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Global refining news update: 21st January 2014

Hydrocarbon Engineering,



ExxonMobil led a mock disaster drill in Chalmette recently. The groups involved were pleased with the test.

The drill showed ‘good cooperation between industry and government’ suggested Parish Fire Chief Thomas Stone.


The Muskegon Lake Watershed Partnership will host a public meeting on 22nd January 2014 to discuss work being donw to clean up the former Zephyr Oil refinery site.

The site’s soil and groundwater are polluted with petroleum products and other contaminants, with pollutants leaking into the Muskegon River to the south and Bear Creek to the north. The state has been gradually cleaning it since the 1990s, with the cleanup accelerated by a US$ 6 million grant in 2011.


Delta Airlines, through its refining subsidiary Monroe Energy, is fighting the renewable fuel quotas that the Obama Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency established for 2013, saying in legal filings that it is ‘powerless’ to comply with the mandates.

Monroe says it is unfairly forced to purchase all the renewable identification numbers (RINs) it needs to comply with the renewable fuel mandate, effectively facing ‘penalties due to structural conditions beyond their control’.

‘The RIN program perversely penalizes independent refiners for market conditions that they are powerless to change’, Monroe said in written arguments, filed with the DC Circuit Court of Appeals on 9th December. Periodic price spikes earlier this year caused ‘a disproportionate impact on Monroe for which no relief is available’.


Processing capacity at Consumers Cooperative Refineries Ltd.’s (CCRL) 145 000 bpd refining complex in Regina, Saskatchewan has improved following an explosion and subsequent fire on 24th December 2013.

The refinery is now able to process 90 000 bpd, compared to just 60 000 bpd shortly following the accident.


The Cuban-Venezuelan oil refining firm Cuvenpetrol S.A. will begin production again today following what experts have termed a 50 day opportunistic stop.

The stop was initiated when the planned refining of 19.7 million bbls of oil for 2013 was completed. The plant is now prepared to begin producing slightly more than 18 million bbls by December.


Egyptian Refining Co. (ERC) is soon to start construction of its delayed grassroots refining upgrade project, to be built within the existing Mostorod Petroleum Complex (MPC).

Construction on the US$ 3.7 billion project, which is designed to address Egypt’s demand for petroleum products and reduce the country’s dependence on imports, is scheduled to begin in late February or early March 2014. 

Edited from various sources by Emma McAleavey.

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