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    Premcor to Shut Texas Refinery for Repairs

    Midwest fuel supplies could be weakened as the facility goes offline for 10 days.

    St. Louis-based Premcor Inc., the former parent company of Clark Retail Enterprises, said it will shut the crude distillation unit at its 250,000 barrel per day (bpd) Port Arthur refinery for 10 days after a recent lightning strike.

    In a statement, the company said it needs "to clean heaters that were fouled during a recent lightning strike and perform other maintenance procedures. ?

    The refinery produces conventional and cleaner-burning reformulated gasoline, low-sulfur diesel fuel and jet fuel. Premcor's decision could threaten the Midwest's reformulated fuel supplies, which are already in demand since federal regulations kicked in earlier this year. The company, which was forced to shut one its refineries in February because of financial difficulties, declined to comment on reformulated fuel supplies.

    Premcor Inc., through its principal operating subsidiaries, The Premcor Refining Group Inc. and The Port Arthur Coker Co. L.P., is the sixth largest U.S. independent oil refiner and one of the largest unbranded merchant refiners based on crude oil processing capacity.

    The company generated more than $7 billion in sales in 2000 and has 490,000 bpd of total crude distillation capacity at its three refineries located in Port Arthur Lima, Ohio (170,000 bpd) and Hartford, Ill. (70,000 bpd).

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