Kuala Lumpur: Vitol's newly purchased refinery in Fujairah, which has sat idle for four years, has excellent oil storage tanks that can hold over three million barrels, the trading firm's chairman said yesterday.

"It's a great storage terminal," Ian Taylor, chairman and president of one of the world's two biggest independent oil traders, told reporters at the Asia Oil and Gas Conference.

He said the capacity at the site in Fujairah, the world's second-biggest marine fuel port by volume, was 500,000 cubic metres.

Asked whether Vitol would ever revive the 82,000 bpd refinery, which analysts say is a piecemeal combination of various units that limits its value, he said: "I think there'll be times when we run it and times when we don't."

He said Vitol would invest some funds in both the refinery and the terminal, but did not give any figures.

Vitol bought the refinery from the government of Fujairah in May for an undisclosed sum. It has been mothballed since March 2003, even though global refining margins since then have surged to record levels amid a worldwide shortage of capacity.