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Marathon's Galveston Bay, Texas FCC remains shut

(Reuters) - The gasoline-producing FCC at Marathon Petroleum's 593,000 bpd Galveston Bay Refinery in Texas City, Texas, remained shut on Friday, people familiar with plant operations said.

Investigators from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as early as Friday are expected to begin probing a fire on Thursday night that shut the 140,000-bpd FCC, the sources said.

No injuries were reported from the fire.

A Marathon spokesperson did not reply to a request for immediate comment.

The fire broke out in the FCC's regenerator, which removes carbon from the fine powder catalyst that converts gas oil into unfinished gasoline. Removing the carbon extends the life and efficiency of the catalyst.

On Thursday, a power plant supplying the refinery sustained a leak in a steam boiler. Texas City residents were warned about noise from the leak on the high-pressure line. The leak was repaired on Thursday afternoon, sources told Reuters.

The Galveston Bay Refinery is the fourth largest by capacity in the United States.

In a May 15 fire on a reformer at the refinery, a Marathon employee was killed and two contract workers were injured. Marathon is repairing the reformer. The repairs are expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter of this year.

A contract worker was also killed in March at the site when he was electrocuted.

An Aug. 25 fire at Marathon's Garyville, Louisiana refinery led to an evacuation order for residents within two miles of the refinery. Two giant storage tanks burned to the ground and two minor injuries were reported.

The Garyville refinery is the third largest in the United States.

The reformer converts refining byproducts into octane-boosting components added to unfinished gasoline to make premium grades.

Marathon is the largest U.S. refiner. Its 13 refineries have a combined capacity of 2.9 million bpd, or 16% of national capacity.

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