BP’s Whiting refinery starts up new crude distillation unit

BPsignBritish oil giant BP is now running a 250,000 barrel-per-day crude distillation unit at an Indiana refinery, part of a multibillion-dollar upgrade of the facility.

The company said Monday the new crude processing unit at the Whiting refinery has started up.

BP expects to start up a new 105,000 barrel-per-day gasoil hydrotreater, a 102,000 barrel-per-day coker and other related units in the second half of 2013.

Read more: Keystone seen failing to sop up Canada oil glut

The overhaul, when completed, will allow the refinery to increase heavy, sour crude processing significantly. The start-up of the distillation unit has enhanced the facility’s ability to process light, sweet crude. BP is targeting $1 billion in future operating cash flow.

The Whiting refinery is BP’s largest  in the U.S.

The company also has been making improvements at several of its other refineries, including in Chery Point, Wash., and Toledo, Ohio. It sold its refineries in Texas City and Carson, Calif.