01 October - 02 October 2020
Moscow, Russia

Argus LPG Moscow

Russian NGL output inches higher in 2019

Russian production of natural gas liquids (NGL) increased last year from additional output at gas processing plants (GPPs) as well as the inclusion of facilities at the North Komsomolskoyeoil and gas field.

NGL production rose by 126,700t on the year to 11.67mn t, Russia's energy ministry says. The ministry in 2019 began to take into account output at North Komsomolskoye in the Yamal-Nenets region of west Siberia, which is being developed by state-controlled Rosneft subsidiary RN-Purneftegaz. The firm is based in Yamal-Nenets.

Without NGL from the field's processing units, production would have grown by 50,000t from 2018, as higher yields from private-sector firms Surgutneftegaz and Novatek outweighed a small dip in output from the country's largest NGL and LPG producer, Sibur Holding.

Surgutneftegaz's Surgut GPP increased NGL output by 162,500t to 567,800t last year — the firm does not fractionate this into LPG and ethane. And Novatek raised NGL production by 86,300t to 2.53mn t at its Purovsky GPP, although the volume of de-ethanised gas condensate decreased by 220,000t to 10.8mn t.

Sibur remained the country's largest NGL producer, accounting for 48pc of output. But the firm's production edged 5,200t lower to 5.57mn t, energy ministry data show, on lower yields from its Muravlenkovsky and South Priobsky GPPs.

The largest fall in NGL output last year came from Russian private-sector oil firm Tatneft's 280,000 b/d Taneko refinery, which slipped by 95,600t on the year to 182,500t, owing to an increase in production of gasoline components. NGL production at Taneko grew sharply in 2018 after the launch of an isomerisation facility with a capacity of 420,000 t/yr. And production at state-controlled Gazprom's Astrakhan GPP more than halved to 66,550t, although the company's LPG output rose by 69,200t to 352,000t.

Most of the Russian NGL was delivered to the domestic market — 11.36mn t, up by 77,100t from 2018, the energy ministry data show. Deliveries on pipelines rose by 100,600t to 8.87mn t, driven by extra supply to Rosneft's Novokuybyshevskaya NNK petrochemical plant in the Samara oblast.

Plastic pull

The majority of Russia's NGL consumption continued to come from Sibur's petrochemical plants and third-party facilities it uses under long-term agreements — a total of 9.5mn t, up from 9.3mn t in 2018. The largest single consumer was the firm's Tobolsk petrochemical complex, using 125,000t more at 8.1mn t in 2019. All NGL deliveries to Tobolsk were done by pipeline. The main increase in pipeline supply came from Surgutneftegaz's Surgut GPP, which sent an additional 177,000t on the year at 425,000t. Feedstock deliveries to Tobolsk from Novatek's Purovsk plant climbed to 2.5mn t from 2.4mn t in 2018.

Russian exports of NGL increased by 19,000t to 281,800t last year, railway forwarders say. All of this was delivered to Belarus. The main driver behind the rise in exports of NGL was the Taneko plant in Nizhnekamsk, which was up by 62,400t to 107,300t in 2019. Exports from the Surgut GPP dropped by 11,500t from 2018 to 144,900t. And small volumes were supplied to Belarus from private-sector oil firm Lukoil's Lokosovsky GPP and Stavrolen petrochemical subsidiary, and Gazprom's Neftekhim Salavat petrochemical complex in the Bashkortostan republic.