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Gazprom Neft Closes Diesel Unit for 2 Weeks

Gazprom Neft suspended operations of a diesel-making unit at its Omsk refinery for two weeks after completion of planned maintenance, according to data from the Energy Ministry's CDU-TEK unit.

A diesel hydrotreater known as L-24/7 isn't scheduled to restart until Nov. 15 after undergoing repairs from Oct. 1 to 28, the data show. Hydrotreaters remove sulfur and other impurities from fuels.

CDU-TEK collates information from oil companies in Russia. The Omsk plant is Russia's largest refinery, able to process 381,000 barrels of crude a day.

Russia's refineries are undergoing a "chunky" period of maintenance this month, putting at risk the amount of fuel available for export to Europe, said Seth Kleinman, European head of energy research at Citigroup in London.

"Russian demand growth has been impressive recently, gas oil demand is up 6 percent year to date through August," he said Nov. 2. "Combined with lower refinery throughput, this is meaning less product getting to Europe."

Rosneft has planned repairs this month on a diesel hydrotreater at its Novokuibyshevsk plant, while a similar unit will be off at TNK-BP's Saratov refinery for reconstruction until early 2012, the data show.

Russia's third-largest plant at Nizhny Novgorod, owned by LUKoil, is scheduled to restart a diesel hydrotreater Saturday after a week's halt, according to CDU-TEK.

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