11 March 2011 22:46 [Source: ICIS news]
(adds details throughout, sulphuric acid impact in paragraphs 16-19)
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Refiners along the Pacific coast in North and South America are continuing to monitor the impact from high waves caused by the earthquake and tsunami in ?xml:namespace>
In Peru, market sources said a caustic soda plant in
In other South American countries, such as Chile, Colombia and Ecuador, evacuations were ordered for coastal regions. However, industrial facilities were expected to remain running, according to sources.
In the US, Tesoro said it is carefully watching activities at its Pacific Rim subsidiary operations, which include the 95,000 bbl/day Kapolei refinery in Oahu, Hawaii, and the 80,000 bbl/day Kenai refinery in Alaska.
However, reports said that refining operations had not been affected.
“As needed, we will adjust our operations to ensure the safety of employees, the community and our facilities,” Tesoro spokesman George Marcy said.
A few of Tesoro’s retail service stations in low-lying areas of
Likewise, Valero said it was also monitoring the situation carefully, but production at its 147,000 bbl/day
Shell spokesman Ted Rolfvondenbaumen said its west coast manufacturing sites activated emergency operations centres as precautionary measures and were continuing to watch the situation.
Similarly, ConocoPhillips officials said they were monitoring and making preparations where appropriate, spokesman Rich Johnson said. ConocoPhillips operates a 139,000 bbl/day refinery in
On the US Gulf and New York Harbor (NYH) markets, spot prices for gasoline were seen weaker for all grades, sources said.
These came alongside lower crude prices, which plummeted on worries that the earthquake and tsunami could weaken Japanese oil demand.
The 8.9 magnitude quake struck Japan’s northeast coast at 14:46 local time (5:46 GMT) on Friday, some 373 km (232 miles) northeast of Toyko, and 130km east of Sendai, Honshu – the largest island in the country, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).
Hundreds were killed and many more remain missing. The tsunami included waves up to 10 metres (32.8 feet) high, which swept inland, destroying buildings and infrastructure and paralysing Japan's refining and petrochemical operations.
The tsunami could affect the country's sulphuric acid market, sources said, as
Japanese exports of sulphuric acid totalled 2.8m tonnes in 2010, with shipments going to
Any damage and loss of output would be critical to the market because global supplies are tight. Market sources have said it is too early to tell if there was any damage to smelters in the region.
As tsunami-related waves rolled across the Pacific, warnings were put in place throughout the region, including the coastlines of North America and
However, as of 15:30 hours
Waves of 2-5 feet were seen along the northern
Damage thus far was limited to boats and docks, but authorities were advising residents to avoid beaches and low-lying areas.
One liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanker was prevented from entering the
Also in Mexico, Sempra LNG said its 1.0bn cubic feet (bcf)/day import terminal in
Waves from the tsunami are expected to hit all of the affected
Additional reporting by Ronald Coifman, Fiona Boyd, Sheena Martin, Ryan Hickman, Lane Kelley, and George Martin in Houston and James Young in Mexico City
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