February 26, 2009 at 1:46 pm #3173
<It is getting to point that it would be easier these days to put out news alert when Delaware coker or Gasifier is temporarily operating at normal rates. – CER>
Valero refinery suffers 24 percent hit in production
San Antonio Business Journal / Friday Feb 25, 2009
Valero Energy Corp. has experienced a problem in the coker unit of its Delaware City, Del., refinery. The company shut down the coker about a week ago because it wasn’t properly receiving enough steam pressure to process sour crude oil. Sour crude oil is higher in density and contains more sulfur content than so-called sweet crudes.
Refinery workers tried to re-start the coker but plant managers decided Wednesday to shut down the unit for longer-term repairs for at least 40 to 45 days, Valero spokesman Steve Lee says.
This will cause the refinery to reduce production capacity by roughly 20,000 barrels of gasoline per day, which is about 24 percent less than its normal production. Distillate production, which includes diesel fuel and home-heating oil, will be reduced by about 15,000 barrels a day – or by 28 percent – for the duration of the repairs.
Even though the refinery’s 50,000 barrel-per-day fluid coker is down for repairs, the refinery will continue to operate at reduced rates to process its existing inventory.
The Delaware City refinery has a total throughput capacity of 210,000 barrels per day. The refinery has the ability to produce conventional and reformulated gasoline, diesel, low-sulfur diesel and home-heating oil. San Antonio-based Valero (NYSE: VLO) is an oil refining and marketing company.
February 28, 2009 at 12:19 pm #6214
Thi is really sad news and will add to upcoming inflation due to gas and diesel higher prices.
Any information about why Valero Delaware decided keeping the Fluid Coker down for that long? it sounds like was time or getting close to general maintenance; I know the unit was having problems, but no sure if refinery was on preparation for turnaround
February 28, 2009 at 7:14 pm #6212
Lucky – I just looked on the NA turnaround schedule and there wasnt anything planned for Valero Delaware, but as this article said they just came off a Feb 14-20 S/D to fix boiler problem for steam supply & the weak item in coker must have failed. When you jack a unit up & down as much as the Fluid coker & the GE (Texaco) Petcoke Gasifier have been – you are fighting a lost cause in my mind for same reason delayed coke drum only has so many cycles in its life (~5000 at last estimate)….the fatigue gets to it eventually.
I wouldnt worry too much about gas or diesel prices – go check out article on Refining news post. Reliance new 600MB addition will be up & operating 1Q09 looking for US & EU holes push its gas & diesel into. And if that isnt going to be bad enough downward pressure on US margins & supply, China has just pushed 8 of its largest/newer refineries into export category because product inventories are bloated & demand has collapsed & they are broke from subsidizing thier government refineires to sell $0.90/gallon fuel.
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