Attock Refinery Limited

Attock Refinery Limited (Urdu: اٹک ریفائنری لمیٹڈ) is a Pakistani oil refinery headquartered in Rawalpindi. It is a subsidiary of UK-domiciled Attock Oil Company. It is the oldest oil refinery of Pakistan.[1]

Attock Refinery Limited
Company typePublic
PSXATRL
IndustryOil refining
Founded1922; 102 years ago (1922)
HeadquartersRawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan
Area served
Pakistan
Key people
OwnerAttock Oil Company (61.06%)
ParentAttock Oil Company
SubsidiariesNational Refinery Limited (25%)
Websitearl.com.pk

It is listed on Pakistan Stock Exchange.[2]

History edit

1922–1978: Initial years and growth under Attock Oil Company edit

Attock Refinery's history dates back to the early 20th century when British companies became interested in oil exploration in the Attock District of Punjab, which was then part of British India.[3] In December 1913, a group of British companies established the Attock Oil Company with an initial investment of £25,000.[3] Drilling operations commenced in January 1915, and the company discovered oil at shallow depths.[3] The progress was interrupted by World War I, but after the war, the company began constructing an oil refinery at Morgah, which was connected to the oilfields through a pipeline.[3] The refinery began operations in March 1922 with an initial capacity of 2,500 barrels per day.[3] However, the oil reserves were depleted faster than expected, which posed challenges for the company's continued operation.[3] Despite these setbacks, the government supported the sponsoring company, and this led to the discovery of new oil reserves in 1937.[3] Consequently, the refining facilities underwent substantial expansions.[3]

After the partition of British India in August 1947, the newly formed Government of Pakistan required oil exploration to be conducted by companies incorporated in Pakistan and using the local currency.[3] In response to this requirement, Attock Oil Company incorporated Pakistan Oilfields Limited, in which it held a shareholding of 70 percent.[3] Attock Oil Company provided its drilling services to Pakistan Oilfields Limited at no cost, with the agreement that expenses would be reimbursed from Pakistan Oilfields Limited's profits if the drilling yielded successful results.[3]

1978–1990: Incorporation as a company and expansion of refinery capacity edit

In November 1978, the Attock Oil Company was reorganized following an agreement with the Government of Pakistan.[3] The reorganization included a revision of its capital structure which led to the incorporation of Attock Refinery Limited as a private limited company in 1978.[1][3] The initial paid-up capital of the new company was PKR 80 million, which was subscribed by Attock Oil Company, the Government of Pakistan, and the general public.[3] In June 1979, Attock Refinery was listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange.[1][3]

Attock Refinery had maintained its aging equipment in good working condition through maintenance practices.[3] Despite this, the anticipated rise in locally sourced crude oil led to the need for substantial expansion of the refinery's facilities.[3] This expansion was also stipulated by an existing agreement with the Government of Pakistan.[3] Consequently, in 1980, Attock Refinery initiated its first major expansion project since 1937, establishing a project management cell for this purpose.[3]

The expansion progressed in two phases: the first, in March 1980, saw the installation of a 5,000-barrel per day refining unit, followed by a second phase in February 1981, which added a 20,000-bpd unit.[3] These enhancements increased the refinery's total capacity to 30,500 bpd.[3] With the successful completion of the second phase in 1981, Attock Refinery fulfilled its contractual expansion obligations with the government, leading to the dissolution of the specialized project management section.[3]

1990–2002: Conversion from light crude to heavy crude refinery edit

In the early 1990s, Attock Refinery faced operational limitations due to its capacity to process only light crude, which has a higher content of gasoline and kerosene, unlike heavy crude which contains more residues.[3] Additionally, the refinery's gasoline production, with a lead content of 0.42 grams per liter and an octane rating of 80, failed to meet the new National Environmental Quality Standards that called for reduced lead content in motor gasoline.[3] To address these issues and the looming crude supply shortage, the company aimed to enhance the refinery's ability to produce 87 octane gasoline, a goal unattainable with the existing processes for heavy crude oil refining.[3]

In March 1994, the Government of Pakistan introduced the Petroleum Policy which removed profit caps for refineries undertaking expansion and development.[3] Prior to this policy, the oil refining industry in Pakistan was highly regulated, which guaranteed a minimum 10 percent net tax return on issued capital while taxing returns over 40 percent.[3] In response to the new policy, Attock Refinery initiated the ARU project.[3] Later, Attock Refinery commissioned Hagler Bailey to conduct a feasibility study, including a sensitivity analysis on the impact of different crude types on the project's viability.[3] The study affirmed the feasibility across various conditions, leading to the board of directors approving the Refinery Upgradation and Expansion Plan (ARU Project) by the end of 1994.[3]

The ARU project comprised two key components: the installation of a catalytic reformer unit to produce 87 octane gasoline with a reduced lead content of 0.35 grams per liter, and the replacement of the outdated 5,500-bpd heavy crude unit with a new, more efficient 10,000-bpd unit.[3]

2003–present: Further growth edit

In January 2003, the Government of Pakistan sold its 35 percent stake in Attock Refinery to general public for PKR 102 per share.[4][5]

Products edit

  • Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
  • Unleaded premium motor gasoline
  • Mineral turpentine
  • Kerosene oil
  • High speed diesel
  • Jet petroleum
  • Petroleum solvents
  • Light diesel oil
  • Furnace fuel oil
  • Paving grade asphalts

Subsidiary edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c Hussain, Dilawar (4 April 2016). "Oldest refinery in midst of upgradation". DAWN.COM.
  2. ^ Syed Raza Hassan (31 March 2020). "Pakistan's Attock refinery says will close in a week unless demand rises". Reuters.com. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae Nawaz Tariq, Ahmed; Iqbal Rana, Arif (26 June 2006). "Attock Refinery Upgradation Project". Asian Case Research Journal. 10 (01): 77–101. doi:10.1142/S0218927506000740 – via CrossRef.
  4. ^ https://privatisation.gov.pk/Detail/NTU0ZjE1NGQtNmYzNC00NWZjLWIxZTEtYWMzMzliYzFhNzk4
  5. ^ https://www.upstreamonline.com/weekly/pakistan-puts-sell-off-drive-into-first-gear/1-1-907951
  6. ^ "- National Refinery Limited". www.nrlpak.com.

External links edit