Qatar's Laffan refinery shut, restart unknown
Doha, October 5, 2011
Qatar's 146,000 barrel per day (bpd) Laffan condensate refinery is completely shut and work ongoing to resolve the issue, a Qatargas spokeswoman said on Wednesday less than a week after a large refinery in Singapore was shut by a fire.
Qatar's first condensate refinery, which started production in September 2009, can produce 61,000 bpd of naphtha, 52,000 bpd of kerojet, 24,000 bpd of gasoil and 9,000 bpd of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) when fully operational.
"Qatargas can confirm there is an outage at Laffan Refinery at this time and we are working to resolve the matter," the spokeswoman said, adding the whole plant was down. She did not provide further details.
Traders said the outage may be impacting the refinery's ability to honour some commitments.
Royal Dutch Shell's refinery in Singapore, which produces similar products to the Qatargas plant, is expected to remain closed for a month after last week's blaze.
"Both in the Gulf and in Asia the markets are tight, not as much as last week maybe but still. This could make things worse," a Gulf-based products trader said.
He said the duration of the Qatargas shutdown and whether the Laffan refinery will be able to honour its commitments was key.
There is currently maintenance ongoing at Qatargas Liquefied natural gas (LNG) trains, which was planned to take place between mid-September and early November.
A trading source said last week that Qatar International Petroleum Marketing Co, or Tasweeq, did not award a tender to sell condensate for loading in November, which traders attributed to reduced availability of spot cargoes because of the maintenance. - Reuters