Largest US refinery shuts down during storms

Shutting the 607,000 barrel-per-day Texas refinery could take up to 2 days

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Motiva Enterprises began preparations on Monday to shut the nation’s largest crude oil refinery ahead of expected heavy rains from tropical storms Marco and Laura this week, said sources familiar with plant operations.

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Shutting the 607,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Port Arthur, Texas, refinery could take up to two days, the sources said.

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The company was not immediately available to discuss operations at the refinery.

During 2017’s Hurricane Harvey, about 5 feet (1.52 meters) of rain fell on the refinery in late August, forcing Motiva to completely shut down for nearly two weeks.

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In 2018, because of the disruption during Harvey, the company cancelled plans to expand the refinery, citing the threat of heavy flooding in the low-lying Port Arthur area during a future tropical storm.

Motiva is owned by Saudi Aramco and in 2019 bought a petrochemical plant in Port Arthur next to the refinery.

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