Sinclair Begins $1B Tulsa Refinery Expansion
by Jason Womack Tulsa World
April 29, 2008
Sinclair Tulsa Refining Co. broke ground Friday on an expansion
project that is contributing millions to local businesses, company
Sinclair said it has placed orders or committed to place orders
totaling $150 million with Tulsa area suppliers and fabricators.
The total project, estimated to cost $1 billion, will boost
production at Sinclair's west Tulsa refinery and cut the plant's
"We really are trying to make our refinery more competitive in
the long run," said Kevin Brown, executive vice president of
Sinclair Tulsa Refining, a subsidiary of Salt Lake City-based
Sinclair Oil Corp.
Sinclair announced plans to increase production at the refinery
last fall. The project will raise output by 60 percent and allow the
plant to refine low-quality, heavy sour crude oil.
Refining capacity will jump to 115,000 barrels of crude per day
when the project is completed in 2010. The current capacity is
The expansion follows a growing trend in the refining industry. A
new refinery has not been built in the United States since 1976, but
the industry has engaged in expansion -- building out existing
facilities to meet a growing demand for fuel.
Refiners have added the equivalent of a new refinery every year
for the last decade.
The bulk of the production gains at Sinclair will be made in
diesel fuel. The refinery will add more than 36,000 barrels per day
of ultra low-sulfur diesel, bringing its total production of the
fuel to 56,300 barrels per day.
"One of the reasons diesel is so expensive is because there is a
worldwide shortage," Brown said.
Diesel prices continue to set records nationwide. The average
price of the fuel reached another all-time high Friday, reaching
$4.233 per gallon at the pump.
A year ago, diesel was averaging $2.921 per gallon, according to
AAA and the Oil Price Information Service.
Gasoline production at the Sinclair refinery will grow by 22
percent to nearly 49,000 barrels per day.
Although the facility will increase its production, Sinclair said
the plant's emissions will fall by 1,000 tons per year.
Sinclair will add a coker unit that will use an odor control
system, and also install an enclosed flare system.
Brown said the technology should make a difference to nearby
"I would hope they would notice fewer smells," he said.
Sinclair said the project will take 4 million man hours and, at
its peak, employ 2,500 people. Ultimately, the expansion will add
200 long-term, full-time jobs, Sinclair said.
The company has also contributed $250,000 to improve the River
Parks land along the west bank of the Arkansas River. It will add
190 trees and triple the area that Sinclair leases to River Parks
for public use. Those improvements are scheduled for completion by
Sinclair expansion timetable
2005: Sinclair Tulsa Refining Co. begins planning, feasibility
studies and the engineering for refinery expansion.
2007: Sinclair files an application to expand with the Oklahoma
Department of Environmental Quality.
2008: The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality approves
the application March 21.
2008: Construction begins in April.
2010: Refinery expansion scheduled for completion.
Source: Sinclair Tulsa Refining Co.
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Sinclair Oil Corp.
Tulsa, OK United States