SINGAPORE/DUBAI, Aug 1 (Reuters) - State oil giant Saudi
Aramco unexpectedly shut a secondary unit at its
305,000 barrels-per-day joint venture refinery in Jubail, which
caused the refiner to offer a rare high sulphur gasoil cargo,
industry sources said on Wednesday.
The Saudi Aramco Shell Refinery Company (SASREF) in Jubail
shut its hydrotreater unit about two or three days ago due to a
"glitch" two sources familiar with the matter said. But details
of the hydrotreater's capacity or the reason for the shutdown
were not clear.
Hydrotreaters are used to remove sulphur from high sulphur
gasoil to make it a more environmentally friendly fuel.
Saudi Aramco offered about 60,000 tonnes of 0.5 percent
sulphur gasoil from the Jubail refinery for loading over August
18-20 through private negotiations, traders said.
Bids for the cargo have to be submitted by Wednesday, they
Saudi Arabia is a net importer of lower sulphur diesel
during summer when the fuel is used for power generation. The
country has bought at least 750,000 tonnes for the whole of June
and July this year.
SASREF, which is a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and
Shell Saudi Arabia Refining Ltd., last shut a hydrocracker unit
at the Jubail refinery in late June-early July for a couple of
days, traders have said earlier.
(Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan and Humeyra Pamuk in Dubai;
Editing by Alison Birrane)