Skip to comments.Closed refinery revived with Eagle Ford crude
Posted on 01/25/2013 6:32:14 AM PST by thackney
When a Houston-based company purchased a refinery in Nixon about six years ago, it had been mothballed for years and it showed. Rust streaked the plants storage tanks and piping.
But after refurbishing, the 15,000-barrel-a-day refinery began to process crude oil about a year ago, with every drop coming from the Eagle Ford shale.
The drilling in the area is very impressive, said Jonathan Carroll, CEO of Houston-based Blue Dolphin Energy Co. You can look at maps and see that we are sitting right in the middle of the Eagle Ford, which is great.
Nixon, about 54 miles east of San Antonio, straddles Gonzales and Wilson counties in a booming section of the shale play. That location really makes everything a little easier, Carroll said.
The company hasnt disclosed how much it has invested in the Nixon refinery, but Carroll said its in the tens of millions.
Still, although the plant did have rust, it was put together very well when it was built in 1980, he said. Its kind of like having a 1957 Chevy in the garage with very low miles.
Blue Dolphin subsidiary Lazarus Energy LLC bought the refinery out of receivership for about $16 million in June 2006 as part of the previous owners Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. (Publicly traded Blue Dolphin acquired Lazarus in February from Lazarus Energy Holdings LLC, Blue Dolphins largest shareholder.)
Nixon refinery benefits from Eagle Ford crude
And Blue Dolphin seems set to rejuvenate another idled plant. It has an option to buy the Ingleside refinery on Corpus Christi Bay from Lazarus Energy Holdings. Discussions on the matter continue, Carroll said.
The Nixon refinery began to process crude oil in February 2012, and the plant reached 70 percent operating capacity in September, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by Blue Dolphin. The company said the plant might reach full capacity in the first half of this year.
The refinery makes propane, butane and naphtha, which the company sells to other refiners or blenders as a gasoline component. It also is producing off-road diesel for agricultural use. There are plans to expand the Nixon plant to process 25,000 barrels of crude a day, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Carroll was reluctant to talk about a possible expansion, but he said it could be part of the company’s long-term plans.
The plant employs 53, and Mayor Maria Blanch said the whole town is glad they’re here because it means employment for people in the area.
Don’t want to say too much or Obama will close this down !
Atmospheric distillation takes place in a distilling column at or near atmospheric pressure. The crude oil is heated to 350 - 400oC and the vapour and liquid are piped into the distilling column. The liquid falls to the bottom and the vapour rises, passing through a series of perforated trays (sieve trays).
Heavier hydrocarbons condense more quickly and settle on lower trays and lighter hydrocarbons remain as a vapour longer and condense on higher trays.
Once we impeach this administration and everyone connected with it maybe we can get back on the road to prosperity that Obama seems determined to avoid at any and all cost.
It is a very simple plant, basically an old topping plant.
A good name for this refinery would be The Peak Oil Refinery to make an ironic joke. An old disused refinery opens with new oil.
With natural gas prices down the focus has turned to liquid rich wells and the Eagle Ford and Permian Basin seem to have that in abundance.
Yes. In the Eagle Ford the Gas Production curve is basically flat while the Crude Oil Production curve is climbing fast.
Texas Eagle Ford Shale
Gas Well Gas Production
Texas Eagle Ford Shale
The drilling has mostly moved to the oil sections of the formation.
I was surprised that the production area appeared to only cover a 200 foot square. BP in Whiting is huge, Mobil at Channahon is large.
Yeah, that little topping plant doesn’t compare much to Motiva in Port Arthur or ExxonMobil in Baytown.
It’s like a baby refinery.
Maybe when it grows up, it can get a vacuum distillation column, hydro treater, cat cracker and a Coker.
Every bit helps, but calling this a refinery is like calling a smart car an actual car.