Meridian Energy advances North Dakota refinery project

Meridian Energy Group Inc., Irvine, Calif., has filed the first round of permit applications with local regulators to proceed with its proposed 55,000-b/sd Davis refinery to be built in the heart of southwestern North Dakota’s Bakken shale region, near Belfield, in Billings County, ND (OGJ Online, Dec. 23, 2015).

Meridian filed applications for a zoning certificate and conditional use permit for the initial phase of its planned two-phased grassroots refinery project on Mar. 22 with Billings County officials, the company said.

Phase 1, or Davis Light, will have a capacity of 27,500-b/sd and include a single crude unit as well as ancillary processing units, according to a project update from Meridian.

With fabrication of Phase-1 major process equipment scheduled to begin once engineering and fabrication drawings are completed, and pending approval of an air-quality permit by late this year, Meridian said it expects Davis Light to complete construction and reach startup sometime during 2017.

In the coming weeks, the company plans to file additional permit applications for the project, including an application with North Dakota’s health department for the refinery’s permit to construct, as well as an application to gain a conditional use and rezoning permit for an equipment assembly and fabrication facility, Meridian said.

To be operated by Houston-based Basic Equipment—Meridian’s previously announced project partner—the fabrication facility will support construction of the refinery as well as provide fabrication, maintenance, and repair services to other oil and gas businesses in the region.

Construction on the fabrication facility will begin following necessary permit approvals, as possibly as early as this summer, Meridian said.

The company said it will file applications for permits to proceed with construction of Phase 2 to expand the refinery to its nameplate 55,000-b/sd capacity once Phase 1 enters operation.

The fully expanded Davis refinery should be completed and operational sometime during 2019, Meridian said.

Meridian’s recent filing of permit applications for the greenfield refinery follows the company’s February announcement that it had partnered with engineering firm Vepica USA Inc., Houston, a subsidiary of Vepica CA, Caracas, to finalize details regarding capital and operating costs for the project, as well as to evaluate specific crude-feedstock options available to the refinery through process tolling agreements currently under negotiation with local Bakken and nearby producers (OGJ Online, Feb. 11, 2016).

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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