Largest New U.S. Oil Refinery In Nearly 40 Years Slated For South Texas

A Houston-based firm is building the most important new U.S. oil refinery in almost forty years on 200 acres of South Texas ranch land, strategically situated 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 constructed by Raven Petroleum in the southwest corner of Duval County on the borders of Jim Hogg and Webb counties.

The power 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 corporate plans to export diesel, jet gas, naphtha, gasoline and liquified petroleum gasoline products to Mexico’s just lately opened power market, the corporate mentioned in a information release.

The property is bisected by a Kansas City Southern Railroad line, which already transports these products for other refiners, Kansas Metropolis spokeswoman C. Doniele Carlson said. She declined to say whether or not the railroad would do the identical for Raven.

Marathon Petroleum Corp. built the last main U.S. refinery in Garyville, Louisiana in 1977. It could course of 200,000 barrels of oil a day when it first opened. The power since has been upgraded to process 539,000 barrels of oil a day.

Other refineries have been built since then, however most course of condensates, an oil byproduct.

Duval County Choose Ricardo “RockyCarrillo mentioned Raven Petroleum’s venture will carry near 1,800 building jobs to a rural economy ravaged by the downturn. It’s slated to break floor within the third quarter of 2017.

“Our present worth countywide is $900 million, so just put a pencil to it our tax charge would drop tremendously, by about 50 p.c,Carrillo said.

With a county population of round 12,000, Carrillo stated the jobs created will assist bolster the economy.

Between 400 and 500 everlasting jobs shall be wanted to employees the facility after it’ss finished, Carrillo and Jim Hogg County Choose Humberto Gonzalez mentioned. Raven Petroleum is aiming to open the refinery by the tip of 2018.

The corporate finally might construct a pipeline from Laredo to Brownsville to entry the Caribbean oil market, Raven managing director Christopher Moore stated within the news release.

Gonzalez mentioned Raven Petroleum instructed him it had been engaged on the Duval County project for Static And Dynamic Seals For Pyrolysis 2 years. He expects some of the benefits to spill over into Hebbronville, which is 5 miles away and the county seat for Jim Hogg.

“We’re going to benefit from sales tax, from housing, all the people who need providers to outlive. When you’ve acquired a minimum of 1,500 (employees), that’s half the town of Hebbronville coming in,Gonzalez said.

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In its information launch the company mentioned “Raven has acquired optimistic support from local county officials and the Texas Governor’s Office regarding permitting and development of the mission./p>

Sam Taylor, deputy press secretary for the governor’s workplace, confirmed in an e mail that it had been contacted by the company and stated “our office provided optimistic support for the project by facilitating (Raven Petroleum’s) communication with TCEQ./p>

Over the past few months, Carrillo and Gonzalez said they have created a tri-county financial improvement coalition together with Webb County Choose Tano Tijerina in an try to make the most of the financial opportunities presented by the refinery venture.

Gonzalez mentioned that with many individuals who used to work in the Eagle Ford shale now underemployed, he and other leaders want to prepare for the inflow of exercise and opportunities the refinery’s building and operation will carry.

“Food companies, lodging, all sorts of restaurants that want to arrange for this onslaught,he mentioned. “It’s a chance for our small businessman and our group folks to reap the benefits of this./p>

Duval County, population 11,388, had a staggering unemployment fee of eleven.9 p.c in September, compared with an unemployment fee of 5.3 p.c near the oil market’s peak two years before. The U.S. unemployment charge at present is four.9 p.c.

Unemployment in Jim Hogg County, which has 5,200 residents, stood at 10.3 % in September.

The oil trade is staggering to recuperate from the largest downturn in oil costs 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 around $47.50 a barrel on Tuesday.

Jim Hogg County has lost a minimum of $21 million in valuation on its minerals, reducing annual tax revenue by $500,000 over the past three years, Gonzalez stated.

“You can solely take so many hits of those every year, and for a $10 million finances that’s significant,he said. “All the counties surrounding us are in the same predicament and there’s not enough improve on the housing and other projects aspect to make up the distinction, so all of us lose./p>

The Environmental Integrity Mission, a Washington-based environmental group with offices in Austin, is preserving a close watch on the refinery. Ilan Levin, associate director for the group, mentioned “we’re hoping to get more data 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 process, the normal public conferences and public hearings that go along with these items just to be sure that the security precautions are being met and the highest-of-the-line requirements are being implemented,Levin mentioned.

Neither Raven Petroleum nor Raven Resource Group LLC have lively permits to refine crude on file with the Texas Fee on Environmental Quality. Any new refiner would wish to acquire permits by the TCEQ before it might begin building.

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