Supported by increased crude oil production in the Permian Basin, ExxonMobil Corp. said Tuesday it has reached a final investment decision to build a unit at its Beaumont refinery east of Houston to increase capacity by more than 65%, or 250,000 b/d.
The third unit within the facility’s existing footprint would expand light crude oil refining with supply from West Texas and New Mexico.
“With access to terminals, railways, pipelines and waterways nearby, the Beaumont refinery is strategically positioned to benefit from Permian production growth,” said ExxonMobil’s Bryan Milton, president of the Fuels and Lubricants company. “The addition of a third crude unit in Beaumont will enhance the refinery’s competitive position and truly establish it as a leader in the U.S. refining industry.”
Startup of the unit is anticipated by 2022. The project is expected to create up to 1,850 jobs during construction and 40-60 permanent jobs once completed.
ExxonMobil is building and expanding Gulf Coast manufacturing facilities as part of its estimated $20 billion “Growing the Gulf” initiative to expand or build a variety of oil and gas related projects.
Among other things, ExxonMobil is considering an expansion of Beaumont’s polyethylene capacity by 65%, adding a unit in Beaumont to increase production of ultra-low sulfur fuels, and a new 1.5 million metric ton/year (mmty) ethane cracker at the integrated Baytown chemical and refining complex in Texas.
Last year ExxonMobil and Saudi Basic Industries, aka SABIC, also created a joint venture within the initiative to advance the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project, a 1.8 mmty ethane cracker proposed for San Patricio County in South Texas.
ExxonMobil’s integrated operations in Beaumont include a 366,000 b/d capacity refinery, as well as chemical, lubricants and polyethylene plants. The supermajor employs about 2,100 people in the Beaumont area, and its operations account for nearly one in every seven jobs in the region.