Valero to refine cheaper crude at Houston site

16 January 2013 20:01  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US refiner Valero will expand its Houston refinery to run cheaper crude oil and will buy 2,000 more rail cars to deliver crude from new production areas not served by pipelines, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.

Valero plans to spend $220-280m to build a crude oil topper at the 88,000 bbl/day Texas refinery. The topper will enable the substitution of more expensive imported crude with cheaper North American stocks, the company said in its most recent investor presentation.

The refinery processes mostly light sweet or intermediate crude, including some Eagle Ford, which is even lighter, company spokesman Bill Day said.  

The company plans to finish the topper in early 2015.

The addition of 2,000 rail cars will deliver crude from “new production areas that aren’t served by pipelines or other infrastructure for delivering crude to refineries,” Day said. 

He did not specify which refineries would receive crude by rail car but added that the company has discussed efforts to move about 40,000 bbl/day of Bakken crude to the 180,000 bbl/day Memphis refinery in Tennessee.

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By: Anna Matherne

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