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Downstream news update: 9 July 2014

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Over the weekend production was suspended at Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd. Operations were halted after a technical fault developed in the plant’s naphtha cracker. The plant had previously been running at 50% of installed capacity due to market conditions and working capital shortage. A shutdown due to an unexpected fault has not occurred at the facility since the start of 2012.


An Iranian official has reportedly said that Iran needs US$ 33 billion of investment for petrochemical projects that are currently under construction. Once the 71 projects that are underway are complete they are expected to bring US$ 26 billion in revenues to the country. At the moment only 25% of the work needed to complete the plants has been completed.


The Kurdistan region of Iraq has announced that it is going to build two refineries in an effort to move toward energy independence. The two plants are planned for Dohuk and Garmiyan but they are not expected to move forward for another two or three years. It has also been reported that improvements are going to be carried out on existing refineries in the region over the next two years.


Nansei Sekiyu KK has suspended operations at its 100 000 bpd Nishihara refinery in Okinawa due to the typhoon in the country. The company and plant is owned by Petrobras of Brazil. Truck and terminal operations have also been put on hold due to the adverse conditions and operations will recommence once the typhoon has passed.


California and Bay Area are regulators are apparently trying to shut the La Honda refinery as they believe it has been in operation for the last 16 years without a permit and has therefore been running illegally. Regulators are claiming that Costa Loma Limited Corporation and James M. Wilkinson have never been issued a valid permit and have missed deadlines on many occasions to become compliant with standards to ensure they qualify for legal operation. A suit has been filed to the San Ameto County Superior Court and hundreds of millions of dollars in civil penalties are possible.

A capacity expansion at the Alon Big Spring refinery in Texas is now complete. A turnaround and vacuum tower project have increased distillate recovery capacity at the plant by 2000 bpd as well as a rise in crude throughput rates by 3000 bpd. Refinery throughput is now standing at approximately 73 000 bpd.

Demolition and cleanup of a refinery in Wyoming has now begun. The former Westside refinery and chemical plant has been labelled a public health hazard since it was abandoned approximately 20 years ago. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Health have reported that the site is contaminated with a variety of substances such as diesel range organics, trace asbestos and semi volatile organic compounds.

Ohio state officials have announced that natural gas and oil production almost doubled in the sate in 2013, mainly due to the shale revolution. As a result, Ohio’s self reliance on natural gas has hit the 50% mark.

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd

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