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Reuters: UPDATE 1-StatoilHydro shuts Norway oil refinery due fire

Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:48am EST
(Adds details, shares)

OSLO, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Norwegian energy group StatoilHydro (STL.OL: Quote, Profile, Research) said it shut its Mongstad oil refinery after a fire broke out on Wednesday, and it was not clear when the 186,000 barrel-per-day plant would be back in operation.

“Production has been shut down … (and) it’s too early to say how long it will stay this way,” said Oerjan Heradstveit, a public affairs manager at StatoilHydro.

Heradstveit said a “controlled flame” was still burning in a flange pipe at the refining complex on Norway’s west coast, and plant operators were keeping it aflame to drain the pipe of oil.

“We are in control of the situation,” he said.

The oil refinery at Mongstad, near the Norwegian city of Bergen, is owned by Mongstad Refining, which is owned 79 percent by Statoil and 21 percent by Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research).

Ranked as the largest refinery in Norway, its principal products are petrol, diesel oil, jet fuel and other light petroleum products. Most of the production is exported to European markets.

In volatile trade on Wednesday, StatoilHydro shares were down 3.7 percent to 135.30 crowns by 1538 GMT, holding up slightly beter than a 4.2 percent fall on the DJ Stoxx Oil and Gas Index .

(Reporting by Wojciech Moskwa)

© Reuters 2008 All rights reserved

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