Phillips 66 Gasoline Unit Restarts

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 @ 05:09 PM gHale

A gasoline-making unit that shut down last Tuesday at the Roxana, IL, Wood River refinery restarted Friday evening.

A Phillips 66 spokeswoman said in an email that “we have restarted impacted operations.”

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The restart of a gasoline-making unit was underway on Friday morning after previous attempts to bring the unit online were unsuccessful because of technical glitches at the 306,000-barrel-per-day refinery, a source familiar with plant operations said.

The fluid catalytic cracking unit, or FCCU, shut down after a cooling tower collapsed at the refinery on Tuesday night. The unit is a part of the gasoline refining process. The refinery also makes other products including jet fuel and diesel. The other FCCU unit remained at reduced rates, officials said.

The refinery has two such units with capacity of 42,000 and 48,000 bpd, according to IIR Energy data. It was not clear which unit suffered from the issue.

The incident was the latest to hit a U.S. refinery at a time when the industry is processing record volumes of crude oil, seeking to capitalize on robust profit margins driven by tumbling crude oil prices and a revival in oil demand. It followed a two-week outage at BP’s 430,000-barrel-a-day Whiting, IN, refinery in the Chicago area. The facility had to cut production by 240,000 barrels a day, causing Midwest gasoline prices to jump in early August.

BP had just gotten that plant back online and gas prices had begin to drop when the cooling tower issue caused the production cutback at Wood River. The Wood River outage didn’t seem to cause any immediate impact on regional gasoline prices, which dropped through the week.

Phillips 66 operates the Wood River refinery and co-owns it with Cenovus Energy. The refinery is in Roxana, IL, about 15 miles north of St. Louis, MO.