Marathon Petroleum to idle 26,000-bpd Gallup refinery

Marathon Petroleum Corp said it would temporarily idle its 26,000-barrel-per-day Gallup, New Mexico, refinery beginning on April 15, amid slumping demand from the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said it intended to maintain regular employee staffing levels with employees assigned to tasks “necessary to support our idle status and eventual return to normal operations.”

“At this time, the duration of the idling period is unknown; however, it is our intent to return to normal operations as soon as demand levels justify doing so,” a company representative said in a email.

Refineries around the world have shut units or cut back to minimum processing levels because of a plunge in demand because of the coronavirus. The pandemic has caused the global aviation industry to virtually shut down and kept motorists off the roads.

Overall global fuel demand is expected to drop by 20% to 30% in April and remain weak for months after that.

Gallup will be the second North American refinery to idle amid the coronavirus pandemic. North Atlantic Refining Ltd’s 130,000-bpd Come-by-Chance refinery in Canada said it was pausing production at the end of March.

Reporting by Laura Sanicola in New York; Editing by Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney

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