STAR Refinery in Aliağa, western İzmir province, Turkey, which is a subsidiary of Azerbaijani-integrated drilling and well services management corp SOCAR, has reported it is producing at full capacity.

An online statement from a company official sharing the news, added it is making the move “despite a sharp decline in product demand in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.”

SOCAR Turkey Refinery and Petrochemical Business Unit Chairman Anar Mammadov said that, thanks to the company’s integrated works with Turkey’s leading petrochemical manufacturer Petkim, Star Refinery was surviving the COVID-19 pandemic with possibly less harm.

Mammadov said in an interview published by Turkish daily newspaper Dünya, that as the Azerbaijani state oil company they would, of course, suffer some coronavirus-related impact, despite Azerbaijan’s reducing its risk by increasing the share of natural gas in its budget. 

STAR Refinery does not produce oil in Turkey but buys crude oil elsewhere and processes it in the country. The business chief noted that a reduction in the costs of raw materials had also been beneficial to activities.

Mammadov said thanks to its operational flexibility, STAR Refinery was able to switch almost all of this capacity to diesel fuel, normally having an annual jet fuel production capacity of 1.6 million tons.

He noted that until the aviation sector returned back to normal, the company would continue in this way of production.

Claiming that integration with Petkim lay within the foundational philosophy of STAR Refinery, Mammadov stressed that today Petkim would be taking all of its main raw material, naphtha, from STAR Refinery: “The integrated structure of the two facilities creates a shield for us in these processes.”

Oil production from the oil giant’s fields of operation increased by 3.7 per cent, while gas production rose by 16 per cent in the first quarter of 2020, according to the company’s quarterly figures, which were released last week. 

SOCAR produced 1.92 million tons of oil in the first quarter of this year, compared to 1.85 million tons in the same period of 2019.

The company’s gas production reached 1.81 billion cubic meters in the first quarter of 2020, from 1.56 billion cubic meters in the January-March period of last year.

Export figures of the company show that SOCAR, which is the largest private-sector investor in Turkey, exported about 5.4 million tons of crude oil and 3.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas in the first quarter of this year.

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20th April 2020