February 3, 2012 at 6:34 pm #1952
Source: 1 unit at BP Whiting refinery not running
Reuters 3:08 p.m. CST, February 3, 2012BP Plc has shut one of two gasoline-making fluid catalytic cracking units at its 405,000-barrels-per-day (bpd) refinery in Whiting, Ind., for unplanned work, sources familiar with refinery operations said Friday.
A Midwest trader said Friday that the unit had been down for three days. A BP spokesman declined to comment.
Canadian heavy crude differentials began to slide two days ago, falling from the low $20s a barrel less than benchmark West Texas Intermediate to as much as $32 a barrel less than WTI on Friday. Traders of Canadian crude had chalked up much of the deepening discounts to booming production in western Canada and no growth in pipeline capacity to major markets such as the U.S. Midwest. Chicago cash gasoline differentials surged 6 cents per gallon on news of the shutdown.
The BP Whiting plant is undergoing a $4 billion upgrade to expand its ability to process heavy Canadian crude. The project involves a replacement crude distillation unit slated to come online in October, a new gasoil hydrotreater and a coking unit slated to start up in mid-2013.
The BP project is one of three in the Northern Tier of the United States aimed at increasing refiner capability to process heavy crude from Canada, where oil output is projected to rise to at least 3.1 million bpd by next year, from 2.2 million bpd in 2005.
Last November, ConocoPhillips completed a $3.8 billion coker and refinery expansion at its joint-venture 356,000-bpd refinery in Wood River, Illinois that increased clean-fuel output by 50,000 bpd.
Marathon Petroleum Corp. is on track to finish a $2.2 billion upgrade at its 106,000-bpd refinery in Detroit in the third quarter as planned. The project with a new coker will add about 15,000 bpd of capacity and increase ability to process heavy crude.
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