June 4, 2006

Corpus Christi harbor reopened, refineries restart

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Tankers were again sailing to the docks
of three south Texas refineries on Sunday after a spill shut
Corpus Christi harbor late last week, the U.S. Coast Guard said
on Sunday.

The refineries operated by Valero Energy Corp., Flint Hills
Resources LP, and Citgo Petroleum Corp. were restoring
production interrupted by problems caused by heavy
thunderstorms early on Thursday morning.

One of the problems was the spill of an estimated 250
barrels of runoff oil and water from Valero's Corpus Christi
refining complex into the inner harbor of Corpus Christi Bay
after lightning struck a containment tank.

Cleanup of the Valero spill was continuing on Sunday, with
tankers going into the west inner harbor restricted to only
daylight operations at minimum speed with a Coast Guard escort.

Additionally, Citgo reported a 50-gallon spill into the
harbor and Flint Hills reported a spill within its refinery.

Citgo had operations on two of the gasoline-producing
fluidic catalytic cracking units at its 156,000 barrel per day
(bpd) refinery interrupted since the storms shut the steam
supply to the Citgo and Flint Hills refineries.

FCC No. 1 at the Citgo refinery was shut on Thursday due to
the steam loss and began restarting that day. FCC No. 2 was
shut due to a mechanical problem and began restarting on

A Citgo spokesman was not available to discuss refinery

Valero's Corpus Christi refinery complex, which has a crude
oil processing capacity of 142,000 bpd, was working to restore
70,000 bpd in output lost due to an electrical short at the

Valero had said the Corpus Christi refinery would begin
increasing output on Saturday. A company spokeswoman was not
available on Sunday to discuss refinery operations.

Flint Hills 288,000 bpd refinery was also restoring
production after several processes were interrupted. A company
spokeswoman was not available Sunday to discuss refinery