Chevron Unveils New Refining Technology That Converts Ultra-Heavy Oil Into Clean-Burning Fuel
Proprietary technology generates higher yields of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel without producing low-value products
SAN RAMON, Calif., March 6, 2008 - Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) said today it plans to build a pre-commercial plant at its refinery in Pascagoula, Miss., to test the technical and economic viability of a breakthrough heavy-oil upgrading technology. This proprietary technology, called Vacuum Resid Slurry Hydrocracking (VRSH), has the potential to significantly increase yields of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from heavy and ultra-heavy crude oils and could be used to increase and upgrade production of heavy oil resources.
"This project will advance Chevron's heavy-oil upgrading capability and is an important research and development initiative for the company," said Mike Wirth, executive vice president of Global Downstream for Chevron. "Given the increasing role of heavy oil in meeting the world's growing energy demand and our significant heavy oil resources, this technology could provide a unique pathway to increase supplies of clean-burning fuels for the marketplace."
The Pascagoula pre-commercial plant will have a capacity of 3,500 barrels per day. All necessary permits have been secured, and construction is expected to begin later this year.
Chevron has been actively developing VRSH technology since 2003. The patented process has undergone successful preliminary testing on a wide range of feedstocks in multiple pilot plants at Chevron's research center in Richmond, Calif. Chevron's research shows the technology can achieve up to 100 percent conversion of the heaviest feedstock, while the best current commercial refining technology achieves less than 80 percent conversion.
John McDonald, vice president and chief technology officer for Chevron, said, "The development of VRSH technology further strengthens Chevron's capability to convert heavy oil resources into high-value fuels, providing an integrated solution that will benefit both upstream and downstream businesses. VRSH is a milestone in Chevron's commitment to develop new technologies that will expand and diversify energy supplies to help meet the rapid growth in global energy demand."
The Pascagoula Refinery, Chevron's largest wholly owned petroleum refinery, has been operating in Mississippi for over 40 years. "We have the experience and expertise to construct and operate the pre-commercial plant in a safe and environmentally responsible manner and are extremely pleased to play an important role in advancing this promising new technology," said Roland Kell, general manager of the Pascagoula Refinery.
Chevron Corporation is one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, with subsidiaries that conduct business across the globe. The company's success is driven by the ingenuity and commitment of approximately 59,000 employees who operate across the energy spectrum. Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and other energy products; manufactures and sells petrochemical products; generates power and produces geothermal energy; provides energy efficiency solutions; and develops and commercializes the energy resources of the future, including biofuels and other renewables. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information about Chevron is available at www.chevron.com.
The estimated volume of technically recoverable heavy oil and natural bitumen in known accumulations is about equal to the earth's remaining conventional light oil reserves. Source: USGS
Cautionary Statement Relevant to Forward-Looking Information for the Purpose of "Safe Harbor" Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
This press release of Chevron Corporation contains forward-looking statements relating to Chevron's operations that are based on management's current expectations, estimates and projections. Words such as "anticipates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "designs," "targets," "projects," "believes," "seeks," "estimates" and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and other factors, some of which are beyond our control and are difficult to predict. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are changes in prices of, demand for and supply of crude oil, natural gas and refined products; actions of competitors; successful and timely completion of the construction of the test facilities; results of testing the new technology; and general economic and political conditions. Therefore, actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecasted in such forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Unless legally required, Chevron undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Published: March 2008