Project makes Motiva Port Arthur country’s largest refinery
Refinery in Port Arthur on May 31 to celebrate the completion of a
five-year construction project that made that facility the country’s
largest oil refinery and one of the largest in the world. The landmark
Crude Expansion Project more than doubled the facility’s daily
processing capacity to 600,000 barrels of crude.
With more than 14,000 people working on the project at peak construction
and more than 300 new permanent jobs, the expansion bolstered Motiva’s
position as one of Port Arthur’s largest employers and a leading
revenue source for the city, county and local public schools. The
overall economic impact of the project in the region has been estimated
in excess of $17 billion.
Executives of the companies that jointly own Motiva – Peter Voser, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell; and Khalid Al-Falih, president and CEO, Saudi Aramco
– turned the ceremonial valve commemorating the start of oil flowing
through new processing units at the complex. At the event, Motiva CEO Bob Pease extended his thanks to Port Arthur and the surrounding region for their continued support of the project.
“This was truly a community effort that involved so many people and
businesses in the Golden Triangle area of Southeast Texas,” said Pease.
“The tremendous talent and skill of the employees and contractors who
worked on the expansion, day in and day out; the quality of products and
services provided by local suppliers; the enthusiasm and support of
public officials and local community — All of these contributions came
together to make this project a success.”
Pease also noted that the expanded refinery can process a wide variety
of crude oils, ranging from relatively light to heavy. It also has the
flexibility to switch between primarily producing gasoline and diesel to
adapt to varying market conditions.
Al-Falih described the expansion project as a significant milestone of Saudi Aramco’s enduring energy ties with the United States.
“Our investment in Port Arthur is an integral part of Saudi Aramco’s
global downstream expansion strategy. Our commitment to meet the needs
of the United States’ oil market, our expanded stake in U.S. downstream,
and our R&D investments in future transportation fuels will
contribute to enhancing the United States’ long-term energy security –
today, tomorrow, and for decades to come,” he said.
Al-Falih is a
Saudi national with an extensive background in this country and a
particular connection with Texas. A graduate of Texas A&M, Al-Falih
noted that Texas companies and individuals have been in Saudi Arabia
for eight decades, making the business and personal links extensive and
Royal Dutch Shell CEO Voser
added, “Port Arthur’s expansion is central to Shell’s plans for
selective downstream growth in North America. This refinery will make a
major difference to our ability to process the lowest cost crudes to high quality oil products for our customers.”
The Port Arthur Refinery celebrated its 100th anniversary on Nov. 13, 2003.
It began operations as first refinery of The Texas Company (later
Texaco) in 1903. It was a direct by-product of the Jan. 10, 1901, Lucas
Gusher and the resulting Spindletop oil boom.
On Jan. 1, 1989, Saudi Refining Inc. purchased 50 percent of the Port
Arthur Refinery as part of a joint venture with Texaco and Saudi
Refining, and the refinery became known as Star Enterprise. On July 1,
1998, a joint venture was formed between Texaco, Saudi Refining and
Shell Oil Co. under the name Motiva Enterprises LLC.
Headquartered in Houston, Motiva Enterprises LLC is a refining and marketing joint venture owned by affiliates of Shell and Saudi Aramco. Motiva’s
marketing operations support a network of about 8,300 Shell-branded
gasoline stations in the eastern and southern United States.
In 2001, Texaco was purchased by Chevron and its interest in Motiva was sold to Shell Oil and Saudi Refining Inc. The Port Arthur Refinery is still operated as Motiva, which is now jointly owned, with Shell Oil and Saudi Refining Inc. being 50/50 partners.
The refinery covers about 3,600 acres and is located in Jefferson County
within the city limits of Port Arthur, between Highway 73 and Highway
87 on Savannah Avenue. It is the largest single lube plant in the United
States, producing lubricant base oils that are sold to Shell Lubricants
as well as various industrial companies. The refinery has a diverse
workforce of about 1,300 full-time employees and more than 500
contractors on site each day.