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Phillips 66 makes use of Jones Act waiver

14 Sep 2017, 8.58 pm GMT

Phillips 66 makes use of Jones Act waiver

Washington, 14 September (Argus) — Independent refiner Phillips 66 says it has chartered a foreign-flagged tanker under a Jones Act waiver President Donald Trump's administration issued to relieve hurricane-related fuel shortages in the southeast US.

The refiner said it used the waiver to charter the Nave Jupiter, which is flagged in the Marshall Islands. The tanker left Houston on 9 September and was docked near Phillips 66's 250,000 b/d Alliance refinery in Louisiana today, according to vessel tracking data. The company says it chartered the vessel this week but declined to provide further details.

Phillips 66 was earlier heard fixing a New Orleans-Florida gasoline shipment on the Nave Jupiter, although the fixture counterparties were unconfirmed. The company previously requested a Jones Act waiver to supply crude to the Alliance refinery, but the company withdrew the request before the administration made a decision.

Phillips 66 is the first company known to use the administration's Jones Act waiver, a law that requires shipments between domestic ports to occur on US-flagged, owned and crewed ships. US Homeland Security acting secretary Elaine Duke this week signed an order extending the waiver through 22 September, citing "severe disruptions" that Hurricane Harvey caused to the midstream and downstream sectors of the oil industry.

The latest waiver creates an exemption for shipments of petroleum products to Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Puerto Rico, from ports in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas.

ExxonMobil subsidiary SeaRiver Maritime was the only other company to request a Jones Act waiver in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in Corpus Christi, Texas, last month. ExxonMobil declined to comment on whether it intended to use the waiver.

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