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Reuters: Shell declares fuel oil force majeure from Pernis-trade

Reuters: Shell declares fuel oil force majeure from Pernis-trade

“Oil major Royal Dutch Shell has declared force majeure on all fuel oil barge contract supplies from its 418,000-barrels-per-day Pernis refinery in Rotterdam, northwest European fuel oil traders said on Wednesday.”

20 July 2005

LONDON, July 20 (Reuters) – Oil major Royal Dutch Shell has declared force majeure on all fuel oil barge contract supplies from its 418,000-barrels-per-day Pernis refinery in Rotterdam, northwest European fuel oil traders said on Wednesday.

They said the force majeure at Europe’s biggest refinery had been declared in the wake of a shutdown at the refinery last Thursday, caused by a power outage.

The oil major said on Monday that the plant was restarted on Sunday, but that it would take around a week for it to be fully operational.

“They’ve declared force majeure on all contract barrels from the refinery or from storage, on barges,” an Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp fuel oil barge trader said on Wednesday.

Another regional fuel oil trader said the force majeure applied to “all fuel oil barrels” from the Pernis refinery.

Oil traders said earlier on Wednesday that Shell was also considering declaring a force majeure on gasoline sales from the Rotterdam refinery.

“They haven’t declared it yet, but they’re thinking about it,” one trader said.

Distillates traders said they were not aware of any force majeure being declared on heating oil, diesel or jet fuel.

They said the sharp contango on gas oil prices had meant oil refiners and traders had been filling up ARA storage tanks, making a supply force majeure unnecessary.

A Shell spokeswoman was unable on Wednesday to provide immediate comment on the reports of a fuel oil force majeure, or on the supply situation for other oil products.

She said however that force majeure had been declared from the Pernis refinery on pentanes, which the spokeswoman described as hydrocarbon solvents.

A Shell oil trader said: “No comment on contractual issues to reporting agencies.”

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