Bahrain Review

Bapco achieves record crude throughput in 2015

The refinery achieved a record crude throughput in 2015, processing an average of 265,634 bpd against a nameplate capacity of 262,000 bpd. This was the highest crude run in the last 10 years, an achievement par excellence

The year 2015 was very good for the Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) from a process, personnel safety and international marketing point of view, with records set on a number of key fronts including operations, health and safety and finance.

Operational Excellence is the systematic management of process safety, personal safety and health, environment, reliability and efficiency to achieve world-class performance. Bapco’s investment in an Operational Excellence Management System (OEMS) is realising benefits with significant improvements in leading indicators:

• Record Personnel Safety: Achieved 15 million working hours on November 17, and 16.2 million working hours by the end of the year without a Lost Time Incident;

• Record Process Safety: Achieved 436 days without Tier 1 Loss of Containment; and

• Record Reliability: Achieved 155 days without an unplanned shutdown.

The qualitative benefit of OEMS is seen in the improved governance of Bapco’s management systems and processes. Further recognition came when Bapco was selected as runner-up amongst 501 submissions from more than 247 organisations in 32 countries, in the Best Practice Category at Adipec 2015 (Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference) for 'Rapid Operational Excellence by Technology Assisted Governance.'

The refinery achieved a record crude throughput in 2015, processing an average of 265,634 barrels per day (bpd) against a nameplate capacity of 262,000 bpd. This was the highest crude run in the last 10 years, an achievement due primarily to stable and safe operations with a high on-stream factor and more predictable and reliable mechanical availability. The refinery also processed an all-time record high of 50,600 bpd of Bahrain crude during 2015, maximising revenue for the kingdom in a financial environment that favoured refiners with Bapco’s configuration.

The Refinery Reliability Clock (RRC) is a key performance indicator used to track unplanned shutdowns of length greater than 24 hours between planned process unit turnarounds. A maximum run of 155 days was achieved before a reset in May. The cumulative resets totaled 3 for the year, which was the refinery’s best ever performance and which continued the trend evident over the last few years towards more reliable and stable operations.

An optimal Middle Distillate yield of 58.0 vol per cent was achieved in 2015, exceeding the annual target because of well executed hydrocracker operations. The overall liquid recovery was also the highest ever recorded in the history of the unit.

The equivalent of three new world-class refineries were commissioned in the region between 2014 and 2015, all producing clean fuels. Bapco successfully managed to retain its competitive marketing position amongst these refinery giants by securing stable outlets for all products, especially middle distillates.

Most product exports were to the Middle East, followed by the Far East, Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent. More than half of the diesel was produced with an ultra-low sulfur content of 10 parts per million, and sold to the international market at a premium. Asphalt production has continued to be profitable compared to fuel oil, and Bapco was also able to break the bitumen sales record in 2015 by dispatching almost 3.7 million barrels, adding a third more profit to the asphalt business compared to the previous year.

Bapco continued to play a pivotal role in the progress of industrial development in the kingdom of Bahrain by providing uninterrupted natural gas supply to power generating plants and industrial gas consumers. The average total quantity of gas delivered to 36 gas customers in 2015 was approximately 1.5 billion standard cubic feet per day (bscfd) with a peak consumption rate of 1.9 bscfd during August.

Since the launch of the Bapco Lubricants brand on December 10, 2014, 330,000 litres of lubricants have been distributed in Bahrain with Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) approved formulations.

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