Growth of crude oil production from the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas has Corpus Christi, TX-based Flint Hills Resources considering a $250 million expansion of its West Refinery.

“For the past three years we have watched Eagle Ford crude production grow while processing as much as possible with our current configuration and under our permits,” said Phil Gaarder, Flint Hills refining manager. “We think Corpus Christi is the most advantaged location to process this supply, and the time is here to evaluate projects to process more of the crude into fuels for Texas markets.”

Flint Hills operates two Corpus Christi refineries: the West Refinery, with a capacity of about 230,000 b/d, and the East Refinery, with a capacity of about 70,000 b/d.

“To be able to process more Texas crude, we need new processing capabilities, and we can do that with a net decrease in refinery emissions of traditional criteria air pollutants,” Gaarder said. “With the use of state-of-the-art pollution controls that reduce emissions beyond what is required by regulatory agencies, we have identified ways we can continue to decrease emissions.

“If we receive the final go-ahead and appropriate permits the site will see construction activity for about two years, with as many as 1,000 additional workers on site on many days.” He said the project will not require more land, and the new facilities will not be easily noticed by the traveling public on Interstate 37.

Flint Hills said it expects to submit the permit applications to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the coming weeks. Project information is available at

Also responding to Eagle Ford crude production, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (KMP) and Phillips 66 on Thursday announced an agreement for Kinder Morgan to transport Eagle Ford crude and condensate to Phillips 66’s Sweeny Refinery in Brazoria County, TX, which will necessitate the construction of a $90 million, 27-mile, 12-inch diameter lateral pipeline to extend the Kinder Morgan Crude Condensate pipeline (see Shale Daily, Aug. 24).