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French supermajor TotalEnergies was forced to shut down a unit at its 225,000-barrels-per-day refinery at Port Arthur in Texas due to a leaky pump, adding to other refinery outages that have pushed U.S. gasoline prices higher in recent days alongside the rise in crude oil prices.
Total's U.S. unit of the French energy major, said in a statement, carried by Dow Jones, that “A pump located in unit 825 developed a leak that reached the reportable quantity of un-speciated volatile organic compounds.”
“The unit is being shut down in order to isolate the pump and stop the leak,” the refinery operator added.
The emissions from the incident ended on Thursday night after 11 hours.
The refinery, 95 miles east of Houston, is one of TotalEnergies' six refining and petrochemicals platforms worldwide, and the company’s largest facility in the United States.
Last week, the same refinery reported an operational disruption and gas emissions after the cogeneration unit at Port Arthur experienced a unit upset due to a loss nitrogen oxides steam injection.
The latest incidents at TotalEnergies’ Port Arthur refinery add to other disruptions and outages at refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast in recent days.
Last week, an unexpected shutdown at the gasoline-making unit of ExxonMobil’s refinery at Baton Rouge, Louisiana, sent U.S. gasoline futures rallying to the highest since October 2022. Repairs at the Exxon refinery could take weeks and last for the rest of the driving season, thus reducing gasoline supply to the market.
Gasoline prices are also responding to the recent rise in crude oil prices.
This summer, gasoline prices are rising amid heatwave-related outages at some domestic refineries and WTI Crude jumping back to above $80 per barrel.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com