MOSCOW (MRC) -- Exxon Mobil Corporation’s Baytown refinery in Texas continues to produce at reduced rates after a fire broke out at a reformer feed hydrotreater on Dec 23,2021, reported Reuters.
The Baytown refinery is one of the largest refining and petrochemical facilities in the United States, with a crude processing capacity of 560,500 barrels per day.
The fire took place at the refinery’s hydrotreater unit, which had been closed due to a leakage in the bypass line. Reformer feed hydrotreater eliminates sulfur and other contaminants from partially refined oil to produce refined products.
The fire affected a gasoline-producing unit, which could affect premium gasoline prices. The fire could hinder the Baytown refinery’s production for months, in turn, affecting the gasoline supply when the US refining capacity has already been reduced. Beside this, it affected a toluene benzene unit and a nearby cooling tower.
Although there were no fatalities, a few workers were hospitalized with injuries. While workers were relocated from that refinery section, the rest of the facility continued its operations.
This is the second fire incident at the Baytown refinery in two years. In 2019, a fire broke out at a polypropylene (PP) recovery unit, in which plastic is purified for production.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
Exxon's Baytown facility is home to a chemical plant, an olefins plant and the country's fourth-biggest oil refinery, with capacity to process 560,500 bpd of crude.
Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,265,290 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2021, up by 14% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,363,850 tonnes in January-November, 2021, up by 25% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.
ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.