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Sohar oil refinery shut for cooling pipe repair

Khobar, May 4, 2014

Oman's Sohar oil refinery has been shut after a cooling pipe burst and repair work is expected to take another week, a spokesman for the operator said on Sunday, confirming traders' talk of an outage.

DME Oman's premium to Dubai slipped in the Middle East crude market on Friday, with traders saying they expected prompt supply to rise due to the shutdown.

Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Co (Orpic) confirmed the closure of the refinery, which has capacity to process 116,000 barrels per day of Omani crude.

"There was a breach in an incoming seawater cooling pipe. Obviously if that happens we have to shut down operations," the company spokesman told Reuters. "Operations of the refinery have been shut since Tuesday."

He said it was expected to take another week to "finish repairing the seawater circuit, put it back to service and start up the refinery".

The refinery began full production in March 2007, six months later than planned after the plant suffered start-up snags.

Oman pumps around 950,000 barrels per day of crude and aims to maintain this level for the next two to three years. – Reuters




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