Exxon's Baytown, Texas, refinery to shut gasoline unit by early next week: sources

FILE PHOTO: A view of the Exxon Mobil refinery in Baytown, Texas, September 15, 2008. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp plans to shut the small gasoline-producing unit at its 560,500 barrels-per-day (bpd) Baytown, Texas, refinery by early next week because of low demand due to efforts to halt the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The shutdown of the 90,000 bpd gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracker 2 (FCC 2) could happen as early as this weekend, sources said.

Exxon spokesman Jeremy Eikenberry said operations were continuing at the Baytown refinery, but declined to discuss the status of specific units.

The shutdown would mean all three of Exxon’s U.S. Gulf Coast refineries have reduced production.

Crude oil intake was reduced by 60,000 bpd at the company’s 502,500 bpd Baton Rouge, Louisiana, refinery, sources familiar with operations at that plant told Reuters.

Exxon’s 369,024 barrel-per-day Beaumont, Texas, refinery began a planned overhaul with the shutdown of the 240,000 bpd crude distillation unit (CDU) on Monday.

Reporting by Erwin Seba in Houston; Editing by Tom Hogue and Matthew Lewis