July 5, 2018 / 4:34 PM / 4 months ago

Storms disrupt operations at two Texas refineries: sources

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Storms disrupted operations at two refineries in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, according to sources and a regulatory filing.

Heavy rains from the thunderstorms that shut roadways and disrupted Fourth of July U.S. holiday celebrations did not affect operations at refineries near Houston and Port Arthur, Texas, according to sources familiar with operations at those plants.

But the storms caused a fire that idled a gasoline-producing unit at Citgo Petroleum Corp’s 157,500 barrel-per-day (bpd) Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery, sources familiar with plant operations said.

A Citgo official declined to discuss the status of operations at the refinery.

The 69,000-bpd, gasoline-producing Fluidic Catalytic Cracking Unit 2 in the refinery’s East Plant was shut early Thursday morning as storms that caused flooding along the Texas Gulf Coast drenched the area, the sources said. No injuries were reported due to the fire.

Flint Hills Resources shut its East Plant, which abuts the Citgo East Plant, on Thursday morning due to a power outage, according to a notice filed with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The small hydrocracking and fluidic catalytic cracking units are located in the East Plant of Flint Hills’ 319,000-bpd Corpus Christi refinery.

A Flint Hills spokesman was not available on Thursday morning to discuss operations.

Valero Energy Corp spokeswoman Lillian Riojas declined to discuss to the status of the company’s refineries in Corpus Christi, Three Rivers, Texas City, Houston and Port Arthur, Texas.

Sources at the Royal Dutch Shell Plc joint venture refinery in Deer Park, Texas, and the Exxon Mobil Corp refinery in Baytown, Texas, said operations were not affected by the storms.

LyondellBasell Industries’ Houston refinery was not impacted by the storms, said spokeswoman Chevalier Gray.

Operations were normal at the nation’s largest refinery, Motiva Enterprises’ 603,000-bpd Port Arthur plant, Gulf Coast market sources said.

They also said operations were normal at Total SA’s Port Arthur refinery.

Hydrocrackers use hydrogen and a catalyst under high heat and pressure to produce motor fuels, primarily diesel.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Tom Brown

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