TEXAS CITY — This likely marks the final week that the 475,000-barrel-per-day refinery at 2401 Fifth Ave. South will operate under the BP name. Marathon Petroleum, which purchased the nation’s fourth largest refinery as part of a $2.5 billion deal, is scheduled to take over the 1,200-acre refinery on Friday.
The two companies are expected to finalize the sale of the refinery this week.
Once the deal is closed, Marathon will own two refineries in Texas City — its existing 80,000-barrel-per-day refinery and BP’s 475,000-barrel-per-day facility.
The new acquisition will be called Marathon Galveston Bay Refinery.
Marathon’s take over ends 14 years of BP’s ownership of the refinery, which it acquired in a merger with Amoco Oil in 1998.
Ray Brooks, who will be the manager of Marathon’s new acquisition, set up his management team; many already are top managers at the Texas City refinery.
Brooks was the manager of Marathon’s refinery in Robinson, Ill. The 206,000-barrel-per-day refinery he managed is one of Marathon’s top performers when it comes to safety.
Brooks confirmed two weeks ago that Marathon planned to take over the refinery Friday. Neither company would comment on the scheduled date of the sale closing and transfer to Marathon.
Keith Casey, BP’s manager at the site will remain on in a consulting role before he makes his next move.
“I couldn’t be happier that Marathon is taking over the refinery,” Casey said while accepting the Texas City-La Marque Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year award last week. “It’s the best of all the alternatives. With all that we’ve done, the total rebuild and what we’ve done in the last six years, I think the best is yet to come for this refinery and its relationship with this community.”
Casey looked back on the changes that took place at the refinery since he took over in the wake of the 2005 blast that killed 15 people.
“As we started the rebuild, it wasn’t just about rebuilding the refinery, it was about rebuilding our relationship with the community,” he said.
Casey also took the opportunity to thank the community for its support of the company and his leadership, but he also took a swipe at those suing the company over a 2010 emissions event that released more than 500,000 pounds of chemicals into the air over a 40-day period.
About 50,000 people have sued BP over the emissions event claiming the massive release harmed their health. BP contests those assertions and said there is no proof that the release did damage to the environment or the health of those who work or live in the community.
“One hundred years ago, this city was built because of industry, business and communities coming together,” Casey said, noting his comments were his and not the company’s. “Men and women dedicated to building something to make a difference. Texas City still remembers that, and La Marque remembers that. My fear is that not everybody remembers that and even greater fear that there’s people out there looking to destroy that for their own personal gain. There is something special going on here.”
BP isn’t going away totally. The company still has a small chemical plant in Texas City.
At a glance: Refinery facts
No. of units: 28
Capacity: 475,000 barrels per day
Nelson Complexity Index: 14.7*
No. of company employees: 2,000
No. of contractors: From 1,800 to 3,000 depending on projects under way
Turning oil to fuel: Unleaded gasoline from crude tank to product in the pipeline- produced in about 12 hours.
* The index through which the level of complexity of a refinery is measured worldwide to determine its ability to produce multiple products.