I’ve labored in a refinery for nearly three years now, and in the Oil & Gas business for 5. I am not even close to realizing everything there is to find out about working a refinery not to mention building one. I am going to do my finest to answer.
A great question but in absence of more details, I will make sure assumptions-
- Permits and Approvals: Oil refining requires numerous assets. Depending in your configuration, you must secure land, anywhere between 50-200 MW of electricity, steam, water and other utilities. At the same time, additionally, you will want to seek regulatory body approvals depending on the jurisdiction. This varies wildly relying on which nation, which firm and different factors. I’m assuming you (the brand new refinery magnate) has already sorted them out.
- Configuration: Depending on your demand and provide balances (which in flip will depend on the geographic location of your refinery), you’ll have to choose which refinery configuration works finest for you. Oil refining has lengthy moved on from simple crude distillation and now’s an extremely built-in advanced comprising several upgrading & treating items.
- Feedstock Provide: It would make little sense to build a refinery and never know what you will be feeding it. Usually refineries are designed round a basket of “design-crudes”, crude oil grades which might be in plentiful supply and might be reliably sourced within the medium term horizon whereas you are still recovering your investment. I’m assuming you’ve gotten this locked.
- Others: Certainly not exhaustive, that you must type out your corporate entity, license to operate, funding financing and many others before you even assume about breaking floor.
Taking this into account, building a fancy, hydrocracking, hyrdroskimming, catalytic cracking refinery, can value anyplace between 5-15 billion USD. The throughput (processing capability) of this refinery should be between 250-500,000 barrels per day. Oil refining is a difficult enterprise and margins are painfully slim. Economies of scale are critical to maintaining a viable enterprise.
Now coming to the question of time. You’d be smart if you may start to run your refinery on some fundamental infrastructure as rest of the units begin to come back tube plate automatic weld on-line. Duration from breaking ground to attaining full complexity & throughput can range between three-8 years depending on the scope of the challenge. Some refineries (Shell’s Pulau Bukom Refinery in Singapore for instance) may even require reclaiming land from the sea before any development can start.
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