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Largest U.S. oil refinery closes due to Harvey

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Staff Writer | August 31, 2017
Motiva
Weather   Motiva in Port Arthur, Texas

The largest oil refinery in the United States, shut down operations Wednesday amid massive flooding due to Hurricane Harvey.

Motiva, located in Port Arthur, Texas and owned by a Saudi Arabian company, processes over 600,000 barrels of oil per day.

"Return to service is contingent upon recession of flood waters in the area," the company said in a statement. “Our priority remains the safety of our employees and the community.”

The number of confirmed deaths due to Harvey was 21 by Wednesday afternoon.

ExxonMobil shut down a facility in nearby Beaumont also on Wednesday after it was damaged the night before.

ExxonMobil closed another refinery in Baytown, the second largest in the country with a production rate of 560,000 barrels per day.

On Tuesday evening, the company revealed that the Baytown facility released 12,000 pounds of poisonous vapors into the air following damage from Harvey.

Valero and Total oil companies also shuttered refineries near the Texas Gulf Coast as Harvey continued to swamp the region with water.

In all, about 25 percent of the nation’s oil refinery capacity has been taken offline, according to estimates from Motiva, the national transportation organization.


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