A Houston-based mostly company is building the biggest new U.S. oil refinery in practically 40 years on 200 acres of South Texas ranch land, strategically located to process the Eagle Ford shale field’s lighter crude and export it to Mexico.
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The $500 million refinery is being built by Raven Petroleum within the southwest nook of Duval County on the borders of Jim Hogg and Webb counties.
The ability will refine about 50,000 barrels a day of gentle crude oil, a rarity in a market the place most refineries are geared for heavier crude oil.
The company plans to export diesel, jet gas, naphtha, gasoline and liquified petroleum gasoline products to Mexico’s lately opened vitality market, the company said in a information release.
The property is bisected by a Kansas Metropolis Southern Railroad line, which already transports these products for different refiners, Kansas Metropolis spokeswoman C. Doniele Carlson mentioned. She declined to say whether or not the railroad would do the same for Raven.
Marathon Petroleum Corp. built the last main U.S. refinery in Garyville, Louisiana in 1977. It might process 200,000 barrels of oil a day when it first opened. The ability since has been upgraded to course of 539,000 barrels of oil a day.
Other refineries have been built since then, however most process condensates, an oil byproduct.
Duval County Choose Ricardo “RockyCarrillo mentioned Raven Petroleum’s undertaking will convey close to 1,800 construction jobs to a rural economy ravaged by the downturn. It’s slated to interrupt floor within the third quarter of 2017.
“Our current value countywide is $900 million, so simply put a pencil to it our tax rate would drop tremendously, by about 50 p.c,Carrillo said.
With a county inhabitants of round 12,000, Carrillo stated the jobs created will assist bolster the economic system.
Between four hundred and 500 permanent jobs can be wanted to staff the power after it’ss completed, Carrillo and Jim Hogg County Decide Humberto Gonzalez mentioned. Raven Petroleum is aiming to open the refinery by the tip of 2018.
The company finally could construct a pipeline from Laredo to Brownsville to access the Caribbean oil market, Raven managing director Christopher Moore stated within the information launch.
Gonzalez said Raven Petroleum told him it had been working on the Duval County project for 2 years. He expects a few of the advantages to spill over into Hebbronville, which is 5 miles away and the county seat for Jim Hogg.
“We’re going to profit from gross sales tax, from housing, all the people who need companies to outlive. When you’ve obtained at least 1,500 (employees), that’s half the city of Hebbronville coming in,Gonzalez mentioned.
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In its news release the company mentioned “Raven has obtained optimistic assist from local county officials and the Texas Governor’s Office concerning allowing and development of the mission./p>
Sam Taylor, deputy press secretary for the governor’s office, confirmed in an email that it had been contacted by the company and said “our workplace provided optimistic help for the challenge by facilitating (Raven Petroleum’s) communication with TCEQ./p>
Over the past few months, Carrillo and Gonzalez stated they’ve created a tri-county financial development coalition along with Webb County Choose Tano Tijerina in an attempt to take advantage of the financial alternatives introduced by the refinery challenge.
Gonzalez mentioned that with many individuals who used to work in the Eagle Ford shale now underemployed, he and other leaders need to organize for the influx of exercise and alternatives the refinery’s development and operation will deliver.
“Food companies, lodging, all sorts of eating places that need to prepare for this onslaught,he said. “It’s an opportunity for our small businessman and our group folks to benefit from this./p>
Duval County, inhabitants 11,388, had a staggering unemployment charge of 11.9 percent in September, compared with an unemployment price of 5.Three percent near the oil market’s peak two years earlier than. The U.S. unemployment fee currently is four.9 p.c.
Unemployment in Jim Hogg County, which has 5,200 residents, stood at 10.3 % in September.
The oil industry is staggering to get well from the largest downturn in oil prices for the reason that mid-1980s. U.S. crude prices peaked at $107 a barrel in June 2014 earlier than falling to $26 a barrel in February. They since have rebounded, settling round $47.50 a barrel on Tuesday.
Jim Hogg County has misplaced not less than $21 million in valuation on its minerals, decreasing annual tax revenue by $500,000 over the previous three years, Gonzalez said.
“You can solely take so many hits of these every year, and for a $10 million funds that’s vital,he mentioned. “All the counties surrounding us are in the same predicament and there’s not sufficient improve on the housing and other projects aspect to make up the difference, so we all lose./p>
The Environmental Integrity Challenge, a Washington-based environmental group with workplaces in Austin, is keeping a detailed watch on the refinery. Ilan Levin, affiliate director for the group, mentioned “we’re hoping to get extra info as a result of it’s a sizable (project) and will have a fairly large environmental footprint./p>
“We need transparency and there must be some due course of, the conventional public conferences and public hearings that go along with these items simply to ensure that the security precautions are being met and the top-of-the-line standards are being carried out,Levin stated.
Neither Raven Petroleum nor Raven Resource Group LLC have lively permits to refine crude on file with the Texas Commission on Environmental High quality. Any new refiner would want to obtain permits through the TCEQ before it may well begin building.