Not good news for motorists in the Great Lakes. BP has indicated that a massive multi-year expansion project will not be completed on time.
The sixth largest refinery in the country, according to BP, lies in Whiting, Indiana. The facility has been undergoing a multi-billion dollar expansion since 2008, and was tentatively scheduled to be online in early 2013. However, problems arose. According to
Bloomberg, the refinery expansion may not be complete until the third quarter at earliest.
The project is significant in that it will allow the BP refinery to process significantly more Canadian crude oil than it currently does- rising from 80,000 barrels per day to nearly 350,000 barrels per day. Currently, Canadian crude oil is trading at significant discounts to several other benchmark crude oils.
The expansion will increase gasoline production at the plant, according to BP, which will certainly help with some of the volatility seen in Midwest gas prices as of late. It may also give BP a distinct advantage by processing cheaper crude oil than nearby competitors. However, with the unit scheduled to come online during the latter half of the summer, not much benefit may be realized.
Many refineries across the country, like BP, continue to upgrade their facilities to process cheaper Canadian crude oil thanks to its continued price advantage versus other crudes.
Read more about the BP upgrade