BP PLC has started up a 250,000-b/d crude distillation unit at its Whiting, Ind., refinery.
The unit returns the Whiting refinery to its 413,000-b/d nameplate processing capability and clears the way for remaining upgrades of new coking and hydrotreating units, the company said (OGJ Online, Feb. 1, 2011).
When those units are online later this year, the reconfigured refinery will have the flexibility to increase heavy, sour crude processing, according to Iain Conn, BP chief executive for refining and marketing.
Construction of the Whiting refinery upgrade is more than 95% complete, said the company, which expects to commission a new 105,000-b/d gas oil hydrotreater, a 102,000-b/d coker, and other associated units in this year’s second half. When all new equipment is fully operating, BP said, the refinery will be able to increase heavy, sour crude processing to roughly 80% of its overall crude run.