Philly Refinery Processes 190K Barrels/Day of Shale Oil

My how times change. A year ago the then-Sunoco Philadelphia refinery was set to close its doors with a loss of 850 jobs. But something happened on the way to closing down: shale. Shale oil, in particular. Today, the refinery is called Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES), a joint venture between the  Carlyle Group and Sunoco (Sunoco merged with and is now known as Energy Transfer Partners). As MDN chronicled in July 2012, three shale plays will ultimately play an important role for the refinery–the Bakken, the Marcellus and the Utica (see Sunoco & Carlyle Group Ink Joint Venture for Philly Refinery). However, PES is also eyeing other shale plays, like oil from the Permian Basin (in Texas). That would be a hoot–Pennsylvania refining Texas oil!

More than half of the refinery’s 350,000 barrel per day capacity now comes from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota. How? Mostly by railroad, with the rest by barge. According to PA Gov. Tom Corbett, on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the refinery earlier this week, the Marcellus and Utica will soon play a role at the refinery too: “There’s a pipeline coming over here soon that’s going to be bringing natural gas over. You’re using natural gas now to fuel some of your efforts here but also to create a propane and ethane facility here”…

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