India's Reliance Industries Ltd has commissioned its clean storage facility at Ashkelon terminal in Israel to tap Mediterranean and European markets, trade sources said on Thursday.
Reliance last month commissioned its new 580,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery, making the Jamnagar complex that includes its 660,000-bpd plant, the world's single-biggest supplier of fuels to the global market, pumping out 1.24 million bpd.
"The facility at Ashkelon has the capacity to store 200,000-300,000 kilolitres of diesel and jet fuel. But Reliance is primarily using it for diesel storage," a trade source, with the knowledge of the deal, said.
He said the facility was commissioned recently.
Another trade source said the Indian refiner had leased the storages from Israel's Eilatto Ashkelon Pipeline Co.
The spokesman for Reliance declined comment.
Industry sources earlier said that Reliance had leased clean oil storages in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and Singapore.
Reliance is aiming to lift product supplies when global oil demand is set to shrink this year due to the economic slowdown.
The International Energy Agency last week joined the ranks of forecasters predicting a fall in global oil demand this year, revising its previous 2009 estimate down by 940,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 85.3 million bpd -- a 500,000 bpd year-on-year fall. [ID:nLG658789]
For analyses on the implications of the new Reliance refinery on the oil market, click [ID:nSP416466] and [ID:nSP415801].
Earlier this week, Reliance Petroleum Ltd, a unit of Reliance Industries said it was producing various refined products at the new plant and commissioning of secondary units was nearing completion.
"The initial phase of production has achieved stability. Commissioning activities are nearing completion at several of the secondary processing units.... The secondary processing units are under synchronisation and commissioning," it said.
Reliance has also started exporting some fuel from its new refinery, selling its second cargo of naphtha by tender this week.