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Japan will have to maintain higher refining rates

March 25/2011

(ICIS) -- Japan will have to maintain higher refining rates and continue to allow the use of oil products from emergency reserves to mitigate the shortfall created by the continued shutdown of three refineries following the earthquake, industry sources said on Friday.

The three refineries totalling 617.500 bbl/day, or 14% of the overall countrys refining capacity, remain shut following the devastating earthquake and tsunami of 11 March.

These include JX Nippons 145.000 bbl/day Sendai refinery, which is located at Miyagi prefecture in northeast Japan, its 252.500 bbl/day Kashima refinery in Ibaraki prefecture, and Cosmo Oils 220.000 bbl/day Chiba facility.

Authorities in Japan, which is the worlds third-largest oil consumer, have moved to alleviate the countrys shortfall in oil products by increasing the operating rates at other refineries and allowing the release of oil products from emergency industry reserves.

In addition, refiners have increased their oil product purchases from the international market.

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