Motiva to shut Port Arthur refinery CDU for weeks


Motiva Enterprises LLC is taking the crude distillation unit (CDU) down at its newly expanded refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, for repairs that could last several months, a person familiar with the refinery's operations said.

Motiva had commissioned the expanded refinery on May 31, bringing the plant's overall capacity to 600,000 bpd.

The company took the CDU down during the weekend of June 9–10, after a small fire broke out at the unit, the person said. The company is also trying to determine the cause and extent of some corrosion found on the unit, the person added.

The CDU is the first step in crude refining.

"It could be several weeks, it could be several months" before the unit is back up and running, the person said.

Motiva spokeswoman Emily Oberton said the refinery experienced a unit shutdown, but didn't say which unit it was. The company was investigating the cause of the problem, Oberton said.

"We will resume normal operations as soon as it is appropriate to do so," Oberton said.

Motiva is a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil producer, Saudi Arabian Oil Co.

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