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Sasol Outage Means All South African Oil Refineries Are Now Shut

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Sasol Ltd., South Africa’s largest gas producer, declared drive majeure on the availability of petroleum merchandise attributable to delays in deliveries of crude to the Natref refinery it owns with TotalEnergies SE, leaving only a fraction of the nation’s fuel-production capability nonetheless operational.

Natref, a 108,000 barrel-a-day plant, was compelled to close after the late oil shipments, the corporate stated in an announcement. “Sasol Oil won’t be ready to totally meet its commitments on the availability of all petroleum merchandise from July 2022,” the agency stated.

The shutdown means the entire of South Africa’s oil-refinery fleet is out of motion after a string of different amenities suspended manufacturing over the previous two years. In consequence, the nation’s month-to-month petroleum product imports are set to as a lot as triple by subsequent yr from pre-pandemic ranges, power guide Citac stated in a Could report.

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Solely Sasol’s artificial gas operations, which use coal as a feedstock, stay absolutely operational, making up a couple of fifth of nationwide capability.

A fireplace on the Engen oil refinery, which can be transformed right into a terminal, and an explosion at Glencore Plc’s Cape City refinery, have quickly curbed capability. 

Sapref, the nation’s greatest plant, which is owned by Shell Plc and BP Plc, stopped operations forward of a sale and was subsequently broken by floods. State-owned PetroSA’s gas-to-liquids plant, one other artificial operation, has run out of feedstock.

In the meantime, a clean-fuels coverage that’s set to take impact subsequent yr raises the probability that refineries unable to fulfill the brand new requirements must shut completely.

For now, the outage at Natref is momentary. Crude oil shipments are anticipated to begin arriving shortly, with the plant anticipated to ramp as much as most manufacturing by the tip of July, Sasol stated. The companions have but to conclude choices on the way forward for the plant, Sasol Chief Govt Officer Fleetwood Grobler stated earlier this yr.

The Cape City refinery can also be anticipated to restart within the second half of 2022.  

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