Largest U.S. refinery restarts after Texas freeze

The largest U.S. refinery, Motiva Enterprises’ 607,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Port Arthur, Texas, plant, restarted its largest crude oil processing unit, sources familiar with plant operations said.

The 325,000-bpd VPS-5 crude distillation unit (CDU) and 110,000-bpd coker were increasing production, the sources said. The refinery was shut on Feb. 15 due to severe cold weather along the Gulf Coast.

Motiva did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Friday morning.

Motiva also restarted the 105,000-bpd HCU-2 hydrocracker on Friday, the sources said, as well as two hydrotreaters. In addition, the 32,000-bpd HTU-3 hydrotreater is scheduled to restart on Friday.

CDUs break down crude oil into hydrocarbon feedstocks for all other production units at the refinery. There are three CDUs at the Motiva refinery.

Cokers convert residual crude oil from distillation units to either motor fuel feedstocks or petroleum coke, a substitute for coal.

Hydrocrackers use catalyst in the presence of hydrogen under high heat and pressure to convert gas oil into diesel and other motor fuels.

Hydrotreaters remove sulfur from feedstocks for motor fuels in compliance with U.S. environmental rules.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; editing by Jason Neely and Jonathan Oatis

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