Skip to comments.Motiva celebrates completion of big refinery expansion in Port Arthur
Posted on 05/31/2012 11:57:37 AM PDT by thackney
With the ceremonial opening of a valve Thursday, Motiva, a joint venture of Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco, celebrated the completion of a five-year construction project doubling the capacity of its Port Arthur.
When working at its peak, the Port Arthur refinery will be able to process 600,000 barrels of crude oil a day, making it the largest refinery in the United States.
With the completion of this massive expansion, the Port Arthur Refinery alone would be capable of meeting the entire gasoline demand of France, Italy or all of Scandinavia, said Khalid Al-Falih, CEO of Saudi Aramco, at the ceremony. He said the project was the largest single expansion of US refining capacity in four decades.
The expanded refinery is designed to process a range of crudes, enabling it to produce gasoline, ultra low sulfur diesel, jet fuel, as well as petroleum coke, sulfur and petrochemical feedstocks.
Al-Falih estimated that the expansion cost $10 billion, an investment that Shell and Saudi Aramco say will pay off because of the refinerys capacity to diversify among refining products, depending on market conditions.
Royal Dutch Shell CEO Peter Voser emphasized that this flexibility will help the refinery weather changing conditions in the refinery industry, even as refineries on the East Coast face difficult times.
The industry needs to build more efficient, flexible, integrated refineries, Voser said. Part of the problem is that some refineries are unsuitable for processing more difficult crude, on which supply increasingly depends. They are in the wrong places making the wrong products.
The bubble burst, demand fell and this and other expansions had their schedules stretched out or completely put on hold.
This was the biggest expansion of them all; $10 billion. They essentially added another large refinery at the same location.
The Port Arthur Refinery celebrated its 100th anniversary on November 13, 2003. Motiva Port Arthur Refinery is a joint venture with a 50% ownership between Shell Oil Company and Saudi Refining, Inc. The refinery is located in close proximity to neighborhoods and works in partnership with its citizens. The refinerys capacity is 600,000 barrels per day (b/d).
The refinery operates the largest single lube plant in the United States, producing lubricant base oils that are sold to Shell Lubricants as well as various industrial companies.
The Port Arthur Refinery is approximately 3,600 acres and is located in Jefferson County within the city limits of Port Arthur, Texas. The refinery is located between Highway 73 and Highway 87 on Savannah Avenue in Port Arthur, approximately 90 miles from Houston, Texas.
The Port Arthur Refinery began operations as The Texas Companys (later Texaco) first refinery in 1903. It was a direct by-product of the January 10, 1901, Lucas Gusher and the resulting Spindletop oil boom at Beaumont, Texas.
On January 1, 1989, Saudi Refining, Inc. purchased 50% of the Port Arthur Refinery as part of a joint venture with Texaco and Saudi Refining, and the refinery became known as Star Enterprise. On July 1, 1998, a joint venture was formed between Texaco, Saudi Refining and Shell Oil Co. under the name Motiva Enterprises LLC. In 2001, Texaco was purchased by Chevron and its interest in Motiva was sold to Shell Oil and Saudi Refining, Inc. on February 13, 2002. Port Arthur Refinery is still operated as Motiva, which is now jointly owned, with Shell Oil and Saudi Refining, Inc. being 50/50 partners.
In December 2007, ground was broken for the Crude Expansion Product (CEP). New assets include a Delayed Coking Unit (DCU); Vacuum Pipe Still (VPS); Naphtha Complex (NPC); Hydrocracking Unit (HCU); Sulfur Block (SBU); Power Station (PS); Hydrotreating Unit (HTU); and auxiliary support units. The expansion added 325,000 b/d of capacity, resulting in a total of 600,000 b/d of refining capacity, making the Motiva Port Arthur Refinery the largest refinery in the United States.
The refinery has a diverse workforce of approximately 1,300 full-time employees and 500+ contractors on site each day.
Process and Maintenance Technicians operate the processing units and maintain the plant equipment. Safety and Environmental professionals, Engineers, Chemists, Quality Assurance Technicians, Business Planning, Finance, Human Resource and Communications professionals support them.
WHAT WE MAKE
- Gasoline: While the plant still produces some conventional gasoline, most of the production is Basestock for Oxygenate Blending, or BOB. The BOB is blended with ethanol at product terminals to produce finished gasoline.
- Jet Fuel: Commercial aviation fuel.
- Diesel Fuel: All of the plants diesel production is Ultra Low Sulfur (ULSD) or Texas Low Emissions Diesel and is used in commercial sales, the trucking industry and in heavyduty machinery.
- Chemical Feedstocks: Propane and butane are produced and sold via pipeline.
- Largest single lube plant in the US, producing Group II lubricant base oils.
HOW WE TRANSPORT IT
The facility has access to multiple major crude oil and product pipelines, which transport gasoline, diesel, kerosene and jet fuel to the East Coast, Midwest, Central Texas and the Southeast Texas area. Lube Base Oil is also shipped by marine vessels, rail, and tanker truck. The refinery has a dock facility in Port Arthur, Texas allowing for waterborne delivery of products.
- Daily capacities are:
- Crude: 600,000 b/d capacity
- Gasoline: 240,000 b/d
- Lube base oil: 40,000 b/d
- Jet-A aviation fuel: 70,000 b/d
- Low sulfur diesel: 190,000 b/d
- Fuel grade coke: 8,000 tons per day
Motivas dock facility is located on the Sabine Lake/Intracoastal Waterway in Port Arthur, Texas.
SAFETY AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBIITY
The safety and quality of life of the citizens in the surrounding communities and our employees are the main focus of operations at our facility. We strive to operate at all times in a safe, reliable and environmentally-sound manner.
Sounds good,, My son-in-law works there..
Will they export refined products?
With demand still trending lower...
While the refinery production trend is up...
I think we will continue to see the US importing more crude oil than we need and exporting that surplus for dollars and jobs staying in the US.
Sure. Until the enviros allow an expansion of product pipeline capacity to the Northeast.
Or the feds (and the unions) allow shipments between two domestic ports to travel in something other than U.S. flagged bottoms with union crews.
Do you understand that the US now refines more total product than the petroleum products used in the US?
We are a net exporter. Our net exports are not due to a lack of infrastructure, but a surplus. We have a refinery surplus these days and we use it.
But we are still importing due to shortages of refined product is some areas. Not that it's a bad thing -- since economics are driving it.
But, until there is a firm national commitment to become energy independent, the industry needs to be very careful in the PR arena.
Then with oil at 87 bucks, why isn't gasoline cheap like in Saudi Arabia?
Their govt subsidizes the price - 61 cents per gallon. Heck why not do it like Venezuela - 18 cents per gallon.
We could do the same thing here. We're already spending $1.40 for every $1.00 the govt receives in revenue.
Just have them print up some more Baraqqi/Bernanke minibucks and let's roll!
If we were capable of sufficient domestic crude production, why would we need to participate in the global market?
So you’re suggesting that the US govt force me to sell the oil from the well on my ranch for 30 bucks a bbl to Joe USA Consumer rather than 87 bucks a bbl to Charley China Consumer?
Actually I was hoping you’d give us domestic consumers a discount and throw on a huge markup for our enemies.
We are not. We buy more imported oil to run through our refineries than we import ourselves.
Latest US Total Oil Production = 6.26 MMBPD
Latest US Total Crude Oil Imports = 8.77 MMBPD
Since we buy from OPEC member nations, rather than being a net seller, that is a tough policy to implement.
Two items I suggest to keep in mind.
1) The East coast, even with the loss of Eastern Refineries, continues to import less and less refined product, and that includes reductions in gasoline and diesel/fuel oil. Their demand is falling faster than the rate of refining and pipeline deliveries. This trend continues today and has for several years, even with the refinery closures.
2) If an area of the country that continues to elect politicians that routinely pass overbearing regulations and over-the-top restrictions finds it less economic to produce their own products, maybe they need that lesson.
Well from the reports on fracking and ND's new experience, and the amount of available US oil now projected, maybe it doesn't have to continue to be that way...excepting Canada of course.