The massive Motiva oil refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, is preparing for an extended shutdown of one if its new units after it was discovered to have suffered from extensive corrosion damage, according to Reuters.
Motiva, which is owned in part by Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) (NYSE: RDS.B) and in part by Saudi Arabian state oil firm Saudi Aramco, only recently completed construction on its ambitious $10 billion expansion plan of the major oil refining plant.
While the original refining plant, with a capacity of 285,000 barrels per day, continues normal operations, a part of the new unit designed to remove sulfur from crude oil before refining has shut down the 325,000-barrel-per-day expansion.
The closure of part of the refinery has forced Saudi Aramco to cease shipments to Port Arthur.
The refining plant has already suffered setbacks, suffering a fire earlier this month that ultimately exposed the extent of corrosion problems in the new equipment. Ultimately the shutdown could stretch as long as one year.
Reuters reports that the sudden cessation of Saudi exports to the Port Arthur facility could slow overall shipments to the U.S., which have been on the rise as the nation seeks to counter high oil prices.