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Early August: Americas downstream update

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Petroleos Mexicanos relaunched its Lazaro Cardenas refinery over the weekend. The facility has undergone a US$ 3.62 billion renovation. The facility now has a processing capacity of 285 000 bpd and gasoline output now stands at 93 000 bpd. The higher production rates will help reduce imports in to Mexico and save Pemex more than US$ 5 billion a year.

Petrobras officials have announced plans to invest US$ 11 billion in Mexican oil projects between now and 2015 that cover all aspects of the oil process from exploration to refining. Most of the investment money will be ploughed in to petrochemical and refining projects in Mexico. Petrobras is specifically looking to construct an ethanol processing plant as part of the Etileno XXI project.


On 28th July, Western Refining Inc. restarted the El Paso refinery after a shutdown was caused by storms. A power outage resulted in the entire facility being taken offline. However, all services are now running as normal.

Over the weekend ExxonMobil reported flaring at its Baytown, Texas refinery. The flaring was caused by the planned shutdown of hydrofining unit 3. It has not been stated why the unit was shutdown or why the flaring occurred.

Total reported an unexpected upset at its Port Arthur refinery on the weekend. A boiler trip caused a compressor upset that resulted in flaring for a period of three hours. This flaring was reported to the Texas Department of Environmental Quality.

On Friday last week, BP’s Texas City refinery lost circulation, which resulted in a 9 hour release of emissions. The event started at 12:45 pm and was finally solved at 9:45 pm.


The Venezuelan energy minister has confirmed that PDVSA will contribute a US$ 5 billion loan to the proposed joint venture refinery between PDVSA and Petrobras. The refinery in question is currently 35% complete and has been funded by a loan from BNDES worth approximately US$ 6.25 billion.

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