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Largest oil refinery in US forced to shut down due to Harvey floods

Largest oil refinery in US forced to shut down due to Harvey floods

Port Arthur : The largest oil refinery in the United States, Port Arthur refinery, is closing down due to catastrophic flooding, caused by Hurricane Harvey.

CNN quoted Motiva as saying, it has started closing its Port Arthur refinery in response to increasing local flood conditions and the plant won't open until flood waters recede.

According to the report, Motiva had been steadily reducing production at the plant for days and on Tuesday it was running at only 40 percent capacity.

Harvey, which has been downgraded to a tropical storm, is expected to bring winds of 30 to 40 mph and a 2- to 4-foot storm surge in the Louisiana-Texas border area.

Port Arthur is located along the border of both states.

Mayor Derrick Freeman said on Facebook overnight that the "whole city is underwater right now."

Earlier, ExxonMobil (XOM) shut down its oil refinery in Baytown, Texas as roof damage at the plant was discovered.

Exxon also announced that it would be closing another refinery in Beaumont on Wednesday as Harvey had caused operational issues there.

Citing S&P Global Platts, CNN reported that 13 refineries are offline, and flooding has knocked out 21 percent of the nation's refining capacity.

The reduced capacity means significantly smaller amounts of oil can be turned into gasoline and other products like jet fuel.