Motiva crude unit offline in Texas, rates cut for two months

11 June 2012 17:16  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Motiva’s crude distillation unit (CDU) is offline after a failed weekend start-up attempt for the expanded Port Arthur refinery, which resulted in reduced capacity at several associated units for possibly two months, sources said on Monday. 

The refinery experienced uncontrolled combustion within a CDU furnace during the unit’s start up on Saturday as its Port Arthur refinery continues start up for its expansion units, the company reported in a state filing. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) filing said the unit had been stabilised, but did not mention if production was impacted or if the CDU was back online.

A refinery trader for vacuum gas oil (VGO) and naphtha said this would not cause a huge market shift as the Port Arthur refinery would be running at the capacity and rates prior to the expansion.

Motiva recently completed a five-year expansion of the Port Arthur refinery, doubling crude capacity to 600,000 bbl/day, making it the largest refinery in the US.

Motiva did not immediately respond to a request from comment.

He said Motiva may enter the market for VGO and naphtha in the coming days and weeks, causing the prices to run up, in order to supplement the loss of VGO and naphtha production from the CDU.

A US Gulf refined products trader said summer conventional blendstock for oxygen blending spot gasoline and unleaded spot gasoline trades had strengthened from trades on Friday.

Additonal reporting by Anna Matherne

By: Sheena Martin
+1 713 525 2653

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