Chevron crude unit at fire-hit California refinery may be out six months

The main crude distillation unit (CDU) at Chevron’s fire-stricken Richmond refinery in California may be shut four-to-six months due to “extensive damage” from last week's fire, news agency Reuters reported on Monday, citing industry analysis group IIR Energy.

In a new report, IIR Energy said investigators have found serious damage in the cooling towers, pipe racks and heater tower.

Chevron has not given any official timetable for resuming full operations at the 245,000 bpd refinery, the second largest in California.

IIR Energy also said that some of the refinery’s secondary units are continuing to operate using feedstock stored at the site, Reuters said, adding that no decision had been made on whether Chevron would buy additional feed or shut the units during repairs.

Sources said last week that most of the other refinery units are still running, but that “it’s tough to run without your main unit”.

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