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Marathon Has Hydrofluoric Acid Release at Texas Refinery

Marathon Oil Corp. shut an alkylation unit after a release of hydrofluoric acid and hydrocarbons at its Texas City refinery in Texas yesterday.

Shane Pochard, a company spokesman based in Findlay, Ohio, declined to say in a telephone interview how long the unit may be offline or to provide more details on the shut unit.

A release of isobutene, butane, propane and hydrofluoric acid from a depropanizer tower was reported in a filing made with the National Response Center yesterday. The incident occurred at 4 p.m. local time, according to the report.

“The source of the small release at Marathon’s Texas City refinery has been located and our crews have isolated it,” Pochard said in an e-mail earlier today.

A shelter-in-place warning was issued by Texas City’s emergency management office yesterday. The advisory was lifted at 6 p.m. after the city didn’t detect any hydrofluoric acid in the air.

Marathon’s Texas City refinery has a capacity of 81,500 barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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