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Shell Arranges Fuel Supplies to Replace Shut Sydney Production




By Angela Macdonald-Smith

Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc, one of four refiners in Australia, is sourcing fuels from its own and other companies’ plants both within the country and in Asia to replace output at its Sydney unit, which is closed for maintenance.

Shell shut down the Clyde oil refinery in the city’s west as planned at the end of November for work to address unscheduled outages that have disrupted production over the last 12 months, Paul Zennaro, a Melbourne-based spokesman, said today. The company can’t yet say when the plant will restart, he said.

The Clyde plant, the oldest operating refinery in Australia, supplies about half the fuels consumed in New South Wales, the most-populous state. Shell halted the catalytic cracking unit at the plant in January for repairs, citing “erratic operating behavior.” The refinery has a capacity to process about 85,000 barrels of crude a day.

“We’re working with our traders to source stock, and the majority of the stock is being sourced by the Singapore market,” Zennaro said by telephone. “Some of it is coming from our own Shell refineries, some is coming from third-party producers.”

The company is also shipping some fuels from its second Australian refinery in Geelong, Victoria state, to Sydney, Zennaro said.

Shell is completing work on a diesel hydrodesulfurization unit at Clyde during the shutdown to enable the plant to meet the government’s 10 parts-per-million sulfurstandard, which comes into effect Jan. 1

The plant, 16 kilometers (10 miles) west of central Sydney, produces about 13 million liters a day of fuels, including gasoline, diesel, jet-fuel, bitumen and liquefied petroleum gas, according to Shell’s Web site. Caltex Australia Ltd., BP Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. also operate refineries in the country.

To contact the reporter on this story: Angela Macdonald-Smith in Sydney at[email protected]

Last Updated: December 17, 2008 00:20 EST

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