David N. Nakamura
HOUSTON, Sept. 24 -- A coker and refinery expansion project at the Wood River, Ill., refinery, a 50-50 joint venture of EnCana Corp. and ConocoPhillips, will begin this month, EnCana reported.
The $3.6 billion project includes a 65,000 b/d coker to enable the refinery to process heavier crudes, increase total crude distillation capacity by 50,000 b/d to 356,000 b/d, more than double heavy crude refining capacity to 240,000 b/d, increase clean-product yield to 330,000 b/d from 250,000 b/d, and eliminate 40,000 b/d of low-value asphalt production.
The companies expect the project to be in full operation in 2011. The Wood River refinery expansion recently received final regulatory approvals to start construction. Crews began installing foundation pilings earlier this week.
In parallel with the Wood River refinery expansion, the integrated oil venture approved upstream expansions at Foster Creek and Christina Lake, Alta. EnCana expects gross bitumen production capacity there to grow to about 180,000 b/d in 2012 from a current level of 70,000 b/d. Further planned expansions will increase production capacity to 400,000 b/d by 2016.
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