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5+% of US Refining Capacity Sidelined for Weeks or Months by Katrina

Chevron’s Pascagoula refinery, pre-Katrina.

Two Gulf Coast refineries—Chevron Corp.’s 325,000-bpd Pascagoula, Miss., facility and ConocoPhillips’ 255,000-bpd a day Alliance refinery in Belle Chasse, La., suffered “major damage,” in Katrina, according to the 4 Sep Situation Report from the DOE.

Two others, Murphy Oil Corp.’s 120,000-bpd plant in Meraux, La., and the 183,000-bpd refinery at Chalmette, La., owned by ExxonMobil and Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), suffered water damage. The four—which represent more than 5% of US refining capacity—are likely to remain shut for weeks or months.

The other affected refineries in the Gulf area are beginning to come back online. The largest in the region, ExxonMobil’s giant 495,500-bpd Baton Rouge refinery, appears unscathed and is ramping up production as it receives crude stocks.

The Pascagoula refinery is Chevron’s largest U.S. refinery, and one of the top ten petroleum refineries in the United States. In January 2002, ChevronTexaco began construction of a $150 million expansion project at the refinery to produce low-sulfur gasoline and diesel.

The Alliance refinery began operations in 1971 and is one of the last refineries built in the United States.


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