Engineering News

Sunoco Shelves Tulsa Upgrade
November 06, 2008

Sunoco Inc. announced Wednesday that it will not follow through on the planned $375 million upgrade to its west Tulsa refinery.

The Philadelphia-based company revealed its decision in its third-quarter earnings report. Sunoco said it still hopes to sell the facility, which employs about 360 people.

Falling gasoline prices apparently sealed the fate of the planned improvement to the refinery's hydro treater.

"It's an investment that we can't justify right now given market conditions and the economic outlook," Sunoco spokesman Thomas Golembeski pointed out.

The refinery can process more than 85,000 barrels of crude oil per day, according to reports. The upgrade, which was set to be completed by 2010, would have given the facility the ability to convert high-sulfur heating oils to low-sulfur diesel.

The company's third-quarter net income totaled $549 million, or $4.70 per diluted share, compared to $216 million for the same three months last year.

The slowing economy likely will continue to suppress demand for gasoline into 2009, president and

CEO Lynn Elsenhans said in the earnings statement.

"This market environment requires our continued focus to maintain financial discipline," he said.

The Tulsa refinery was acquired by Sunray DX in 1968. Sunray later merged with Sun Oil Co., which became Sunoco.

Source: Tulsa World, Okla.

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