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Blockade at Nassiriya oil refinery causes fuel shortage in southern Iraq

April 06/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dozens of Iraqi protesters blocked the entrance to the Nassiriya oil refinery in southern Iraq, a refinery source and a Reuters witness said.

The blockade caused fuel shortages across the southern province of Dhi Qar, with many petrol stations running dry and long queues at the few stations that were still open.

More than 200 unemployed university graduates who had a staged a weeks-long sit-in outside the refinery to demand jobs blocked the entrance and prevented employees from entering the building when the Iraqi parliament passed the budget on Wednesday without addressing their unemployment issue.

The province was unable to produce and refine crude oil and oil derivatives after the refinery's closure, which has a maximum production capacity of 30,000 barrels per day (bpd), the refinery said in a statement without giving further details.

As MRC wrote before, Indian Oil Corp (IOC) , the country's top refiner, has loaded its first cargo of Iraq's newly introduced Basra Medium crude grade, according to ship tracking data from Refinitiv Eikon. IOC loaded the cargo onto Minerva Kalypso, a suezmax-sized vessel, which left Iraq's southern port of Basra on Jan. 4, the data showed. The ship was expected to arrive at Chennai port in southeastern India for IOC's subsidiary Chennai Petroleum Corp (CPCL) around Jan. 14.

We remind that Indian Oil Corp has been operating at 100% capacity since early November, 2020, as local fuel demand has recovered, its chairman S.M. Vaidya said late last year. IOC has been gradually raising crude runs at its plants, which plunged to about 39% at the beginning of April, 2020, when a nationwide coronavirus lockdown hit fuel demand.

We also remind that IOC is expanding its petrochemical capacity by more than 70% from its current 3.2 million tonnes a year. It is also on new technologies that reduces the cost of producing petrochemicals.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 241,030 tonnes in January 2021 versus 217,890 tonnes a year earlier. Only shipments of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 141,870 tonnes in January 2021 versus 123,520 tonnes a year earlier. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, PP block copolymer, homopolymer PP, propylene, LDPE, HDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, Indian Oil Corp, India, Iraq, Russia.
Category:General News
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