Texas Oil: Landscape of an Industry
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Rhodia Houston Plant
This chemical plant on Houston's Ship Channel is major producer of sulfur dioxide and sulfuric acid. It is operated by Rhodia Eco Services, one of three sites in the area operated by the company (the others are in Freeport and Baytown). Rhodia is a leading maker of sulfuric acid and specialty phosphates. It is a French company, spun out of Rhone-Poulenc in 1998. The company's plants are often located near refineries, as sulfuric acid is used to make gasoline. It is also used in batteries, paper bleaching, and numerous other industrial applications.
Valero Houston Refinery
With a throughput of 140,000 barrels of oil per day, this is considered a midsize oil refinery. It produces gasoline, diesel, kerosene, asphalt, jet fuel, sulfur, fuel oil and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Employs approximately 300 people, on 250 acres. The refinery was built as part of the rapid expansion of petrochemicals in the region during WWII. Valero, based in San Antonio, is one of the largest refining and gasoline marketing companies in the country, with twelve refineries and hundreds of gas stations. It grew rapidly through acquisitions, acquiring this plant from Basis Petroleum in 1997. It is located on the Houston Ship Channel, and has facilities for offloading feedstocks, and is connected to the major pipelines running through the region, the largest petrochemical corridor in the nation.
Texas Petrochemicals Houston
This plant, located adjacent to a Goodyear facility, is one of the major synthetic rubber plants in the country. It was built during the rapid expansion of synthetic rubber production brought on by WWII, when the Japanese controlled much of the natural rubber areas in Asia. The plant was purchased by Texas Petrochemicals, a relatively small, local chemical company, from a subsidiary of Tenneco in 1984. This plant, and another owned by the company in Port Neches, Texas, make Texas Petrochemicals one of the largest suppliers of butadiene in the country. Butadiene is a feedstock for synthetic rubber, and carpet nylon. The plant covers 256 acres and produces more than 1.5 billion pounds of product per year. It is located on the west end Houston's petrochemical corridor, on the south side of Highway 225.
Lyondell, Houston
One of the largest high sulfur crude refineries in the nation. Covering 700 acres along Houston's Ship Channel, it has the capacity to turn 268,000 barrels of crude per day into gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, lubricants, and coke. It was one of the first refineries built in the region, in 1918, when it was operated by Sinclair. It was later bought by ARCO. It became part of the original assets of the Lyondell Chemical Company, along with an olefins plant across the channel in Channelview, when the company was established as a spin-off of ARCO in 1985. The plant, with over 1,500 employees, was operated jointly with the Venezuelan company CITGO from 1993 to 2006, but is now operated solely by the Houston Refining LP subsidiary of Lyondell. Lyondell, based in Houston, is of the largest chemical companies in the nation. It became even larger 2007, when it was acquired by the Dutch company Basell, becoming LyondellBasell, with 19 plants in the USA, 9 of them in Texas.
Pasadena Refining Company
A medium sized, "independently owned" refinery in Pasadena, located on Houston's Ship Channel. The Pasadena Refining System Inc. (PSRI)'s 120,000 barrel per day capacity plant was purchased from the Crown Central Petroleum Company, and is operated by Astra Holding USA (a division of the Belgian company Transcor International), under a partnership with Petrobras, the federal Brazilian energy company.
ChevronPhillips Pasadena Plastics Complex
One of a few major plants in the region that are owned by ChevronPhillips, a large petrochemical company based in the Woodlands, north of Houston. ChevronPhillips was created in 2000, by joining the chemical divisions of Chevron and Phillips (now ConocoPhillips). Though an independent company, ChevronPhillips is still co-owned by Chevron and ConocoPhillips. It owns 36 petrochemical plants around the world, including in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia. In Texas, the company has plants in Cedar Bayou, Port Arthur, Pasadena, and Borger. The Pasadena plant makes feedstocks for the plastics industry.
Ethyl Corporation Plant
This plant, one of two owned by the Ethyl company in the USA (the other is in Richmond, Virginia) makes fuel additives. The Ethyl Company was founded by General Motors and Standard Oil in 1923, to produce Tetraethyl lead (TEL) which was discovered to significantly reduce engine knock when added to gasoline. Leaded gasoline became the norm for decades, before the pollution it produced provoked legislation to ban it. A few companies still market TEL, including the Ethyl Corporation. It is owned by the NewMarket Corporation of Virginia.
Shell Deer Park
Shell Deer Park is one of the largest petrochemical sites in the nation, covering 1,500 acres, combining a major refinery and a major chemical plant, both owned by the oil company Royal Dutch Shell. The refinery has the capacity of processing 340,000 barrels of crude per day, making it amonth the top ten largest refineries in the nation. It is operated in partnership with Pemex, the federal Mexican oil company, as it processes a lot of oil from that country. Established in 1929, the refinery refines sour crude from Africa and Venezuela as well. The chemical plant was established in the 1940s and makes base materials for the chemical and plastics industry, including aromatics such as benzyne, and xylene; olefins such as ethylene, propelyne, butylene; phenols; and solvents. Most of the products are moved to other plants by pipeline, though the dock at Deer Park, on the Houston Ship Channel, handles enough material to rank it the 25th largest port in the nation.
Oxyvinyls Deer Park
Oxyvinyls Deer Park Manufacturing plant for polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polypropylene ether, polystyrene, polyester, polyurethane, and other poly plastics chemicals and resins. Oxyvinyls is part of Oxychem, which is based in Dallas and has 21 plants in the USA, six of them in Texas, mostly along the Gulf Coast and Ship Channel. Oxychem is a subsidiary of the Occidental Petroleum Corporation of Los Angeles.
Rohm and Haas Deer Park
This plant is the world's largest manufacturer of methacrylate and acrylic monomers, used to make latex paints, of the variety found in consumer big box stores. The plant was built after WWII, by the Philadelphia-based chemical company, Rohm and Haas. Rohm and Haas specializes in acrylic chemistry, and is a leading producer of the source chemicals for paints, adhesives, and laminates. The company has dozens of plants around the country, including those of its subsidiary Morton Salt. This plant, and the company's adjacent Lone Star Plant, are among the largest of the company's holdings. The other company plant in Texas is in Bayport.
Vopak/Intercontinental Terminal
The Dutch company Vopak operates a large tank farm, rail, and ship dock terminal here on the south side of Houston's Ship Channel, for storing and shipping petrochemical products entering and leaving through this, the heart of the nation's largest petrochemical corridor. Vopak is one of the largest bulk liquid handling companies in the world, with 80 terminals in 32 nations. The terminal is adjacent to the locally owned and operated Intercontinental Terminals Company, which performs a similar function.
Oxyvinyls La Porte
This plant makes vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), the key chemical precursor to polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a common and inexpensive plastic material used in pipes, and thousands of industrial and consumer products. VCM is made by combining ethylene, which comes from refineries, and chlorine, which comes from salt brine. This is one of a few petrochemical plants in the region operated by OxyChemical, based in Dallas, and owned by the Occidental Petroleum Company.
Lyondell La Porte Complex
The La Porte Complex of Lyondell is covers 540 acres, bisected by Miller Cut-off Road, in the Battleground Industrial District, near the San Jacinto Monument. The complex consists of two plants, each with port access, operated by separate subsidiaries of Lyondell before Lyondell's acquisition by the Dutch chemical conglomerate Basell in 2007. Equistar Chemical, on one side of the road produced base chemicals for the type of plastic used in milk crates and household chemical bottles. Millennium Chemicals, on the other side, made acetic acid (used in foods), and vinyl acetate, used in adhesives and paints.
ExxonMobil Baytown Refinery
With a refining capacity of over 550,000 barrels per day, this is the largest refinery in the United States. And with 2,400 acres of intensely industrialized land within its perimeter, this is one of the largest industrial sites in the world. In addition to the refinery, ExxonMobil Chemical operates two petrochemical plants on the site, making 13 billion pounds of chemicals a year for a variety of industries and products. The refinery opened in 1919, by the Humble Oil Company, which later became Exxon. The 2.5 mile wide plant employs over 4,000 people. ExxonMobil, often ranked as the most profitable and largest company in the world, is based in Irving, Texas, near Dallas.
Houston Fuel Oil Terminal
A large liquid terminal facility on the north east side of Houston's Ship Channel, exclusively used for crude and fuel oil. The facility has three tanker docks, and over sixty large tanks, cumulatively capable of storing more than 10 million barrels of oil.
Sheldon Road Pipe Yard
One of several pipe yards in the Houston area used to supply the industry.
Lyondell Channelview
Also known as the Channelview Chemical Complex, this is a major petrochemical plant employing 1,800 people, and totaling 4,000 acres. It began operation in 1957, as Texas Butadiene and Chemical, and later became an Equistar plant, a company subsidiary of Houston-based Lyondell (Lyondell is now owned by a Dutch company and is called LyondellBesell). Two olefin units on north side make ethylene, propylene, butadiene and benzene. The south facility uses these feedstocks to make propylene oxide, styrene monomers, gas blending products, and other products that are used in goods such as clothing, food packaging, furnishings, and building materials.
Celanese Clear Lake
The Clear Lake plant of the Celanese Corporation opened in 1964. It is located in a petrochemical plant cluster in southern Pasadena that is separate from the rest of the Houston Ship Channel petrochemical corridor, near the Bayport Ship Channel. Celanese is one of the largest producers of acetyls, an intermediate petrochemical used in many other petrochemicals and plastics. Celanese has a few other plants in Texas, and is headquartered outside Dallas.
BP Texas City
At four miles wide, what is generally referred to as BP Texas City, southeast of Houston, is one of the largest industrial sites in the world. The perimeter is intensely developed, and contains a number of plants and companies, connected to each other symbiotically by shared chemical products circulated in pipelines. On the west end is Dow's Texas City Operations. In the middle and dominating the site is BPs refinery. With a capacity of 460,000 barrels per day, this is usually ranked as the third largest refinery in the USA. It is also notorious for deadly industrial accidents. There are four chemical units on site operated by BP, making paraxylene, metaxylene, and other plastics feedstocks. Marathon Oil, Sterling Chemical, and Valero have facilities on the east side of the Texas City site. The east edge of the complex is the Port of Texas City, which serves the complex.
Port of Texas City
Located on Galveston Bay, southeast of Houston, at the edge of the massive BP Texas City refinery and chemical plant, and Valero's Texas City Refinery. The port serves the regional petrochemical industry. It is a large petroleum coke terminal, and a major port for crude and refined products. Also the site of what is often called America's worst industrial accident. On April 16, 1947, a ship at the port, loaded with ammonium nitrate, caught fire and exploded, setting off a series of other explosions at the refineries. Over 560 people were killed (113 of whose remains were never found), and over 500 homes were destroyed. A two ton anchor from the ship was hurled over a mile, and stands nearby as monument to the disaster.
ChevronPhillips Chemical Baytown
Also known as the Cedar Bayou Chemical Complex, this plant, next to Interstate 10, is a major producer of high density polyethylene (HDPE), a type of plastic that is widely used in consumer goods, such as milk bottles, lawn furniture, gas cans, and plastic bags. Though each pound of HDPE takes nearly twice as much petroleum to produce it, it is commonly recycled, labeled as #2 plastic on many of the products that are made of it. This plant is 50% owned by ChvronPhillips (a Texas-based company that is itself owned by Chevron and ConocoPhillips), and BP/Solvay.
Mont Belvieu Storage Area
Mont Belvieu is perhaps the largest volatile hydrocarbon storage site in the country. Around 100 excavated cavities have been made inside the large salt dome that underlies the rise in the landscape that gives the town its name. Of these some are over 2,000 feet tall, holding more fluid than a supertanker. Several companies operate the storage cavities and the pipelines connected to them, that flow to and from the refineries of the Gulf Coast, and to markets elsewhere in the country. Mont Belvieu is one of dozens of salt domes along the gulf coast, many of which have been developed as oil drilling sites, and as underground gas and petrochemical storage.
Big Hill Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Big Hill is a federally-controlled underground petroleum storage site, one of four in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve program of the US Government. Along with another site in Texas (the Bryan Mound site near Freeport), and two in Louisiana, these sites can hold over 700 million barrels of crude, equivalent to two months of domestic consumption. Intended as an emergency supply for the nation, releases from the reserve have been used to manipulate the market. Big Hill was made between 1987 and 1991, and is connected by a 25 mile long, 36 inch wide pipeline to a terminal in Nederland. Like the other sites, Big Hill is a naturally formed underground salt dome with excavated cavities used to hold the oil. Each of the 14 cavities at Big Hill is around 2,000 feet in height, 200 feet wide, and can hold 12 million barrels.
Goodyear Beaumont
This plant, on the Interstate south of Beaumont, manufactures synthetic rubber. It is one of three petrochemical plants operated by Goodyear in Texas. The company makes most of its rubber in the state, and operates a tire proving ground in western Texas. Goodyear is based in Akron, Ohio.
Spindletop Salt Dome
Famous as the site of the 1901 gusher that started the rush to develop Texas's oil reserves, and once covered in a forest of oil derricks, the Spindletop oil field is largely depleted, and the salt dome of Spindletop is used as an underground storage site for oil and gas. The site of the well of the historic Lucas Gusher is marked with a flagless flagpole, distantly visible from an interpretive overlook on the edge of the site, as the rest of the property is private, and busy with companies building and maintaining the underground storage cavities. A large monument that was located at the site had to be moved, as the ground was subsiding, and the monument was leaning dangerously. The monument is located a few miles away at the Spindletop Gladys City Museum.
ExxonMobil Beaumont
ExxonMobil operates a large refinery in Beaumont, one of just a few operated by the company in the USA, including in Torrance, CA; Joliet, IL; Baton Rouge, LA; Poulsboro, NJ, and the nations largest refinery in Baytown, Texas. ExxonMobil is headquartered in Irving, outside Dallas.
DuPont Beaumont
This petrochemical plant makes mostly acrylonitrile, a feedstock for a variety of acrylic plastics; aniline, which is used in polyurethane; and the chlorosulfonated polyethylene branded as Hypalon, which is in rubbery plasics, like those found in rubber rafts, pond liners, and wire insulation. Dupont is the largest American chemical company, inventing materials and generating famous name brands, such as Tyvek, Lycra, nylon, Teflon, and neoprene. based in Delaware, the company has nine plants in Texas, all along the Gulf Coast, including some of the largest petrochemical complexes in the world.
Texas Petrochemicals Port Neches
Texas Petrochemicals bought this olefins plant in 2006, the second of two major plants owned by Texas Petrochemicals, a relatively small petrochemical company based in Houston (the first plant was a large synthetic rubber plant in Houston). The Port Neches facility produces up to 900 million pounds of butadiene per year. Much of the company's product is shipped in liquid form via pipeline to other company's plants, and to its coastal terminal in Lake Charles, Louisiana. In addition, the company has a propylene plant in Baytown.
Huntsman Port Neches
Huntsman makes a variety of plastics feedstocks at a few locations around Texas. This plant makes maleic anhydride, used in polyester resins such as fiberglass. Huntsman is a petrochemical company based in the Woodlands, north of Houston.
Total Petrochemicals Port Arthur
This site includes a medium sized refinery and a chemical plant, owned by the French petrochemical company Total, formerly known as Fina. Fina bought the plant in 1973, and expanded it significantly, creating a 174,000 barrels per day capacity plant by the 1980s. Also on site, as a joint venture with BASF, is “the world’s largest single train naptha stream cracker,” which produces ethylene and propylene. Ethylene is used in plastic cups, bottles, traffic cones, trash bags, and sleeping bag stuffing, to name a few of its thousands of uses. Propylene is used in food packaging, toys, carpets, and many, many other things. The plant also produces benzene which is shipped to the company’s styrene plant in Baton Rouge.
Motiva Port Arthur
A large and historic refinery, the Port Arthur Refinery covers 3,600 acres (2,000 of it developed), and was established in 1903, as Texaco's first refinery, to process crude from the nearby fields around Spindletop. In 1998, the Saudi Refining Company entered a joint partnership with Texaco to operate the refinery, as a copany called Motiva. After Texaco was purchased by Chevron, in 2001, the company's 50% share was sold to Shell. The refinery employs more than 900 people, and has a capacity of 275,000 barrels per day, producing gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and a number of petrochemical base materials.
Coke Dock Port Arthur
Located in the port area at the southern end of the city, Port Arthur's Coke Dock is a major transfer point for petroleum coke produced by the region's refineries. The black solid material is mostly carbon, and is used in a variety of industrial applications, including steel production. Most refineries produce some amount of the product.
Golden Pass LNG Terminal
A massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on 900 acres near Sabine Pass, south of Port Arthur. This facility, opening in 2010, after three years of construction, cost over $1billion. It was built to hold and distribute LNG produced from offshore oil fields in Qatar. The facility is owned primarily by the government of Qatar's petroleum company, with a remaining 30% shared by ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips. The terminal is located on the Sabine-Neches ship channel, and has berths for unloading two LNG ships at a time. A 75 mile long 42 inch wide pipeline was also built to connect the terminal to the national LNG pipeline grid. There is another large LNG terminal across the channel from this one, on the Louisiana side, making this possibly the largest LNG port area in the country.
Rowan Marine Services Yard Sabine
Rowan is a drilling, construction, and engineering company specializing in large-scale steel fabrication. They make off-shore oil rigs and also operate the drilling contracts performed on them. They have a number of rig fabrication and repair yards along the Gulf Coast, including this one at Sabine, south of Port Arthur. Rowan also owns the steel and equipment company LeTourneau.
Honeywell Orange
A chemical plant owned and operated by Honeywell. Located along a petrochemical district on the southern end of the city of Orange, Texas, near Port Arthur. DuPonts Sabine River Works dominates this district.
DuPont Sabine River Works
The Sabine River Works plant is a major source for ethylene copolymers, used in plastic packaging, and in industry. DuPont, based in Delaware, has 60,000 employees around the globe. It has nine plants in Texas, all along the Gulf Coast, including some of the largest petrochemical complexes in the world.
Chocolate Bayou Complex
A petrochemical complex composed of two separate but adjacent facilities, south of the town of Alvin, and about thirty miles south of Houston. The plants have been associated with Oxychemical, Monsanto, Amoco, Ineos, Equistar, and Solutia. On site is a polymer plant, using ethylene to produce high density polyethylene (HDPE) resin, a common plastic used in consumer goods and industry. There is also a chemical plant with an olefins unit that produces ethylene, propylene, benzene and butadiene, common feedstocks for chemicals and plastics. The Solutia plant is one of the largest producers of acrylonitrile, used for nylon and acrylic apparel. Other products produced on site include disodium imminodiacetate, used for Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, and Alimet, a dietary supplement used in chicken feed.
Dow Freeport
Dow rivals DuPont as the nation's largest chemical company. Though headquartered in Michigan, half the company's manufacturing assets are at six sites in Texas. Of these, Freeport, on the coast forty miles south of Houston, is the first and largest. Also called Dow Texas Operations, Dow Freeport consists of three primary complexes in town, Plant A, Plant B, and Oyster Creek, connected to one another by road, rail, and pipelines, totalling over 5,000 acres and 1,900 buildings. On these sites are 75 production plants, making nearly half of the company's products sold in the USA, and about 21% of its global production. Dow first came to Freeport by opening a plant to extract magnesium from seawater, in 1940, a site now known as Plant A, located at the mouth of the Brazos River. A second plant was established during the war, a little further inland and away from U-boats, to increase magnesium production, called Plant B. The residential village of Lake Jackson was built to house 5,000 plant workers during wartime. The Oyster Creek plant was built in 1969.
Bryan Mound Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Located on the west side of Freeport is one of two federal Strategic Petroleum Reserve sites in Texas, the Bryan Mound site. Like the other (Big Hill, near Beaumont) and the other two in Louisiana, Bryan Mound is a subterranean salt dome that has been excavated to hold part of the 700 million barrels of oil held by the SPR, for use in national emergencies. Bryan Mound has 20 underground chambers, most as large as upended supertankers, capable of holding a total of 226 million barrels at the site. The cavities are excavated using water injected in to the ground to melt the salt. The salt water is then pumped out and disposed of. They are over 1,000 feet below the surface, and are not generally entered by humans. The storage site is connected to port facilities at Freeport; to a Phillips tank farm 3 miles away, and a 46-inch diameter pipe that connects to the refiner and docks at Texas City. Bryan Mound is manned by a staff of around 100, including around 40 security guards. Very few visitors are allowed on site.
ChevronPhillips ConocoPhillips Old Ocean
A major petrochemical plant and refinery, located at Old Ocean, near Sweeney, 40 miles southwest of Houston. The Sweeny Refinery on site is owned by ConocoPhillips, and has a capacity of 247,000 barrels per day. Also on site is a chemical plant, owned by ChevronPhillips, a company half owned by ConocoPhillips (the other half is owned by Chevron). The site was first developed in WWII, as a carbon black plant (used for rubber production), built by Phillips Petroleum. The surface facilities for a large underground chemical storage site for the plant can be seen mile south of the plant, at Armstrong Lake.
Oxea Bay City
An isolated chemical plant north of Bay City. Covers 1,000 acres and employs around 130 people. Produces butyraldehyde, butanol, propanol, propionaldehyde, undecanal, heptanoic acid, pelargonic acid, iso-nonanoic acid, n-propyl acetate, n-butyl acetate, and iso-butyl acetate. Uses include latex paints, oil-based paints, household cleaners, brake fluids, solvents, safety glass, inks, herbicides, grain preservatives, feed supplements, synthetic lubricants, metals working fluids, detergents, cosmetics, printing inks, lacquers, flavoring agents and perfumes, paint solvents, pharmaceuticals, and film. Oxea was created in 2007 by a merger of European Oxo GmbH, and portions of the Celanese Group.
Formosa Plastics Point Comfort
Formosa's 1,600 acre petrochemical complex, on the Gulf Coast between Corpus Christi and Houston, is one of the more recently constructed and largest petrochemical plants to be made in the nation. After the initial VCM/PVC plant went online in 1983, around $3billion more has been spent expanding the site in the 1990s and 2000s. The site now has 18 production units, making many common plastics and feedstocks including LLDPE, HDPE, Chlor-alkali, ethylene dichloride, and polypropylene. At full capacity, the plant employs over 2,000 people. Formosa, a privately held company based in New Jersey, has two other plants in the USA, at Delaware City, Delaware and in baton Rouge, Louisiana. The company is a unit of the Formosa Plastics Group of Taiwan, which employs over 94,000 people in plastics production worldwide. Across from the Formosa Plant in Point Comfort is a massive Alcoa alumina plant.
Victoria Plastics Complex
A petrochemical plant with several companies operating on site, south of the town of Victoria, 120 miles southwest of Houston. The Victoria Plastics Complex is connected to the Gulf, 30 miles away, by the Victoria Barge Canal, an artificial channel connecting the plant to the bay behind Matagorda Island, near Seadrift. On site are DuPont, making packaging and industrial polymers and ethylene copolymers; Equistar/Lyondell; and Invista.
Ineos Nitriles Green Lake
A plant on Green Lake, between Corpus Christi and Houston built in 1981 that makes 450,000 tons of acrylonitriles per year. It employs around 200 people. It has a sister plant in Lima, Ohio. Locate a few miles northwest of the large Dow plant at Seadrift.
Dow Seadrift
A large petrochemical plant making polyethylene, glycols, and oxide derivatives, for a wide range of products including tubing, food containers, toys, antifreeze, shampoos, brake fluids, and detergents. 11 production units on a 4,000 acre site. One of six major production centers that Dow operates along the Gulf Coast of Texas.
Gulf Marine Fabricators Ingleside Yard
A major offshore oil rig construction yard, located on the intracoastal waterway at Ingleside, across the bay from Corpus Christi. This is the larger of two yards in the area owned by the Gulf Island Fabrication company, based in Houma, Louisiana. The North Yard is a near Aransas Pass, three miles up the waterway. This, the South Yard, is a 200 acres open space with cranes and sheds, where some of the largest movable manufactured objects in the world have been assembled, such as 4,500 ton oil rig topsides, and the 50,000 ton, 1,350 foot tall jacket tower to support the Bullwinkle deepwater offshore oil rig. The yard has a 600 foot long graving dock, where large objects can be constructed below sea level, then floated out. The yard used to be owned by Aker-Kiewit, before they split, and Kiewit built a new yard nearby.
Kiewit Offshore Services Ingleside Yard
This is a major oil rig construction yard, built on Corpus Christi Ship Bay in Ingleside in 2001 by Kiewitt Offshore. The yard is 400 acres, and has an unusually large crane, the Heavy Lifting Device, which is capable of lifting up to 13,000 tons. Kiewit is a large construction company that builds highway overpasses, skyscrapers, power plants, and other large-scale engineering projects. They have fabrication yards for offshore projects at a number of locations, including in Newfoundland. Their offshore division was formerly part of Aker-Kiewit, which occupied the nearby Gulf Marine yard at Ingleside, where they made the largest freestanding oil production platform in the World, the Bullwinkle Jacket.
OxyChemical DuPont Ingleside Plant
Two adjacent petrochemical plants at Ingleside. One owned by Oxychem, a subsidiary of the Occidental Petroleum Company, that makes vinyl chloride, and intermediate chemicl used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic; chlorine; and caustic soda. The other, owned by Dupont, makes refrigerants, foams, and aerosols. The plants are located next to a remarkable, large alumina plant.
Valero Corpus Christi
One of the last major refineries to be built from scratch in the United States, Valero's Corpus Christi refinery, also called the Bill Greehey Refinery, was commissioned in 1983. It is the largest of the company's 13 refineries in the USA, with a capacity of 340,000 barrels per day. Employs over 800 people, and covers over 500 acres. It includes the main plant, and the East Plant, a 115,000 barrels per day refinery built in the 1960s, that Valero acquired in 2001.
Flint Hills Corpus Christi
Flint Hills Resources operates this large refinery on the western end of a large petrochemical corridor along the shore of Corpus Christi Texas. The plant has a capacity of 300,000 barrels per day, from crude hat is delivered by ship to the port. Refined products travel through pipelines, some owned by Flint Hills, to San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas. Flint Hills also operates a refinery in Pine Bend, Minnesota, and in North Pole, Alaska, as well as chemical plants in Marysville, Michigan; Peru and Joliet, Illinois; and in Port Arthur and Longview, Texas. The company is based in Wichita, Kansas, and was created out of the large industrial and energy conglomerate Koch Industries, in 2002.
Keppel AmFELS Brownsville Fabrication Yard
One of the largest offshore fabrication yards on the Gulf of Mexico, the Keppel yard in Brownsville, at the bottom of Texas, assembles and repairs oil rigs and offshore platforms. It is connected to the ocean by the 30 mile long Brownsville Ship Channel. This is the only US yard of the 20 yards owned by the company all over the world. Keppel is a marine engineering company, focused on the oil industry, and based in Singapore.
Eastman Longview
Eastman's plant in Longview, in northeastern Texas, is among the largest petrochemical plants in Texas. It has 200 buildings on 6,000 acres, and employs over 1,500 people. Feedstocks of ethane and propane come to the plant from refineries along the gulf, via pipeline, and are processed into over 40 chemical and polymer products, primarily turned into plastic products elsewhere. The plant has an underground liquid and gas storage facility near Tyler. Eastman has two other petrochemical plants in the USA, including the largest Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET, what disposable water bottles are made out of) plant in Columbia, South Carolina, and what may be the largest chemical plant in the nation, at the company's headquarters, in Kingsport, Tennessee.
Carthage Gas Plant
A major natural gas gathering station in eastern Texas, where gas from the region's gas fields is collected, processed, chilled, compressed, and routed out to customers and other processing stations through the network of 145,000 miles of gas pipline in the state of Texas, and to the larger lines that connect to customers in the northeastern United States. This station was constructed in the early 1950s, part of a pipeline system owned by Union Pacific, and later by Duke Energy. There are five plants on the site, totaling 490 million cubic feet per day capacity. It is operated primarily by the Markwest company, and by DCP Midstream, as the East Texas Gas Plant.
ChevronPhillips Borger
ChevronPhillips, a chemical company based in the Woodlands, north of Houston, operates one of its largest facilities in small city of Borger, near the top of the Texas Panhandle. The plant, originally a Phillips Petroleum plant, makes Specialty Products for the company, including mining chemicals, drilling mud additives, polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), Racing Fuels, and Specialty Organosulfur Compounds. ChevronPhillips is owned by Chevron and ConocoPhillips. The plant also has a refinery operated by ConocoPhillips subsidiaries and partners.
Carbon Black Plant Borger
One of the few remaining carbon black plants in Texas, this facility is actually two adjacent plants operated by separate companies, the Sid Richardson Carbon Company and Evonik. Carbon black is a powdery black carbon material made from gas. It is used primarily in synthetic rubber, where it acts as a pigment, as well as a heat dissipator and strengthener. Texas once produced 75% of the nations carbon black, with large plants at Big Spring, Borger, Seagraves, Skellytown, Baytown and Aransas Pass. Plants at Big Spring, Borger, and Sherin remain active.
Celanese Pampa
A plastics plant owned by Dallas-based Cenalese Chemical Company. The plant makes primarily acetic acid, used commonly as a solvent and as a base chemical, and acetic anhydride, a chemical used in making acetate films, and for making heroin from morphine. This plant, opened in 1952, in the remote agricultural Panhandle town of Pampa, employs 250 people, but may soon be closed by the company.
Valero Sunray
A medium sized refinery, with a capacity of 170,000 barrels per day, in a remote area of the Panhandle of northern Texas. Notable especially as it is increasingly surrounded by wind-powered electrical generators. One of 13 refineries owned by Valero in the USA. Valero, based in San Antonio, is one of the largest refiners in the USA.
Flint Hills Odessa Plant
This is one of the largest petrochemical plants in Western Texas. It was built by the El Paso Gas Company, to use the hydrocarbons that the company handled along its extensive pipeline system, to make styrene and butadiene to for a local General Tire rubber plant. Over the years the plant has grown, adding ethylene, propylene, and polyethylene production, and emplying up to 400 people. It has been owned by many different companies, most recently Flint Hills Resources, which bought the plant from the Huntsman Chemical Company. Flint Hills closed the plant.
Big Spring Refinery
One of two refineries in West Texas. Big Spring is a relatively small, 70,000 barrels per day capacity plant. It is operated now by Alon, an Israeli energy company, that bought the US refining and marketing assets of Fina in 2000 (Fina has operated the plant since 1963). The plant opened in 1928, to refine regional crude from the Permian Basin, one of the most productive oil fields of the world. Most of the Permian Basin crude was shipped by pipeline to Houston and Gulf Coast refineries. The plant in today employs around 170 people. The damage from a large explosion there in February 2008 has been repaired.
Western Refining El Paso
One of two refineries in West Texas. Western Refining Company operates this refinery in the middle of El Paso, three miles from downtown. It originally was two separate operations, one started by Standard Oil in 1928, and the other by a Texaco precursor in 1931. They have expanded, and grown and eventually were merged in 1993. Crude comes from the east through a pipeline manged by Kinder Morgan. The refinery is relatively small, with a capacity of 125,000 barrels per day. The refinery makes gasoline and other fuel products. Its operators, the Western Refining Company, own three other relatively small refineries in the USA.