Sapref's BP and Shell still have enough in the tank to meet demand

16 July 2021 - 17:43 By thomas falkiner
BP and Shell still have enough fuel supply to meet demand despite the temporary halting of operations at Durban's Sapref facility.
BP and Shell still have enough fuel supply to meet demand despite the temporary halting of operations at Durban's Sapref facility.
Image: SUPPLIED

Operations at SA's largest crude-oil refinery, Sapref, were temporarily halted on Tuesday amid the ongoing looting and social unrest in KwaZulu-Natal. A joint venture of BP and Shell, this refinery accounts for 35% of the country's refining capacity. As such there has been concern that fuel shortages may well be on the cards – especially in the short-term. 

However at the time of writing TimesLIVE Motoring can confirm that BP has adequate supply to meet demand.

"The temporary suspension of services has not had any adverse impact on the security of supply," says BP SA vice president Taelo Mojapelo. "Additionally, some of our supply operations which were interrupted have resumed following a rigorous risk assessment and safety review."

“We are monitoring the situation closely and are adjusting our response appropriately to balance crucial fuel supply with keeping people safe." 

"Future efforts will be directed towards strengthening our fuels and convenience value chains in the aftermath of this anarchy. In the meantime, we will continue to work with relevant authorities and partners to restore operations to normalcy," Mojapelo concludes.

Shell also appears to be in the clear for the time being.

"Currently Shell has enough product to meet demand however this is subject to our ability to deliver product safely," confirms Shell media manager Dineo Pooe. "We are monitoring the situation closely and are triggering all necessary contingency measures. An update will be shared as the situation develops."


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