Valero Energy Corporation and Marathon Petroleum Corporation, two of the major refinery operators in the U.S. have restarted operations in Louisiana and Texas, respectively, after the deadly cold strike that killed more than 20 people, left millions without power and spiked prices to the roof, causing a major energy crisis.
Firstly, Valero’s 125,000 barrel per day refinery in Meraux, Louisiana restarted its crude distillation unit last Sunday. Additionally, its 55,000 bpd hydrocracker and the 32,000 bpd reformer also restarted operations, as the cold is fading away, sources confirmed to Reuters.
Secondly, Marathon Petroleum’s crude distillation unit, which processes about 225,000 bpd of oil, restarted operations this Monday, Reuters confirmed. Marathon’s refinery is located in Texas City, Galveston Bay.
Moreover, its vacuum distillation unit, as well as the catalytic cracker, began operating again. Both of these units process about 112,500 bpd and 140,000 bpd of oil, respectively.
Both Valero and Marathon declined to comment, according to the news agency; however, sources confirmed the plants are recovering gradually and safely.
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Valero and Marathon add to the restored refining capacity after the storm
On the other hand, while the crude distillation units break down crude oil into hydrocarbon feedstocks; the hydrocracker, the vacuum distillation and the catalytic cracker convert the processed oil into diesel, gasoline and other fluids.
As we reported previously, earlier this month, nearly three million barrels of daily refining capacity suffered by the blizzard. Some of the biggest refinery operators, such as Valero, and Motiva Enterprises, stopped their refining operations.
Particularly, Motiva Enterprises’ facilities at Port Arthur, Texas, halted production of nearly 600,000 barrels per day of crude; which makes it the biggest refinery of the country. Valero Energy, ExxonMobil, Total also stopped operations at their sites in Texas.
However, as of yesterday, February 21, at least 2,9 million barrels per day of crude processing capacity was on its way to be restored.