MEED magazine said that the $16 billion Al-Zour refinery complex, which is expected to start operating soon, will be an influential factor in increasing global refining capacity, in addition to other projects to implement major expansions in refining capacity that are now underway in the Middle East, such as the Duqm Refinery in Amman, whose cost is estimated at about $7 billion and is believed to be in the process of completing the engineering, procurement and construction phase by about 92%, in addition to the Zarqa Refinery expansion project in Jordan.
In this context, the magazine says the oil producing countries in the Middle East are of great importance in the field of oil refining because they contribute to a large part of the global refining capacities of crude oil, as their total daily refining capacity reached 12.145 million barrels in 2021, reports a local Arabic daily.
The magazine based its report on the Global Data findings that the countries of the region plan to increase their refining capacity to 15.48 million barrels per day, with an average annual growth rate of 4.9%, and the Middle East ranked second in terms of the size of plans to increase refining capacity in the world which amounted to 3.8 million barrels per day, while Asia’s share is 7.3 million barrels per day of the planned additions, according to what the aforementioned report revealed.
MEED has attributed this importance to oil refining mainly to emerging Asian economies, particularly China and India, which intend to increase refining capacity to meet growing domestic demand.
The report stated that it is expected globally to start operating 460 crude oil refining plants during the period between 2022 and 2026. These projects include 118 new refineries and 342 projects to expand existing stations.
In terms of the stages that refining projects are going through, the report indicated that there are about 215 refining projects in the construction phase that will start operating during the period between 2022 and 2026, as well as 108 other major projects in the feasibility study phase, and 97 projects in the approval phase.