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Saudi Aramco restart secondary unit at Jubail JV refinery

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State oil giant Saudi Aramco restarted a secondary unit at its 305,000 barrels-per-day joint venture refinery with Royal Dutch Shell in Jubail, the joint venture's top executive said on Monday.

August 13, 2012 4:22 by



State oil giant Saudi Aramco restarted a secondary unit at its 305,000 barrels-per-day joint venture refinery with Royal Dutch Shell in Jubail, the joint venture’s top executive said on Monday.

“The unit is back to normal,” said the joint venture’s chief executive officer Abdullah al-Baiz, in reply to a Reuters e-mail request. He did not provide further details.

Hydrotreaters are used to remove sulphur from high sulphur gasoil to make it a more environmentally friendly fuel.

Industry sources told Reuters on August 1 that Saudi Aramco Shell Refinery Company (SASREF) had shut its hydrotreater unit due to a “glitch” a few days earlier.

The unexpected shutdown caused the refiner to offer a rare high sulphur gasoil cargo, of about 60,000 tonnes of 0.5 percent sulphur gasoil from the Jubail refinery for loading over August 18-20 through private negotiations.

Saudi Arabia is a net importer of lower sulphur diesel during summer when the fuel is used for power generation. The country has bought at least 750,000 tonnes for the whole of June and July this year.

SASREF, which is a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Shell Saudi Arabia Refining Ltd., last shut a hydrocracker unit at the Jubail refinery in late June-early July for a couple of days, traders have said earlier.

(Reporting by Reem Shamseddine)



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