Oil Companies Plan to Modify and Expand U.S. Refineries
November 15, 2006
With the U.S. demand for gasoline and other petroleum products continuing to increase, at least three major oil companies are planning to significantly expand their refineries in the United States. BP announced in late September a $3 billion plan to expand its Whiting, Indiana, plant to increase its production capacity by 15 percent, which equals about 1.7 million additional gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel each day. However, the main focus of the Indiana project is to allow the refinery to process heavy crude oil from Canadian oil sands. Marathon Oil Company is also considering modifying its refineries in Detroit, Michigan, and Catlettsburg, Kentucky, to handle Canadian heavy crude oil. Marathon has also approved a $3.2 billion project to increase the capacity of its Garyville, Louisiana, refinery by nearly three quarters, to a total capacity of 425,000 barrels of oil per day. On November 13th, Chevron Corporation joined the fray, announcing plans to expand its refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi, by about 15 percent, boosting gasoline production by 750,000 gallons per day. BP and Marathon plan to begin construction next year, while Chevron is aiming at 2008. See the BP press release; the Marathon press releases about the Canadian heavy crude oil and Louisiana refinery projects; and the Chevron press release.