September 15, 2017 / 9:32 PM / in 9 months

Exxon restarting Beaumont, Texas refinery after Harvey

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp was restarting its 362,300 barrel per day (bpd) Beaumont, Texas, refinery for the first time since shutting it nearly three weeks ago due to Tropical Storm Harvey, the company said.

“We can confirm that we are progressing restart activities at the Beaumont refinery, as a general practice, we don’t comment on the status of particular units,” said Exxon spokesman Aaron Stryk.

On Friday, Exxon restarted the refinery’s two crude distillation units, which refine crude oil coming into the plant and provide hydrocarbon feedstock to all other units, said sources familiar with plant operations.

The 110,000 bpd Crude A CDU restarted in the morning and the 240,000 bpd CDU restarted later. Both CDUs were on circulation, meaning they were not making any products, but were at operating temperature and circulating oil.

Exxon was working to restart the 45,000 bpd coking unit, which will need to be online before the CDUs can boost production, the sources said.

Exxon was bringing up the 40,000 bpd diesel hydrotreater, which will remove sulfur from products produced by the CDUs, according to the sources. A 35,000 bpd jet fuel hydrotreater will need to have pumps replaced before it can restart.

The refinery’s sulfur recovery units and effluent wastewater treatment plant were operating on Friday, the sources said.

Portions of the refinery were flooded on Aug. 30 by Tropical Storm Harvey forcing the refinery to shut down.

Cokers convert residual crude oil from distillation units to feedstock for motor fuels or petroleum coke, a coal substitute.

Reporting by Erwin Seba in Houston and Nithin Thomas Prasad in Bengaluru; editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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