Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oil processing plant planned for Basin crude

A Park City firm has announced plans to build a crude oil processing plant — known as an upgrader — in Uintah County.

Uintah Partners LLC says the plant, located on private property 10 miles south of Fort Duchesne, will be able to upgrade 44,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

“Upgrading is a process for black and yellow wax crude oil we have in the Uintah Basin,” said Uintah Partners spokesman Jeff Hartley. “It’s a process that makes the oil more viscous and allows it to flow.”

Normally, the high paraffin content of local crude makes it too thick to pass through a pipeline without the material solidifying quickly. Upgrading the oil will make pipeline transportation possible.

Uintah Partners plans three major units, including a crude oil unit, a 30,000 bpd fluid catalytic cracking unit, and a Merox unit that uses the latest separation technology.

“Technically this isn’t a refinery. They’re doing something which is called cat-cracking in the industry,” Hartley said. “The crude oil will be piped through the Chevron pipeline to the north and west. We’re concurrently negotiating now to construct an eastern pipeline.”

The company anticipates as many as 100 construction jobs with roughly 200 full-time jobs once the plant is in operation. according to Hartley.,1274909