One of the oldest working refineries today is scheduled to permanently close by the end of 2023. But its aging equipment is already causing problems and may necessitate an early shut down.
Two sources familiar with LyondellBasell Industries’ Houston facility, which was built in 1918, told Reuters that the company may close its plant sooner than expected if “equipment failures” spread to major units.
The refinery processes 268,000 barrels per day (bpd): 92,600 bpd of diesel fuel, 89,000 bpd of gasoline, and 44,500 bpd of jet fuel.
Its closure would be a domestic disaster for Americans, who already face record prices at the pump and widespread airline cancellations and delays.
The company gave a statement to the Daily Caller, saying the plant would proceed as scheduled.
“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,” the company said.
In its initial announcement of the imminent closure, LyondellBasell cited the heavy financial burden of maintaining or upgrading its century-old infrastructure.
It is among the top 25 largest-capacity facilities operating in the US, according to the Energy Information Administration.
With domestic refineries shutting down or sitting idle and the Biden administration already tapping the country’s oil and diesel reserves, and prematurely pushing alternative energy sources, there is no economic relief in sight.