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North America update

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Russian ESPO export to Hawaii
Tesoro Corp. has bought 100 000 t of ESPO blend crude oil from Kozmino, a Russian trader and broker. This is the first ESPO export to the US, rather than the target Asian market. A US$ 1.2 million ship has been scheduled for shipping to the Oahu refinery in Hawaii.

Canadian bitumen refinery
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. is forming a partnership with North West Upgrading Inc. to construct a bitumen refinery in Edmonton, Canada. The joint venture will be formed when Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. completes the purchase of 50% of North West Upgrading Inc.’s assets.

The companies intend to construct the most technologically advanced bitumen refinery built to date. The project is still waiting for approval from the Alberta government.

Refinery bids
Alon USA Energy Inc. has bid US$ 40 million for Flying J’s California refinery. Flying J are selling the refinery, as they filed for bankruptcy in 2008 due to the drop in crude prices and tightening of credit options.

Alon is the first company to make a bid for the facility as Flying J selected it as the ‘stalking horse bidder’. The refinery was originally purchased from Shell in 2005.

Turnaround on track
Marathon Oil Corp. have announced that turnaround work on the Garyville refinery, Louisiana is on track for completion in Q1. The maintenance is being carried out on the older parts of the complex after the 256 000 bpd facility was expanded to 436 000 bpd. Marathon expect the plant to be running at full capacity by the end of Q2.

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