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Downstream update: The Americas

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


PDVSA, Venezuela’s state oil company has failed to secure a loan to acquire a 40% stake in a new Brazilian oil refinery. Brazil’s state development bank has refused the loan as PDVSA failed to provide guarantees. The Abreu e Lima refinery has been in the planning stages for 6 years and is meant to be a joint venture facility between PDVSA and Petrobras of Brazil. If plans do finally mange to get off the ground, the facility is expected to produce 230 00 bpd of heavy oil products.


On Saturday 4th February, Valero Energy Corp filed a notice with the California pollution regulators. This filing was for flaring being carried out at the 78 000 bpd Wilmington refinery. The flaring is due to finish today (9th February).


On 8th February, Marathon Petroleum Corp. announced that the hydrocracker unit at its 464 000 bpd Garyville refinery was back online. On 31st January the unit was affected by an unplanned shutdown to repair a leak. The unit was originally expected to be back online on 1st February.


A power outage on Tuesday morning at the Motiva Enterprises owned Port Arthur refinery caused disruptions. A gasoline producing fluid catalytic cracker and several other units were affected by the outage at the 285 000 bpd facility. Flaring occurred at the facility due to the problems that arose after the power cut. The plant is currently in the end stages of a US$ 7 billion expansion project.

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