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Showa Shell refining down.

Showa Shell Sekiyu, Japan's fifth-largest refiner, expects to refine 7.16 million kilolitres, or 495,000 barrels per day, of crude oil in the three months to June, a drop of 12 per cent from a year earlier, the company said.

The drop reflects the closure of the company's Ohgimachi factory in September. It sees its refining for the domestic market at 7.00 million kilolitres, down 3 per cent from the same period last year.

Showa Shell's Toa Oil subsidiary permanently shut its Ohgimachi factory, including a 120,000 bpd No 5 crude distillation unit (CDU), at the two-factory Keihin refinery on September 20, in line with shrinking domestic demand.

In Japan, the world's third-biggest oil consumer, oil demand is in a downtrend, except for one-off effects from reconstruction and power generation following the devastating earthquake of March 2011.

Utilities' demand for fuel oil has jumped since the quake, as idled nuclear reactors have been unable to restart amid public anxieties about the nuclear power.

The company sees exports of 150,000 kl, mainly gas oil, during the quarter, down 84 per cent from a year ago, as it prioritises domestic supply amid sluggish export margins.

Showa Shell, 35 per cent owned by Royal Dutch Shell and 15 per cent owned by Saudi Aramco, refines crude at its four group refineries in Japan with total refining capacity of 538,000 barrels per day.

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Publication:Oil & Gas News
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Apr 15, 2012
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