Refining

Downstream news: fuels, refining and chemicals
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)

Natural gas industry lobbyists ask feds to put LNG projects on fast track

America’s Natural Gas Alliance on Tuesday called on the federal government to revamp its lengthy and expensive permitting process for projects aimed at exporting supercooled gas to foreign markets, arguing that such exports are in the country’s national interest.  More »
Don Robicheaux, safety coordinator for Marathon, stands in front of a crude unit, part of Marathon's estimated $3.2 billion expansion in Garyville, La. (AP Photo/Cheryl Gerber, file)

United Steelworkers reviewing contract proposal from Marathon Petroleum

Workers have been on strike since Feb. 1. Hancock said one of issues is Marathon’s move to dismantle the labor/management partnership that was launched after an explosion and fire killed 15 workers in 2005, when BP owned the refinery.  More »
(Photographer: Patrick Semansky/Bloomberg)

U.S. refiners can bulk up to consume more domestic oil

A new report from the Energy Information Administration suggests refiners can — and will — invest in new equipment to process the light oil flowing out of U.S. wells today, but a debate over crude exports could undermine some of those plans.  More »
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

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

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

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

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

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.  More »
Exxon Mobil Corporation has filed permits to increase activity at their Beaumont refinery. The company reportedly plans an expansion that will the make the facility the largest in the United States. (Jake Daniels/The Enterprise)

Exxon may be expanding its Beaumont refinery

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.  More »
Dow Chemical Co. chairman and CEO Andrew N. Liveris, front, addresses his employees and honored guests during the announcement of Dow's new ethylene production plant at Dow Texas Operations, Thursday, April 19, 2012, on the Brazosport College campus in Lake Jackson. (Nick de la Torre/Houston Chronicle)

Dow Chemical, Olin in $5 billion cash-and-stock deal

Dow has been under pressure from the hedge fund Third Point LLC to split its specialty chemical and petrochemical businesses.  More »
(Photographer: Patrick Semansky/Bloomberg)

Report: Chemical revenues slip but expansions expected to continue

North American chemical companies have seen their revenues slip with the plunging crude price, but they aren’t expected to abandon the billions worth of expansions they announced when profits were higher, a new report finds.  More »
LyondellBasell Bayport plant (Photo: LyondellBasell)

LyondellBasell to expand Pasadena plant

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.  More »
An aerial view of the Cameron LNG terminal in Hackberry, La. Sempra Energy is the majority owner of Cameron LNG. (Photo: Cameron LNG)

Sempra moves forward with Port Arthur LNG plans

Sempra Energy is pressing forward with plans to build a liquefied natural gas export plant in Port Arthur.  More »
Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Russian exports could be the next biggest threat to global crude oil prices

Russia may increase oil exports by as much as 250,000 barrels a day this year, according to the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.  More »
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

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.  More »
(Photographer: Patrick Semansky/Bloomberg)

Crude inventories offer enough supply for a month of refining runs

The U.S. has enough oil to feed 29 days of refinery demand, the highest level in decades, according to a new government report.  More »
At the Motiva Port Arthur refinery on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015.  (Mike Tobias/The Enterprise)

Striking Motiva workers approve contract

Employees could go back to work as soon as Monday, said Garrett Ozment, a union representative and machinist at the refinery, which is the nation’s largest.  More »
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