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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.

A Motiva spokeswoman declined to discuss operations at the refinery.

The CDU was taken out of operation on Monday due to the leak but has been kept on circulation, meaning it has crude oil feed running through it and is being kept at its high operating temperature.

Motiva officially commissioned the CDU, the centerpiece of a $10 billion, five-year expansion project that more than doubled the refinery’s capacity, in a ceremony last week attended by the chief executives of Motiva owners Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Saudi Aramco.

The addition of the CDU made the Motiva Port Arthur refinery the largest in the United States.

A CDU does the initial refining of crude oil coming into a refinery and provides feedstock for all other units.


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