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Mazut is a heavy, low quality fuel oil, used in generating plants and similar applications. In the United States and Western Europe, mazut is blended or broken down, with the end product being diesel.
Mazut may be used for heating houses in the former USSR and in countries of the Far East that do not have the facilities to blend or break it down into more conventional petro-chemicals. In the West, furnaces that burn mazut are commonly called "waste oil" heaters or "waste oil" furnaces.
Mazut-100 is a fuel oil that is manufactured to GOST specifications, for example GOST 10585-75 (not active), GOST 10585-99 Oil fuel. Mazut. Specifications (active, last modified 07.01.2010) . (GOST is the Russian system of standards, much like ASTM, or ANSI, for example). Mazut is almost exclusively manufactured in the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan. This product is typically used for larger boilers in producing steam since the BTU content is high. The most important consideration (not the only consideration) when grading this fuel is the sulfur content, which can mostly be affected by the source feedstock. For shipment purposes, this product is considered a ”dirty oil” product, and because viscosity drastically affect whether it is able to be pumped, shipping has unique requirements. Mazut is much like Number 6 Oil, and is part of the products left over after gasoline and lighter components are evaporated from the crude oil.
Different types of Mazut-100
The main difference between the different types of Mazut-100 is the content of sulphur. The grades are represented by these sulfuric levels:
- ”Very Low Sulphur” is mazut with a sulphur content of 0.5%
- ”Low Sulphur” is a mazut with a sulphur content of 0.5-1.0%
- ”Normal Sulphur” is a mazut with a sulphur content of 1.0-2.0%
- ”High Sulphur” is a mazut with a sulphur content of 2.0-3.5%
Very Low Sulfur mazut is generally made from the lowest sulfur crude feedstocks. It has a very limited volume to be exported because:
- The number of producers in Russia is limited. Refineries which produce this are generally owned by the largest domestic oil companies, such as Lukoil and Rosneft, etc.
- In Russia and the CIS a minimum of 50% from the total produced volume is sold only to domestic consumers in Russia and the CIS.
- Most of the remainder amount is reserved by state quotas for state controlled companies abroad.
- The remaining volume available for export is sold according to state quotas, via state auctions, accessible only to Russian domestic companies.
Low to high sulfur mazut is available from Russia and other CIS countries (Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan). The technical specifications are represented in the same way, according to the Russian GOST standard 10585-99. The Russian origin mazut demands higher prices.
Future of Mazut
However, the media in the extreme oil-rich province Tatarstan called the 3rd July 2016 as "the main event in 2016 (for now!)". On this day the refinery from TANECO, a Tatneft subsidiary, launched the operation of the delayed coking unit (DCU), which will allow to increase oil refining efficiency from 73 to 95%.
The launch of the unit will allow TANECO to move away from the production of black oil products and to reach the 'zero' of mazut. Though for that it is necessary to put into operation the naphtha hydrotreating unit (1.1 million tonnes per year) and hydrotreating of heavy gas oil coking unit (850 thousand tonnes). But the main priority node in the chain — the DCU — has already started its work.
This means a completely different economy of the project TANECO. The previously existing mazut production in large quantities (we are talking about the output of 2 million tonnes per year) was a heavy stone for the economic efficiency of oil refining.
Low-processed oil in Russia is particularly useless: annually it is produced at the amount of more than 70 million tonnes. About half of this amount is produced in the Volga Region. The transportation at long distances of oil produced by TANECO is unprofitable, not to mention the purely logistical problems. Nail Maganov speaking for TANECO said "goodbye" to mazut.
This shows that even large producers in Russia are not interested to waste oil as the oil price is very low and Russia needs every Cent per Barrel of Crude Oil, an export of the crude oil is more profitable with today's oil tankers or even upgrading in refineries and export of finished oil products will bring much higher profits. So mazut will probably disappear slowly in the coming years.