also believes that the Amur refinery will specifically "spoil oil" for export to China, since the main idea is to avoid export duties, and they are three times more expensive for oil than for fuel oil: "The depth of processing, as noted In the project of the Amur Refinery - up to 90%. But in fact, most likely, there will be straight-run gasoline and fuel oil. The plant will spoil the oil, move away from export duties, cause direct damage to the state. In addition, the dirtiest part will occur on the territory of Russia. " In China, believes Igor Demin, from the fuel oil will receive diesel.

The industry believes that to ensure the supply of oil and gas condensate to the Amur refinery, the initiators of the project will need to negotiate with suppliers from the Tyumen region - with a corresponding increase in transportation costs and, possibly, deterioration in the quality of raw materials. The AEC is assured that protocols of intentions for deliveries have been signed with four companies. "At the end of 2018 - the beginning of 2019, contracts will be concluded with them with already specific amounts and volumes," says Alexander Gordeyev.

But head of the analytical department of the National Energy Security Fund Alexander Pasechnik believes that "none of the Russian producers, no vertically integrated company is going to supply oil" to the future refinery. "First and foremost, the colossal problem is that the resource base is not provided, and also that there is no logistics. Suppose, if they bring oil by rail. But the question arises - where. No infrastructure - no one is investing in the pipe, "he notes.

Leading analyst of the National Energy Security Fund, lecturer of the Finance University under the government of the Russian Federation Igor Yushkov agrees that now Transneft is unprofitable to cooperate with the AEC. "Oil companies ask Transneft to build oil pipelines at their own expense, it's not profitable for the companies, and no one will invest their money there." ESPO pays back its investments due to the fact that oil is pumped to Vladivostok and Nakhodka is subsequently exported. Is profitable for the company. "Transneft" profitable to use its infrastructure, and to supply new plants in this case will be completely illogical. And as for the oil companies, most of them feel great, exporting crude oil. For them, there is no point in investing money in processing if the mineral oil is taxed on crude oil. Probably, this project is beneficial for the regional authorities, that's why they support it, "the expert believes.

As a result, VNIPIneft proposes to revise the feasibility study for the Amur Refinery and send it for approval with local supervisory authorities, including for the environmental impact assessment of the investment project. The expediency of construction is questionable, the scientists believe, not only because of the poor development of the resource base of the future oil refinery, but also because of "the emergence of falling revenues of the federal budget of the Russian Federation by replacing oil exports with oil products and granting tax benefits to this project as a resident of the TOP, Significant additional infrastructure costs ".

The new refinery is also not very necessary for the domestic market, VNIPIneft's conclusion says: by the time of 2020, the reconstruction of the Komsomolsk and Achinsk refineries will cover the needs of the Far East in diesel fuel and aviation kerosene for the next 10 years and will even increase their exports. If an independent refinery focused on the external market appeared in the Far East, this would be a plus for the region, says Alexander Pasechnik. But confirms: "This factory is not interesting for the domestic market. And nobody will recycle and send it. In fact, following the conclusion of the report, a warning was made that the project is not profitable, "he warns. "The operator company itself claims that the plant will come out for a payback period of three years. Here everything will depend, including on tax regimes and on oil prices, "the expert adds.

The project has already faced difficulties: according to local media reports, it is already at least a quarter behind the original schedule. In September it was planned to hand over the project for state examination, but the company, according to Amurskaya Pravda, faced difficulties in financing the designers and did not have enough funds to maintain its own employees. Work on the territory of the future plant has also been suspended. The reason is the financial difficulties of Chinese investors and "our state, which gives benefits with one hand and takes them away with the other," the media quoted Alexander Gordeev as saying. “The fact is that Chinese organizations have no right to withdraw money from the country without the appropriate permission of the Chinese government. "Meng Lan Xing He" has such a permit for 9 billion yuan from the China Reform Committee, and to attract a loan from the Chinese bank "Meng Lan Xing He" it is necessary to invest 25% of its own funds. To date, only about 3 billion rubles have been invested in the construction of the plant, investors from China cannot take out a loan, ”he says. However, in 2017, investments will be made, promises Alexander Gordeev.

State Duma deputy from the Amur region, Ivan Abramov, says that the refinery project "shows the competence of those officials who made the decision to build." “Now huge funds have been spent, and the question arises: if there is no this oil, then who made the decision and why was it necessary to start this project? Foreign investors, oil companies are not interested in the development of this plant. For example, we already have a plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, other industries. There is an incompetence of certain officials who made the decision to build a plant, ”the State Duma deputy believes.

The government of the Amur Region could not promptly comment on the situation on the EastRussia project.

At the same time, Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev believes in the project, Alexander Gordeyev, general director of the AEC, insists. According to him, in October, the official instructed the Ministry of Energy and Transneft to develop and implement a set of technical measures to connect the Amursky refinery facilities to the ESPO pipeline. The corresponding report should be submitted to the government of the Russian Federation before 1 February 2017.
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