Nippon Oil plays catch-up after plant shutdowns

Following regular maintenance - and the now obligatory inspections - Japan's Nippon Oil Corp has fired up its Mizushima refinery's crude distillation unit (CDU). Once at full capacity, the plant can process around 110,000 barrels a day of crude and the CDU has to hit that optimum very soon if Nippon Oil plans to reach its mid-December targets.

A company spokesperson explained that the rush for more kerosene stock was brought about by "unplanned shutdowns" of two of its seven refineries over the summer. Most Japanese oil refiners start building their kerosene inventories between late August to the end of September in anticipation for higher oil demand in winter.

The 'unplanned shutdowns' in August, came after Nippon Oil revealed it had falsified refinery inspection reports for its Osaka and Marifu refineries over the past several years, forcing the company to immediately shut the refineries and conduct inspections.