Russias IOC exports first LPG bulk

By Damir Khalmetov

MOSCOW, Oct 11 (Reuters) — Russia’s Irkutsk Oil Company
(IOC), a new player on the Russian LPG (liquefied petroleum gas)
market, exported its first LPG, traders’ data and railway
statistics showed.

IOC shipped 1,289 tonnes of technical propane-butane mixture
to Belarus on October 5 to 8 with 1,015 tonnes delivered to
Vitba station and 274 tonnes to Lyshitsy station, statistics

Belarusian company Syryevye Resursy-Bel, part of
Transexpeditsiya, was the buyer of IOC’s LPG, industry sources
said. Transexpeditsiya owns LPG-filling stations in Vitebsk and

The purchase was indirect, as the company bought the fuel
through Russian intermediate companies rather than directly from
IOC, traders said.

Previously, IOC announced plans to start LPG exports by the
end of the year with the main bulk going to Asia-Pacific

Traders say that LPG exports to Asia Pacific are more
profitable for IOC compared with supplies going to the west.
However, the almost complete lack of infrastructure for onshore
or offshore LPG transshipment in Russia’s Far East hampers
supplies to Asia.

IOC didn’t immediately reply to Reuters’ questions.

The company launched LPG production in late 2017. In the
first six months of this year, LPG was loaded onto trucks at the

After the launch of the pipeline which goes from a gas
processing plant at Yaraktinsky field to rail terminal for LPG
transshipment in Ust-Kut (Lena-Vostochnaya station) in the
second half of the year, IOC started liquefied gas shipments by

IOC produced 22,682 tonnes in January-August 2018 with
10,261 tonnes produced in August.

In comparison, the company’s average production was
1,000-1,500 tonnes of liquefied gas per month in the first half
of the year.

Initial loadings of commercial propane/butane mix will be
around 160,000 tonnes per year after the launch of a pipeline
from the gas processing plant to IOC’s rail terminal in Ust-Kut
in Irkutsk region.

Start-up of the pipeline and the rail terminal for LPG
transshipment is part of the first stage of IOC’s gas project.
Investments in the project are estimated at 456 billion rubles,
according to the company’s estimates as of late September 2018.

IOC’s gas project has three stages. The first stage
(2011-2018) sees the development of Yaraktinsky oil, gas and
condensate field, construction of an associated petroleum gas
treatment unit with a capacity of 3.6 million cubic metres of
gas per day, and construction of a 210-kilometres supply
pipeline, which goes to an LPG terminal near Cape Tolsty in

The second stage (2016-2019) will see gas processing
volumes at Yaraktinsky field increase to 15.6 million cubic
metres per day after construction of two associated petroleum
gas treatment facilities with a capacity of 12 million cubic
metres of gas per day. This stage will also see a processing
unit constructed at Markosvky field with a capacity of 6.0
million cubic metres per day and construction of a new plant —
Ust-Kut gas refinery plant — near Cape Tolsty in Ust-Kut. The
unit will ensure fractionation of natural gas liquids to produce
LPG and stable gas condensate.

After the launch of Ust-Kut GPP (gas processing plant), the
additional volume of LPG will amount to 800,000 tonnes per year,
Reuters estimates showed.

The third stage (2018-2023) will see the construction of
Ust-Kut polyolefine plant, with a capacity of 650,000 tonnes per
year, aimed at production of high-density polythelene and linear
low density polyethylene.

IOC develops Eastern Siberian fields, which were made exempt
from mineral extraction tax in 2007 for 10 years.

IOC’s main fields are Yaraktinsky, Danivolsky and Markosvky
oil, gas and condensate fields. Total oil and gas condensate
production at the fields in 2017 was 8.573 million tonnes.

Over 90 percent of IOC shares are held by its managers with
the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and Goldman
Sachs each owning a 4-percent stake in the company.
(Writing by Anna Bakhtina; Editing by Kevin O’Flynn)

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