Motiva Norco Said to Resume Maintenance After Weather Delay

Motiva Enterprises LLC has restarted work on a hydrocracker and a naphtha hydrotreater at its Norco refinery in southern Louisiana after a delay because of cold weather, a person familiar with operations said.

The work, set to start last weekend, was stopped Jan. 28 because of frigid temperatures and icy roads, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The plant, which was operating with only essential personnel during the cold snap, is back at full staff, the person said.

Low temperatures in Norco are expected to be normal to above-normal over the next week, according to Accueweather.com.

Motiva said on Jan. 27 that it began maintenance Jan. 25, declining to name the units involved. Destin Singleton, a spokeswoman for the refinery in Houston, said in an e-mail today that she can’t provide specifics on maintenance activities.

The 250,000-barrel-a-day Norco plant is about 13 miles (21 kilometers) west of New Orleans. Hydrocrackers convert heavy feedstocks into lighter fuels such as high-octane gasoline and diesel, and hydrotreaters remove sulfur, metal and other impurities from refined oil products.

Motiva is a refining and marketing joint venture of Saudi Refining Inc., a subsidiary of Saudi Arabian Oil Co., and Shell Oil Co., a unit of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.