Feb 15 (Reuters) - Japanese refiners led by the biggest,
Eneos Corp, shut down a fifth of the country's crude
oil refining capacity after a powerful earthquake struck
northeastern Japan knocking out power, bullet train lines and
injuring more than 150 people.
They refinery shutdowns in the world's fourth-biggest oil
importer are another potential hit after the pandemic led to the
evaporation of crude demand over the last year.
As much as 743,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil-processing
capacity has been idled, nearly 22% of Japan's roughly 3.4
million bpd capacity.
The refineries in locations from Yokohama to Sendai near the
epicentre of the 7.3-magnitude earthquake, which struck a little
before midnight on Saturday, either automatically shut down or
were idled immediately for checks.
Eneos said on Monday it shut down its 145,000 barrel-per-day
(bpd) Sendai refinery after it was hit by a large earthquake on
Saturday. The company is still making checks on the refinery and
does not have a restart date, the spokesman said.
Eneos later said the company's 270,000 bpd Negishi refinery,
had also closed and it had no date for the resumption of
The earthquake struck off the coast of northeastern Japan,
injuring scores of people, triggering widespread power outages
and causing damage across parts of northern Japan, including in
Fukushima which is still recovering a decade after a bigger
quake in the same area.
Fuji Oil Co Ltd shut the 143,000 barrel-per-day
crude distillation unit (CDU) at its Sodegaura oil refinery in
Chiba, east of Tokyo, after it was hit by an earthquake on
Saturday, a company spokesman said on Monday.
Fuji Oil's only refinery was shut down automatically after
the quake and the company plans to restart the CDU on Tuesday as
no damage was found, the spokesman said.
Idemitsu Kosan did not immediately respond to a
request to comment on media reports it had shut down its 190,000
bpd Chiba refinery, also because of the quake.
(Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick and Yuka Obayahishi; Editing by