Given the U.S Administration’s leaning on fossil fuel Exxon it would not be surprising if Exxon were to go ahead with this capacity expansion.
A spokeswoman for ExxonMobil Corp has stated the oil giant is weighing its options whether to expand the capacity of processing of light crude oil by adding a third crude distillation at its refinery plant in Beaumont, Texas.
If the project is approved, construction wil begin on Unit C in 2019 and be completed by 2022, said Charlotte Huffaker, Exxon’s spokeswoman while declining to disclose a ballpark figure for the cost of the Unit C expansion.
“These investments reflect the increased availability of abundant, affordable supplies of U.S. light crude,” said Huffaker.
If this were to happen, this expansion will be part of the $20-billion ‘Growing the Gulf’ project announced in March by Darren Woods, Exxon’s Chief Executive and Chairman.
Although Exxon had earlier mentioned the potential capacity expansion of light oil at its Beaumont plant as part of that project, this is the first time it has talked about Unit C and has provided a timeframe for its possible completion.
Exxon has been mulling this idea since at least 2014 since it is likely to boost its Beaumont’s crude oil refining capacity from 362,300 barrels per day (bpd) to between 700,000 and 850,000 bpd, said sources.
They went on to add, in early 2016, these plans were put on hold due to cuts in capital spending at that time.