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Texaco Refinery Shutdown Ends Chapter Of Tulsa History

When the solar sets Friday evening over the Texaco refinery on the west financial institution of the Arkansas River, some people on this fabled oil metropolis might wonder if it is going to ever rise again.

That sunset will mark the end of a colorful chapter in Tulsa historical past. Operating repeatedly since 1910, the West Tulsa refinery will stop operations completely.

There are not any circumstances beneath which Texaco Inc. will ever reopen the plant, an organization spokesman in Chicago stated as closing layoffs method.

Only 52 workers remain on the job this week, the remnants of 380 staff who manned the plant when its destiny was introduced last February.

The tanks, towers, bridgeworks and buildings sprawling over 466 acres of riverbank west nelson w l petroleum refinery engineering of downtown Tulsa be part of a protracted list of inland America refineries being closed by market circumstances.

They had been doomed by a an overabundance of refining capability, lowered demand for gasoline and lower fuel costs. Only these large refineries near port cities, where tankers perpetually unload crude oil, or the more trendy plants handy to domestic supplies appear destined to survive a brand new age of smaller gas-environment friendly cars.

Then known as the Texas Co. Texaco purchased land for the West Tulsa plant in 1906, intending it to be used for a tank farm and pumping station. Discovery of the Glenpool Discipline modified those plans.

Brought in in 1905, the southwest Tulsa County and eastern Creek County subject produced 15 million to 20 million barrels a yr between 1907 and 1914. Texas Co. turned its newly-acreage into its fourth refinery as a substitute. From the beginning, it produced dwelling heating oil and kerosene, merchandise early statehood Oklahoma demanded. As vehicles grew to become fashionable, the plant was modified to supply motor fuels.

Many changes were made by way of the years to accommodate the airplane and vehicles utilizing leaded fuel. In 1949, equipment was totally changed.

Again, 10 years later, newer equipment was put in, and in 1972, the nelson w l petroleum refinery engineering plant underwent a $30 million modernization in the expectation it can be working for decades to come.

However dramatic adjustments of the past several years, not seen when the plans had been forged, settled the plant’s destiny, a Texaco spokesman stated.

“Although it has been regularly upgraded to accommodate newer merchandise, it’s simply not a trendy, environment friendly facility,” Texaco spokesman Paul Weeditz stated.

“If we had the demand of two years in the past, we might continue to function West Tulsa. But with the business’s overcapacity, we can supply any space more economically.”

Operating at capability, which the plant hadn’t finished for just a few years, West Tulsa processed 50,000 barrels of crude oil day by day, the supplies coming from Oklahoma, West Texas and New Mexico. The crude was refined into gasoline, distillate and aviation fuels.

The refinery has been up on the market earlier than Texaco introduced its mothballing last Feb. 10. Still no consumers. However there may be little demand for used refinery tools on at this time’s market. Texaco is also closing its Casper, Wyo. refinery and shut down its Lockport, Sick. plant 18 months in the past.

Bartlesville-based Phillips Petroleum padlocked its Kansas City, Kan. refinery final Sunday. In that shutdown, 206 staff accepted transfers elsewhere inside Phillips and some took early retirement.

Phillips is working to put others in jobs inside and outside the company. Spokesman Dave Dryden said it isn’t known yet how lots of the 730 employees finally will be “laid off.”

At the least one Oklahoma refinery has a stay of closure. The previous OKC Corp. plant in Okmulgee, purchased a year and a half ago by the now-bankrupt Basin Refinery of Dallas, had been operated by CKB & Associates of Dallas until June 30, when about a hundred staff had been laid off because CKB’s lease expired. The CKB lease was renewed July 1 for a 12 months, a Dallas attorney for the OKC Liquidating Trust said.. The plant is predicted to reopen Sept. 1. Only a skeleton crew retains it in working condition till then. The plant is certainly one of Okmulgee’s largest employers.

The refinery produces jet aviation gasoline, gasoline and other products.
At West Tulsa, the plant quit accepting crude oil final June 22. Some seventy five workers took early retirement, forty three transferred elsewhere with Texaco, 32 left the company and 170 have been laid off. The ultimate layoff complete is anticipated to be about 200.

After Friday, two Texaco workers will stay at the plant on a caretaker foundation, along with a contract security pressure.

Texaco will not say how a lot it’ll value for the refinery to sit down abandoned on the Arkansas River. However the corporate will proceed paying an annual property tax bill that got here to $339,734 last year.

Finally, the gear could be cannibalized for other company refineries or offered. Texaco says it’s too early to speculate about its fate. The Lockhart, Ailing. plant stays intact and is still for sale after 18 months. It appears probably West Tulsa will stay on commercial brokers’ rosters for a long time.

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