By BEN LEFEBVRE
Valero Energy will spend up to $280 million to increase the
amount of West Texas crude oil its Houston refinery can process, the company
The move by Valero, the world's largest independent refiner,
illustrates how the US crude-oil production boom is displacing
Advances in drilling methods has unlocked oil and natural gas
from shale formations once thought too expensive to develop,
and the resulting crude-oil production has helped refiners
slash their operational costs.
Valero said by 2015 it will complete the project to add a
90,000 bpd "crude topper" to the refinery.
The equipment upgrade "will enhance the plant's ability to
process light-sweet crude like Eagle Ford into transportation
fuels," Valero spokesman Bill Day said.
Meanwhile, San Antonio-based Valero said it will buy 2,000
additional rail cars to carry crude oil from disparate US oil
fields to the company's refineries.
The purchase will bring Valero's total rail fleet to 9,000 rail
Dow Jones Newswires