Exxon Mobil has revealed that its Baytown refinery located in Houston will be restarted after it was shut down following Tropical Storm Harvey. The Baytown refinery is the second biggest oil refinery in the United States with an average daily production level of 560,000 barrels.
Exxon also revealed that another one of its refineries in the coastal parts of Texas remain closed. This is the Beaumont facility which is located in the eastern parts of Houston and which has a daily production level of 362,000 barrels.
Tropical Storm Harvey
The two processing facilities belonging to Exxon are among close to a dozen other refineries which have had to shut down operations as a result of Tropical Storm Harvey. Extensive damage was caused by the hurricane along the coastline of Texas in three of the United States’ main refining hubs located in the state. This include the Beaumont/Port Arthur region, Houston and Corpus Christi.
As a result of the shutdowns about 20% of the refining capacity in the United States has been taken offline. This has resulted in the prices of gasoline going up both at the retail and wholesale level over worries that most of the oil refining facilities may have incurred extensive damage, a fact which may force them to remain closed for a long period.
”Our initial assessment of Exxon Mobil’s Baytown complex revealed the need for only minor repairs. We are making good progress on restart activities,” said a statement from the oil major.
According to Exxon Mobil the Baytown refinery will be reopened based on the condition and availability of transportation infrastructure. The oil major revealed that it was coordinating with authorities at the Houston port in order for allow for the expediting of vessels moving via the ship channel. Exxon was also coordinating with various railroads in order to ensure the necessary repairs were facilitated.
The oil giant’s announcements follows that of Phillips 66 which said that its Sweeny refinery which is located near Houston in Old Ocean would be restarted soon. Sweeny’s daily production level is approximately 247,000 barrels a day. According to Phillips 66, the condition of the impacted facilities was being assessed and repairs were also being made with a view to resuming operations.
Four other refineries located in Corpus Christi are also in the processing of restarting and this includes facilities owned by Flint Hills Resources, Citgo and Valero Energy Corp. Motiva Port Arthur, the biggest refinery in the U.S., remains shut with no restart timeline.