Motiva won’t expand oil refining in Port Arthur

Published 9:56 am Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Motiva Enterprises is continuing its first step toward expansion into petrochemicals in North America and is expected to make final investment decisions in 2019 on other possible projects along the Gulf Coast.

Motiva will do this not by expanding the refining capacity at the Port Arthur refinery — at 603,000 barrels of oil per day; it is the largest in the U.S. — but through additional refinery assets, company spokesperson Angela Goodwin said.

Back in April, Motiva announced they had signed two memorandums of understanding with TechnipFMC and Honeywell UOP to study the “potential petrochemical projects utilizing each companies’ technology,” according to archived information.

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“These agreements signal our plans for expansion into petrochemicals,” Brian Coffman, president and CEO of Motiva, said in the April 7 press release.

The Port Arthur refinery became Motiva’s only refining asset after the dissolution of the Saudi Aramco/Shell joint venture and officials have been assessing increasing refining capacity since that time and “considering many options and locations,” according to Motiva’s statement Monday.

“Hurricane Harvey’s timing and our decision to focus on locations outside of Port Arthur are coincidental,” she said, referring to national headlines saying Harvey was the reason for Motiva to look outside of Port Arthur.

In May 2017, Motiva announced a $12 billion investment with a likely additional investment of $18 billion by 2023.

The agreement was estimated to boost the Port Arthur facility’s operations, create about 2,500 additional jobs in the short term and 12,000 jobs by 2023.