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End of May global downstream news update

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Officials in the Chinese city of Kunming have banned citizens from protesting next week against planned chemical production at a nearby refinery. The ban coincides with the opening of an important trade fair.

There have already been two large protests in Kunming against the production of paraxylene (PX) at the plant. Officials are concerned that another such protest might overshadow the opening of the first China-South Asia Expo, which senior Chinese leaders are expected to attend.


Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (HPCL) is scouting for a foreign partner to assist in the revival of plans to build a 300 000 bpd refinery. HPCL had shelved the plan in 2012 after France’s Total and the LN Mittal group pulled out of the project after the economic downturn hit global demand for refined fuels globally.


Kuwait’s state run oil group has signed a 147 million dinar (US$ 514 million) contract with South Korea’s Daelim Industrial Co. to build and upgrade facilities at an oil refinery in the state.

The work is to focus on facilities for handling sulfur at the Mina Ahmadi refinery.



A wayward metallic balloon has led to the evacuation of approximately 1000 workers from the ExxonMobil Torrence refinery. The balloon blew into power lines and caused a short circuit. The resulting dip in power supply then tripped restart systems that prompted large burn off of products at the refinery, sending huge flares and dark smoke billowing from smoke stacks.

The outage did not cause any equipment failure or serious air pollution.


The first of two large processing towers has been moved to the Phillips 66 refinery in Westlake. It had been estimated that the towers would take approximately five hours to transport from the Port of Lake Charles property to the refinery. However, this first tower, which weighs more than 3 million lbs and is more than 100 ft. long took only two and a half hours to move.


Gas prices in Minnesota are beginning to fall after reaching an oil time high last week, at US$ 4.28/gal, as Midwest refineries that were closed for maintenance are resuming operations. AAA Minnesota-Iowa spokeswoman, Gail Weinholzer, has suggested that prices should soon be in line with the rest of the nation.


Tesoro will pay US$ 1.1 million in civil penalties in the largest settlement in the history of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) fuel regulations program, due to violations at four of its refineries, including one in Salt Lake City.

The EPA’s fuel regulations require that all fuel produced, imported and sold in the US meets certain standards. Fuel that violates these standards could lead to an increase of harmful pollutants. However, the EPA has said that there has been no evidence that any harm had been caused to public health or the environment by Tesoro violations.

Edited from various sources by Emma McAleavey.

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