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Early May downstream news update: USA and South America

Hydrocarbon Engineering,



ExxonMobil has announced that its L.A. crude distillation unit will be included in its planned overhaul of several units, which commenced at the beginning of this month at its 149 500 bpd refinery in Torance.

Other units undergoing work at the refinery include a catalytic hydrotreater, the sulfur recovery unit, alkylation unit, one of the refinery’s hydrogen units and one of its coking units.


Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., has acquired the former Sunoco refinery in Marcus Hook for US$ 60 million and plans to develop it into a hub for shipping natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations.

South America


Kentz Corporation Ltd has announced the receipt of an electrical and instrumentation installation contract from CB&I for the Reficar Refinery expansion project in Cartagena. 

The contract is valued at approximately US$ 5 million, and will be 15 months in duration.


A gas tanker container has come loose and exploded in a highway north of Mexico city, causing fires that ultimately led to the deaths of at least 24 people. Dozens more were injured.

Nearby buildings, cars and trucks caught fire after the tanker exploded at 5.30 am, 8th May 2013, in San Pedro Xalostoc, part of the municipality of Ecatepec.


Peru’s government has announced that it will focus on modernising its Talara refinery, rather than purchasing a minority stake in Repsol, as it had initially planned.

Petroperu’s proposed purchase of assets owned by Spanish oil company Repsol was fiercely opposed by business groups that claimed that the deal would lead to the government holding too great a role in the economy.


The Paraguana Refining Center (CRP), managed by Petroleos de Venezuala (Pvdsa) is running at 76% of its installed capacity. CRP processing level is about 728 000 bpd. Despite a capacity of 728 000 bpd, current operations are regarded as optimal by Pdvsa’s authorities. According to them, a higher lifting would translate into more residual products and the need to have available more conversion units for heavy oil.

Edited from various sources by Emma McAleavey.

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