The glut of gasoline in the United States isn’t stopping a brand new firm in the Woodlands from planning to build a refinery in South Texas.

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Christopher Moore, a Houston native, lately formed Raven Petroleum to construct a $500 million, 50,000-barrel-a-day refinery east of Laredo to export practically all of its fuels to Mexico. It may very well be the primary sizable refinery built within the United States in forty years.

The purpose, Moore stated, is to benefit from huge quantities of Texas shale oil, not too long ago deregulated vitality markets in Mexico and growing demand south of the border. Mexico’s fuel consumption is growing about three p.c yearly, twice the worldwide common, in line with consulting and research firm Oliver Wyman.

“It is smart from a logistical standpoint. We’re sitting proper on high of our personal feedstock. We’re really seeing that demand,” Moore mentioned of Mexico. “It is materialized and escalated.”

Moore wants to start out building by mid-2017, open by the tip of 2018, and create about 300 everlasting jobs and 1,500 development positions. However the undertaking faces a big hurdle: financing. Moore is imprecise on the place the money would come from, saying solely that his firm is taking a look at a number of sources from which to borrow. For the time being, he mentioned, the project has “one founder and one funder” – himself.

Moore, fifty four, based Raven Petroleum a 12 months ago, naming it for the Celtic raven, a symbol for divine providence. Moore ran his own small investment administration firm of 10 people, CNM Monetary Group, for 25 years earlier than moving into the vitality trade a couple of years in the past. His challenge earlier to Raven, a rail-to-barge oil terminal facility in Arkansas alongside the Mississippi River, was scrapped in mid-2014 because of competing projects.


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For the refinery, Raven is working with Wink Engineering, a Baton Rouge, La. , company that focuses on refining and petrochemical work, and other partners.

Raven purchased 832 acres – the refinery would take up 200 of the acres – in Duval County near the borders of Webb and Jim Hogg counties. The rural southern Texas region between Laredo and Corpus Christi is near railroads with entry to Mexco. Raven would build extra rail monitor to connect with the existing system owned by Kansas Metropolis Southern Railway to ship the petroleum products to Mexico.

The last main U.S. refinery was constructed forty years in the past, Marathon’s Petroleum Corp.’s Garyville Refinery in Louisiana. Since then, U.S. refining capability has grown solely by expanding current refineries.

Texas has almost 20 refineries that may course of at the very least one hundred,000 barrels of oil each day. The nation’s largest is Motiva Enterprises’ Port Arthur Refinery, which may process over 600,000 barrels a day.

Moore plans to begin small, with Raven refining about 50,000 barrels a day. Rob Desai, an analyst with Edward Jones in St. Louis, mentioned Raven could fill a distinct segment. Mexico doesn’t have a strong refining trade nor does it have ethanol mixing necessities that could add costs to the undertaking, Desai said. As well as, it could be categorized as a small refinery, avoiding different U.S. laws that tack on prices.

Moore faces competitors to complete the primary new refinery for the reason that 1970s. California-based Meridian Power Group is planning to open a fifty five,000-barrel-a-day refinery in North Dakota in 2018. That project is additional alongside, however heavy construction hasn’t begun yet.