October 13, 2007
Shell shuts processing unit
Royal Dutch Shell has shut a 33,000 barrels per day (bpd) secondary processing unit at its Singapore refinery since a week ago due to an outage, forcing the major to buy fuel oil and has firmed up the gasoline market, industry sources said on Friday.
The duration of the unplanned shutdown of the Long Residue Catalytic Cracker (LRCC) unit in the gasoline-making Residue Fluid Catalytic Cracker (RFCC) complex, has not been confirmed as the damage is being assessed, they added.
When contacted, a Shell spokesman said the company does comment on operational matters.
The impact of the shutdown at the 500,000-bpd refinery on Bukom Island, was seen in the fuel oil market where Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile , Research) has bought 220,000 tonnes of bunkers grade 380-centistoke (cst) parcels at mostly above-market premiums.
Traders said the impact on the gasoline market could have begun to be seen as the reforming margin -- the price spread between gasoline and naphtha -- jumped to a three-week high of $7.50 a barrel on Thursday, well above $4.00-$5.00 earlier in the week.
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