Exxon restarting units after weekend fire in Beaumont refinery

Exxon Mobil is restarting units at its Beaumont refinery after a weekend fire temporarily impacted production, the Irving-based oil major confirmed Thursday.

Crews responded to an electrical fire at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday and had it contained by 8:30 p.m., an Exxon Mobil spokeswoman said. The electrical fire was sparked by a transformer failure to equipment that produces steam, she said. No injuries were reported related to the fire and no petroleum was released.

The company is re-starting a 10,000-barrel-per-day crude distillation unit, plus a 16,000-barrel alkylation unit and a 45,000-barrel coker, sources told Reuters.It could take until next week to ramp up to full production at the 365,644 barrel-per-day, Reuters reported.

The refinery is flaring continuously as it restarts operations. Refineries use flaring as a safety measure to consume excess hydrocarbons during shutdown, start-up and other non-routine activity.

"Our highest priority is the safety of our workforce and community. An investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the incident. We expect to continue to meet contractual commitments," Exxon spokeswoman Sarah Nordin said.