Gordon Furbush

US Oil Refinery Fexibility

Recommended Posts

(edited)

I only follow the news around US refineries from an investor's perspective, so forgive me for asking stupid questions:

Why are US refineries so dependent on Saudi sour crude?

Why can't the US refine its own oil?  (Or is it that we just have minimal capacity?)

Is anyone working on designing and building a refinery that is less dependent on the grade and sulfur content of the oil?

Edited by Gordon Furbush
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(edited)

There was a gradual decline of sweet crude oil resources in the U.S. over time so that a shift to sour crude was being made over several years since it was more abundant.  Then shale fracking changed things in the U.S. and made sweet crude oil more abundant again. Generally, sweet crude oil is scarcer than sour crude oil which is more abundant in most of the world.

Edited by canadas canadas

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(edited)

That bolsters the argument that we need to build refineries that are more flexible.  Can we isolate particular parts of a refinery that are dependent on the grade and other characteristics of the oil?  Can these parts be componentized and swapped as needed?  Or better yet, be redesigned to adjust to the characteristics of any type of oil?

Edited by Gordon Furbush

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

(edited)

1 hour ago, Gordon Furbush said:

That bolsters the argument that we need to build refineries that are more flexible.  Can we isolate particular parts of a refinery that are dependent on the grade and other characteristics of the oil?  Can these parts be componentized and swapped as needed?  Or better yet, be redesigned to adjust to the characteristics of any type of oil?

Not profitably from my understanding.

It is difficult and expensive -but not impossible- to make heavier fractions from light oil or petroleum gas. 

For example, think of the price differential between regular and fully synthetic motor oil... you don't burn synthetic lubricants on purpose.

Edited by Enthalpic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, if I understand correctly, you can get a wider variety of petroleum end products from heavier oil.  That suggests it makes sense to have specialized refineries that process WTI into lighter products, such as gas and propane.  Do we have such refineries and can they produce lighter products at the same scale as the refineries built to process heavier grade oil?

Of course, under the current circumstances, these questions are moot.  But are relevant when looking into the future of oil refining.  To be truly energy independent, the US needs the ability to refine its own oil.

  • Rolling Eye 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check what the new refineries will be doing;

www.meridianenergyinc.com

Engineering green refineries primarily for shake, and built close to the source.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.