At a time when energy prices are soaring to record highs, there is growing concern over a particular oil refinery in Texas that could soon be shut down, which would cause further stress on the struggling U.S. energy sector.
According to Reuters, LyondellBasell Industries is set to close down a major oil refinery in Houston, Texas by 2023, but according to company insiders, the plant could be closed even sooner if any pieces of critical equipment suffer critical failures before the anticipated shutdown date.
The company announced in April its intent to close down the plant by the end of 2023.
“In the interim, the company will continue serving the fuels market, which is expected to remain strong near-term,” Lyondell spokesperson Chevalier Gray said at the time. “The company determined that exiting the refining business, by the end of next year, is the best strategic and financial path forward.”
The Daily Caller noted that the Houston facility is massive, spanning some 700 acres, and it’s one of the top 25 largest capacity refineries in the United States. It was originally constructed in 1918, and it’s the oldest refinery in the southeast Texas region.
“The refinery processes 268,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil and produces 92,600 bpd of diesel fuel, 89,000 bpd of gasoline and 44,500 bpd of jet fuel,” the Daily Caller added.
Lack of investment in order to chase share price is going to become more and more of a problem as refineries age. It will get to a point where the price of overhaul and the increasing risk of major equipment failure makes shutdown the only optionhttps://t.co/CDXFo9NDl6
— Big_Orrin (@Big_Orrin) June 7, 2022
The energy company provided the Daily Caller with an updated statement this week, confirming its shutdown plans.
“The Houston Refinery is currently operating as planned,” the statement read.
It added: “LyondellBasell previously announced it will cease operations of the Houston Refinery no later than December 31, 2023. In the interim, the company will continue serving the fuels market, which is expected to remain strong near-term.”
As Bloomberg noted, the Biden administration is aware of the issue, as the Houston-based refinery is one of several shuttered refineries in recent years, which experts say isn’t helping the current, skyrocketing energy prices.
Reportedly, Biden’s White House plans to reach out to refinery owners to inquire about restarting shuttered facilities, though no further details were made available.