State-owned PetroPeru will start first-ever monthly spot crude sales early next year as its main refinery closes for a long-delayed expansion project.
The company said it will take initial orders for spot purchases starting tomorrow. In January it will begin making two monthly shipments of 300,000 bl of light crude, with a quality of 34.6°API and 0.08pc sulphur.
PetroPeru later plans to sell one shipment per month of up to 750,000 bl once a new subsea pipeline at its Talara refinery is completed at the end of first quarter 2020.
The 65,000 b/d Talara refinery on the northern coast will close for 14 months to complete the $5.4bn upgrade. The plant will reopen in 2021 with a processing capacity of 95,000 b/d and new equipment that will allow it to refine heavier crude. Spanish contractor Tecnicas Reunidas is leading the Talara project.
PetroPeru began closing its Lima-based 15,500 b/d Conchan refinery on 20 November for four weeks of scheduled maintenance as it prepares to receive additional shipments while Talara is off line. Conchan has storage capacity of 2.3mn bl. The small plant will reopen at the end of December.
Peru's average crude production from 26 blocks was 56,000 b/d in October, slightly higher than the same month last year.
Peru's other main refinery is 117,000 b/d La Pampilla, owned by Spain's Repsol.
By Lucien Chauvin