20 August 2013 16:55 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Algerian state-owned energy group Sonatrach plans to shut the condensate splitter unit at its 335,000 bbl/day Skikda refinery for maintenance, industry sources said on Tuesday.
The shutdown is expected to last one month from mid-September. "The Skikda splitter will be down one month from mid September," a naphtha trader said.
Sonatrach was not immediately available for comment.
The condensate splitter mainly produces naphtha. A second naphtha trader estimated Sonatrach exports around 200,000 tonnes of naphtha from the site per month.
The market is split over the impact the shutdown will have on the European naphtha sector. Some sources maintain the planned shutdown is one of the factors behind the strong naphtha crack spread.
The September naphtha crack spread strengthened from minus $8.00/bbl on Monday 5 August to minus $6.80/bbl late on Tuesday morning.
A crack spread is the price difference between crude oil and naphtha, calculated in US dollars per barrel.
($1 = €0.75)
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