November 22, 2019 / 9:07 PM / 23 days ago

Total plans Port Arthur, Texas refinery reformer restart by December 2: sources

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Total SA plans to restart the reformer at its 225,500 barrel-per-day (bpd) Port Arthur, Texas, refinery by Dec. 2, said Gulf Coast market sources on Friday.

Total also plans to shut the large vacuum distillation unit (VDU) at the Port Arthur refinery by the end of November for repairs, the sources said.

Total spokeswoman Tricia Fuller declined to comment.

Total has cut production on the crude distillation and coker units because production on the 35,000 bpd reformer is cut by 30% to preserve catalyst, the sources said.

A Nov. 16 fire cut a line that sends catalyst, used to convert refining byproducts into octane-boosting components for blending with gasoline, to be recycled within the reformer.

The 60,000 bpd VDU2 is scheduled to shut by the end of next week for repairs, the sources said.

Production will also be reduced on the 60,000 bpd coker while VDU2 is shut, the sources said.

VDUs operate at vacuum pressure to refine residual crude oil from atmospheric-pressure crude distillation units (CDUs) into hydrocarbon feedstocks for making motor fuels like gasoline.

Cokers convert residual crude oil from CDUs and VDUs into feedstocks for motor fuels or petroleum coke, a coal substitute.

Reporting by Erwin Seba, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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