SINGAPORE, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell have cut runs at their big Singapore refineries, joining peers in South Korea and Japan amid a deep slump in profit margins, industry sources said on Thursday.
ExxonMobil has cut runs at its 605,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery in the city-state’s Jurong Island refining hub by 8-10 percent since August, affecting mostly light-ends output, a source familiar with operations told Reuters.
Shell has also curbed output at its 500,000 bpd refinery on Bukom Island after completing maintenance on a 34,000-bpd hydrocracking plant in end-August, but the extent of the cut was not immediately clear. Refiners typically cut back by around 5 to 10 percent in the initial stages of a redution. Spokespersons for both oil majors said they do not comment on routine operational matters.
The city-state’s third refiner, Singapore Refining Co. (SRC), has not imposed run cuts at its 285,000-bpd plant because it started routine month-long turnaround on its 42,000-to-44,000 bpd residual catalytic cracker on Sept. 9, said a separate source.
“It depends on how margins are when they complete the turnaround, scheduled for end-September. If margins are still poor, they can slow down the process of bringing it back to full capacity,” the source told Reuters.