In the U.S. Midwest, Northern Tier Energy LP (NTI)’s 74,000-barrel-a-day St. Paul Park refinery in Minnesota plans to halt a fluid catalytic cracker during October, the company said during its earnings conference call in August.
The refinery should be running around 95000 barrels a day with the revamp in April may this year. The FCC unit has been planned for a while and someone stated it will only be down two weeks. This FCC unit has not been shutdown in 6 or 7 years. On average a CAT cracker shutdown takes 4 weeks. The way they have been running the plant (to the max) they are going to have issues and have more repairs then expected, which will take longer then 2 weeks. If fixed properly this will be a 4 to 5 week job. This shutdown should not affect there bottom line to much, so in general should not affect share price,unless they run over budget and scheduled outage planned. Which past history will happen.
Not even close to a net exporter of Petroleum. We are presently a net exporter of petroleum products only because of weak U.S. demand and because there have been quite a few Caribbean refinery closures as well as in Europe. Shale plays are way over hyped. Their rapid decline rates make incremental gains more difficult from here and the best prospects get drilled first so remaining drill locations are not a productive. We are still importing over 7 million bbls day of crude and over the next decade decline in existing conventional fields will be enormous.
The US is already an energy exporter.
But if you mean a net exporter, then I have a bridge to sell you. Make that 2 - I'll throw in the Bay Bridge for free.
So long as we are reliant on fossil fuels, I expect the US never to be a net exporter.
The company also announced during the earnings call that they expected to process 90-95,000 bpd in the third quarter, not 74,000 per this article. The spread incerease between WTI and WCS is more good news for NTI.
The purpose of a FCC (Fluid Catalytic Cracking unit is to take low value gas oil and contact it with a solid catalyst that will crack the larger gas molecules into lighter, more valued products. Conversion to high value products is maximized at low pressures. The catalyst is regenerated by burning the coke formed on the catalyst as a by product of the cracking reaction. Regeneration gases are burned to generate steam and preheat feed to the reactor. Reactor effluent is fractionated in the main column. Main Column products are further fractionated in the clarified oil vacuum fractionator, light cycle oil stripper, and the gas plant units.
Fluid catalytic cracking units extracts gasoline from the heavy crude. Fluid catalytic cracking is more efficient than heating the crude to separate the more valuable products from the heavy crude.