RIYADH: Oil rebounded on Thursday after sliding 1 percent in the previous session as concerns over tight supplies heading into winter eclipsed fears of a global recession.
Brent crude futures rose 50 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $90.33 per barrel by 0319 GMT, recouping their losses in early Asia trade. US West Texas Intermediate crude rose 45 cents to $83.39.
China’s crude oil demand rebounds
At least three Chinese state oil refineries and a privately run mega refiner are considering increasing runs by up to 10 percent in October from September, eyeing stronger demand and a possible surge in fourth-quarter fuel exports, Reuters reported citing people familiar with the matter.
Chinese refiners are expecting Beijing to release up to 15 million tons worth of oil products export quotas for the rest of the year to support the no. 2 economy’s sagging exports. Such a move would signal a reversal in China’s oil products export policy, add to global supplies and depress fuel prices.
An official with a state refinery said his plant is eyeing a 10 percent hike in runs from September to about 240,000 barrels per day. “We’re raising runs next month in preparation for a possible opening in exports, though nobody has a clear idea how big the opening would be,” the official said.
A second official with another state refinery said his plant is also planning about an 8 percent hike in throughput next month, but added that the plan had been driven by firmer domestic margins. A third state refinery expects to restart a 60,000-bpd crude unit next month after maintenance, one of the sources said.
China’s single largest refinery Zhejiang Petrochemical Corp, which is capable of processing 800,000 bpd of crude, is aiming to ramp up runs in the coming months from the current levels of 700,000-750,000 bpd, according to two sources familiar with its operations.
A ZPC representative confirmed the firm is considering a run increase due to signs of economic recovery, but declined to elaborate further.
Repsol to begin turnaround at Tarragona oil refinery
Spanish energy giant Repsol is investing €100 million to reduce emissions at its 186,000 bpd Tarragona refinery in Spain, which begins two months of maintenance at the end of the week.
The distillation and hydrotreating fuel units will stop simultaneously on Sept. 23, while the remaining areas of the Tarragona complex, such as the chemical plants, will continue to operate normally, Repsol said.
Repsol has dubbed the project “the most important turnaround ever carried out at the refinery.”
The work is designed to improve the energy efficiency of the complex’s facilities and prevent the emissions of 32,500 tons of carbon dioxide each year.
Repsol aims to be a net zero emissions company by 2050.
Norway’s August gas output exceeds forecast, oil lags
Norway’s crude oil output in August missed the official forecast, while gas output exceeded expectations, preliminary data from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate showed on Wednesday.
Crude oil output rose to 1.77 million bpd in August from 1.64 million bpd in July, compared to a forecast of 1.83 million bpd, the NPD said.
Natural gas production in August averaged 332.8 million cubic meters per day, down from 350.6 mcm per day in July but 4.5 percent above forecast, NPD said.
The full-month gas output fell to 10.8 billion cubic meters from 10.9 bcm in July, the agency said.
(With input from Reuters)