Naphtha exports to Asia could dip next year, from Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco), as per Bloomberg. Refinery maintenance at Saudi Aramco could cut shipments by 10 to 20% in H1-2011. Maintenance work at a refinery in Jubail is to be carried out in February-March. Supplies are likely to reduce at that time.
Saudi Aramco Shell Refinery Co. (Sasref)- a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell Plc in Jubail, has planned its next total shutdown in 2011. Rabigh Refining and Petrochemicals Co., a joint venture between Sumitomo Chemical Co. and Saudi Aramco also plans to shut its plant for 30 days of maintenance starting from the third week of April. Asia is estimated to buy around 4 mln tons of naphtha through term contracts with Saudi Arabia every six months.
Refining margins from making naphtha have climbed amid speculation of reduced supplies. Open-spec naphtha for delivery to Japan was at a premium of US$161.02/ton above Brent crude oil on Dec. 10, compared with US$138.74/ton on Nov. 10.