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Late September US downstream update

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Valero reported the shut down and subsequent start up of a unit at its 132 000 bpd refinery in Benicia on September 16. The refinery released 500 lbs of sulfur dioxide in excess of the refinery’s permitted levels.

South Dakota

Hyperion has been granted a one year extension for construction to begin on a proposed 400 000 bpd refinery and electrical power plant project, meaning that work can now begin as late as March 2013. The company has also been granted a revised air permit for the US$ 10 billion project.


Valero has announced that its 195 000 bpd Memphis refinery released emissions on September 18 due to a pump failure.


Delek US Holding has said that flare emissions visible from its 60 000 bpd Tyler refinery on 21 September were due to an electrical issue.

Total has launched a 45 day turnaround at its 232 000 bpd Port Arthur facility, beginning last week. Units undergoing planned work include a gasoline-making fluid catalytic cracking unit, a coker and a crude unit. Total also will make repairs to the crude unit that has been running at reduced rates since late July when a lightning strike shut several units at the refinery.

Valero is working to restart a crude unit at its 170 000 bpd McKee refinery after its shut down on September 18. A hydrocracker, hydrotreater and reformer, shut during the repairs to the crude unit, will also be started after the crude unit is running.

Western Refining’s 122 000 bpd refinery at El Paso reported compressor problems on 15 - 16 September. Problems with the relief gas compressors and hydrogen make-up compressor triggered the refinery’s safely flare system and the release of 500 lbs of sulfur dioxide from two flares. The event did not impact the operations of other process units.


Royal Dutch Shell plans to shut down the crude units at its 145 000 bpd Anacortes refinery Operations are expected to resume in early November. The maintenance work will also include the issues relating to the refinery's delayed coking unit, catalytic reforming unit, hydro treating units No 1 and 2 and amine regenerating unit.

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