Los Angeles Refineries Come Through Storm Mostly Unaffected

Reuters, August 21, 2023

The five refineries in Los Angeles came through Hurricane Hilary's wind and heavy rain mostly unaffected, traders and sources familiar with plant operations said.

Spot market California wholesale gasoline in Los Angeles finished the day unchanged from where it finished on Friday, when it dropped 14.5 cents a gallon as fears about Hilary's impact eased.

PBF Energy (PBF.N) reported to California regulators a malfunction at its 180,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) plant on Monday morning, but traders said it appeared to be not directly related to Hilary, which passed through the area overnight as a tropical storm.

A PBF spokesperson said the use of the refinery's safety flare because of the malfunction was unplanned.

The four other refineries were operating as planned, said the sources and West Coast market traders.

Phillips 66 (PSX.N) spokesperson Al Ortiz said "there were no impacts to our employees or refinery operations" at the company's 139,000 bpd Los Angeles plant.

Chevron Corp's (CVX.N) 269,000-bpd El Segundo, California refinery was unaffected by the storm, said company spokesperson Deena McMullen.

"Day-to-day operations continue at all our major facilities," McMullen said.

Marathon Petroleum (MPC.N) spokesperson Jamal Kheiry declined to discuss operations at the company's 363,000 bpd Los Angeles-area refinery.

Hilary was the first tropical cyclone to hit southern California since 1939.

The five refineries in the Los Angeles area have a combined crude-oil refining capacity of 1.1 million bpd.

The U.S. West Coast is dependent on refineries in California and Washington as well as imports from Asia to provide motor fuels.

There are no pipelines connecting the West Coast to major crude-oil refining centers on the U.S. Gulf Coast or in the Middle West.

Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Stephen Coates and Rosalba O'Brien

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