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The Americas: Early December downstream update

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


PDVSA have received a loan for US$ 1.5 billion from the China Development Bank. This loan will be used to construct a heavy oil refinery in Brazil. PDVSA will have a 40% stake in the facility which will be build in Recife and have a processing capacity of 230 00 bpd. Petrobras will own the remainder of the Abreu e Lima refinery that is expected to be online by the end of 2013.


A fire that begun on 30th November at the Alon refinery in California is still under investigation. It is thought that an explosion caused by maintenance work at the plant started the blaze. This is the second accident in the facility since its opening in June 2010. No one was hurt in the explosion or fire.

On Friday 2nd December, Chevron reported unplanned flaring at the El Segundo facility. The company made a filing on Friday morning with the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the flaring continued in to Saturday morning. The company have also made a filing for predicted flaring to last for the period from 3rd – 9th December at the same facility.


Suncor Energy Inc. is constructing a trench to help contain the leak at its Commerce City refinery. A gasoline type substance is seeping from the facility in to Sand Creek and it is hoped that this trench will help curb the environmental effects until a long term solution can be found. Dams are also being built.


Sunoco Inc. has announced plans to idle the Marcus Hook refinery indefinitely. This decision has been made due to the economic situation surrounding the refining industry. The company has already begun the shutdown process and is going to seek a buyer for the facility.


Petroperu is seeking funds to increase the capacity at the Talara refinery. The company are looking to double the facility’s output at a cost of US$ 1.7 billion. The facility currently has an output of 90 000 bpd.


The NuStar Energy San Antonio refinery has been restarted after it was damaged in a fire. The fire was luckily small and did not cause too much damage at the 14 500 bpd plant.


Western Refining have found a buyer for its idled Yorktown refinery and a segment of a Mexican pipeline also currently owned by Western. The refinery and pipeline are being sold to Plains Marketing and Plains Pipeline for approximately US$ 220 million. The refinery was taken offline in 2010 due to the economic climate in the East Coast refining sector. 

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