MRC -- Exxon Mobil moved up the start date for a CDU overhaul at its 619,024-bpd Beaumont, Texas, refinery from August 2024 to June 2024, said people familiar with the company’s plans, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.
Exxon continues to plan to shut the 65,000-bpd diesel-producing hydrocracker in January for an overhaul, during which the 80,000-bpd reformer will also be shut for work, according to the sources. Exxon spokesperson Lauren Kight declined to comment on Tuesday.
The 180,000-bpd Crude B CDU is scheduled to shut down for the overhaul in June, two months earlier than previously planned, the five sources said. Crude B is one of three CDUs breaking down crude oil at the start of the refining process to produce feedstocks for all other units at the refinery, which is the nation's second largest by capacity.
Crude B processes sour crude oil, a cheaper grade that requires processing for the higher levels of residual crude it produces compared with sweet crude. While the CDU is shut, the 100,000-bpd Vacuum B vacuum distillation unit (VDU) will also be shut for work, the sources said. Production on the refinery’s 60,000-bpd coker will be cut back while Crude B shut.
Unlike CDUs, which operate at atmospheric pressure, VDUs operate at vacuum pressure to break down residual crude oil into feedstocks for other production units. Cokers take residual crude from distillation units and break it down into motor fuel feedstocks or petroleum coke, which can be used as a coal substitute.
Hydrocrackers use a catalyst under high heat and pressure in the presence of hydrogen to convert gas oil into diesel and other motor fuels. Reformers convert refining byproducts into octane-boosting components added to unfinished gasoline to make premium grades.
We remind, ExxonMobil Corp. (Houston) said today it has started work on the first phase of a lithium production complex in southwest Arkansas and intends to become a leading global producer of lithium, said the company.
The company is targeting lithium production by 2027 and is “evaluating growth opportunities globally.” By 2030, ExxonMobil aims to be producing enough lithium to supply “well over 1 million electric vehicles [EVs] per year.” Demand for lithium is expected to quadruple by 2030, according to ExxonMobil. Demand is surging on rapid growth in EV and energy storage battery markets.