Motiva shuts Port Arthur refinery – largest in US – as storm floods worsen

America’s largest refinery, the Saudi Arabian-owned Motiva Enterprises facility in Port Arthur, Texas, has shut down because of the effects of Tropical Storm Harvey.

Previously, spokespeople for the plant had said it would continue working at reduced capacity. Late on Tuesday that meant it was running at 40%.

The new decision resulted from worsening local flood conditions at the 600,000 bpd facility.

Early on Wednesday, Harvey made its second landfall – this time near the Texas-Louisiana border – and is expected to wreak more havoc to refineries along the southwest Louisiana coastline.

Motiva joins several other refineries – 14 as of Wednesday – that have halted operations in southeast Texas because of the massive weather event, Texas’ worst storm in 50 years.

It will not reopen until flood waters recede.

Two other Port Arthur refineries stopped operations on Wednesday. Total’s 200,000 bpd refinery shut down following a power loss and Valero opted to halt activity at its installation.

However, Valero also announced that two of its refineries further west – Corpus Christi and Three Rivers – were beginning to resume operations.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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