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Huge Chinese Refinery Fire Did Not Impact Operations

Firefighters have managed to extinguish a massive fire that broke out at state-run PetroChina’s 410,000-bpd refinery earlier this week, narrowly avoiding a halt in oil processing operations.

The blaze at the Dalian refinery, one of China’s largest, raged for hours and was caused by a broken seal on a feed pump, according to media reports.

No casualties have been reported during or after the fire at PetroChina’s Dalian refinery, Reuters quoted Chinese state media as reporting.

According to a refinery source who spoke to Reuters, the crude oil processing operations have not been affected, but there could be a minor reduction at the gas separation unit production.

The refinery, which has three crude distillation units, had just finished a major planned maintenance two months ago.

The feedstock equipment that is connected to the catalytic cracker has been suspended, while the other units at the Dalian site have not been affected by the fire, a PetroChina spokesperson told Reuters.  

In 2013, two people were injured and two were missing after an explosion at the same refinery.  

Earlier this week, data showed that at 10.71 million bpd, China’s crude refineries saw in July their lowest daily throughput rate since September last year as state firms and independent refineries were competing in an oversupplied domestic fuel market. The lowest refinery runs in 10 months, at a peak demand season, raised some concern about Chinese oil demand growth.

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At the beginning of the summer, China’s refineries were expected to shut nearly 10 percent of the country’s 15.1-million-bpd refinery capacity in the third quarter—the peak demand season.

Grappling with domestic surplus of gasoline and diesel, some Chinese refineries—including such owned by giants like Sinopec and PetroChina—were said to be cutting refinery runs in the third quarter, while others planned to shut for maintenance.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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