Unplanned outage at Motiva refinery takes down lube unit

15 May 2012 18:46  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--An unplanned outage caused by a fire in a heater outlet check-valve has one lube hydrocracking unit offline at Motiva’s Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, base oil market sources said on Tuesday.

A filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) said the fire in the R2 heater outlet check-valve resulted in a shutdown of the lube unit on 12 May.  

Base oil market participants also confirmed the shutdown of the lube unit.   

Sources said the extent of the damage is unclear, but market players expected as much as a two-week downtime at the unit could develop as repair work takes place.

Motiva’s Port Arthur refinery produces 40,300 bbl/day of Group II paraffinic base oils.

The affected lube unit produces 15,000 bbl/day of mid-viscosity base oils, according to market sources.

The Port Arthur, Texas refinery is operated by Motiva Enterprises, a joint venture with Shell and unspecified others.

Shell media sources confirmed the fire caused no injuries and was extinguished with no offsite environmental impact. An investigation is underway to further examine the cause of the incident.

In accordance with policy, Motiva nor Shell did not comment on operational status or production capacity of the individual units.


By: Judith Taylor
+1 713 525 2653



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