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US refinery update

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


ExxonMobil’s 150 000 bpd refinery in Torrance has restarted an unspecified unit that was shut on 1 April due to a mechanical malfunction.

Although unconfirmed by ExxonMobil, West Coast trade sources identified the refinery's alkylation unit as the source of the problem.


Marathon Petroleum Corp has reported sulfur dioxide emissions above 500 lbs at its 206 000 bpd refinery in Robinson. The problem occurred due to a unit upset on 31 March.


An unidentified worker at Sunoco Inc.’s Marcus Hook refinery has stated that the company will not return units to service until the repair and restart of a fluid catalytic cracker is completed. The refinery personnel aim to achieve this by April 5 and until then, the plant’s production units will remain on circulation.

US Virgin Islands

Hovensa LLC, a joint venture between Hess Corp and PDVSA, has reduced crude oil refining capacity at its St. Croix refinery to 350 000 bpd by indefinitely closing refining units with 150 000 bpd crude throughout capacity. The refinery’s original capacity was 500 000 bpd before the completion of the capacity reduction in March.


The US Chemical Safety Board has stated that Tesoro Corp failed to adequately maintain a heat exchanger at its Anacortes refinery. The exchanger exploded on April 2 last year after microscopic cracks had formed in the walls following a high temperature hydrogen attack, causing the death of seven workers. Tesoro has been fined US$ 2.38 million by the state Department of Labor & Industries for safety violations, including a failure to maintain and test the heat exchanger at the refinery.

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