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29 July 2014: global refining news update

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


The Iranian Oil Minister has said that 10 oil refineries are expected to come onstream in the South Pars region. The plants are to be built as part of phases 12, 15, 16, 17 and 18 at the South Pars offshore gasfield project.

Iran has inaugurated the Middle East’s largest biological refinery. The Qeshm Micro Algae Biological Refinery is now in operation and is working towards the cultivation of micro algae on an industrial scale to produce biodiesel bio energy and biojet fuel. The facility is spread over 1000 acres.


It has been reported that in an attempted attack by ISIL terrorists on the Beiji refinery, two mortar shells landed and caused a fire in two storage tanks. The attempts to storm the facility reportedly failed overall.


Kuwait is reported to be in talks with Indian Oil Corporation to invest in the Paradip refinery project. IOC are apparently interested in Kuwait Petroleum Corporation taking a stake in the refinery or petrochemical processing plant. KPC is reportedly looking to sign an exclusive crude supply agreement with the plant and IOC as a whole for 10 years as part of the investment deal.


The Joint Task Force (JTF) has said that Operation Pulo Shield resulted in the arrest of at least 20 ships in the first quarter of the year. Also, as part of the operation in Q1, 854 illegal refineries were reportedly destroyed. Among those that have been arrested on suspicion of illegal refining are sea pirates, kidnappers and cultists. It has also been reported that on one occasion, an officer was offered N 25 million as a bribe by suspected oil thieves.


Three oil train protesters were arrested by the Skagit County Sheriff’s office in Washington for blocking the railroad that transports oil to the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes. Approximately 24 people were at the protest but the majority greed to leave after the authorities. The three have been arrested for criminal trespass.

The US$ 350 million Dakota Prairie refinery is reportedly three quarters complete and most jobs that were created at the site have been fulfilled. The plant is a joint venture between MDU Resources Group Inc. and Calumet Speciality Products. The refinery is located in North Dakota and construction started in March last year. The plant will employ 90 full time workers when fully operational.

ExxonMobil is apparently considering a multi billion dollar investment plant for its Beaumont refinery in Texas, the largest refinery in the USA. The investment will take the form of a 344 600 bpd expansion at the facility and is expected to be up and running by 2020. The work will potentially double the capacity of the facility with the addition of a third crude distillation unit.

Following a power outage at the Newcastle refinery in Wyoming, production at the facility was on hold at the start of this week as the outage resulted in a small fire. The facility is owned by Wyoming Refining Co. and no casualties were reported. The fire was thought to be caused by a heating unit that ruptured during the shutdown which followed the power cut.

CVR Refining has confirmed that at approximately 12:30 am on 29 July, a fire was reported at the Coffeyville refinery’s isomerisation unit. The fire was extinguished at approximately 1:18 am. A shutdown of the refinery was conducted. Four employees were injured and have been transported to hospital. Identities of the employees and further information have not been released. All other employees are accounted for and initial reports indicate there was no impact to the surrounding community.


It has been reported that PDVSA has been holding talks with the intent to sell its refineries in the US. The company has apparently approached investment banks and in particular Deutsche Bank as it looks to sell its 50% stake in the Chalmette refinery in Louisiana.

Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd

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