Chalmette to shut 3 units, save $8 mil/month -sources
HOUSTON Aug 27, 2010 (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp’s (XOM.N) 196,000 barrel per day (bpd) joint-venture Chalmette, Louisiana, refinery will shut three units in a reconfiguration planned to save between $8 million and $9 million per month, according to sources familiar with the plans.
The refinery, a 50-50 joint venture between Exxon and Venezuela’s national oil company PDVSA, plans to shut a distillate hydrocracker, a gasoline reformer and a coking unit, according to the sources.
Exxon, which is the managing partner of the joint-venture, said on Thursday some units would be shut at the refinery, but declined to say which units would be shut.
Chalmette has 2 cokers one ~anode or mostly anode quality (from Louisiana Crude types) that feeds Merchant Oxbow/CII Chalmette Calciner & other coker makes Fuel from heavy / Venezuela Syncrude operations.
PDVSA recently (~Mar 2008) tried bump ExxonMobil off operational control when they weren’t living up to crude contract supply & stopped supplying crude as result of lawsuit on CerroNegro JV Upgrader & seziure $12B PDVSA assets till it was reversed & re-challenged (ticked off Chavez/PDVSA royal).
My bet is they are going to swap out base since they neither get enough Syncrude or at market price so likely change to another source perhaps even Canadian Syncrude from reversed pipeline/ect. <However Chalmette Refining JV was one few exempted /not impacted by PDVSA 15% crude cutback in Apr 2008.
In the interim it is more than likely they dont need run both cokers & will make economic shutdown for short term on smaller anode coker….. I would guess. Regards Charlie Randall