Going Green

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Refinery Capacity

From the Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy website:

October 03, 2007

Texas Refinery to More than Double in Capacity

No new oil refineries have been built in the United States for more than 30 years, but that statistic hides the fact that existing refineries are constantly being expanded.

A case in point: in late September, Motiva Enterprises announced its plans to expand its refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, increasing its crude oil refining capacity from 275,000 barrels per day to 600,000 barrels per day. As the company puts it, the expansion is equivalent to building an entirely new refinery. Motiva expects the expanded facility to be in full production by 2010. See the Motiva press release.

One of the biggest price impact issues we saw during hurrican Katrina was loss of refinery capacity for the duration of the storm and clean-up. Any time a refinery is shut down for any period of time, it sends ripples through the energy markets. Our refinery capacity is aged and aging -- it is also running at or near capacity. New capacity is a good thing although the committment to build it is risky given the current drive to shift away from fossil fuels.

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