Repsol Shuts Spain Refinery Temporarily on Low Profit (Update2)
By Charles Penty April 15, 2009 (Bloomberg) — Repsol YPF SA will close its oil refinery in Cartagena in southern Spain for an undefined length of time because of low refining profit margins as the economic slump erodes demand for fuel.
“It’s a commercial decision to stop for a bit,” Kristian Rix, a spokesman for the Madrid-based company, said today by telephone. The shutdown will be completed over the coming days, he said.
The plant accounts for about 14 percent of Repsol’s refining capacity in Spain. Waning demand for fuel has made refining less profitable. Profits from turning a barrel of crude into refined products are 44 percent lower than the second quarter of last year, according to data from BP Plc. The plant has a capacity of 100,000 barrels a day, compared with Repsol’s total Spanish capacity of 740,000 barrels, Rix said. The company will press forward with a planned 3.2 billion- euro ($4.2 billion) investment in the Cartagena plant to increase capacity for refining diesel and kerosene, he said.
Processing rates at refineries around the world will remain below average in the second and third quarters of 2009 as fuel demand drops to a five-year low, the Paris-based International Energy Agency said in an April 10 monthly report. El Economista today reported the Cartagena refinery may close for a month. The period of closure may be shorter or longer depending on the market, Rix said.
To contact the reporter for this story: Charles Penty in Madrid at firstname.lastname@example.orgLast Updated: April 15, 2009 06:32 EDT