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Regional update: The Americas

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


A component in the Valero owned Benicia refinery was shutdown in mid June due to a malfunction. The coker unit was closed for 40 days after it injured 4 employees and started emitting smoke. A few days of the shutdown have been used to fix the malfunction and the remaining time is being used to carry out routine maintenance that was scheduled for later this year


Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and Mexican energy officials have announced that plans for the construction of a new refinery in the country will go ahead. The new plant is estimated to cost US$ 10 billion.


Chevron Corporation has announced that it expects the expansion of the continuous catalytic reformer (CCR) at its Pascaguola refinery, Mississippi, to be complete by the end of 2010. Chevron has invested US$ 500 million to replace two 30 year old CCRs at the facility.


ConocoPhillips is planning on upgrading the coker at the Billings, Montana refinery. The 64 000 bpd unit upgrade is expected to cost approximately US$ 50 million.


The last potential buyer for Shell’s Montreal East refinery pulled out of negotiations at the end of June. Shell has since announced that it will convert the refinery into a distribution terminal for gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel. The conversion is expected to be completed by September.


The fluid catalytic cracking unit at the McKee refinery, Sunray, Texas was restarted on Sunday 4th July. The unit was shutdown in mid June after a malfunction.


On 30th June, Shell Oil Co restarted the Anacortes, Washington refinery catalytic reformer. The reformer was shutdown on 19th June by a fire.

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