Whiting refinery ramp up timetable slips into 2014

Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:37am EDT
 
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LONDON Oct 29 (Reuters) - BP Plc's upgraded Whiting refinery in Indiana will not reach full production until the first 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 in September.

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

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

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