Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) processed five new crudes, including those from the Ivory Coast and Brazil, during 2021-22.

In the chairperson’s message to stakeholders in the annual report for 2021-22, the MRPL Chairperson, Alka Mittal, said five new crudes were processed for the first time during the 2021-22. They included Tupi crude from Brazil, Amna crude from Libya, Egina crude from Nigeria, Basrah Medium crude from Iraq, and Baobab crude from Ivory Coast.

The company purchased 136,000 tonnes of Tupi crude, 83,000 tonnes of Amna crude, 140,000 tonnes of Egina crude, 710,000 tonnes of Egina crude, and 145,000 tonnes of Baobab crude during the year.

The ‘Management Discussion and Analysis’ of the annual report said MRPL meets its crude oil requirement from various national oil companies of exporting countries on term basis and from the open market on spot basis.

During 2021-22, the company procured 14.671 million tonnes (mt) of crude oil. Of this, 12.085 mt was imported, and the balance was sourced indigenously from Bombay High, Ravva and Mangala of ONGC and Cairn India.

Crude oil was imported from Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, Saudi Aramco, and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. To meet the low sulphur heavy stock (LSHS) requirement and shortfall in term crude requirement, MRPL also imported crude oil (1.525 mt) through spot tender during the year, it said.

Oil demand recovery

The annual report said oil is volatile and complex, with events in one part of the world having a ripple effect on another. “While the world economy was slowly recovering, the crisis triggered by the Russia-Ukraine events caused a turmoil and one is unsure how long the consequences would last. World oil demand recovery to pre-Covid levels would probably be pushed to 2024,” it said.

Notwithstanding the recent geo-political events, fuel demand has picked up and product cracks have much improved over the historic lows of the previous year.

It said the refinery typically has exported one-third of its products and, therefore, normalcy in domestic and foreign markets is important for its operations. Road transportation fuels such as petrol and diesel and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) together comprise 60 per cent of the products. “An uneven demand recovery poses a challenge to the refinery,” the report said.

Alternative energy sources

The annual report also noted that the Government is pushing clean energy adoption. Hydrogen technology is emerging in the firmament. Electrification of transport is seeing large traction as part of clean fuel transition. “All these events foretell the imminent threat that refiners must be prepared for. Government regulations in this context could require capital investment for compliance,” it said.

Alternative fuels such as LNG/ CNG, EVs and hydrogen are not anticipated to displace traditional fuels in the medium term. Mentioning that the medium-term threat is limited, the report noted the transition period would be utilised for consolidation before the next transformational change.