Oil, LNG shut after Japanese quake

March 11, 2011 at 9:07 AM
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TOKYO, March 11 (UPI) -- Japanese oil refiners said they closed facilities in the east of the country after an 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck Honshu Island's northeast coast Friday.

Cosmo Oil and JX Nippon Oil and Energy said emergency systems went into effect after the massive quake struck Japan shortly before 3 p.m. Friday.

Officials at Cosmo Oil confirmed to Bloomberg News that there was a fire at its Chiba refinery and Nippon Oil announced it shut three refineries in the country.

Three nuclear reactors were shut down and seven units at two of Tokyo's Electric Power Co. were closed. Several of the country's major liquefied natural gas terminals were closed as well.

The quake was centered about 230 miles from Tokyo triggering a tsunami more than 30 feet high. Many of the countries bordering the Pacific Ocean were placed tsunami warnings.

The quake comes amid volatile activity in the energy markets as Libyan forces loyal to leader Moammar Gadhafi battle rebel fighters for control of key oil-producing areas. Bloomberg added regional stock markets plummeted in response to the quake.

The U.S. Geological Survey notes the largest quake recorded was a 9.5-magnitude quake in Chili in 1960.

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