SOCAR to increase oil refining in 2014

By Nazrin Gadimova

Azerbaijan's state energy giant SOCAR plans to increase oil refining by 3.1 percent in 2014 to meet domestic demands, SOCAR Vice-President Davud Mamedov said.

This means that Azerbaijan would increase its refined oil production to 6.7 million tones in this year.

"SOCAR will increase the volume of its oil refining because of rising consumption of oil products, especially petrol," he said.

The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan is the only producer of oil products in the country. It has two refineries. One of them is the Heydar Aliyev Oil Refinery that mainly produces light petroleum products. The second one is Azneftyag Refinery that produces dark petroleum products. The total capacity of these refineries is 16 million tons of oil per year.

Mamedov said both plants had resumed their production on May 15 after an overhaul.

"The overhauls of the refineries will lead to increased production of petrol to 1.5 million tonnes this year from 1.4 million tonnes in 2013," he said.

Both plants were built and commissioned in the Soviet period, and therefore required modernization and renovation. Furthermore, SOCAR plans to build a new complex for oil and gas refining and petrochemical production to improve the ecological situation in Baku, as well as to meet growing demands for petroleum products. The complex will be established in a region 60 km away from Baku.