Exxon discloses refinery emissions as storm hits Gulf Coast

Huge Exxon oil refinery damaged by heavy rain from Harvey

Pollutants have been released from refineries operated by Exxon Mobil Corp, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and other companies as torrential rains damaged storage tanks and other industrial facilities on the Texas coast.

Motiva Enterprises MOTIV.UL began shutting down its 603,000-bpd Port Arthur, Texas, refinery, the nation's largest, on Tuesday evening because of flooding within the plant, said sources familiar with plant operations. Several plants shut down due to Hurricane Harvey.

The company did try to identify the chemicals that were released in initial findings this week, with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

A similar event happened at Exxon's refinery in Baytown, Texas.

In production, Exxon said on Tuesday that its systems are safe and operational at the Hadrian South subsea production system in the Gulf of Mexico, and production start-up operations are underway.

In the other incident, a roof that normally covered a tank at the Baytown oil refinery detached and sank below the oil and other materials held in the container, resulting in what The Post calls "unusually high emissions, especially of volatile organic compounds, a category of regulated chemicals". While Exxon Mobil opted to shut down the nation's second-largest oil refining complex on Sunday, damage was still occurring.

Kevin Hart Challenges Celebrities To Donate To The Victims Of Hurricane Harvey
Experts said the aftermath of the catastrophic hurricane could equal the level of destruction of Katrina in 2005. Meanwhile, Chris Young also announced on Twitter that he had made a sizable donation to the Red Cross .

"Any release of carcinogens (like benzene, 1,3-butadiene) adds to the increased cancer risk for those living near these plants", Metzger said in an email.

One of the company's other facilities, in Beaumont, east of Houston, also released 1,300lbs of sulphur dioxide in one hour on Sunday, exceeding its allocated emissions limit by a factor of ten to one. While there will likely be some impact to the area from the closure, at this time ExxonMobil reports that it is doing everything it can to minimize any effects on both the community and its own employees.

Workers were since dispatched to the region.

Petrochemical giant Chevron Phillips reported an estimated 776,000 pounds of combined chemicals released from its Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown as part of its plant shutdown.

In cash trading, the spread between Gulf Coast gasoline prices and benchmark futures rallied further, a day after hitting a five-year high in anticipation of constrained supply. Baytown can process up to 584,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

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