Shell cut its crude oil imports to its Singapore refinery in May after extending repairs to its single buoy mooring facility. 

The import volume was reduced to three million barrels in May from 7.7 million in April. 

According to Reuters, the company uses ship-to-ship transfers to move crude from Very Large Crude Carriers to small Aframax tankers to its refinery in Pulau Bukom, an island situated south of Singapore. Since the beginning of this year, crude shipments to Bukom have been limited to small tankers that can carry 600,000 barrels of oil.

At a time when companies are contending with declining processing margins in the region, repairs add additional transportation costs for the refiners. The slide in refinery margins came after Opec+ producers announced cuts in the crude supply to influence prices in the global markets. 

The shipments to Pulau Bukom contain oil from Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, reports Reuters. According to Shell, Pulau Bukom is the only petrochemical production plant and refinery that the company operates in Asia. The facility has a daily capacity of 237,000 barrels of crude oil and produces biofuels and recycled plastics. 

Down from a monthly average of 300,000 tonnes (t), gasoil exports took a hit to 170,000t in April, rising marginally to 180,000t in May. 

A notice published by the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore suggested that the repairs involve temporary removal of the mooring buoy subsea hose, pile anchor installation, recovery and installation of chain, and reinstallation of the mooring buoy and subsea hose.

Earlier in May, Shell also reported an “operational upset” resulting in gas flaring at its Pulau Bukom facility. Reuters reported an issue with the company’s cracker, and operations have continued at a reduced rate after the incident.