BAKU, May 22 (Reuters) - Azeri state energy company SOCAR plans to increase oil refining by 3.1 percent to 6.7 million tonnes of crude in 2014 on rising domestic fuel demand.
“SOCAR will increase volumes of oil procession on its existing refineries because of rising consumption of oil products, especially a petrol,” SOCAR Vice-President Davud Mamedov told Reuters.
SOCAR operates two ageing refineries - the Baku Oil Refinery and the Oil Refinery Azneftyag, both in the capital Baku, that process more than 6 million tonnes of crude per year.
Mamedov said both plants had resumed output on May 15 after maintenance.
“Repairs at the refineries will allow increased production of petrol to 1.5 million tonnes this year from 1.4 million tonnes in 2013,” he said.
Maintenance caused a temporary fall in oil processing to 1.2 million tonnes on January-April this year from 1.7 million tonnes in the same period last year at the Baku Oil Refinery and to 721,280 tonnes at the Oil Refinery Azneftyag from 698,590 tonnes an year ago.
SOCAR had imported about 200,000 tonnes of petrol in April due to the maintenance.
The company plans to build a major complex processing oil, gas and petrochemicals worth up to $14.4 billion near Baku, scheduled for completion in 2023.
Construction is due to start in 2015 and the complex will include a gas-processing plant, an oil refinery, as well as a petrochemicals plant.
That will boost refinery capacity will be 8.5-9.0 million tonnes per year. (Reporting by Nailia Bagirova; Writing by Margarita Antidze; Editing by William Hardy)