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Refining news from North America

Hydrocarbon Engineering,


Discussions surrounding the construction of a fourth refinery in Sarnia-Lambton is continuing. The area’s Economic Partnership is saying that a new bitumen upgrader, worth approximately US$10 billion would attract investment however, some are questioning if there is enough demand to warrant the fourth facility. The proposed facility will produce ultra low sulphur diesel, gasoline and other high value products which will be offered to the global market.


The United Steelworkers Union (USW) has said that it may have to call for strike action by refinery workers in the US in order to obtain what the union is calling a fair contract from oil companies. Oil companies and Union representatives are currently in talks and are hoping to come to a satisfactory conclusion for all parties by Sunday night when the current contract expires. Shell is leading the talks on behalf of oil companies who employ members of USW.

Discussions between oil refineries and petrochemical manufactures and the US EPA is continuing. It is claimed that the new EPA limits to tighten toxic air pollution from refineries and petrochemical plants will come at too a high a price, that does not provide a proportionate, if any, health benefits. The EPA, due to a legal decision is now reviewing this proposal and has until 17 April to draw conclusions.

The restart of a 90 000 bpd crude distillation unit at the Whiting refinery in Indiana is now complete. The unit at the BP owned facility was offline following a malfunction late last week.

A report has been released looking at the proposed US$200 million 20 000 bpd refinery for Devils Lake, North Dakota. The report is apparently encouraging and the Devils Lake City Commission is scheduled to decide on the fate of the project on February 2. The decision is on whether to annex the proposed land for the construction of the facility.

Chevron has said that it agrees with several findings in a federal report concerning a fire at one of its San Francisco Bay Area refineries in 2012. However, the company has said that it does not agree with some of the findings about the safety culture at the Richmond refinery. Chevron has said that the US Chemical Safety Board has inaccurately depicted the plant’s safety but the company will be continuing to work with the federal safety board and over oversight agencies.

Source: Reuters, Blackburn News, C&EN, Yahoo, Inforum, ABC News.

Adapted from sources by Claira Lloyd

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