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North America and Canada update

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Planned maintenance work on a processing unit at the Strathcona refinery has now started. The 187 000 bpd facility is owned by Imperial Oil Ltd and the shutdown is projected to last until mid May.

Chevron Corp. has lost its appeal against a Californian judge’s ruling disallowing the expansion of the company’s Richmond refinery. The plans were rejected due to environmental issues, as Chevron’s report on the potential heath and safety effects of the expansion work was incomplete. In order to be granted the expansion, Chevron must firstly state if the new units will process heavy or light crude as light crude processing produces less pollution.

ExxonMobil Corp has announced that it has now successfully restarted the hydrogen plant and pretreater at the Torrance refinery. The units are part of the gasoline production system which has the capacity to produce 150 000 bpd.

ExxonMobil is currently facing objections from an Idaho environmental group. The company wish to ship pieces of refinery and mining equipment through the Lochsa River canyon that are believed to exceed the legal limit for the area. The final destination of the 200 pieces of Korean made modules is the Kearl oilsands, Alberta, Canada where they will be used to help extract bitumen.

NuStar Energy has received and unloaded its first rail shipment of Bakken crude. The shipment has arrived at NuStar’s St. James, Lousiana terminal from North Dakota. This first shipment is of 5000 bbls and will ship 10 000 bpd. The Bakken shale project is one of the newest oil production sites in the US, however it is currently lacking outlets.

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