Motiva CDU fire doused [Oil & Gas News]HOUSTON:Al Bawaba Ltd.
Motiva Enterprises said a fire in a crude distillation unit (CDU) at its 235,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery in Convent, Louisiana, was contained within 35 minutes by on-site emergency response crews.
The incident came as Motiva, a 50-50 joint venture of Saudi Aramco and Royal Dutch Shell, is repairing its flagship 600,000 bpd US refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, after too much of a corrosive chemical raced through part of a new CDU last June and cracked and ruined thousands of feet of pipes.
"All personnel have been accounted for and there were no injuries resulting from the incident," company spokeswoman Kayla Macke said about the Convent fire. Macke did not answer questions about whether the Convent CDU was shut or when it would restart. She said there was no impact to other refinery process units.
The refinery had been operating at reduced rates for several weeks after it was shut on August 30 in advance of Hurricane Isaac. Motiva had not released any updates since a September 5 statement that said the refinery had not resumed normal operations.
The Port Arthur refinery's damage emerged during startup of a 325,000 bpd expansion that pushed the plant's capacity to 600,000 bpd, surpassing ExxonMobil's 560,540 bpd Baytown, Texas, refinery as the largest in the US. That startup came just days after the CEOs of Shell and Saudi Aramco attended an elaborate commissioning ceremony celebrating the startup of the five-year, $10 billion project.