Exxon Shutting Major Houston-Area Refinery

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) said Sunday it was shutting its massive Baytown refinery near Houston as the city faces massive flooding after Hurricane Harvey.

"ExxonMobil Baytown Complex is in the process of a safe and systematic shutdown of operations," spokeswoman Suann Guthrie said in an emailed statement. "Safety is our first priority, and we have taken all the precautions to minimize impact to community and employees throughout the shutdown process."

The 560,00-barrel-a-day refinery is one of the largest in the nation and is located along the Houston Ship Channel, a vital waterway for the U.S. oil industry. Exxon had already begun reducing processing rates at Baytown on Saturday, citing logistical problems given the channel has been shut since Friday.

Baytown's closure, along with other refinery shutdowns or reductions along the Gulf Coast increase concerns about fuel shortages in the coming days and weeks.

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

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 27, 2017 10:51 ET (14:51 GMT)