In 2017, n-butane production in Russia remained at the level of 3.1 mln. tons, versus previous two years when there was a slight decline of production. In 2017, 1.4 mln. tons of n-butane were exported from Russia. In the first nine months of 2018, n-butane export amounted to 1.2 mln. tons.
The main producers of n-Butane in Russia are Tuimazinskoye GPP LLC and Shkapovskoye GPP LLC (Rosneft, 28.8 thous. tons), Minnibayevsky GPP (PJSC Tatneft), Permneftepererabotka and Korobkovsky GPP LLC (Lukoil), Uralorgsintez and Tobolsk-Neftekhim (SIBUR Holding), Ryazan Oil Refining Company (Rosneft Oil Company, equipment modernization in 2017).
State policy concerning associated petroleum gas (APG) utilization contributes to the growth of refining capacities. Ultimately, those butane market players will win, who possess a complete process flow from the production of hydrocarbons to the end products – polymers.
Nowadays, it is more profitable to build gas fractionation plants (HFCs) to separate n-butane and iso-butane at fuel and petrochemical refinery plants rather than at GPPs. Today, there are projects of new gas-chemical facilities, but, unfortunately, sometimes there is no specificity regarding the building HFCs for butanes production. In addition, the existing HFCs in Russia are far from always running at full capacity. Moreover, creating a new large production unit involves a vast volume of investments.