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The Americas: Downstream weekend news catch up

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Trinidad and Tobago

The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) in Trinidad has launched an investigation into a recent oil spill at the Petrotrin owned Pointe-a-Pierre refinery. It has been confirmed that the base Petrotrin’s MP6 tank at the facility had ruptured causing over 17 5000 bbls of oil, water and sediment to spill. The guard basin was unable to cope with the volume of the release so over spilled in to the Guaracara River. Booms have been set up to prevent the spill travelling.


PBF Energy Inc. has announced that it may build its own rail offloading facility at its Ohio refinery. At the moment, the company is taking some crude by rail to the plant via a third party. The company recently finished expanding rail off loading infrastructure at its Delaware refinery.

It has been announced by the Quad County Corn Processors that a grand opening will be held for a new bolt on biorefinery. The plant will turn corn kernel fibres into cellulosic ethanol and is going to be Iowa’s first producer of cellulosic ethanol gallons. The plant is also going to be the world’s first corn kernel fibre cellulosic ethanol producer. The process used at the facility was developed by Travis Brotherson and is patented to Quad County Corn Processors.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended for a third time, the deadline for refiners to meet the 2013 federal biofuel use targets. The EPA has said that compliance reports are now due 30 days after the pending publication of the final 2014 rule on renewable fuels. This decision has been greatly criticised by the oil industry as a whole in the US. The final proposal for this year, is expected within the next few weeks.

It has been reported that Axeon Specialty Products received a cargo of Kurdish Shaikan crude oil in June of this year. The shipment was for the Paulsboro refinery. Several cargoes of oil from Kurdistan have reportedly arrived in the US recently and the Iraq government is now moving to block independent exports of crude oil by the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Also, with regards to Kurdish crude, LyondellBasell has said that it will no longer buy crude from the region due to the current conflict. The company has bought modest amounts of crude from Kurdistan for its Pasadena refinery and has now cancelled all future purchases.


PDVSA has announced that it is looking for a buyer for Citgo Petroleum, its US based refining and marketing company. It has been reported that the deal could be worth up to US$ 15 billion and that the storage terminals and docks owned by the company are eligible for tax advantages. Citgo is the owner of three refineries with a total processing capacity of 749 000 bpd. Potential buyers have been named in the media as Gulf Coast refineries who are seeking to capitalise on the increasing crude supply in the US.

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd

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