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Repairs of Crude Distillation Unit Continue at Motiva Port Arthur Refinery

Texas Business reports:  HOUSTON—Inspection activities and repairs continue on the crude distillation unit at the expansion of Motiva's refinery in Port Arthur, Texas.

The original Port Arthur refinery, which has 275,000 barrels per day distillation capacity, continues to operate normally.

The crude unit, which is part of the recently completed 325,000 barrels per day expansion project at the refinery, was safely shut down without any injuries in early June after it experienced operational issues.

Preliminary inspection found that part of the unit had been accidentally contaminated with high levels of caustic (sodium hydroxide), which resulted in cracks in stainless steel piping and other parts of the crude unit.  All seven of the other expansion units built in the expansion project are fully operational, though some are running at reduced capacity.  Motiva is targeting to restart the crude unit in early 2013.

The safety of employees and protection of the environment will continue to remain the top priority while Motiva addresses the ongoing work.

Headquartered in Houston, Motiva Enterprises LLC is a refining and marketing joint venture owned by affiliates of Shell and Saudi Aramco.

Motiva's marketing operations support a network of approximately 8,300 Shell-branded gasoline stations in the eastern and southern United States.

 Company assets include three refineries located in Norco and Convent, LA., as well as Port Arthur, Texas.  Motiva also has ownership or partial interests in 38 product terminals.