Worker injured during Exxon Baytown gofiner overhaul: sources

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 22, 2014 6:13 PM

HOUSTON (Reuters) - A worker was injured on Wednesday after falling into a reactor while performing an overhaul on a shut gofiner unit at Exxon Mobil Corp's 560,500 barrel per day (bpd) refinery in Baytown, Texas, according to sources familiar with operations at the refinery.

The worker, who is employed by a contractor hired by Exxon to overhaul the gofiner, sustained a knee injury and might have been further harmed by the high pressure maintained inside the reactor, the sources said. The worker was flown to a Houston hospital for evaluation.

The man remained conscious throughout the incident and is expected to recover, the sources said.

A gofiner breaks down heavy crude oil feedstock for use in a fluidic catalytic cracking unit, which produces light-end products like gasoline. It also removes sulfur from the feedstock.

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Exxon spokeswoman Connie Tilton said the company would investigate the incident to determine its cause.

Tilton said there was no impact to production at the refinery from the incident.

Exxon's Baytown refinery is the second largest in the United States.

(Reporting by Erwin Seba; Editing by Andre Grenon)