Largest U.S. crude refinery shutting due to Harvey: sources

HOUSTON (Reuters) - The largest crude oil refinery in the United States was shutting down on Tuesday night due to flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey in its 603,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Port Arthur, Texas, plant, said sources familiar with operations.

The refinery’s owner, Motiva Enterprises [MOTIV.UL], said the refinery was operating at 40 percent capacity on Tuesday evening. Earlier in the day, the refinery was operating at 60 percent of its capacity, the company said.

Energy industry intelligence service Genscape said the refinery was using its safety flare system on Tuesday night. Flares can be a signal of the shutdown of a unit or units at a refinery.

The flaring triggered messages on social media of a fire at the refinery.

Motiva said there was no fire at the refinery on Tuesday.

With the shutdown of the Motiva refinery, 19.6 percent or 3.65 million bpd of U.S. refining capacity will be shut due to Tropical Storm Harvey.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by James Dalgleish and Lisa Shumaker