Exxon Reports Rate-Cuts, Emissions at Beaumont, Texas Refinery -- Update

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) on Monday said its Beaumont refinery east of Houston is operating at cut rates, marking the latest of many refineries in the Texas gulf coast region to reduce activity or shut down altogether in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Suann Guthrie, a spokeswoman for the company, said any further details on the rate reduction at the 345,000-barrel-a-day Beaumont refinery would be posted on the company's website. The Beaumont refinery is located about 90 miles east of Houston.

Exxon on Sunday completely shut down its 560,000-barrel-a-day Baytown refinery, which runs along the Houston Ship Channel.

Write to Dan Molinski at dan.molinski@wsj.com

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) said Monday its Beaumont, Texas refinery had to reduce production rates and that it also experienced an operational disruption due to Hurricane Harvey.

"As a result of adverse weather caused by Hurricane Harvey, excess emissions occurred during an upset on the Sulfur Plant Thermal Oxidizer," the refinery said in a regulatory filing to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. It said the emissions happened Sunday night and lasted about an hour.

On Monday morning, Exxon said it reduced operating rates at the refinery. It wasn't clear if the rate-cuts were related to the incident with the Sulfur Plant Thermal Oxidizer.

The challenges at the Beaumont refinery are the latest of many shutdowns or rate-cuts at refineries up and down Texas's gulf coast as Harvey continues to dump rain on the area, creating massive flooding in Houston and beyond. Exxon had already shut its larger, Baytown refinery near Houston on Sunday due to Harvey, while Shell and other refineries also closed down.

The refinery shutdowns have caused a quick spike in gasoline prices, both in futures markets as well as at the retail level, especially in and around Houston. One refiner, Phillips 66 (PSX), said it's urging gas stations not to hike prices unfairly, reminding them of laws against price gouging.

Write to Dan Molinski at dan.molinski@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 28, 2017 17:03 ET (21:03 GMT)