Kentucky's Somerset refinery changes hands

Continental Refining Co., Somerset, Ky., said it has purchased the inactive Somerset refinery and plans to resume processing crude by early summer 2012.

The company said it will reactivate the 5,500 b/d plant on 93 acres from its current warm idle status. Longer term, it plans to install a hydrotreater to reduce sulfur content of its diesel products by 2014.

“A proven turnaround management team will work to remedy past mismanagement while maximizing the significant discount to market value that helped to make this purchase compelling,” Continental Refining said in promising to retain all 40 current job positions.

The company said the site has 107,000 bbl of storage capacity for crude oil and refined products and 15 tanker transports. Somerset Refinery Inc. formerly operated the plant.

Energy Information Administration data show that 7,200 b/d of crude oil is produced within 100 miles of the plant plus 45,000 b/d in neighboring oil producing states. Continental Refining said the plant will be capable of receiving crude oil by truck, rail, pipeline, and barge.

Continental Refinery CEO Demetrios Haseotos said, “We provide a dramatic decrease in transportation costs along with favorable crude rates and faster payments to producers. At the same time we are keeping and adding 40 jobs in Somerset plus spending $10 million in upgrades over the next 3 years.”

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