Flint Hills eyes boost of Eagle Ford feed

Flint Hills Resources is considering a revamp of its 230,000-b/d Corpus Christi West refinery in Texas to increase runs of crude oil from the nearby Eagle Ford shale play.

Crude oil from the Eagle Ford area of South Texas accounts for more than half the refinery’s feed now, a company spokeswoman said. After the revamp, the share would become 100%.

The company announced the possible project on Aug. 23 without specifying what new units might be required or how the work would affect existing units and capacities. In response to questions from OGJ, the spokeswoman said those details wouldn’t be available until the company had filed applications for permits from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and US Environmental Protection Agency.

The original press statement said Flint Hills, a unit of Koch Industries Inc., expected to submit the applications “in the coming weeks.” It said the project would cost more than $250 million and produce a net reduction in refinery emissions of criteria air pollutants—those controlled by the Clean Air Act.

The company’s Corpus Christi East refinery has crude capacity of about 70,000 b/d.

According to OGJ’s Worldwide Refining Report, processing capacities of the Corpus Christi refineries total about 12,000 b/d of delayed coking, 96,000 b/d of fluid catalytic cracking, 61,000 b/d of catalytic reforming, and 11,700 b/d of catalytic hydrocracking (OGJ, Dec. 5, 2011, p. 30).

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