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August downstream news update: USA

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

New York

Natural gas futures dropped in New York for the first time in three days on speculation that milder late August weather may reduce demand for power plant fuel.

Gas fell 1.5% as forecasters said temperatures from the Northeast into Ohio will be seasonal or lower from 26th – 30th August.

Earlier forecasts had been for hotter weather.

Natural gas for September delivery declined 5.1 cents to US$ 3.368 per million British thermal units on the New York mercantile Exchange. Trading volume was 44% below the 100 day average at 2.40pm.

Futures rose 4.3% last week, the first gain in four weeks.

The discount of September to October futures widened 0.1 cents to 2.5 cents. October gas traded 39.5 cents below the January contract.


Toledo Refining Company LLC has been fined US$ 21 000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for violations at its facility on Woodville Road.

OSHA has said that the company did not document that equipment complied with recognised and generally accepted engineering practices, did not correct deficiencies that were outside acceptable limits, and did not implement written operating procedures that provide clear instructions for certain procedures.


A piping problem may force the newest crude distillation unit at Motiva’s Port Arthur refinery, the largest plant in the US, to run up to 75 000 bpd below capacity through until fall of next year.

The pipes taking crude oil into the 600 000 bpd refinery’s new crude distillation unit (CDU) has suffered continuous vibration problems when it runs at or near full capacity for more than five months.

To fix the problem, Motiva may shut the unit down as early as fall 2014.

Also in Texas, Flint Hills Resources LLC said that it flared gases after a leak was discovered yesterday at its Corpus Christi West refinery.

Flint Hills said that it conducted flaring from 7.35pm until 11.35pm on 17th August while conducting repair work on a fluidised catalytic cracker unit.

Edited from various sources by Emma McAleavey.

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