September 26, 2008 at 6:13 am #3413
Shell, BP to Shut Refineries, Cut Europe Fuel Supply (Update1)
By Nidaa Bakhsh
Sept. 25, 2008 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc and Total SA are leading oil companies that will shut at least 6 percent of Europe’s refining capacity for repairs next month, reducing inventories already diminished by U.S. demand after Hurricane Ike.
The outages from Rotterdam to Italy will idle at least 952,000 barrels of daily crude oil distillation in October, double the September figure, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The total includes plants owned by Shell and BP in the Netherlands, representing a combined 400,000 barrels a day.
Refinery profits in western Europe this year fell to their lowest since at least 2004 as record prices cut fuel demand. Gasoline inventories fell 18 percent to 612,000 metric tons in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp region last week, according to Dutch consultant PJK International BV, because of rising exports to the U.S. after Hurricane Ike shut Gulf Coast refineries.
“Over the last five years, planned crude distillation unit outages tended to average 600,000 to 800,000 barrels a day at this time of year,” Harry Tchilinguirian, senior oil analyst at BNP Paribas SA, said in a telephone interview from London. In October 2007, refinery outages peaked at 1.2 million barrels a day.
Full shutdowns will occur during the next two months at StatoilHydro ASA’s complex in Mongstad, Norway; Galp Energia SGPS SA’s Sines refinery in Portugal; Exxon Mobil Corp.’s Trecate facility in Italy and Tamoil SA’s plants in Cremona, Italy, and Hamburg, Germany.
Aside from crude-processing units, shutdowns affecting other parts of refineries during this month and next, such as fluid catalytic crackers, will further reduce fuel production, with maintenance at Chevron Corp.’s Pembroke refinery in Wales and Neste Oil Oyj’s Porvoo plant in Finland.
Shell was forced to shut a gasoline-making unit, or so- called catalytic cracker, at Pernis, Europe’s largest oil refinery, after a fault occurred last night, spokesman Wim van de Wiel said in a telephone interview today from The Hague. The refinery, which has a daily processing capacity of 416,000 barrels a day, is located in the Netherlands.
European refining margins, or the profit made from turning a barrel of crude into fuels, recovered to $4.13 a barrel last month from $1.39 a barrel in July after the U.S. hurricanes.
Gasoline imports into the U.S. are “several hundred thousand” barrels a day higher than the average prior to the hurricanes, according to a report yesterday by the Energy Information Administration.
Plants in the Mediterranean region that have scheduled partial shutdowns include Total’s French refinery in La Mede, Eni SpA’s Gela plant in Italy, Repsol YPF SA’s Spanish facilities in Bilbao and La Coruna, and Cia. Espanola de Petroleos SA’s Gibraltar plant.
Increased plant maintenance earlier this year coupled with rising crude oil costs caused a surge in fuel prices that led to European-wide protests by fishermen and truckers. New York crude oil futures rose to a record $147.27 a barrel on July 11 and were trading near $104 today. U.S. pump prices for gasoline rose to a record $4.114 a gallon in mid July, motoring group AAA said.
Wholeseale gasoline prices in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam- Antwerp region rose to a record $1,192 a ton July 11, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The price has since dropped 24 percent. Diesel also peaked in July, at $1,346 a ton, before falling back.
The following table shows the owner, name, location, total processing capacity in barrels a day, shutdown dates and reason for halt. The information has been provided by refinery operators.
Neste Oil Oyj Aug. 15 – Oct. 2 Fourth diesel
Porvoo, Finland line closes
196,000 for repairs.
Tamoil SA Sept. Full shutdown.
Tamoil SA Sept. Full shutdown
Cremona, Italy for two weeks.
Eni SpA Sept. CDU, coker runs
Gela, Italy cut by 80
StatoilHydro ASA Sept. 1 – Oct. 15 Crude unit
Mongstad, Norway shuts for 2
Chevron Corp. Sept. 15 – Oct. 31 FCC shuts.
Repsol YPF SA Sept. 15 – Oct. 15 FCC shuts.
La Coruna, Spain
Galp Energia SGPS SA Sept. 16 – Oct. 26 Full shutdown.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc End Sept. – Mid. Nov. CDU, capacity
Pernis, Netherlands 200,000 b/d,
Sept. 24 FCC shuts on
Exxon Mobil Corp. Oct. Full shutdown.
BP Plc Early Oct. – Mid. Nov. CDU, capacity
Rotterdam, Netherlands 200,000 b/d,
Royal Dutch Shell Plc Oct. 2 – Nov. 2 One of two
Stanlow, U.K. crude units
Total SA Oct. 6 – Dec. 6 FCC,
La Mede, France alkylation,
Repsol YPF SA Oct. 10 – Oct. 30 Visbreaker
Bilbao, Spain shuts.
Hellenic Petroleum SA Oct. 15 – Nov. 7 Partial
Elefsis, Greece shutdown.
Cepsa Oct. 25 – Dec. 3 FCC shuts.
Source: Refinery operators, industry officials.
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