UpdatePetroChina ops disrupted by quake

14 May 2008 10:10  [Source: ICIS news]

(Updates throughout)

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--PetroChina's operations in several provinces in southwestern China were disrupted by the massive earthquake in Sichuan province, a company spokesman said late on Tuesday.

"PetroChina’s oil fields, gas fields, refineries, chemical production plants and sales offices in Sichuan, Chongqing and Shaanxi and Gansu provinces have been impacted by the recent earthquake," he said.

"The extent of the impact varies," he added. "However, the overall condition is stable and production is under control. The company’s employees remain calm, and no casualties have been reported so far.

PetroChina subsidiary Nanchong refinery in Nanchong city, 400km from the Wenchuan epicentre, shut down all plants and stopped sales of products on Tuesday, a company official said, adding that no date has been set for the resumption of operation.

Local petrochemical company Sichuan Shengma Chemical at Suining city had also shut down its plant however, no further details were available as the company was not reachable for comments.

Synthetic ammonia producers Ying Feng Co and Chuan Xin Yun Fang operated the two fertilizer plants that collapsed after the earthquake and leaked 80 tonnes of liquid ammonia, sources said.

The earthquake which killed around 12,000 people had severely disrupted chemicals productions and transport links in the region.

PetroChina and Sinopec have stepped in to provide assistance for the earthquake relief effort, with each company contributing CNY10m ($1.4m) in disaster relief.

The former will also supply 100,000 tonnes of refined oil to the region, while the latter said it has offered personnel and special groups to provide support for the relief effort.

Highlighting land logistics issues, the Chinese military was planning to air drop aid to Wenchuan, state media reported.

PetroChina’s polymer supply was disrupted after the earthquake, which also halted trading in the provincial capital of Chengdu and closed down its southwestern sales branch.

The company restarted a major 5m tonne/year oil pipeline in China on Tuesday which had been closed following the disaster.

The earthquake did not cause any disruption to the operations of Sinopec’s chemical plants in the region, a company spokesman in Beijing said.

($1 = CNY6.99)

Judith Wang, Jade Xu, Helen Lee, Annie Hao, Chris Wang and Brian Myung contributed to this article
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By: Cheang Chee Yew
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