Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Petroplus Delays Oil Refining Project

By Grant Smith

Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Petroplus Holdings AG, Europe’s largest independent oil refiner by capacity, said that refining projects amounting to at least 1.5 million barrels a day will be either delayed or cancelled this year.

The hold-ups affect seven projects by various oil companies spread across the Middle East, Asia and the U.S., according to a presentation by Zug, Switzerland-based Petroplus, published on its Web site today.

The largest of the affected projects is the expansion of Saudi Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Jubail refinery in Saudi Arabia, according to the presentation, which cited data from Wood Mackenzie Consultants Ltd. and Hart Energy.

The other refinery delays mentioned were the Fujairah project in the United Arab Emirates, Essar Oil Ltd.’s refinery in India, Ceyhan in Turkey, refinery expansions at Cilacap and Balikpapan in Indonesia and a Marathon Oil Corp. upgrading project in Detroit.

Petroplus operates eight refineries in Europe with a combined capacity of 864,000 barrels a day. Forty-seven percent of the products produced by those plants are so-called middle distillates, which include diesel and heating oil. That’s the largest category of all the oil products that Petroplus makes, followed by gasoline, which accounts for 22 percent of its production.

During the first nine months of 2008, Petroplus was the third-largest producer of middle distillates among independent oil refiners, after Valero Energy Corp. and Sunoco Inc., the report showed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Grant Smith in London at
Last Updated: February 17, 2009 13:00 EST

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