Shell’s largest refinery could be out for one month

By Sipho Hlongwane 3 October 2011

A gigantic oil refinery in Singapore could be out for more than a month following a fire that burnt from Wednesday to Friday. Dutch Shell, the company that owns the refinery, notified some of its clients that it could possibly fail to meet some of its obligations due to the blaze. Tanker berthing operations have already resumed though, so impact on global oil prices is likely not to be felt. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.

A fire that raged for two days at Pulau Bukom, Dutch Shell’s largest oil refinery, was finally put out on Friday. Dutch Shell said in a statement that “there are traces of fuel vapor. We are prepared to shut down all refinery units if this is considered necessary from a safety perspective, with the exception of utilities.”

Pulau Bukom is Shell’s largest refinery and can process up to 500,000 barrels a day of crude oil per day.

On Sunday, an insider told Reuters that tanker berthing had resumed on Sunday.

On Friday, at least two clients of Shell said that they received notice of possible interruption of business operations. “In the circumstances, we have no alternative but to formally declare that our ability to supply the product under the contract has been adversely affected by an event beyond our control,” Shell reportedly said.

The refinery is expected to be out of operation for a month.

No explanation for the fire has been forthcoming as yet. DM

Read more:

  • Shell shuts refinery as two-day Singapore fire is put out in Bloomberg BusinessWeek;
  • Shell Singapore plant resumes berthing operations in Reuters.