BAKU, April 22 (Reuters) - Azerbaijan’s state energy company SOCAR plans to expand the range of processed grades of oil at its STAR refinery in Turkey, its general manager said on Monday.
The $6.3 billion refinery had been processing only Russia’s Urals crude oil since it started operating in October 2018. SOCAR buys Urals from Russia’s Rosneft under a long-term contract as well as in the spot market.
“We will start buying from countries of the Middle East and Africa along with Urals from the next month,” said Mesut Ilter, STAR Rafineri general manager.
“It’s not ruled out that we will be buying oil from Saudi Arabia and there is the possibility in the future of buying Kirkuk oil.”
He said that the plant had already reached full capacity and intended to process about 900,000 tonnes of crude from May.
“In total, we plan to process 8 million tonnes of crude oil this year, because at the beginning of the year we have been working in test mode,” Ilter said.7
He added that SOCAR Trading had the exclusive rights to supply oil to STAR, which had an annual capacity of 10 million tonnes. (Reporting by Nailia Bagirova and Olga Yagova; writing by Margarita Antidze; editing by Louise Heavens)