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Gulf Refiners to Invest More in Retrofits

“The Texas Gulf Coast will be ground zero for a push to equip refineries to handle a flood of light crude unlocked in the U.S. shale boom, but the investments will be relatively conservative” Jim Jones, of the petrochemical consulting firm Turner, Mason and Company, told FuelFix.

“Refiners won’t spend the big bucks they dropped when they retooled to handle heavy, high-sulfur crude several years ago, largely because it’s cheaper and simpler to modify a refinery to process lighter crude.”

The Gulf Coast is the center of most of this new investment “because transporting crude to the East and West coasts remains costly. A dearth of east-west pipelines means crude must be shipped by tanker or rail, at costs that trim refiners’ profits,” says Jones.  

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