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Mon 3 Aug 2009 11:44 AM

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Bad weather closes Jebel Ali oil export terminal

Jebel Ali closed due to poor visibility, may reopen later in the day if conditions improve.

The UAE closed its Jebel Ali oil export terminal on Monday due to bad weather, a shipping source said.

"Jebel Ali closed this morning due to poor visibility," the source said. "We are not sure if it will reopen today."

The terminal had also closed on Sunday morning but reopened later in the day as weather conditions improved.

Jebel Ali is a key export terminal for refined petroleum products such as motor gasoline, aviation fuel and diesel.

Berthing operations at the UAE's main crude oil export terminal resumed on Monday morning after it was shut down on Friday, a shipping soource said.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc), the main oil producer for the OPEC-member, exports its crude via the Jebel Dhanna terminal.

Oil exports from Saudi Arabia's Ras Tanura – the world's largest offshore oil facility – continued as normal despite poor weather, a port source said.

"So far everything is running normal, if the weather gets bad special arrangements will be made to guide vessels from the terminal...but it must get very bad before they shut the terminal," a port source based at Ras Tanura said.

Ras Tanura has the capacity to load between 5.5 million and 6 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil.

Qatar's three main ports remained open although bad weather was expected.

"We are expecting the ports to shut because the forecasts show a sand storm coming our way," said a shipping source. (Reuters)

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