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TotalEnergies Shuts Down Recently Restarted Texas Refinery

French TotalEnergies has shut down its Port Arthur refinery in Texas just days after it restarted it following a power outage that occurred in mid-January.

The information comes from unnamed sources familiar with the situation who spoke to Reuter.

The sources told the news outlet TotalEnergies has had trouble making the refinery’s coker and reformer work after the outage. The coker has a capacity of 60,000 bpd and the reformer can process 35,000 barrels daily.

Days before the January 16 power outage, the Port Arthur refinery had to shut down its two crude distillation units and two vacuum distillation units, due to a malfunction at the gasoline-producing unit, Reuters again reported at the time.

Meanwhile, another large U.S. refinery that recently experienced a power outage will remain shut for three weeks sources told Reuters. The BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana, is the largest refinery in the Midwest.

Earlier this month, the facility was hit by a power outage and now has to undergo inspections before it is put back into operation. Should the inspections uncover any problems, the refinery could stay shut for longer than three weeks.

Port Arthur is one of TotalEnergies’ largest refining and petrochemicals platforms. To scale up its petrochemical operations in the United States and gain further market share, TotalEnergies invested in 2017 in significantly increasing its ethylene production capacity by using abundant and cheap U.S. ethane.

The Port Arthur site has a refining production capacity of 185,000 barrels per day and a total processing capacity of 238,000 barrels per day. The complex also features a steam cracker through a joint venture with BASF that has a capacity of 1 million tons per year.

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Earlier this week, TotalEnergies reported profits of $5.2 billion for the final quarter of 2023, which was 31% less than its net result for the last quarter of 2022, missing analyst expectations.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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