According to those familiar with plant operations, Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM.N recently finished the launch of a new $2 billion crude distillation unit (CDU) at its Beaumont, Texas, refinery, making it the country’s second-largest facility.
The capacity of the Beaumont refinery has increased to 619,024 barrels per day (bpd) thanks to the new 250,000 bpd Crude C CDU, which places it second only to the Motiva Enterprises MOTIV.UL refinery in nearby Port Arthur, Texas, according to the sources.
Late on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Exxon was not immediately available for comment.
Exxon has also resumed operation of the 65,000 diesel-producing hydrocracker at the Beaumont refinery, which was shut down on March 22 due to a compressor failure, according to the sources.
Nine years have passed since Exxon first started thinking about expanding to take advantage of increased light oil output from the Permian Basin in west Texas and New Mexico. The addition of Crude C marks the end of that time period.
Feedstock to crude oil
Although other plants were taken into consideration, according to company representatives, an Exxon pipeline from the Permian to a nearby port made the Beaumont refinery the front-runner for the expansion.
Exxon claims to have also constructed a hydrotreater for Crude C.
The third CDU in the Beaumont refinery is crude C. The other production units use the feedstock created by the CDUs, which transform crude oil.
Petrol oil is transformed into diesel using hydrogen and a catalyst in hydrocrackers under extreme heat and pressure.
Hydrotreaters, which operate in accordance with American environmental regulations, use hydrogen to remove sulphur from motor fuels.
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