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Mid November: Downstream news from the Americas

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Alon USA Energy Inc. have announced plans to shutdown its California refineries for one year. Alon are taking this step due to the high costs of imported oil. Alon will consider restarting the plants in the fourth quarter of 2013 at the earliest.


North West Upgrading Inc. and Canadian Natural Resources are planning on building one of the world’s first oil refinery designed to capture CO2 when processing bitumen from the Alberta oilsands. The facility is going to be built near Edmonton and phase one is expected to cost US$ 5.7 billion.


BP has agreed with two environmental justice groups to expand pollutant monitoring above the required levels at the Whiting refinery. BP will invest US$ 400 million to upgrade environmental controls at the facility and pay US$ 8 million in civil fines to cover violations of the Clean Air Act and other laws.


Industrial service company Team Industrial Services Inc. has been fined US$ 200 000 and placed on five years probation after falsifying emissions data and releasing hazardous pollutants. The incidents happened at a refinery near Borger.

NuStar Energy LP has announced plans to sell its San Antonio refinery and invest more in Eagle Ford Shale. The company are also looking to sell the South Presa Street refinery.

ExxonMobil are hoping to restart a flexicoker unit at the Baytown refinery in the next few weeks. The unit has been shut since September 11 after maintenance had to be undertaken on the units heat exchanger due to a leak.


After an explosion at the Amuay refinery in August, the facility has been running at reduced rates due to damage caused to the distillation unit. PDVSA are hoping that the plant will be running normally at a capacity of 500 000 bpd by the end of the year. When running at full capacity the plant has a processing capacity of 645 000 bpd.

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd.

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