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Published: Wednesday, 8/29/2007

Local BP refinery to be shut down 2 months

Maintenance on the facility in the Toledo suburb of Oregon will halt production of 155,000 barrels a day of gasoline. Maintenance on the facility in the Toledo suburb of Oregon will halt production of 155,000 barrels a day of gasoline.

One of the metro Toledo's two refineries is to be shut down for routine maintenance lasting about two months, starting in about three weeks, people familiar with the operation who asked not to be named said yesterday.

BP PLC is to close its suburban Toledo operation in mid-September, eliminating production of 155,000 barrels a day of regular gasoline and diesel, as well as kerosene, aviation fuel, and some other products, the people said. It supplies BP stations and others selling under different brand names.

The plant generally supplies Ohio and provides products for Detroit. Although BP officials declined to discuss the temporary closure, the planned shutdown likely means the company will buy gasoline supplies to serve the state.

It is unclear whether the work will have any affect on area vehicle fuel supplies or on gas pump prices.

Such maintenance overhaul typically takes place about every four years and often takes about eight weeks to finish.

Jeff Hazle, technical director for the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, said he did not know specifically what BP might be doing but said such work typically involves inspecting pipes and vessels, replacing equipment, and possibly adding technology to improve performance.

The large-scale maintenance can mean hiring 1,000 to 2,000 workers in addition to refinery employees to perform the work, he said. He did not know the cost range of such a project.

The refinery, in Oregon, is the company's smallest in the continental United States. BP's largest refinery is in Texas City, Texas, withe the capacity to process more than 400,000 barrels a day.

Sunoco also has a refinery in metro Toledo, on the Toledo-Oregon border.

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