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Europe’s Largest Refinery To Shutter For Two Months


Royal Dutch Shell announced today plans of major maintenance involving 12 units at the Pernis oil refinery in Rotterdam, Netherlands, to be conducted during this month and November, according to its website.

The refinery has been partially shut down earlier this year for almost two weeks after a short circuit caused a major fire on July 31st.

Pernis refines 400,000 barrels per day of oil, making it Europe’s largest refinery, and ranks as one of the world’s top refineries. The financial impact of the temporary closure is sure to be sizable, though Shell has not yet released any figures. A similar incident occurred at the refinery in 2012 when flaring forced it to reduce production.

The shut down was the latest in a string of refinery problems that have boosted refining margins in Europe to their highest since November 2015. Earlier this year, a fire at Total’s Leuna oil refinery near Leipzig in eastern Germany disrupted diesel and gasoline supplies to gas stations in the region, and some retail stations were running out of fuel.  

In Greece, Hellenic Petroleum declared force majeure on its 100,000-bpd Elefsina refinery in July, suspending diesel exports.

Related: The Next Big Offshore Boom Is About To Happen Here

In other news, EU lawmakers are meeting behind closed doors on 12 October for another go at hammering out a compromise on post-2020 reforms to the EU emissions trading system (ETS.)

Petroleum refiners and other energy-intensive industries have warned about the EU’s plans to hike the cost of emitting carbon dioxide. Petroleum refiners are fighting to reduce their exposure to the expected rise in the cost of polluting. Refiners have so far received the bulk of their allowances for free. According to the reforms, energy-intensive industries will continue to receive free carbon emissions allowancesm, although those will be fewer.

By Damir Kaletovic for Oilprice.com

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