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Motiva Restarts Expansion Segment Of Port Arthur Refinery- Source

Motiva Enterprises LLC has successfully restarted the expansion segment of its Port Arthur, Texas, refinery after months of setbacks and false starts, a person familiar with the refinery’s operations said.: The process of restarting the unit began late last year, but was further delayed by the discovery of new pipe leaks and a small fire.

Published January 22, 2013 by Dow Jones Newswires

Motiva Enterprises LLC has successfully restarted the expansion segment of its Port Arthur, Texas, refinery after months of setbacks and false starts, a person familiar with the refinery’s operations said.

The refinery will run the segment at 200,000 to 225,000 barrels per day for about three to four weeks before ramping up to its full capacity of 325,000 barrels, the person said.

A spokesman for Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (RDSA) said only that the unit is on track to be restarted in early 2013.

Motiva is a joint venture between Shell and Saudi Arabian Oil Company. The companies spent $10 billion to expand the Port Arthur refinery to 600,000 barrels a day, making it the largest refinery in the U.S.

But a new crude distillation unit, VPS 5, has experienced several problems since it first debuted last spring. The unit underwent six months of repairs when caustic–a chemical that neutralizes the acid in heavy, sour crudes but can also corrode steel–leaked into the unit and caused extensive corrosion throughout its pipes.

The crude distillation unit is the first step in the oil refining process, separating oil into different cuts that form the basis of different fuels.

The process of restarting the unit began late last year, but was further delayed by the discovery of new pipe leaks and a small fire.

Write to Alison Sider at [email protected]

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