HOUSTON (Reuters) – Four people working at Exxon Mobil Corp’s Baytown, Texas, petrochemical complex have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, said two sources familiar with the matter.
Production at the 560,500-barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery within the complex has not been affected by the COVID-19 cases, the sources said.
Exxon spokesman Jeremy Eikenberry declined to discuss possible cases at Baytown of the disease.
“Out of respect for the privacy of our employees, we will not comment on third-party rumor or speculation,” Eikenberry said. “Individuals with symptoms or cases confirmed by healthcare professionals are receiving proper treatment and we hope for their quick recovery.”
In late March, because of demand destruction brought on by people staying home to prevent spread of the coronavirus, Exxon shut the 90,000-bpd gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracker 2 (FCC 2), the sources said. That is the only unit shut at the refinery.
“The Baytown Area facilities remain open for operation,” Eikenberry said. “It is our practice not to comment on specific unit operations or production rates.”
The Baytown complex includes the refinery, a chemical plant and an olefins plant plus logistics facilities. The Baytown refinery is Exxon’s largest in North America and the fourth largest in the United States.
(Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Peter Cooney)