In a landmark move,
) recently brought online its 250,000 barrel per day crude
distillation unit at the Whiting Refinery after concluding its
commissioning. This is the British oil giant's largest refinery
in the U.S.
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The start-up forms part of the facility's multi-billion dollar
upgrade in Northwest Indiana and is projected to generate an
incremental operating cash flow of $1 billion per year.
The large, high-tech Whiting Refinery returns the facility's
processing capacity to its maximum effect of 413,000 barrels per
day. The plant will initially process light, sweet crude and will
gradually proceed towards commissioning of the remaining upgrades
to the plant.
The new coking and hydrotreating units are expected to be brought
online and start operating at full capacity in the second half of
the current year. Consequently, the reconfigured refinery will
have the flexibility to greatly boost heavy, sour crude
The upgrade project at the Whiting Refinery is more than 95%
complete. In the later half of 2013, BP expects to establish a
new 105,000 barrel per day gasoil hydrotreater, a large 102,000
barrel per day coker and other associated units. Once all the new
equipment start operating at 100% capacity, the refinery will
process heavy, sour crude, accounting for about 80% of its
overall crude run.
The company is also upgrading several of its other refineries,
including those in Chery Point, Washington and Toledo, Ohio.
BP carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). However, there are other Zacks
Ranked #1 (Strong Buy) stocks -
PetroQuest Energy Inc.
Ocean Rig UDW Inc.
Hornbech Offshore Services, Inc.
) - that are expected to perform impressively over the short