PROCESSWEST Magazine Online

Feedstock optimization, revenue potential enabling integrated refineries

By Don Horne   


The conventional refinery model of generating revenue by processing crude to produce transportation fuels is increasingly under threat from falling fuel demand. In such a scenario, the integration of a refinery with a petrochemicals plant can improve the revenue generation potential of refiners, states GlobalData.

According to GlobalData’s latest thematic report, Integrated Refineries, an integrated refinery, where refining and petrochemical units are interconnected, is designed to make refinery operations more sustainable.

“In the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak, global fuels demand may find it difficult to reach pre-pandemic levels, putting standalone refiners at risk of closure. However, petrochemicals demand is anticipated to remain steady once the global economy recovers from the downturn. This places the integrated refinery model in a better position for long-term sustainability,” says Ravindra Puranik, an oil and gas analyst at GlobalData.

Integrated refining units can optimize feedstock utilization by producing many high-value products. Integration of steam cracker and/or aromatics complex to a refining unit creates synergies and achieves benefits for both the units.


The petrochemicals plant can meet naphtha and LPG requirements from the adjacent refining units. On the other hand, Py-oil, Py-gas, C9 aromatics and hydrogen can be fed reverse from petrochemical unit to the refinery.

“The integrated facility can derive efficiency gains from shared resources, including land, power plant, water and wastewater treatment units, storage facilities and secondary conversion units. This also makes it relatively easier to optimize workforce deployment at the facility. All these advantages enable an integrated refinery to achieve better revenue growth compared to standalone unit,” says Puranik.

GlobalData’s thematic research identifies ExxonMobil, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Sinopec, PetroChina and Total among the leaders in the integrated refineries theme in the oil and gas industry.


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