Reuters – 1 hour 31 minutes ago
BEIJING, Dec 3, 2008 – Asia’s top refinery, Sinopec, will cut crude processing in December at its Jinling refinery by about 14 percent from November due to planned maintenance and weak demand, a company source said on Wednesday.
“Insufficient fuel consumption and slumping petrochemical prices were also behind the cut,” said the source, who declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to the media.
The 270,000 barrel-per-day plant started overhauling a 50,000 crude oil unit on Tuesday, while some other facilities, including a 1 million tonne-per-year hydrocracker and a delayed coking unit of 1.6 million tpy, had also been shut.
The maintenance would take about a month but it didn’t matter if it took longer as there was no need to boost operations, the source said.
Jinling plans to process 195,500 bpd of crude oil in December, down from the 226,300 bpd in November.
State-owned refineries were reluctant to boost crude runs despite the collapse of crude prices, as fuel stocks have been ample from even before the summer Olympics, while demand growth has shown signs of easing in recent months due to the slowing economy.
Gasoline and diesel stockpiles held by China’s two oil giants, Sinopec Group and CNPC, hit record highs at the end of October, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.