NUR-SULTAN – Oil refining capacity is expected to reach 17.9 million tons in 2022, said Kazakh Minister of Energy Bolat Akchulakov during a February 3 press conference at the Central Communications Center.
Oil refining capacity of three largest refineries including the Atyrau Oil Refinery, Pavlodar Oil Chemistry Refinery and PetroKazakhstan Oil Products reached 17 million tons in 2021, which is 107.7 percent compared to 2020.
The processing capacities at the Shymkent refinery, which now has the operating capacity of 6 million tons per year, will be expanded.
Akchulakov remarked that the maximum retail price for petroleum products is set at the level of 182 tenge (US$0.42) per liter for AI-92 and AI-93 fuel, 215 tenge (US$0.50) per liter for AI-95, from 230 to 260 tenge (US$0.54-0.61) per liter for diesel fuel for a period of 180 days.
“The ministry is working with other state bodies to develop mechanisms and proposals for a pricing scheme after this period. It is necessary to increase processing capacities to prevent fuel shortages. The construction of a new plant takes quite a long time and financing. We are considering expanding the production capacities at the Shymkent refinery,” he explained.
The ministry also plans to introduce an extended overhaul period at the refinery.
“We developed a schedule of repairs for a five-year period. This allows us to suspend production at one plant out of three plants once a year,” he added.
The remaining volume of diesel fuel exceeded 300,000 tons at the beginning of February. Fuel for the sowing campaign will be shipped a month earlier to prevent an increased demand. According to the forecasts of the ministry, fuel shortages are not expected this year.
A reserve for oil products will be created by the KazMunayGas National company of 150,000 tons and by the KTZ National company of 50,000 tons in the first quarter of 2022.
In early January, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev instructed his government to introduce state regulation of prices for liquefied gas and petroleum for six months to stabilize the socio-economic situation.
The Ministry of Energy reported that Kazakhstan will increase oil production in February and March as part of an OPEC+ agreement on Feb. 2.
OPEC+ countries agreed to increase the current level of production by 400,000 barrels per day per month among OPEC+ countries until restrictions are completely lifted at the 25th OPEC+ ministerial meeting.
“The quota for Kazakhstan for January and February is 1.572 and 1.589 million barrels per day respectively. Kazakhstan’s obligations for March are expected to be 1.605 million barrels per day,” reads the ministry’s release.