The crude distillation unit of the Melaka refinery, owned by Petronas and US oil firm Phillips 66, has restarted after being shut since mid-June. The unit, which processes 100,000 barrels per day, was shut after a fire at the refinery and was expected to be restarted by early July. But the refinery has been hit with "technical issues" which caused the unit to be shut longer than expected.
The shutdown of the unit came at a time of strong demand from Indonesia, Asia’s top gasoline importer, causing a severe supply crunch. The deep supply dent had pushed the Asian gasoline margin on 12 July to more than a four-year high of US$16.74 a barrel as the downtime in Melaka resulted in imports of about 1.2m barrels of gasoline. (Reuters)