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Motiva shuts leaky CDU at expanded Texas refinery

01.07.2013  | 

The Motiva refinery is jointly owned by Shell and Saudi Arabian Oil Co. The new crude unit is the culmination of a $10 billion expansion project that added 325,000 bpd of capacity and made the refinery one of the largest in the world. The unit, first commissioned in May, has experienced several setbacks.

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By ALISON SIDER

Motiva Enterprises said the crude unit of its Port Arthur refinery expansion in Texas leaked while being restarted Sunday and was shut down.

Kimberly Windon, spokeswoman for Royal Dutch Shell, said the company still plans to have the VPS 5 crude distillation unit fully restarted "in the early part of this year."

"We anticipate making the necessary adjustments/repairs and returning the unit to normal operation in an expeditious manner," Ms. Windon wrote in an email Monday.

The Motiva refinery is jointly owned by Shell and Saudi Arabian Oil Co. The new crude unit is the culmination of a $10 billion expansion project that added 325,000 bpd of capacity and made the refinery one of the largest in the world.

The new crude unit, first commissioned in May, recently experienced several setbacks. Last month the company began the process of bringing the unit back online after six months of repairs but was stymied by a small mechanical fire and then by evidence of another leak, sources said at the time.

Last week, the sources familiar with the refinery's operations said the crude unit was in restart mode for the third time in 30 days.


Dow Jones Newswires



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Zia-ur-Rehman Ansari
01.09.2013

Leaks details as well as setback need to given to provide understanding of design verses operationnal reason for such incidance considering HSE as top issues of today.

V Ross
01.09.2013

Im surprised that Shell is getting BAD publicity.....The Deer Park plant has had numerous fires and explosions, and never seems to make the news. Now the runaway oil rig, and the dangerous issues in Port Arthur.......maybe people can see Shell for what they are......profit before safety.....firing great craftsmen to hire relatives...and fighting with the UNION on EVERY dafety issue that comes up...why? PROFIT BEFORE SAFETY!!!

M. Emam
01.08.2013

No doubt that Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco have many years of experience in the field of refining, plant shutdowns and restarting. I believe many operating companies would like to listen to the "Lessons Learned" from this case to avoid recurrences at their plants which obviously would save the environment, save lives and finally our mother planet

Pankaj K. Tayal
01.08.2013

It's disheartening to know of so many incidents/accidents in this world class refinery project. Is it due to an oversight of HSE factors or lack of concerted efforts in a safe startup/ operation or both ? I hope a proper enquiry is conducted to fix the responsibility on highly paid consultants. It's afterall a humongous waste of shareholders' money and putting to stake the safety of staff and public.

S.K.Mukherjee
01.08.2013

Some details of the leak may please be given for the benefit of the process safety community.

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