Port Arthur Refinery Total
One of the three oil refineries based out of Port Arthur, Texas is owned by Total S.A., an oil company based out of France that is known as one of the biggest international oil processors. The plant that they operate was built in 1936, and has undergone a great deal of growth and expansion
Like many other Texas based refineries, one of the primary reasons that this plant was built was the discover of Spindletop, an oil field that is located in Beaumont. This field was discovered and tapped in 1901, and produced an amount of oil that had never previously been seen anywhere. The founding of a refinery at this location is often considered to make the official birth of the modern day petroleum related industry.
Following the news about Spindletop, many would be oil tycoons moved to Texas to set up shop. Estimates claim that more than 200 oil companies were formed within the state, but more of them failed than succeeded. Although it eventually stopped being such a formidable site, Spindletop is still one of the greatest oil based success stories and the reason that Texas is thought of as the oil capital of the United States.
While the Total S.A. refinery was not as successful as the Beaumont site, it has continued to be a profitable venture. During its years of operation, the facility faced the same issue that so many other refineries were forced to deal with: asbestos. Almost every oil refining company purchased products that were made from asbestos prior to the announcements that it was a toxic material that could cause people a lot of internal damage and even lead to death. Every product that contained asbestos had to be removed and replaced with a harmless substitute. Workers who were exposed to the asbestos products have continued to develop symptoms of the diseases it can cause over the years, and anyone who has been around it should notify their primary health care provider.
Total S.A. continues to have big plans for their Port Arthur plant. As of August, 2008, the company announced their intentions for a major expansion to the facility that would cost a total of $2.2 billion. The expansion will include a new processing unit that can handle 50,000 barrels per day, as well as other new and advanced equipment. The site is currently able to produce up to 233,500 barrels of crude oil during its daily operation, and the expansion project is intended to increase that amount, and to provide a safer, cleaner burning and more environmentally friendly product.
Last modified: December 09, 2009.