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UPDATE 2-U.S. pipeline outage prompts refiners to book tankers to store fuel

05/11/2021 05:34
UPDATE 2-U.S. pipeline outage prompts refiners to book tankers to store fuel

At least 4 tankers booked to store fuel off Gulf Coast

Traders books tankers to deliver diesel to East Coast

Adds detail on tanker bookings

By Ron Bousso

- U.S. refiners booked at least four tankers to store refined oil products off the Gulf Coast following a cyber attacks that crippled the biggest U.S. pipeline, shipping data showed on Tuesday. nL1N2MX0S1

The attack on the Colonial pipeline network, which supplies half of the fuel consumed along the East Coast, has forced Gulf Coast refineries to scale back operations due to lack of storage space.nL1N2MX2E3

The tankers, booked by Marathon Petroleum MPC.N, Valero Energy VLO.N, Phillips 66 PSX.N and PBF Energy PBF.N, can hold around 350,000 tonnes of fuel. Two of them were booked for up to 30 and 40 days, the data showed.

Colonial on Friday shut its 5,500-mile (8,850-km) pipeline network, which moves fuels including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, to protect its systems. It has restarted some smaller lines.

In the wake of the outage, traders also booked several tankers to ship gasoline and diesel from Europe to the U.S. East Coast. nL1N2MX0L4

France's Total and trading houses Vitol and Trafigura each booked 90,000 tonne tankers to ship diesel on the transatlantic route, the shipping data showed, a relatively rare route as Europe consumes more diesel than it produces.

(Reporting by Ron Bousso and Jonathan Saul, editing by Louise Heavens and Jason Neely)

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