ExxonMobil opens Shiogama oil, gasoline terminal in Japanese area affected by earthquake, tsunami

By Phaedra Friend Troy

Super-major ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) has reopened its Shiogama Terminal in Japan, allowing the first oil and gasoline supplies to be delivered following the deadly earthquake and tsunami that affected the region on March 11.

For comprehensive coverage of the Japanese nuclear power disaster and efforts under way to resolve it, visit PennEnergy’s Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Emergency 2011  special section. 

With the Shiogama Terminal open, the devastated Tohoku area of Northeast Japan is able to receive increased fuel supplies, including gasoline and kerosene, which is used as a heating fuel.

On March 22, the terminal received its first marine shipment of one million liters of gasoline and another million liters of kerosene from the TonenGeneral Kawasaki Refinery.

“The safe reopening of the Shiogama Terminal restores the most critical link to the Tohoku area,” said Philippe Ducom, president of TonenGeneral Sekiyu K.K., the ExxonMobil affiliate refiner. “The government has asked fuel suppliers to support its relief efforts in the earthquake impacted areas. We are answering that call.” 

ExxonMobil is also making the Shiogama Terminal available to other companies with fuel supplies to be delivered. 

"We are working as an industry to deliver any fuel as quickly as possible to the affected areas in need of fuel for relief efforts," Ducom said.

Japanese Refineries Running at Increased Rates

On the downstream side, ExxonMobil has returned all four of its Japan Group refineries to full operations following the natural disaster. The refineries are running above their normal rates to help meet the demand for fuel in Japan.

“ExxonMobil continues to maximize production of products that are urgently needed in the most impacted areas,” Ducom said. “Our 2,900 employees are working around the clock and in cooperation with the government to do everything we can to help with the response and recovery efforts.”

Additionally, the TonenGeneral Kawasaki Refinery power cogeneration unit is maximizing electricity generation to provide about 33-megawatts of power to the grid, which has been under-supplied since the earthquake. 

The TonenGeneral Wakayama Refinery is filling and shipping 1,000 drums of diesel and kerosene for emergency vehicles, shelters and hospitals in the worst-hit areas of Japan. 

Furthermore, ExxonMobil donated $1 million to the Japanese Red Cross Society for disaster relief assistance and implemented a worldwide match up to $2 million of employee, retiree, dealer and distributor contributions.

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