The crude distillation unit of the Malacca refinery on Malaysia's west coast, jointly owned by state energy firm Petronas and US oil company Phillips 66, has been shut after a fire about two days ago, industry sources said on Friday.
The cause of the fire is not clear but the crude unit, which processes 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) is expected to be shut for about 14 days, one of the sources close to the matter said.
The refinery has deferred oil product exports for late-June loading and crude oil imports for July nomination, the source added.
It might have to import oil products to cover the shortfall, the source said.
Petronas could not immediately comment on the matter while P66 could not be reached for comment.
Besides a base oil plant, there are two CDUs in the Malacca refinery that run as standalone operations.
The first is a 100,000-bpd CDU solely owned by Petronas, processing mainly sweet crude. The other, which has shut, is the CDU jointly owned by Petronas and P66, designed to process sour crude with higher sulphur content.
The shutdown is expected to boost Asian gasoil margins, now at a three-month high supported by spot purchases by Indonesia ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in July and by Saudi Arabia, to meet peak summer demand. - Reuters, June 21, 2013.