China’s WEPEC halts shipments at Dalian, port closed on oil spill

21 July 2010 04:59  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Dalian West Pacific Petrochemical Co (WEPEC) has temporarily ceased exports of naphtha, jet fuel and methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) on the closure of Dalian port following an oil pipeline blast, a company source said on Wednesday.

“Exports have ceased for the time being. The terminal is closed,” said a source from the export-oriented refiner.

Chemical shipments from China’s Xingang Port in Dalian may be delayed by over two weeks following its closure. Authorities had launched clean-up operations following the explosion and fire on 16 July that spilled 1,500 tonnes of crude oil into the Yellow Sea, according to an earlier ICIS report.

WEPEC usually exports three 30,000 tonne cargoes of naphtha, up to four 30,000 tonne parcels of jet fuel and some 3,000 tonnes of MTBE each month, market sources said.

“We haven’t heard of a force majeure. It’s a temporary measure,” said a market player.

Meanwhile, market sources said that WEPEC could divert its oil products to China's domestic market.

“Naphtha demand is so weak in Asia anyway. WEPEC can supply MTBE to the domestic market instead,” said a source based in Singapore.

Asian naphtha spot differentials slumped to discounts of around $12–13/tonne (€9.36–10.14/tonne) to Japan quotes CFR (cost & freight), traders said.

Prices hit a record low discount of $40–50/tonne in late 2008, ICIS data showed.

The 200,000 bbl/day WEPEC refinery, located in the northeastern coastal city of Dalian, is a joint venture of China’s energy giant PetroChina, state-run Sinochem Corp and France’s oil major Total.

($1 = €0.78)

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By: Felicia Loo



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