BP’s Whiting refinery upgrade on stream

BP PLC has brought on stream all new and reconfigured units in the modernization of its 413,000-b/d refinery at Whiting, Ind. The project included a 102,000-b/d coker that came online last month (OGJ Online, July 1, 2013).

A reconfigured 250,000-b/d crude unit, the largest of three at the refinery, started up in June. The modernization project also included a new 105,000-b/d gas oil hydrotreater and associated units.

The upgrades allow the refinery to process heavy, sour crude at more than 80% of its feedstock slate. Before the project, the low-quality crude could represent only about 20% of the refinery’s feed.

Iain Conn, chief executive of BP’s downstream segment, said the ability to process mainly heavy crude, including bitumen from Canada, will improve financial performance.

“The reconfigured refinery now has the flexibility to greatly increase heavy, sour crude processing, delivering an expected incremental $1 billion of operating cash flow/year, depending on market conditions,” he said.

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