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Chevron Seeks Permit for Refinery Expansion to Increase U.S. Gasoline Production

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 11/13/2006, Location: North America

Chevron U.S.A. Inc. today announced it has submitted an environmental permit application to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality for the construction of a major gasoline production unit, along with other minor units, at its refinery in Pascagoula, Miss., that could potentially further increase gasoline production at the refinery by roughly 15 percent.

According to refinery General Manager Roland Kell, the new Continuous Catalyst Regeneration (CCR) unit would update important refinery technology by replacing two process units constructed more than 30 years ago. "The CCR project would increase the Pascagoula Refinery's ability to provide reliable supplies of gasoline to key markets in the eastern United States," Kell said.

Chevron has contracted WorleyParsons to complete engineering for the CCR project, Kell said, and if approved, project construction would likely begin sometime during the first quarter of 2008.

Chevron's environmental permit application also includes several smaller projects that would optimize the refinery by increasing equipment reliability and availability. Together with the CCR, these projects could increase the refinery's gasoline production by approximately 750,000 gallons per day. Neither the CCR project nor the smaller projects would increase the refinery's crude oil capacity.

Environmental permitting will run concurrently with Chevron's evaluation process to ensure all information is in place when Chevron decides whether or not to move forward with the CCR and the other projects.

"We plan to utilize appropriate air emission controls, installing Best Available Control Technology as required by the environmental authorities," Kell said. "We are also proposing to voluntarily reduce certain emissions over and above current requirements."

In the meantime, Chevron is executing other projects to increase gasoline supplies to U.S. consumers. An upgrade to the Pascagoula Refinery's Fluid Catalytic Cracking unit remains on track to be completed by the end of 2006 and will increase the refinery's gasoline production by roughly 10 percent to about 5.5 million gallons a day. This project, along with one completed earlier this year at the company's refinery in El Segundo, Calif., will collectively bring online for Chevron about 1 million gallons per day of additional gasoline manufacturing capacity -- a 7 percent increase relative to the company's total U.S. refinery gasoline production in 2005.

Chevron is continuing to evaluate other potential opportunities to enhance further the competitive position of the Pascagoula Refinery.

Chevron can process more than 2 million barrels per day of crude oil through its share of 19 wholly owned or joint-venture fuel refineries and one asphalt plant, and markets motor fuels through its more than 25,000 retail outlets worldwide under the Chevron(R), Texaco(R) or Caltex(TM) brands. The Pascagoula Refinery is Chevron's largest wholly owned petroleum refinery, processing an average of 330,000 barrels of crude oil per day and producing a variety of transportation fuels and other refined products.

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