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Late May global downstream news

Hydrocarbon Engineering,



The Federal Trade Commission has approved the planned acquisition by Tesoro Corp. of BP PLC’s refinery in Carson. The purchase price is set to be US$ 2.375 billion.

The Carson plant is one of the largest in California, providing about 20% of Southern California’s gasoline market. It’s acquisition by Tesoro will increase the company’s processing ability to 529 000 bpd, rendering it California’s largest refiner.


The Worldwide Energy Consortium (WEC) has announced that it will begin the initial engineering/permitting phase for a new refinery in La Salle country, Texas. The facility is expected to be in operation by the last quarter of 2014.

Also in Texas, HollyFrontier Corporation has announced unplanned downtime to the fluid catalytic cracking units (FCCU) at its subsidiaries’ Cheyenne and El Dorado refineries. The outages to both, caused by operational issues, are expected to last approximately 10 days.

Middle East


The National Iranian Petrochemical Organisation (NIPO) has announced that Turkey and Egypt have agreed with Iran’s proposal to form an international petrochemical association similar to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

According to NIPO’s Managing Director, Abdolhossein Bayat, this agreement took place on the sidelines of the recent D8 petrochemical conference in Tehran. Bayat additionally noted that discussions on this topic were likely to take place with several other petroleum producing Islamic countries in the near future.



China is experiencing further protest against a planned oil refinery and petrochemical facility in the country’s south west. Local activists are insisting that officials scrap plans to construct a plant for the production of the chemical paraxylene (PX) in the province of Kunming.

Kunming’s mayor, Li Wenrong, last week promised to take public feeling into account, even pledging to scrap the project if a majority of residents express opposition.


A fire, triggered by a pump failure, has been subdued at the Visakhapatnam Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) refinery. The blaze was put out within 6 hours and the refinery has issued a statement to say that all emergency protection systems worked in accordance with their design.


It is likely that the Indonesian government will reject fiscal incentives proposed by foreign investors to kick off the construction of new fuel processing plants. The Finance Ministry’s fiscal agency chief, Bambang Brodjonegoro has indicated that his office will recommend that the government build its own refineries, rather than providing large incentives for foreign firms to do so.

Despite the lack of capacity of existing refineries to process crude oil, Brodjonegoro has highlighted that the Finance Ministry deems the incentives package unrealistically large.


A subsidiary of PTT Public Company Limited (PTT), Thailand’s largest petroleum firm, is planning a petrochemical project in Vietnam. It is hoped that the project, worth US$ 27 – 28 billion will be completed within the next 6 years.



Essar Energy plans to pump US$ 1 billion into the upgrade of its Mombasa based Kenya Petroleum Refineries Ltd (KPRL). Despite this, the refinery’s future remains under threat. KPRL has reported that it might soon be unable to refine petroleum products, owing to severe financial constraints.

Edited from various sources by Emma McAleavey.

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