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Posts Tagged ‘Motiva Port Arthur Refinery’

Another serious shutdown at Shell Motiva refinery

Reuters article published Tue Jul 15, 2014 under the headline: “Damaged heater likely shut distillation unit at Motiva refinery”

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(Reuters) – A heavily damaged heater on a newly commissioned 325,000 barrel per day (bpd) crude distillation unit is the likely cause of a unexpected shutdown that may last up to five months at Motiva Enterprises 600,000 bpd Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, according to experts.

In late April, Motiva, a joint-venture of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Saudi Aramco, started the new crude distillation unit (CDU), which was the centerpiece of a 5-year, $10-billion project to make the refinery the largest in the United States.

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Motiva Port Arthur refinery reaches throughput milestone – sources

“If it had been built better, if it had been designed better, it could be running more crude…”

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Extracts from a Reuters article by Erwin Seba published by The Chicago Tribune on 3 July 2014

HOUSTON (Reuters) – The nation’s largest refinery hit a throughput milestone last week, processing 615,000 barrels in one day for the first time since a series of setbacks that followed its $10 billion expansion, sources familiar with operations said. The 2.5 percent increase in crude oil intake one day in late June, trumpeted in a company email, showed the continuing impacts of a troubled start-up after the expansion, the sources said. “If it had been built better, if it had been designed better, it could be running more crude,” said one of the sources. A Motiva official declined to comment.

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Discovery ensues in Motiva explosion suit

According to the lawsuit, on July 31, 2011, Carrell was working at the Motiva facility when an explosion occurred, causing him to suffer bodily injuries.

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By David Yates

Discovery continues to dominant litigation brought by Jasper County resident Tommy Carrell Jr., who sued Motiva Enterprises for alleged injuries he received in an explosion that occurred in July 2011 at the Port Arthur refinery.

As previously reported, the suit was filed Feb. 5 in Jefferson County District Court. motiva

Court records show the latest filing in the suit was a certificate of discovery filed Aug. 27.

The document shows Motiva served Carrell with its second request for production.

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Problems at Motiva plant

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Petrodollars: A lot of smart oil people caught up in problems at a Motiva plant

By News Desk: September 16, 2013

A big expansion project at the Port Arthur, Texas refinery owned by Motiva–the Shell-Saudi joint venture–has been far from the success story envisioned by the two partners. In this week’s Oilgram News column Petrodollars, Janet McGurty looks at the problems there.

Motiva’s Port Arthur refinery expansion woes have people wondering how it could all go so wrong for a group of companies with so much expertise.

The refinery, which was expanded from 325,000 b/d to 600,000 b/d, is owned by Shell and Saudi Aramco.

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Shell’s oil sands deliverer becomes downstream boss

Abbott also takes on a headache in the form of the company’s Motiva U.S. refining joint venture operation, where a new refinery unit faces piping and vibration problems .

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Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:10pm BST

By Andrew Callus

(Reuters) – Shell is to make John Abbott head of its fuels and chemicals business, pitching the deliverer of its Canadian oil sands expansion project into an industry debate over whether the “downstream” business he will run still fits with oil and gas extraction.

A 53-year-old Briton who joined Europe’s top oil company straight from university in 1981, Abbott is credited with bringing Royal Dutch Shell’s Athabasca oil sands expansion project in Canada on stream in the period 2008-2012.

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SHAMBLES AT MOTIVA PORT ARTHUR REFINERY

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By John Donovan

Anyone who has read the postings made on this website in recent years by insiders working on the Motiva Refinery expansion project should not be in the least surprised by the series of serious mishaps following the restart, which taken together, can only be described as a complete and utter shambles.

Troubled Motiva refinery, biggest in U.S., faces lengthy 2014 work: sources

MOTIVA PORT ARTHUR REFINERY: ANOTHER SHELL PROJECT HUMILIATION

Motiva Enterprises is jointly owned by Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Saudi Aramco.

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Troubled Motiva refinery, biggest in U.S., faces lengthy 2014 work: sources

The biggest U.S. oil refinery could shut its main crude distillation unit for up to three months next year to replace a vibrating pipe that prevents the 325,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) unit from running at full capacity, sources familiar with operations said. That would be another blow to the Motiva Enterprises, 600,000-bpd plant since the $10-billion (U.S.)refinery, in Port Arthur, Tex., opened last year. Motiva is owned by Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco.

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ERWIN SEB: HOUSTON — Reuters: Published

The biggest U.S. oil refinery could shut its main crude distillation unit for up to three months next year to replace a vibrating pipe that prevents the 325,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) unit from running at full capacity, sources familiar with operations said.

That would be another blow to the Motiva Enterprises, 600,000-bpd plant since the $10-billion (U.S.)refinery, in Port Arthur, Tex., opened last year. Motiva is owned by Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco.

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Fire hobbles Motiva oil refinery, biggest in U.S.

Sources said refinery managers spoke of their frustration on Monday with problems that have plagued the expanded plant.  “It was a bad weekend for us,” said one source. “We’re all feeling snake-bit. It just seems like we get up and going and then something else goes wrong.”

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Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:28am IST

* ‘Feeling snake-bit’
* Second fire in week
* Vibration problem lingers

By Erwin Seba

PORT ARTHUR, Texas, Aug 19 (Reuters) – A fire at the largest oil refinery in the United States has knocked out more than half of its output for at least two weeks, the latest in a string of mishaps following a $10-billion expansion at the Motiva plant in Port Arthur, Texas.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc – which owns the refinery with Saudi Aramco – said the fire on Saturday, the second in a week, slowed and shuttered units at the 600,000 barrel-per-day plant and hurt production.

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Exclusive: Largest U.S. refinery to run below capacity for months

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HOUSTON | Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:45pm EDT

(Reuters) – A new piping problem may force the newest crude distillation unit at Motiva’s Port Arthur refinery, the largest plant in the United States, to run up to 75,000 barrels-per-day below capacity through fall of next year.

Sources familiar with refinery operations said one of the pipes taking crude oil into the 600,000 bpd refinery’s new CDU has suffered continuous vibration problems when it runs at or near full capacity for more than five months.

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Motiva Port Arthur refinery shuts down after power outage

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By Barbara Powell
Bloomberg News

Motiva Enterprises LLC’s Port Arthur, Texas, refinery is completely shut down after losing power yesterday, a person familiar with operations said.

There isn’t a timeline for restarting the plant, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The refinery is the largest in the U.S. with a capacity of 600,000 barrels a day.

Gulf Coast: Refineries expanded, but not constructed

Entergy Corp. restored electricity to the three plants in Port Arthur, owned by Motiva, Total Petrochemicals USA Inc. and Valero Energy Corp., which account for 1.08 million barrels a day of refining capacity.

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Motiva Port Arthur Restart Delayed Until Next Week – Source

Published December 21, 2012 by Dow Jones Newswires

Motiva Enterprises LLC most likely will not be able to restart for a few more days a main processing unit at its refinery expansion in Port Arthur, Texas, a person familiar with the refinery’s operations said Friday.

Motiva has been struggling to restart the 325,000-barrel-a-day refinery expansion’s crude distillation unit since the unit went down in early July. The $10 billion expansion was to bring the combined refinery’s capacity to 600,000 barrels a day and make it the largest in the U.S. and one of the 10 largest in the world.

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Troubled Motiva refinery crude unit shut by small fire

Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:41pm EST

* Repairs to fractured pipe could take several days, sources say

* 325,000 barrel per day crude unit was in process of restarting

* New crude unit had previously been shut due to corrosion issue

* Gasoline prices jump on fire, pare gains after damage report

By Erwin Seba

PORT ARTHUR, Texas, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Motiva Enterprises aborted the restart of a major new crude oil unit at its Port Arthur, Texas, plant after a fractured pipe caused a small fire late on Tuesday, the latest glitch to bedevil the country’s biggest refinery.

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Shell CFO: Confident US Government Will Approve Keystone XL Pipeline

By Selina Williams: Published November 20, 2012 by Dow Jones Newswires

Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) is confident the U.S. government will approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline extension that will carry crude from western Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast, its chief financial officer Simon Henry said Tuesday.

“We remain confident the U.S. government will take a balanced view…and allow the full extension to proceed,” Mr. Henry told a Canadian energy event in London.

The re-election of President Barack Obama has revived hopes the oil pipeline will gain government approval after environmentalists were instrumental in getting the scheme blocked last year.

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Shell nearly there on Pearl, Port Arthur restart early 2013

LONDON | Thu Nov 1, 2012 5:29am EDT

Nov 1 (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell Finance Director Simon Henry said the company was “nearly there” in ramping up to full output at its Pearl Gas to Liquids (GTL) facility in Qatar and that the company was “on track” to restart the 325,000 barrels-a-day damaged Port Arthur refinery unit in the United States.

He was speaking at a presentation of Shell’s third-quarter results.

SOURCE

LONDON | Thu Nov 1, 2012 5:21am EDT

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A big mess at Motiva and why Gulf Coast refiners are making a killing

While Chevron’s Richmond refinery has been making the news lately with a very visible incident, our attention has been drawn to less noticed recent events in America’s biggest refining center on the Gulf Coast, where what was to become the country’s largest refinery also ran into a spot of trouble.

You’d think that if you had spent 5 years and over $10 billion building a new refinery you might get to run it a few months before you had to shut it down for repairs. Not so the Motiva Port Arthur refinery expansion, which is essentially a new refinery bolted onto an old one.

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Shell greenlights halved Louisiana-to-Texas crude oil pipeline

Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:16pm EDT

(Reuters) – A new crude oil pipeline from a key terminal in Louisiana to refineries near Port Arthur, Texas, will be built at about half the size envisioned late last year, Shell Pipeline LP said on Thursday after securing customer commitments for the project.

The Westward Ho Pipeline, which will carry crude oil from St. James, Louisiana, to Gulf of Mexico refiners just across the Texas border, will have an initial capacity of 300,000 barrels per day, the subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) said.

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After Motiva glitch, no let-up yet in Saudi-US oil sales

Thu, 5th Jul 2012 22:57

NEW YORK, July 5 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia maintained crude oil shipments to the United States in June near their highest level since 2008, data showed, despite a serious glitch that has crippled its newly expanded joint-venture refinery in Texas.

In the four weeks to June 29, the United States imported an estimated 1.44 million barrels per day (bpd) of Saudi crude, according to calculations based on preliminary Energy Information Administration (EIA) data. That was steady with the 1.45 million bpd imported in the first four months of the year.

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Refinery Status: Shell Reports Flaring At Deer Park – Filing

Jul 5, 2012

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (RDSA.LN) reported flaring at its 327,000 barrel-a-day refinery July 4 in Deer Park, Texas, according to a filing with the National Response Center. A Shell spokeswoman declined to comment.

A compressor problem at Shell Oil Co’s 157,000 barrel-a-day refinery in Martinez, Calif., caused flaring at the facility on June 28, according to traders doing business with the company. It wasn’t known which refinery units were affected.

Motiva Enterprises LLC reported unspecified equipment failure June 30 at its 235,000 barrel-a-day refinery in Convent, La., according to a public filing.

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Saudi- Motiva shutdown may call for Aramco FDI review

The Port Arthur refinery is one of three refineries in the Gulf of Mexico region owned by Motiva Enterprises, LLC, which is another 50-50 joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Shell Oil Company. Its expansion took 5 years and $10 billion to complete. But with the bad news of shutting down the expansion project on June 9, nine days after the opening ceremony, due to fire and unexpected extensive corrosion in the new distillation unit, the company executives declined to answer questions about the duration of the shutdown, causes of the problem, expenses of the repairs and losses of potential revenues.

MENAFN – Arab News – 03/07/2012

By 2005, Saudi Aramco had concluded that oil refining should go side by side with petrochemical production to compensate for the high operational costs or even losses of producing only refined oil products.

This major shift in Aramco’s investment planning was reflected on all but one partnerships and joint ventures.

Locally, Aramco established a joint venture company with Sumitomo Chemical, named Rabigh Refining & Petrochemical Company (PetroRabigh), to operate a 400,000-barrel capacity refinery in Rabigh city on the western coast of Saudi Arabia, which produces naphtha, kerosene, gasoline, diesel, fuel oil and many other petrochemical polymers.

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MOTIVA REFINERY DEBACLE: Caustic – the same thing that blew up Norco. Unbelievable

Might as well melt it all down and start over…

CAUSTIC COMMENTS ON MOTIVA REFINERY DEBACLE

FIRST COMMENT (FROM SHELL BLOG)

Re: Motiva Refinery Debacle – Unbelievable. Lock-out, Tag-out, the most basic safety rule, strikes again.

The same thing that blew-up Piper Alpha. Caustic – the same thing that blew up Norco. Unbelievable.

And Caustic doesn’t just pit stainless, it causes cracks in stress areas. They will have to use advanced ultrasound techniques on every millimeter of hundreds of miles of piping because a hidden crack will propagate and cause a failure days or years in the future.

Might as well melt it all down and start over.

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Insight: In hours, caustic vapors wreaked quiet ruin on biggest U.S. refinery

(Reuters) – In the end, all it took was a small chemical spill — perhaps less than a barrelful — to bring down the newest, mightiest oil refinery in the United States.

By Erwin Seba

PORT ARTHUR, Texas | Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:50am IST

(Reuters) – In the end, all it took was a small chemical spill — perhaps less than a barrelful — to bring down the newest, mightiest oil refinery in the United States.

Three weeks ago, while workers repaired a minor leak at the Port Arthur, Texas plant owned by Motiva Enterprises, a few gallons a day of so-called “caustic” was inadvertently seeping into the newly built crude distillation unit (CDU), the 30-story-high network of interconnected cylinders and latticed pipelines at the heart of the refining process.

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Motiva prepares Texas refinery for long shutdown

Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:39pm EDT

By Erwin Seba

(Reuters) – Motiva Enterprises LLC moved to prepare half its giant Port Arthur, Texas, refinery for an extended shut-down this week after a major glitch with a new unit, closing down other units and reducing oil shipments from Saudi Arabia.

In the first public acknowledgment of the severity of the problem at the plant, Motiva co-owner Royal Dutch Shell Plc said late on Wednesday that the stricken 325,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) unit was shut due to “corrosion problems,” as originally reported earlier this week by Reuters.

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Motiva expansion cost in range of $10 billion: Saudi Aramco CEO

PORT ARTHUR, Texas | Thu May 31, 2012 2:37pm EDT

(Reuters) – Saudi Aramco SDABO.UL Chief Executive Khalid Al-Falih said the total cost of expanding the Motiva Enterprises MOTIV.UL Port Arthur, Texas, refinery to 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) was “in the range of” $10 billion, double its original estimate.

The Port Arthur refinery is the largest investment Saudi Aramco, which is a 50-50 partner with Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) in Motiva, has made outside the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Al-Falih told reporters on Thursday.

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New Motiva Texas CDU might stay shut for a year

New Motiva Texas CDU might shut for 12 months-sources

HOUSTON, June 19 | Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:48pm IST

(Reuters) – A new 325,000 barrel per day crude distillation unit at Motiva Enterprises’ 600,000 bpd Port Arthur, Texas, refinery may be shut for up to 12 months to repair extensive corrosion, sources familiar with refinery operations said on Tuesday.

Motiva, a joint-venture of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Saudi Aramco, has yet to make a final determination of the cause of the corrosion or the scope of work needed to repair it, the sources said.

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Corrosion seen in shut Motiva Texas crude unit -sources

Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:28am IST

(Reuters) – Extensive corrosion, that may require up to five months to repair, has been found inside Motiva Enterprises new 325,000 barrel per day (bpd) crude distillation unit at its 600,000 bpd Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, according to sources familiar with refinery operations.

The root cause of the corrosion, found in vessels and piping on the crude distillation unit (CDU), has not been determined, the sources said.

Damage from a fire on the CDU during an attempted June 9 restart was seen as negligible, the sources said.

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No timeline for restart of Texas refinery unit-Motiva

Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:52pm EDT

* New 325,000 bpd CDU may be shut for up to five months -sources

* CDU furnace may have been heavily damaged -experts

By Erwin Seba

HOUSTON, June 15 (Reuters) – The operator of the largest U.S. oil refinery said on Friday it did not know how long a newly commissioned giant crude distillation unit, a center piece at the Port Arthur, Texas facility, would be shut down.

Motiva Enterprises said that there was no schedule for the crude distillation unit’s return to production at the 600,000 barrel per day (bpd) Texas, refinery. Sources familiar with refinery have said the unit would be down five months for repairs.

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MOTIVA PORT ARTHUR REFINERY: ANOTHER SHELL PROJECT HUMILIATION

There is a familiar ring to the coverage on your website of the Motiva expansion at Port Arthur…  The facility starts with great fanfare, and a visit from VoserWithin days the facility shuts down

COMMENTS FROM A TRUSTED SOURCE

John

There is a familiar ring to the coverage on your website of the Motiva expansion at Port Arthur:

  1. An enormous project, undertaken/operated by Shell contrary to the perceived wisdom of other companies in the industry
  2. A partner responsible for a large proportion of both the project costs, and Shell’s overhead and finance charges
  3. The project is late and over budget
  4. A stream of comments leaked from within the project highlight ongoing problems
  5. The facility starts with great fanfare, and a visit from Voser
  6. Those responsible move to other positions
  7. Within days the facility shuts down

There are many well documented parallels within Shell. Sakhalin 2 and Pearl are frequently mentioned on your site, but less has been said about some of the offshore developments in the Gulf of Mexico where similar “surprises” occurred soon after the facilities were commissioned. I presume the Arctic will be next, or perhaps FLNG?

RELATED

Giant Port Arthur refinery unit seen shut for months

Gulf Coast Gains as Motiva Refinery Repairs Said to Take Months

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Giant Port Arthur refinery unit seen shut for months

COMMENT POSTED ON OUR SHELL BLOG 12 JUNE 2012

Texvette: Is anyone surprised with the current issues with the new crude unit at Port Arthur. Word has it that: 1) the problems are much more severe than being reported, and 2) this is just “the tip of the iceberg”. Some wonder if the new $13 billion worth of units will ever start-up

Giant Port Arthur refinery unit seen shut for months

Published: Monday, 11 Jun 2012 | 4:15 PM ET HOUSTON (Reuters) – Output at the biggest U.S. refinery could be cut by more than half for up to five months after Motiva Enterprise’s <MOTIV.UL> failed to restart a major new crude unit at the Port Arthur, Texas, plant over the weekend, sources familiar with operations said on Monday.Just two weeks after partners Saudi Arabia and Royal Dutch Shell <RDSa.L> cut the ribbon on the new 325,000 barrel per day crude distillation unit that pushed the plant’s capacity to 600,000 bpd, jointly owned Motiva shut the unit to fix what was thought to be a leaking valve impairing production.After the CDU twice failed to restart over the weekend, the refinery found major issues that will take at least two months and potentially up to five months to repair, the two sources who have knowledge of the refinery’s operations said.The news pushed up cash fuel prices and lent support to gasoline futures, traders said. It weighed on oil prices in expectations that other buyers in the United States — which saw a spike in imports from Saudi Arabia this year — would have to absorb additional supplies the kingdom had already booked into the market.”The Saudi loadings to the U.S. had risen massively a few months ago, as they wanted to show they could put barrels in the market when requested — and they were very vocal about it — as well as starting to supply Motiva,” said Katherine Spector, commodity strategist at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) in New York.

“The question now will be how much storage space at Motiva was already filled, and will they need to divert barrels to other customers.”

The entire refinery has not been shut by the outage because the pre-expansion 285,000 bpd crude distillation unit, continues to operate. CDU units perform the initial refining of crude oil coming into the refinery and provide feedstock for all other production units.

While it is not unusual for new refinery units to experience operational teething pains when they are first commissioned, a shut-down lasting months would be a major embarrassment for Motiva and its owners after a landmark $10 billion upgrade.

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Motiva crude unit remains out of production-sources

Fri Jun 8, 2012 10:25pm IST

(Reuters) – A newly commissioned 325,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) crude distillation unit (CDU) remained out of production on Friday at Motiva Enterprises’ 600,000-bpd Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, said sources familiar with operations at the plant.

No firm date has been set for returning the CDU to production, the sources said. Workers were still attempting to find the source of a leak that is interfering with the unit’s operation, they said.

Once the source of the leak is found, repairs and restoration to normal operation are expected to take two to three days, they said.

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Cooperation Between Shell and Aramco to Develop Refinery in Texas

Red Nova: Cooperation Between Shell and Aramco to Develop Refinery in Texas

“…Saudi Arabia and the Shell Oil Company intend to increase to 600,000 barrels the daily oil refining capacity of their Port Arthur Refinery in the American state of Texas at a cost of $3.2 billion.”

Posted Friday 30 September 2005

A-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper quoted a notice published in mid- September 2005 by the British oil industry newspaper, “Oil Daily”, announcing that Saudi Arabia and the Shell Oil Company intend to increase to 600,000 barrels the daily oil refining capacity of their Port Arthur Refinery in the American state of Texas at a cost of $3.2 billion.

This refinery currently has a daily capacity of 235,000 barrels. The paper noted that the Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company and ARAMCO operate this refinery in cooperation via the Motiva Enterprise Oil Refining and Distributing Company.

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Reuters: Saudi, Shell mull Texas Port Arthur refinery expansion

Reuters: Saudi, Shell mull Texas refinery expansion

“With gasoline prices surging and refineries straining to meet demand, Saudi Arabia and oil giant Shell are mulling a plan to expand their joint venture refinery in Port Arthur, Texas…”

HOUSTON, Sept 14, 2005 (Reuters) – With gasoline prices surging and refineries straining to meet demand, Saudi Arabia and oil giant Shell are mulling a plan to expand their joint venture refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, state environmental regulators said on Wednesday.

“They have actually been in and talked to us about the requirements for a permit for Port Arthur,” said Terry Clawson, a spokesman for state regulatory body Texas Commission for Environmental Quality.

Energy newsletter Oil Daily reported earlier Wednesday that the joint venture company, Motiva Enterprises, planned to more than double the Port Arthur refinery’s capacity to 600,000 bpd at a cost of $3.2 billion.

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