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BP sees Texas Refinery running 400,000 by year-end

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    HOUSTON, March 6 (Reuters) – BP Plc. (BP.L: QuoteProfile , Research) plans for its recovering Texas refinery to process 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day by the end of 2007, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made on Tuesday.
    No decision has been reached about returning the refinery to its nameplate capacity of 460,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2008, a source familiar with refinery operations said.
    “They’re still looking at it,” the source said.
    A BP spokesman declined to discuss plans for the refinery’s capacity.

    The refinery had reached a capacity of 248,000 bpd by the end of 2006 while work continues to complete the refinery’s restart, according to the filing.

    The refinery was extensively damaged by the rapid shutdown required in September 2005 when Hurricane Rita menaced Texas City, which is near the entrance to Galveston Bay on the U.S. Gulf Coast and is about 40 miles south of Houston.
    Twenty-seven miles of piping had to be replaced after rapid cooling due to the shutdown, BP previously said. Also, gasoline production units had to be restored.
    Sources familiar with operations at the refinery had previously told Reuters the rebuilt plant would have a top capacity of 400,000 bpd as the smallest of three gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracking units would not be returned to service.
    Shutting the smallest cat cracker has been under discussion for a long time.
    Fifteen workers were killed in an explosion on an octane-enhancing unit at the refinery on March 23, 2005. Another 170 people were injured in the blast, which was felt five miles away.

    © Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved

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