Abu Dhabi plans to begin expansion of its Ruwais oil refinery by the end of the year and commission the facility during the start of 2015, according to UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazroui.

Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company (Takreer) is doubling the refinery capacity of the Western Region operation to 800,000 barrels a day (b/d) to meet growing domestic and international demand.

“The Ruwais refinery will start this year… Full commissioning will take some parts of next year,” Al-Mazroui said at a press conference in Abu Dhabi on 22 September.

Once commissioned, the estimated $10bn facility will produce unleaded gasoline, naphtha, aviation turbine fuel (Jet A1), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), propylene, kerosene, gas oil, bunker fuel, diesel, slurry to existing fuel oil and sulphur.

Speaking about the upstream sector, the minister said that the UAE was still on target to reach a crude production capacity of 3.5 million b/d by 2017, but would not comment on current capacity.

He also said the UAE was exploring for more unconventional gas resources to boost its natural gas production.

“We are exploring for unconventional like any other country, but that will take time. We are advancing the overall gas system,” said al-Mazroui.