By Bowdeya Tweh firstname.lastname@example.org, (219) 933-3316 nwi.com | Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2010 12:00
BP started a turnaround — or scheduled maintenance outage — last week on its gasoline-making fluid catalytic cracking unit at the Whiting Refinery, according to multiple media reports.
Reuters reported Friday that there isn’t an estimate on how long the work on one of the company’s “cat crackers” would last, but a source with knowledge of the refinery’s operations said it would be down through October.
BP spokesman Brad Etlin declined comment and said the company doesn’t make public its schedule for maintenance activities. The unit is a vessel where different blends of fuel are distilled from a crude oil feedstock using a catalyst. However, Etlin said that progress is continuing on the refinery’s $3.8 billion modernization project, which now more than 50 percent complete. He said the project is still slated to be completed in late 2012 as the refinery is being retrofitted with new and upgraded equipment that will enable it to accept more heavy crude oil from Canada.