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Exxon Torrance Crude Unit Seen Shut for as Long as Two Weeks

Exxon Mobil Corp. may keep the only crude distillation unit at its Torrance refinery in California out of service for as long as two weeks for repairs related to a metallurgical issue, a person familiar with the operations said.

The rest of the units at the 150,000-barrel-a-day plant near Los Angeles are running at about half of normal capacity while the crude unit is out of commission, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

Gesuina Paras, an Exxon spokeswoman at the refinery, said by e-mail today that the crude unit was shut yesterday for maintenance. She didn’t say how long the work is expected to last.

“Other major units at the refinery continue to operate at reduced rates,” she said. “While there will be an impact to production, Exxon Mobil expects to meet all contractual commitments at this time.”

The crude unit returned to full rates earlier this month after parts were shut for a planned turnaround that also included work on a coker and alkylation unit, two people familiar with the schedule said at the time.

The Torrance refinery, which processes mostly heavy crude from California’s San Joaquin Valley, makes almost 10 percent of the state’s gasoline and provides jet fuel to Los Angeles International Airport by pipeline, Exxon’s website shows.

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