Wires

Japan's Showa Shell sees Q4 crude refining flat y/y

TOKYO, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Showa Shell Sekiyu KK ,Japan's fifth-largest oil refiner, said on Tuesday it expects torefine 7.8 million kilolitres of crude oil in theOctober-December quarter, unchanged from a year earlier.

That amount will be for both domestic and export usecombined. The company declined to give details of how much wouldbe used in the domestic market.

The quarterly rise to 533,300 barrels per day from an actual485,400 bpd in the July-September comes after the scheduledmaintenance at Seibu Oil's 120,000 bpd Yamaguchi refinery inwestern Japan for about a month in September resulted in a fallin storage of oil products, a Showa Shell spokesman said.

"Since our utilisation rate is already 100 percent, we'regoing to refine less for exports and use that amount to build upstocks and meet the need in the domestic market," the spokesmansaid.

Excluding irregular stocks, refining volume for the domesticmarket in the October-December period would be unchanged from ayear earlier, the company said in a statement.

In Japan, the world's third-biggest oil consumer, demand ison a downward trend, barring one-off effects fromreconstruction, and demand from utilities which are burning oilto make up for drastically reduced atomic power generation amidsafety concerns after last year's earthquake and tsunamitriggered a nuclear disaster.

Showa Shell, which is 35 percent owned by Royal Dutch Shell

and almost 15 percent owned by Saudi Aramco, refinescrude at its four refineries in Japan which have total refiningcapacity of 538,000 barrels per day.

Apart from the Yamaguchi refinery, Showa Shell processescrude at the 210,000 bpd Yokkaichi refinery, Toa Oil's65,000 bpd Keihin refinery and Fuji Oil's 143,000 bpd Sodegaurarefinery.

Showa Shell owns 6.6 percent of Fuji Oil's parent, AOCHoldings , and 38 percent in Seibu Oil. Toa Oil, inwhich Showa Shell owns 50.1 percent, permanently shut theOhgimachi factory at the Keihin refinery in September last year.

(Reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

((risa.maeda@thomsonreuters.com)(81-3-6441-1856)(Reuters

Messaging: risa.maeda.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: CRUDE SHOWASHELL/REFINING