Exxon Overhauling Large CDU at Baytown Refinery

Reuters, January 14, 2019

Exxon Mobil Corp shut the large crude distillation unit (CDU) at its 560,500 barrel-per-day (bpd) Baytown, Texas, refinery on Monday for a planned overhaul, said sources familiar with plant operations. Exxon spokeswoman Sarah Nordin said the Baytown refinery was performing planned maintenance on several units.

This turnaround, the largest maintenance and improvement program in the site’s history, started January 2019 and is expected to last several weeks,” Nordin said.

The 280,300-bpd Pipestill 8 CDU may be shut up to two months for the planned overhaul at the Baytown refinery, which is the nation’s third-largest by capacity, the sources said. Last week, a catalytic reformer was shut at the Baytown refinery. Along with Pipestill 8, Exxon plans to shut a sulfur plant and the 55,000 bpd Gofiner hydrotreater, the sources said.

Pipestill 8 accounts for half of the refining capacity of the Baytown plant. It is the largest of three CDUs doing the primary refining of crude oil into hydrocarbon feedstocks for all other units at the refinery. Reformers convert refining byproducts into octane-boosting components of gasoline. Sulfur plants extract sulfur from hydrogen sulfide removed during the production of motor fuels. Hydrotreaters extract hydrogen sulfide during the production of motor fuels in compliance with U.S. environmental rules.

(Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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