# Eastern Refinery submits test report of Russian crude samples to BPC
# Russian crude contains less than two-thirds of diesel than crude from Arab countries
Bangladesh was trying to import Russian crude oil as an alternative source to solve the diesel crisis in the country. Experiments were going on with the Russian proposal. Eastern Refinery Limited (ERL) submitted the report to Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) on Tuesday (September 20). It is initially known that the diesel content of Russian crude oil is lower than the crude oil imported from Arab countries. The naphtha quality from crude is also not suitable for making gasoline. Therefore, even if it is at a low price, the Russian crude oil import will be profitable, the stakeholders claim.
This information is known from the test report of 50 liters of crude oil sample sent from Russia.
In the Russia-Ukraine war situation, the price of petroleum fuel is increasing. Especially in the international market, the prices of all types of fuel, including diesel, LPG, are increasing. Meanwhile, Bangladesh was searching for alternatives when the dollar crisis was created in the country amid the continuous rise in the price of the US dollar against the rupee. At that time, Russia expressed its interest in providing fuel oil to Bangladesh at a low price. Following this, crude oil sample shipments were sent to Bangladesh. However, the country’s energy experts felt that there were several challenges.
On August 24, these crude oil samples reached Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. Russia’s state-owned fuel oil supplier Zarubezhznev JSC sent 50 liters of crude oil samples to Dhaka by plane.
Later, the representatives of Bangladeshi agent National Electric BD Limited of Zarubezhnef JSC, a Russian fuel oil supplier, handed over crude oil samples weighing 50 liters in five plastic jars to Managing Director of Eastern Refinery Limited (ERL) Mohammad Lokman on September 1. A five-member committee headed by ERL General Manager (Operation and Planning) Raihan Ahmed was formed. After a long process, the committee completed the sample test at ERL’s lab. A report is prepared under the signatures of all five members of the committee after thoroughly reviewing all the issues in the sample test. The report was submitted to the BPC on Tuesday (September 20) morning. However, no one officially agreed to open the mouth about the content of the report.
ERL Managing Director Engineer. Lokman told Jago News, ‘Tuesday at 10 a.m. the test report of Russian crude samples was submitted to BPC. As the matter is sensitive and interrelated between the two countries, we will not comment on it. After receiving the report, the BPC and the Department of Energy and Mineral Resources will take a decision on the matter.
However, a senior officer concerned told Jago News on condition of anonymity that the diesel content in the sample is low. BPC imports Marban Crude and Arabian Light Crude (ALC). Marban and ALC get more than 41-42 percent diesel. 33 percent was found in Russian crude. The ‘top cut’ will also have lower naphtha content. It will also get less petrol. The ‘bottom cut’ will create the most problems. Here 50 percent will be the bottom cut. It is very difficult to process. This may require modification of some equipment including pumps in the plant. It is very difficult.’
He said, ‘The demand for diesel is the highest in our country. BPC imports Marban and ALC targeting diesel. In that ratio, diesel and gasoline are lower in Russian sample tests. So we will not benefit proportionately financially.’
According to BPC sources, the country has an annual demand of approximately 6 million metric tons of fuel oil. Of this, 1.5 million metric tons of crude oil is imported and refined. BPC imports the remaining 4.5 million tonnes of refined fuel. Bangladesh usually imports refined and crude oil from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE. Eastern Refinery Limited of Chittagong refines crude oil and produces various fuel oils including diesel, petrol, octane. They have the capacity to refine 1.5 million tons of oil per year. About 75 percent of the total fuel demand in the country is diesel. The demand for diesel increased last year.
When asked about this, BPC Director (Operations and Planning) and Additional Secretary to the Government, Khalid Ahmed, told Jago News on Tuesday night, “The test report of the sample of Russian crude from the Eastern Refinery has been given. However, the report is yet to be reviewed. We can talk about this tomorrow (Wednesday).’