Representatives from the United Steel Workers Union (USW) hold a rally at the entrance to the Marathon refinery in Catlettsburg, Ky. Saturday Feb. 7, 2015. About 3,800 steelworkers began a strike Feb. 1 at refineries from California to Kentucky, saying that negotiations with Shell Oil Co. had broken down. Shell is negotiating the national contract for other oil companies.   (AP Photo/The Independent, Kevin Goldy)

Striking refinery workers in Kentucky will return to work this week

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The USW workers went on strike Feb. 1 as part of the original nine sites that launched a nationwide walk out.
(Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

Record gasoline output to curb biggest U.S. oil glut in 85 years

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Refiners are enjoying the best margins in two years as they finish seasonal maintenance of their plants before the summer driving season.
(Photographer: Patrick Semansky/Bloomberg)

The petrochemical industry has billions in projects on tap, but not enough workers to build them

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Craft laborers require years of training, but the industry has failed to consistently invest in developing that workforce, leading to a worker shortage plaguing the petrochemical building spree.
U.S. refineries consumed 245,000 barrels per day more last week than the week before. (Jake Daniels/The Enterprise)

Exxon may be expanding its Beaumont refinery

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Reuters reported in July that Exxon was considering a third crude distillation unit at the Beaumont refinery, potentially doubling its current 344,600-barrel per day capacity with a multi-billion dollar project.
Categories: Refining
Chet Thompson is set to take over as president of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers trade group in May 2015.

A former EPA lawyer has been tapped to lead U.S. refiners’ top lobbying group

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The hire suggests the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers trade association is preparing for big battles on biofuel mandates, crude-by-rail rules and oil exports.
A 40-year-old ban on U.S. crude oil exports means oil tankers in U.S. waters usually are bringing the cargo into U.S. ports. (Michael Stravato/The New York Times)

Analyst sees little chance oil export ban will end soon

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An energy analyst says the U.S. prohibition on most crude oil exports probably will remain in place because policymakers have more pressing concerns than lifting the ban.
Categories: Crude oil, General, Refining
LyondellBasell Bayport plant (Photo: LyondellBasell)

LyondellBasell to expand Pasadena plant

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LyondellBasell’s chemical expansion announcement comes as the international chemical and refining company continues to square off with the United Steelworkers employees over premium pay issues.
Dave Washington, left, Bobbie Thompson, and Kevin Hyde, United Steel Workers Local 13-227 members, employed by LyondellBasell Industries Houston, hold a strike claiming unfair labor practices at the oil refinery plant Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, in Pasadena, Texas. (Gary Coronado/Houston Chronicle)

Shell workers in Deer Park end strike

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United Steelworkers at Shell Deer Park and Shell Chemical join employees at four Gulf Coast refineries in Louisiana and Texas who have also ended strikes.
(Photographer: Patrick Semansky/Bloomberg)

Crude inventories offer enough supply for a month of refining runs

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The U.S. has enough oil to feed 29 days of refinery demand, the highest level in decades, according to a new government report.
JAPAN-ECONOMY-TRADE

Oil exports would give US leverage, former ambassador says

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So far, most of the congressional debate on crude exports has focused on the economics of the issue, but former Amb. Carlos Pascual’s comments amplify geopolitical concerns with the longstanding trade restrictions for oil.