HollyFrontier wraps yearend planned refinery maintenance

US refiner HollyFrontier Corp., Dallas, has concluded planned maintenance activities scheduled during fourth-quarter 2015 for its refineries in El Dorado, Kan.; Cheyenne, Wyo.; and Tulsa.

As of Dec. 28, 2015, all yearend maintenance projects under way at the three refineries were completed, the company said.

At its 133,000 b/d (135,000-b/sd) El Dorado and 49,400-b/d (52,000-b/sd) Cheyenne refineries, the scope of planned maintenance included work on distillate hydrotreating units, while maintenance at the 85,500-b/d (90,000-b/sd) Tulsa West branch of the combined 157,225-b/d (165,500-b/sd) Tulsa refinery involved scheduled work at crude distillation and lubricants units, HollyFrontier said.

The company said it also completed repairs to the Tulsa refinery’s fluid catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) during fourth-quarter 2015 after an unplanned shutdown of the unit that occurred earlier in the quarter.

While HollyFrontier disclosed no further details regarding the FCCU’s unexpected outage, the company did confirm its restart of the unit following the unidentified repair work.

The company also apprised investors of reduced crude throughputs during fourth-quarter 2015 at its 109,250-b/d (115,000-b/sd) Artesia, NM, refinery as a result crude availability constraints caused by extreme weather conditions in the region.

The planned and unplanned maintenance events at the El Dorado, Cheyenne, and Tulsa refineries, alongside the inclement weather issues impacting the Artesia operations, are expected to nominally reduce the refiner’s average overall crude throughputs for fourth-quarter 2015 to 395,000-405,000 b/d, HollyFrontier said.

The company previously anticipated total crude throughputs for the fourth quarter to average 410,000-415,000 b/d, according to its latest guidance to investors issued on Dec. 1, 2015.

Overall crude throughputs during third-quarter 2015 averaged about 460,000 b/d vs. the company’s original guidance range for the quarter of 440,000-445,000 b/d, George J. Damiris, HollyFrontier’s newly appointed chief executive officer and president (OGJ Online, Dec. 7, 2015), told investors in a Nov. 5, 2015, earnings call.

HollyFrontier already has completed and continues to evaluate a series of projects designed to expand and modernize operations at all five of its US refining centers between 2015 and 2018 as part of a $325-million capital investment program to be implemented between 2015 and 2018 (OGJ Online, Oct. 8, 2015; Sept. 8, 2015).

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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