09 January 2012 21:57 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--BP began a turnaround of an alkylation unit and fluid catalytic cracker (FCC) at its Texas City refinery near Houston, market sources said on Monday.
BP could not be reached for comment, and the duration of the turnaround is not known.
BP’s Texas City refinery has the second largest capacity of the refineries in Texas, processing 406,570 bbl/day, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
An alkylation unit produces alkylate, a high-octane gasoline blendstock. An FCC unit is the primary production unit for gasoline.
A trader for US Gulf coast naphtha said BP had been purchasing a fair amount of naphtha in the spot market for its Texas City refinery.
The increased purchases indicate that the refinery’s naphtha production from the crude unit is low.Accordingly, sources suggest that the crude unit’s output is likely reduced, which typically occurs when an FCC unit is shut down or runs at lower rates.
Naphtha is a feedstock for reformate, another gasoline blendstock with high-octane content similar to alkylate.
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