There are several hundred types of crude oil in the world, including fuel oils, heavy crude oils, asphalt-base crude oils; low-, medium-, and high-sulfur crude oils. The most common division is: light crude – best for the production of gasoline, medium crude – for the production of diesel oil, and heavy crudes from which most bitumens and oil bases (used for the production of lubricants) are obtained. Depending on what they specialise in, refineries select specific types of crude based on the cost-to-benefit ratio and availability of advanced crude processing technologies.
LOTOS’ specialists are not looking for the types of crude oil similar to those delivered from countries east of Poland, but those which yield more interesting products. When there is demand for gasolines on the market, it is profitable to purchase light crudes, such as those produced by LOTOS from the Baltic Sea and in Lithuania. In late summer, however, when bitumen is in high demand, it is more profitable to import heavy asphalt-base crude. LOTOS has excellent logistics, typical only of refineries located close to oil terminals.
Before buying a new type of crude, the Technology Office’s experts analyse its characteristics to establish if its processing is viable in the current market environment. The whole process is not only about price, but also about the volume of valuable products that can be obtained. In some cases, the choice of a more expensive crude is sometimes economically more justifiable. LOTOS has already tested over 200 oil types and the number is steadily growing.
The ability to process a wide range of crude types is characteristic of only the most advanced refineries, and the LOTOS plant surely belongs to this group. Following several upgrades, the Gdańsk refinery is now capable of processing a greater number of crude types imported under one-time contracts. Moreover, completion of the EFRA Project (Effective Refining) will further expand the range of crude types used at the refinery.
In the first half of 2016, every fifth barrel of oil (21%) processed by the LOTOS refinery was imported from sources other than markets east of Poland. This came as a result of LOTOS’ continuous efforts to ensure greater diversification of supply sources of raw materials strategic for the economy and increase Poland’s energy security.
NEW SUPPLY SOURCES
- The Middle East
- 2m barrels of Iranian Light
Tankers Atlantas and Calida, carrying 2m barrels of Iranian oil for LOTOS, arrived at Naftoport in Gdańsk on August 15th. The Iranian oil was processed by the Gdańsk refinery until the end of August. A detailed technical and economic analysis of the feedstock processing is underway. Its findings will help to assess the profitability of the Iranian oil processing.
- The Lubiatów-Międzychód-Grotów production facility (PGNiG)
- 2.1m barrels of crude oil per year
To leverage synergies between state-owned companies, LOTOS and PGNiG supply oil from Poland’s largest oil production facility to Gdańsk. The oil is delivered by LOTOS Kolej, Poland’s largest railway carrier of crude oil and liquid fuels.
LOTOS Petrobaltic is the only Polish company engaged in oil and gas exploration and production in the Polish economic zone of the Baltic Sea. Read more...
LOTOS Exploration and Production Norge of Stavanger is responsible for the development of operations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. 75% of the volumes produced by LOTOS come from Norway. Read more...
LOTOS Geonafta operates in Lithuania as the largest crude oil producer in the country. Read more...
Diversification of supply sources is not all. In pursuit of the ‘Responsible Development Plan’ adopted by the Polish government, LOTOS is introducing innovative solutions to maximise the quality and volume of petroleum products. This is why LOTOS has embarked on the EFRA Project. Read more...