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Shell floats NW Shelf condensate cargo off Singapore

Shell floats NW Shelf condensate cargo off Singapore

SINGAPORE, June 30 (Reuters) – Shell has been floating a 650,000-barrel cargo of Australian Northwest Shelf condensate off Singapore for about a week, likely due to maintenance of some units at its refinery on the island-state, shipbrokers and traders said on Monday.

The 105,000 deadweight tonne vessel, the Rich Queen 2, arrived in Singapore on June 23, and has yet to discharge the cargo, shipbrokers said.

“Yes, the ship is still sitting outside waiting to discharge the cargo,” a Singapore-based shipbroker said.

A vessel tracking system showed that the tanker is currently anchored off Singapore’s eastern coast. Another shipping source said the vessel would likely be holding the cargo for up to 45 days.

“The vessel is set to wait for about 45 days before discharging,” a shipping source said.

A Shell spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment. The company does not normally comment on operational matters.

Traders said that Royal Dutch Shell could be floating the cargo due to regular maintenance of a 115,000-130,000 barrels per day (bpd) No.4 CDU for about three weeks since last week, instead of early June. [ID:nSP253264]

“Bukom is in maintenance. Maybe it is planned demurrage,” a Singapore-based trader said.

Refinery sources had told Reuters in early-May that the CDU, the second largest at the 500,000-bpd refining complex on Bukom island, would be shut down, together with a gasoline-making platforming unit, for maintenance from early-June. [ID:nL09839853]

They had also said a hydrotreater, a unit that produces mainly ultra-low sulphur diesel and jet fuel, would start a one-month turnaround around June 24.

Another trader said that Shell had lifted a mid-June North West Shel condensate cargo.

The company was not heard re-offering the cargo on the spot market so far, traders said. (Reporting by Luke Pachymuthu and Maryelle Demongeot; Editing by Ramthan Hussain)

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