ExxonMobil Corporation is considering a multi-billion plan to expand its Beaumont refinery in Texas to make it the biggest refinery in the United States. The project that would involve a multibillion-dollar investment would also be the first major investment in the US shale oil. It would expand the 344,600 barrel-per-day (bpd) Beaumont refinery to potentially double its size, adding a third crude distillation unit. More humble and shorter-term projects regarding the facility consider also expanding so-called coking units in order to refine more crude already under way. If the company manages to press ahead with its plans, the investment would be yet another proof that the US oil giant is swimming against the tide of other global oil giants who have been trying to sell off their refining assets throughout the world.
In contrast, Exxon Mobile announced its 1-billion-dollar investment in Belgium. Exxon spokesperson, Todd Spitler, declined to comment on the possible investment in the Beaumont refinery but assured that the company was always looking for growth options. Mr Spitler added that “Exxon regularly evaluates its global portfolio of businesses and opportunities for growth, depending upon the fit with strategic business objectives”. He added that “we take a disciplined long-term approach to investing, regardless of the economic cycle.” If the investment in Beaumont materialized, it would boost the US gulf position as the world’s number one supplier of diesel and gasoline at a time when domestic demand is declining. Profits for Gulf Coast refiners have gone up as less expensive North American crude enables oil firms to capture big margins when exporting refined products.