TOR begins test run of oil from TEN
The Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) has begun a test run on about one million barrels of crude oil from the Tweneboa, Enyera and Ntomme (TEN) fields in the Western Region to establish whether or not the oil is compatible with the refinery’s Crude Distillation Unit (CDU).
The crude oil from the TEN fields was discharged to the refinery last Monday, December 12, 2016 from an oil tanker vessel, the Bordeira, that docked at the single point mooring (SPM) facility at the Tema Port last Saturday.
The test run will afford officials of TOR the opportunity to identify the structure and nature of the crude oil and the various yields it would generate when processed.
The management of the refinery is also expected to use the test run to determine whether the crude oil could be optimised by blending it to improve the quality of the yields if need be.
The Managing Director of TOR, Mr Kwame Awuah-Darko, told the Daily Graphic in Tema last Monday that expectations were that the crude oil would yield high-quality gasoline, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), aviation turbine kerosene (ATK), among other petroleum products.
According to him, the revamping of the CDU to 45,000 barrels per stream day (bpsd) was expected to marginally reduce TOR’s operational cost and further improve on its efficiency.
He was of the view that the delivery of the locally produced crude oil formed part of TOR’s strategy to produce at a flat price to improve the commercial viability of TOR.
Mr Awuah-Darko explained that TOR, through the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) Company, had projected to purchase and process some 16 million barrels of crude oil in 2017.
“Our strategy is that out of the 16 million barrels of crude oil, about eight to 10 million barrels should be taken from the TEN fields,” he said.
He said the decision to settle on the TEN crude was informed by the unstable production of Jubilee crude owing to challenges with the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel.
Similarly, he said, the Jubilee crude contained very high levels of vanadium, a metal which was not compatible with the refinery.
On debts that had suffocated the refinery’s operations in the past, Mr Awuah-Darko explained that although the present management inherited a system that was bad, it was leaving behind a vibrant business that was poised to recapture the commanding heights of the country’s downstream petroleum sector.
He said the first series of TOR’s debt, amounting to $216 million and owed to Ecobank, Access Bank, GT Bank and UT Bank, had been restructured into a 10-year bond which was issued in November 2016 to cater for the repayment.
He, however, regretted that the lack of audited accounts and financial statements from 2012 to 2015 affected the company’s operations.
He said the present management had been able to audit the company’s accounts for 2012, 2013 and 2014, while those of 2015 were still being worked on for the board of directors to approve at the end of January 2017.