Whiting refinery ramp up timetable slips into 2014


LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) - BP Plc's upgraded Whitingrefinery in Indiana will not reach full production until thefirst quarter of 2014, its quarterly results showed on Tuesday,an apparent slippage in the ramp-up timetable.

Problems with construction of a coking unit as part of the$4-billion revamp of the refinery were reported by Reuters inSeptember.

The company said the modernization project "remains on trackto commission the remaining new units associated with theinvestment by the end of the fourth quarter," but it added that;"We will progressively introduce heavy feedstock once the cokeris operational during the fourth quarter, and expect to achievefull run-rate capacity during the first quarter of 2014."

Analysts said that in previous briefings, BP has saidWhiting, which has been modernised to process cheaper heavyCanadian crude, would deliver a full year of profits in 2014. BPhad no immediate comment.

The upgraded 400,000 barrels-plus-per-day refinery is one ofthe company's key profit drivers for the future, and its outputis closely watched by traders for its potential impact on theprice of crude oil in North America.

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