Valero expanding capacity at Texas refineries
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Valero Energy is expanding its capacity to process a total of 185,000 barrels per day of light sweet crude oil from the Eagle Ford and other shale plays at the company’s McKee, Houston and Corpus Christi refineries.
Additionally, Valero Energy Corp. is expected to have its fifth refinery capable of processing nothing but North American crude by the end of 2015 at Valero’s Jean Gaulin Refinery in Quebec. The refinery was 100 percent dependent on foreign crude oil in first quarter 2013, but production from the tar sands region of Canada and the shale plays of the United States has dramatically changed the situation. The Jean Gaulin Refinery is processing about 80 percent North American-sourced crude oil but will be at 100 percent once a project to modify the Enbridge Line 9B Pipeline is completed in the fourth quarter of 2015.
The project will reverse the flow of the pipeline to enable oil from the tar sands region of Alberta to flow east to Valero’s refinery in Quebec. Valero’s Ardmore, McKee, Memphis and Three Rivers refineries can already process 100 percent North American crude oil, while other plants are processing an increasing amount of North American crude. A proposed rail terminal at the company’s Benicia refinery in California would enable Valero to offset foreign crude brought in by ship with North American crude brought in by rail.