By BARBARA POWELL
Citgo Petroleum's only crude unit at its refinery in Lemont,
Illinois, is listing and initial assessments indicate it may
have sustained extensive damage in a fire Oct. 23, said two
people familiar with plant operations.
The fluid catalytic cracker and one side of the coker are shut,
said the people, who asked not to be identified because the
information isnt public. The alkylation unit is operating
while output at other downstream units, including
hydrotreaters, is reduced, they said.
The refinery provides gasoline and diesel to Chicago and the
The Lemont refinery is a significant supplier
of both gasoline and diesel fuel into the Chicago market,
said Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.
A lengthy shutdown would require supplies being made up
by Gulf Coast refineries.
The crude unit, whose capacity matches that of the 170,500-bpd
refinery, is visibly leaning, the
people said. The Oct. 23 fire occurred while a malfunctioning
pump was being replaced, the people said.
A report filed with the National Response Center dated Oct. 24
said there was a spill of vacuum tar bottom, a raw material
used in making bitumen.
Fernando Garay, a spokesman for Citgo in Houston,
said Thursday in an e-mail that refinery operations have
been significantly reduced while some downstream
units were operating. He said the company didnt have a
schedule for when the crude unit would be operational.
He did not issue an update Friday and did not
immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on refinery operations.