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Refining: technology that creates several solutions with a single raw material

Turning crude oil into essential products for your everyday life: that's what we do in refining.
Night aerial image of a Petrobras oil refinery.

The energy that moves society is born in refining

Refining plays a very important role in your life; do you know why? Because it is in oil refineries, in these true transformation industries, that we produce diesel, gasoline, aviation kerosene, cooking gas and many other products that you use every day.
Byproducts obtained from oil refining, in turn, can also be used as raw material for the petrochemical industry to create countless other products. Just look around you, the results of this are everywhere:
  • PET bottles and various types of packaging.
  • Medication.
  • Carpets, fabrics and furniture.
  • Car parts.
  • Glasses and contact lenses.
  • Tires.
  • Fertilizers for agriculture.
And this is just a small portion of what is generated by refining. The truth is that the whole world is driven by this process, and we are changing the way it is done. We are developing new products towards a low carbon market. And for this reason, refining is fundamental for energy transition.

We make heavy investments to meet the needs of Brazilian

To guarantee production for a demand that is always growing, we have defined strategies that will guide our activities in the coming years (2024-2028):
  • Be the best option for customers.
  • Offer low carbon products.
  • Optimize the production chain by maximizing the value of assets.

Investment forecast for refining.


Previsão de investimento em refino

Investment forecast for refining - 2024-2028+

US$ billion

Forecast of Petrobras' investments in oil refining for the years 2023 to 2027.
Aumento do Processamento e Conversão
(+154 mbpd)
  • Novas unidades na REPLAN, RNEST (2º Trem) e GASLUB
  • Adaptações na REDUC, REVAP, REGAP e RNEST (1º Trem)
  • Estudo de novas unidades na REPAR e REFAP
Programa REFTOP
(IGEE de 30kg CO₂e/CWT em 2030)
  • GASLUB (HIDW) - Lubrificantes Grupo II
  • RPBC (Planta Dedicada) - BioQAV e Diesel Renovável
  • Estudo de segunda Planta Dedicada
Produção de Não Carburantes e Renováveis
(+27) mbpd
  • Novas unidades na RNEST (2º Trem e SNOX)
  • Adaptações na RNEST (1º Trem e Coque) e REPLAN (Coque)
Aumento de Produção de Diesel S-10
(+318) mbpd
  • US$ 813 milhões em 148 projetos (100 de eficiência energética)
  • Maior disponibilidade operacional, menor intensidade energética e menor emissão

The future of refining is less sulfur and more bio

We are treading a path towards a low carbon market that enables a fair energy transition for all Brazilians. Faced with this transformation scenario, we seek to enable the use of renewable raw materials in the development of new sustainable products.
We are producing a new generation of fuels that will be more modern and sustainable, such as diesel with renewable content (Diesel R) and aviation biokerosene (BIOQAV). These two fuels can be produced from a mixture of oil and vegetable oil, for example. Thus, we are positioning ourselves among the world leaders in biorefining, efficiency and operational performance.

These and other initiatives are part of our BioRefining Program. Find out more about it below and discover this new generation of fuels in our section on Energy in Transformation.

BioRefining Program: technological leadership transformed into commercial reality

The program integrates projects to produce a new generation of fuels that are more modern and sustainable. Check out what is new:
  • Use on the runway of CAP Pro, a new asphalt developed by Petrobras, which enables a 65% reduction in estimated greenhouse gas emissions.
  • We were one of the first companies to meet the criteria established by the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). In 2023, we made the first supply of a fleet shop with biobunker, which has a lower carbon footprint.
  • In 2023, we will introduce the new Premium Petrobras gasoline, with high performance and 40% less sulfur.

RefTOP: more efficient operations

The RefTOP - World Class Refining program brings a set of initiatives that aim to position Petrobras among the best oil refining companies in the world in terms of energy efficiency and operational performance.
Speaking of efficiency, in the first quarter of 2023, we reduced emissions from flares in refineries by 20% compared to 2022. In relation to 2019, the reduction was 50%.

How we are changing our future

The energy transition has room for combined fossil fuel and biofuel solutions. Therefore, we will seek a strong position to meet the demands for energy derived from oil and natural gas and also offer products for the low carbon market.
In our strategy (2024-2028+ Strategic Plan) focused on Refining, Transport and Marketing, we forecast the expansion of the RefTOP program to our entire refining park, ensuring greater operational availability, lower energy intensity and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

E estamos investindo para produção de BioQAV na RPBC

Nos posicionando entre os líderes mundiais em biorefino

Discover our refineries throughout Brazil

We own and operate 11 refineries in Brazil, with a total net distillation capacity for crude oil of 1,851 million barrels of oil per day (mbbl/d), in addition to one undertaking still in the implementation phase, the GasLub Complex. Discover more about our refining park.

Abreu e Lima Refinery (Rnest)
GasLub Itaboraí Complex
Capuava Refinery (Recap)
Duque de Caxias Refinery (Reduc)
Alberto Pascoalini Refinery (Refap)
Gabriel Passos Refinery (Regap)
Presidente Getúlio Vargas Refinery (Repar)
Presidente Bernardes Refinery (RPBC)
Paulínia Refinery (Replan)
Henrique Lage Refinery (Revap)
Northeast Lubricants And Derivatives Refinery (Lubnor)
Map of Abreu e Lima Refinery

Abreu e Lima Refinery (Rnest)

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Ipojuca – Pernambuco
The Abreu e Lima Refinery (RNEST) is the most modern refinery we have ever built to meet the national demand for oil byproducts. It has the highest conversion rate of crude oil into diesel (70%), an essential fuel for circulating products and wealth in the country.
Photo of the Abreu e Lima Refinery (Rnest), owned by Petrobras.
Map of GasLub Itaboraí Complex Refinery

GasLub Itaboraí Complex

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Itaboraí – Rio de Janeiro
Soon, GasLub Itaboraí will start receiving and processing gas produced on the pre-salt platforms in the Santos Basin. It is in the process of being transformed and a Natural Gas Processing Unit, a gas pipeline, a lubricant processing plant and a thermoelectric plant are also going to be built.
Photo of the GasLub Itaboraí Complex, owned by Petrobras.
Map of Capuava Refinery

Capuava Refinery (Recap)

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Mauá – São Paulo
Recap began operations on December 18, 1954 and, currently, it is responsible for selling around 30% of the volume of fuel consumed in the Greater São Paulo area.
Photo of Capuava Refinery (Recap), owned by Petrobras.
Map of Duque de Caxias Refinery

Duque de Caxias Refinery (Reduc)

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Duque de Caxias – Rio de Janeiro
The Duque de Caxias Refinery (Reduc) is one of the largest in Brazil, with a capacity to process 239,000 bbl/d. It is responsible for 80% of lubricant production and for the largest natural gas processing in Brazil, the refinery also has the largest portfolio of our products — in total, there are 55 products processed in 43 units.
Photo of the Duque de Caxias Refinery (Reduc), owned by Petrobras.
Map of Alberto Pascoalini Refinery

Alberto Pascoalini Refinery (Refap)

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Canoas – Rio Grande do Sul
The Alberto Pasqualini Refinery is installed in an area of 580 hectares in the municipality of Canoas-RS. It processes 32,000 m³/day and mainly serves the regional market, with a focus on maximizing diesel oil production.
Photo of the Alberto Pasqualini Refinery (Refap), owned by Petrobras.
Map of Gabriel Passos Refinery

Gabriel Passos Refinery (Regap)

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Betim – Minas Gerais
The Gabriel Passos Refinery, also known as Regap, completed 55 years of operation in March 2023 and is one of the most important and relevant undertakings in the history of Minas Gerais. It serves mainly the market in Minas Gerais and, occasionally, the market in Espírito Santo.
Photo of the Gabriel Passos Refinery (Regap), owned by Petrobras.
Map of Presidente Getúlo Vargas Refinery

Presidente Getúlio Vargas Refinery (Repar)

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Araucária – Paraná
The Presidente Getúlio Vargas Refinery (Repar) is responsible for approximately 12% of the national production of oil byproducts. Its products serve mainly the markets of Paraná, Santa Catarina, south of São Paulo and Mato Grosso do Sul.
Photo of Presidente Getúlio Vargas Refinery (Repar), owned byPetrobras.
Map of Presidente Bernardes Refinery

Presidente Bernardes Refinery (RPBC)

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Cubatão – São Paulo
The Presidente Bernardes Refinery (RPBC) is a unit with a high conversion capacity, producing dozens of byproducts with high market value and according to international standards.
Photo of the Presidente Bernardes Refinery (RPBC), owned by Petrobras.
Map of Paulínia Refinery

Paulínia Refinery (Replan)

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Paulínia – São Paulo
This is our largest refinery in oil processing capacity: 69 thousand m³/day. Its production corresponds to approximately 20% of all oil refining in Brazil, processing almost all of the national oil, much of it coming from the Santos Basin (pre-salt).
Photo of the Paulínia Refinery (Replan), owned by Petrobras.
Map of Henrique Lage Refinery

Henrique Lage Refinery (Revap)

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São José dos Campos – São Paulo
The Henrique Lage Refinery (Revap) has a total area of 10,000,000 m² and began operations in 1980, that is, it has 43 years of history. Currently, this refinery's main responsibility is to supply the São Paulo market and also the Midwest of Brazil.
Photo of the Henrique Lage Refinery (Revap), owned by Petrobras.
Map of Refinaria Lubrificantes e Derivados do Nordeste (Lubnor)

Northeast Lubricants And Derivatives Refinery (Lubnor)

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Fortaleza - Ceará
Refinaria Lubrificantes e Derivados do Nordeste is one of the domestic leaders in asphalt production, and the only refinery in Brazil to produce naphthenic lubricants.
Photo of the Lubrificantes e Derivados do Nordeste (Lubnor)

Conheça as nossas refinarias
espalhadas pelo Brasil

Atualmente, contamos com 13 refinarias que transformam o óleo bruto que extraímos nos campos em diversos produtos que usamos no nosso cotidiano. Descubra mais sobre o nosso parque de refino aqui.

Understand the stages of oil refining here

Entenda aqui as etapasdo refino do petróleo

Auxiliary processes
This is how the components of refined oil are separated. Oil is heated at high temperatures until it evaporates, and this vapor returns to a liquid state after cooling at different levels inside the distillation tower. For each level, there is a container that collects a certain oil byproduct, each one with specific characteristics.
Example: atmospheric distillation and vacuum distillation.
This process transforms the heaviest and lowest-value parts of oil, arising from the distillation process, into smaller molecules, giving rise to noble byproducts, such as high-octane gasoline, for example.
These are the processes carried out to adapt byproducts to the quality required by the market. Here, the removal of sulfur obtained from oil takes place.

Examples: diesel hydrotreating and naphtha hydrotreating.
Auxiliary processes provide inputs to the operation or treat final waste from other processes. In practice, they serve as support and, without them, it would not be possible to operate a refinery.

Examples: boilers, hydrogen generation and other utilities such as steam, water, electricity, compressed air and much more. 

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