Petrobras doubles Acu super port crude exports
A record 1mn b/d in April was dispatched in April.
By Nathan Walters /Argus
Petroleumworld 06 23 2020
Brazil's state-controlled Petrobras has more than doubled the total crude volume it is permitted to export from privately owned Acu Port to 100mn bl from 48mn bl, terminal operator Acu Petroleo said today.
In March 2019, Petrobras and Acu Petroleo, a joint venture between Germany's Oiltanking and EIG-backed Prumo, signed a 24-month transshipment contract covering 48 operations with either VLCC or Suezmax vessels. The new addendum does not extend the original March 2021 contract expiry.
Petrobras exported around 536,000 b/d of crude in 2019, and 806,000 b/d in first quarter 2020. The firm dispatched a record 1mn b/d in April — around 60pc destined for China — but has indicated that more domestic crude could be diverted to local refineries for the production of high-octane gasoline and low-sulfur marine fuel for export.
The 1.2mn b/d offshore oil terminal at Acu is now handling around 25pc of crude exported from Brazil, including transshipment services to European oil producers such as Shell, Galp, Equinor, Total and Repsol. Petrobras still moves most of its crude through two of its own terminals—Angra dos Reis and Sao Sebastian.
The brainchild of erstwhile billionaire Eike Batista, Acu was designed as a commodities export hub strategically positioned to service the Santos and Campos oil basins.
Acu Petroleo says it is considering more onshore storage and a series of pipelines that would allow crude to be supplied to Petrobras' 239,000 b/d Duque de Caxias refinery in Rio de Janeiro and the 166,000 b/d Betim refinery in Minas Gerais, the latter one of eight refineries Petrobras is in the process of selling.
Last month, Houston-based independent energy firm Oil Group Investment announced it would build a 20,000 b/d modular refinery at the port. The $300mn unit is scheduled to start in 2024 and could later be expanded to 50,000 b/d.