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Mid January: Downstream news from the US

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Early last week, Tesoro Corp. announced plans to sell all of its assets in Hawaii. The company are looking to put its 32 retail gas stations on the market as well as its refinery. The Kapolei refinery is the largest in the state with a capacity of 94 000 bpd. Tesoro are optimistic and expect a sale before the second half of 2012.


OriginOil has developed a partnership with the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Lab to develop an oil from algae process. It is hoped that the process will allow existing refineries to produce oil directly from raw algae. Algae crude can be blended with other biomass products to create a crude oil substitute.


BP has announced that the upgrade plans for its Whiting refinery are now on track. The multibillion dollar investment will increase the processing capacity of the plant making it the biggest industrial project in the state’s history.

Labour contracts

Royal Dutch Shell is to begin negotiations with the United Steel Workers association on 17th January. The negotiations represent workers at 69 of the United States’ refining facilities. The current contract was negotiated in 2009 and runs out on 31st January. The USW union are thought to begin negotiations for enhanced safety regulations, the same as last time.


Four people are being accused of theft from Chevron’s Pascagoula refinery. Three people are currently in custody and the fourth is still being looked for. The group are being charged with the theft of several pieces of refinery equipment as well as a Ford F-150 pickup truck.


Despite numerous rumours, ConocoPhillips have announced that there are no plans to demolish the Trainer refinery if a buyer cannot be found. The refinery has been on the market since September when ConocoPhillips announced it would either sell it or idle it permanently.

South Dakota

Several groups are opposing Hyperion Resources’ plans to construct a refinery in the state. The opposition groups are claiming that there has not been a detailed enough environmental study carried out to warrant an environmental permit being granted. The groups are claiming that the initial study was not thorough enough and does not have strict enough regulations on technology proposed for the site.

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