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    Motiva Cuts Production

    Reduction in refinery output necessary following a fire at Delaware facility.

    Motiva Enterprises LLC, the joint marketing venture of White Plains, N.Y.-based Texaco Inc. and Houston-based Shell Oil Co., has reduced operations at its Delaware oil refinery following a fire and sulfuric acid spill.

    A spokesman for Motiva told Reuters "We have scaled back operations by roughly one-third as a precautionary measure. There was no direct impact to our processing units as a result of this fire," he said. "This is a temporary measure that will remain in place until...we can resume normal operations."

    The Delaware City refinery processes 175,000 barrels of crude oil a day, providing gasoline and heating oil to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic area, according to company sources. Sulfuric acid is used in the refining process, the report said0.

    The fire site is still contaminated by the spill of 2,000 tons of sulfuric acid. "Hazardous material teams are in the area, working their way to the site'' in an effort to decontaminate the area by neutralizing the acid," said Motiva spokesman, Spiros Mantzavinos.

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