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The canadian industry refining account for about 18 000 workers and 16 refineries, including two in Quebec. On the photo, of the facilities in Toronto.
The collapse of the demand for various types of refined products, from gasoline to diesel through the fuel for aircraft, has forced refineries to reduce their production levels. However, a single, in Newfoundland, has so far chosen to temporarily cease its activities. Others will follow-they ?
“That is the question. The fundamental question is the time “, said the vice-president of the canadian Association of motor fuels for the east of the country, Carol Montreuil. According to the shape of the recovery, for example, a famous V-on or reboot is very slow and gradual, ” the question is going to arise “.
At the present time, the average demand for all refined products has plunged from 30% to 32%. The strongest decrease is found in the fuel for airplanes, which are in large part grounded for weeks, followed by that of the regular gasoline and diesel. Although it is less requested compared to the pre-crisis levels, the diesel fuel is widely used in the trucking industry, crucial part of the economy.
The canadian industry refining account for about 18 000 workers and 16 refineries, including two in Quebec : Suncor in Montreal and Valero in Lévis.
If things realign in a gradual manner in a reasonable period of time, the refineries will need to adjust the production without stopping, knowing that the application will resume at the horizon. “This is a scenario, said Mr. Montreuil. The other scenario is that, if the current situation persists and empire, or if there is a second wave, at this time, as in any industry that produces goods for which there is no consumption, it will be necessary to find a way to produce even less. And one of these ways, it is actually shut down refineries. “
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“The thread of our activities is directly related to the demand,” said Marina Binotto, director of public and government affairs Energy Valero, raffinerie Jean-Gaulin. “From the moment the COVID is presented, day by day, we looked at our inventories, orders and demand, and we adjusted our production accordingly. The ultimate goal always being to stay in business, because a refinery, it is continuous, it never stops. Currently, expenses are at a minimum, “safely speaking” and everything, and it responds to the request, which is to the downside. “The production data are confidential.
All in all, Valero and la raffinerie Jean-Gaulin account for 70% of the finished product production in Quebec. According to Mrs. Binotto, the demand for the fuel had plummeted by 90 % for gasoline, 60 %, and that for the diesel, 20% to 30%.
A barrel of oil contains several refined products potential, explained Mr. Montreuil. “There is a logistical problem. How do I continue to produce enough diesel, because the diesel works pretty well, and that the trucks travel, trying, at the same time, to do the least possible fuel and the least possible amount of aviation fuel because demand has collapsed, he said. It becomes a puzzle to be very difficult for the refiners. And at the end, when we try to solve this equation, the first constraint that we are going to have, it is that there will be no more room to store the gasoline. There is less demand for gasoline and, even if I wanted to produce more diesel, unfortunately, I would produce still too much gasoline. “
During this time, the crude oil has strongly rebounded Wednesday in New York, after having slumped on Monday and Tuesday, but the market remained under pressure in the face of falling demand and near-saturation of the storage capacity. The barrel of WTI for delivery in June, of which this is the first day of use as a standard contract, rose by 19 %, or $2.21 US, at the close to settle at 13,78 US$. Monday, a barrel for may delivery had finished in negative territory for the first time in its history.
In London, a barrel of Brent North sea for delivery in June gained 5.4 per cent, to 20,37 US$.
With Agence France-Presse
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