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Downstream news update: USA and South America

Hydrocarbon Engineering,



The reconfigured crude distillation unit at BP Plc’s Whiting refinery is now operational. The upgrade is aimed at allowing the refinery to process more heavy, sour crudes.

Work at the plant has been ongoing since 2008 and is now at 95% completion. Projects have included the reconfiguration of the 250 000 bpd crude distillation unit and the addition of new coking capacity and processing units.

New Jersey

Phillips 66 plans to reduce delivery of polypropylene grades due to issues with feedstock supply.

A majority of the company’s polymer grade propylene is generated at its Bayway refining and petrochemical complex in Linden, New Jersey. This complex is scheduled to undergo a 45 day turnaround beginning 1st October.

Phillips 66 has announced that it is exploring other sources of feedstock, but that due to the circumstances it is compelled to reduce deliveries of product at this time.

North Dakota

Refineries in the pacific northwest, which have traditionally relied on oil from Alaska, are preparing to take more supply from North Dakota’s oil region.

BP is building a two mile long rail loop at its Cherry Point, Washington, refinery and Phillips 66 is planning a rail terminal in Ferndale.


South America


South Korea’s GS Energy Corporation has expressed interest in building new petrochemical capacity at a refinery site in northeastern Brazil.

Brazil’s state run oil company, Petrobras, has signed a letter of intent with GS Energy Corporation for a possible joint venture at the US$ 5.5 billion Premium II refinery project in the northeastern state of Ceará.

GS Energy is also interested in using products from the refinery as feedstock to produce petrochemicals for export.

In other news, Petrobras has set a new company record for refinery production. On June 29th and 30th, Petrobras established production of 2.2 million bdp of oil at its refineries; 30 000 bbl more than the previous record, set on May 26th.


Technip has won a contract for the Hyundai-Wison consortium to supply its proprietary technology, as well as engineering and procurement services, for two hydrogen reformers at the Puerto La Cruz refinery in Venezuela.

The contract has been valued in the range f 50 million – f 100 million.

Hyundai-Wison is developing the 135 million ft3/d hydrogen reformers as part of the Deep Conversion project for Venezuela’s state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).

Also in Venezuela, a small explosion and fire has affected the flexicoker unit of 645 000 bpd PDVSA Amuay refinery. No injuries were reported.

Edited from various sources by Emma McAleavey.

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