Global refined products markets are extremely tight (see p9), with prices spiking to record highs in recent weeks. Inventories have fallen well below typical levels, and with a number of refineries having closed down during the Covid-19 pandemic the near-term outlook for relief is bleak. Reports from Reuters this week that the 300,000 b/d Pengerang Refining and Petrochemical (PRefChem) JV of Malaysia’s Petronas and Saudi Aramco has restarted after two years are therefore welcome.

The refinery is located in Johor, Malaysia, adjacent to Singapore and operations were halted following a fire in late 2019. The potential restart is in line with Aramco’s recent comments that operations were “planned to restart in the second quarter of 2022” (MEES, 25 March). (CONTINUED - 118 WORDS)