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Tue 24 Aug 2010 03:32 PM

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Aramco plans maintenance shutdown at Yanbu

Work will start in February next year at the refinery on Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coast.

Aramco plans maintenance shutdown at Yanbu
MAINTENANCE WORK: Refinery operators generally schedule major maintenance shutdowns, known as turnarounds, every three or four years (Getty Images).

Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil and gas producer, is planning a maintenance shutdown at its wholly owned Yanbu refinery early next year, a person with knowledge of the schedule said.

Work will start in February, said the person, who asked not to be identified because maintenance programmes aren’t disclosed publicly.

The refinery, on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast, processes 225,000 barrels of crude a day, producing gasoline, diesel, fuel oil, jet fuel and liquid petroleum gas for domestic use, according to the company’s website.

Refinery operators generally schedule major maintenance shutdowns, known as turnarounds, every three or four years, stopping most units while repairs are done.

A Saudi Aramco spokesman declined to comment on the maintenance.

Saudi Aramco and Exxon Mobil Corp run a separate joint venture refinery, also in Yanbu, and Aramco is planning to build another refinery there.

Saudi Arabia is expanding refining capacity to process more fuels such as gasoline and diesel as domestic demand rises. The kingdom is building two other new refineries at Jubail on the Persian Gulf coast, and Jazan in the country’s southwest. (Bloomberg)