Chevron says Richmond refinery CDU shut for rest of year

HOUSTON, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Chevron Corp said on Tuesday that the central crude oil refining unit at its 245,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Richmond, California, refinery would remain shut through the rest of the year.

The San Francisco Bay-area refinery's crude distillation unit was shut by an Aug. 6 fire and the plant's production of motor fuel has been cut by at least half since the blaze, making California gasoline markets more volatile.

The Aug. 6 fire, which erupted from a length of pipe on the crude unit, is being investigated by federal and state agencies. As many as 15,000 people in the San Francisco Bay area claim to have been affected by the smoke plume released by the fire.

(Reporting by Erwin Seba; editing by Jim Marshall)

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