Billion Dollar Expansion Planned At Sinclair Refinery


Thursday, September 6th 2007, 9:18 am
By: News On 6


It's deja vu in Tulsa. Oil is making headlines all over again. On Wednesday night The News On 6 was the first to report that the Sinclair Corporation is investing $1 billion to expand and improve its Tulsa refinery operation. It means hundreds of jobs, first to build it, and then to run it. The News On 6’s Steve Berg reports in terms of dollars, the Chamber of Commerce says it might be the biggest investment a company has ever made in Tulsa.

"This billion dollar investment tells the world that Tulsa is here to do business," said Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor.

They may not be ready to crown Tulsa the oil capital once more, but clearly the oil business is alive and well. And Sinclair's Kevin Brown says the Tulsa location simply made good business sense.

"A lot of the infrastructure is already in place, so it's cheaper to do this on a refinery in an area you're already at, as opposed to going out to a greenfield and starting over," said Kevin Brown with Sinclair.

Brown explains that the Tulsa refinery is relatively simple compared to other refineries around the country, meaning it can only refine a few kinds of crude oil. The expansion will include additional technology that will let them process some of the harder to refine products, such as heavy sour crude.

"The heavy sour crudes tend to be cheaper, and it lowers our feedstock costs,” Brown said. “And by lowering our feedstock costs and producing a consistent slate of products then we help our profitability, and that's what pays for projects like this."

Brown says the Tulsa refinery's output will increase 60%.

"That's important for this country,” he said. “Not many people know it, but our country not only imports crude oil, we import a significant quantity of gasoline and a significant amount of diesel."

Employment is expected to rise at the plant along with a big ripple effect.

"You're looking at some 800 to 1,000 construction jobs that will be created in the next three years,” Mike Neal of the Tulsa Metro Chamber said. “We're taking a long time to build this project, a lot of people to build this project."

"In today's market, these folks are getting $30 an hour by the way, lots of money that can come into the Tulsa market," said Brown.

When all is said and done, the refinery in Tulsa will rank in the middle of U.S. refineries in terms of size. They expect to finish the expansion in 2010.

Watch the video: Billion Dollar Expansion Announced At Sinclair

For a summary of the Sinclair expansion, click here.

For Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality Violations for the Sinclair for the year 2004, click here.

For a compliance evaluation inspection of Sinclair Oil Corporation from May 2004 to June 2004, click here.

For Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality Violations for the Sinclair for the year 2005, click here.

For Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality Violations for the Sinclair for the year 2007, click here.

Related Story:

9/6/2007 Sinclair Expansion Could Create Nationwide Ripple Effect