* Not yet clear when Oita refinery will be restarted -
* Aug demand of C-fuel oil for utilities lower than thought
(Adds details, comment)
By Risa Maeda
TOKYO, Aug 29 Japan's top oil refiner, JX Nippon
Oil & Energy Corp, plans to refine 8 percent more crude than a
year ago in September for domestic consumption, after it used
less crude than planned in August following an unscheduled
shutdown of its Oita refinery.
The company expects to refine 5.44 million kilolitres (1.18
million barrels per day) for domestic consumption next month,
compared with an estimated 5.29 million kl in August, a company
executive said on Wednesday.
The August figure, down 7 percent from a year earlier, came
in 510,000 kl lower than a planned 5.8 million kl as JX Nippon
halted operations of a 136,000 bpd sole crude distillation unit
at the Oita refinery in southwestern Japan on Aug. 16 for
unplanned repair work.
It is not yet clear when the Oita CDU will restart, said
Kiyoshi Hanaya, general manager of its marketing planning
department. In addition, the company's 240,200 bpd Mizushima-B
refinery has been shut completely since July 26 for safety
checks after inadequate record keeping.
The company's sales of C-fuel oil for power utilities in
August were slightly lower than expected as energy saving
efforts helped cap power demand at year-ago levels despite a
fall in nuclear power generation, Hanaya said.
Most of the country's 50 nuclear reactors remained shut for
safety checks after last year's Fukushima nuclear disaster.
"Utilities asked for more volumes for the summer and we had
prepared, including some imports... The adverse ripple effect of
lower than expected demand is on us, the refiners," Hanaya said
at a news conference.
The refining volumes do not include condensate but include
crude processed at its 51 percent-owned venture with Petrochina,
Osaka International Refining Co, an export-oriented 115,000-bpd
JX Nippon, a wholly owned subsidiary of JX Holdings Inc
, operates eight refineries in Japan with a total
capacity of 1.61 million bpd, including the Osaka venture.
Following is a table of JX Nippon's plans for crude refining
volumes, exports and imports, with percentage changes provided
by the company based on kilolitres.
Crude refining bpd Yr/Yr %
Sept 1.18 mln +8
Aug 1.14 mln -7
Oil product exports bbls Yr/Yr %
Sept 3.21 mln +46
Aug 3.90 mln +17
Oil product imports bbls Yr/Yr %
Sept 0 n/a
Aug 0 n/a
Here is a table of JX's estimates for changes in Japan's
domestic oil product sales for August:
Product Yr/Yr %
Gas oil +4
A fuel oil flat
C fuel oil (utilities) +50
C fuel oil (other) -5
(Additional reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Himani