ExxonMobil to invest in UK refinery; to increase range of high-quality fuels

US oil/gas company ExxonMobil Corp is planning to spend more than US$650 million to upgrade the UK’s largest oil refinery, Fawley, on England’s south coast, it said in a statement.

The project at the 270,000 barrel per day refinery – representing a fifth of British refining capacity – still needs a final investment decision which is not expected before the second quarter of next year, the company says.

“ExxonMobil is considering significant upgrades at its Fawley site to help meet demand in the UK market for high quality fuels.”

The planned upgrade, which would include building a new hydrotreater and a new hydrogen plant, would reduce Britain’s reliance on diesel imports.

“If approved, the project will allow the site to process a wider selection of crude oils, and will help secure future employment for 1,000 employees at the site.

A spokesman confirmed a report in the Financial Times that the investment, if finalised, would amount to more than US$650 million.

The upgrade will allow the refinery to refine heavier, sourer barrels into ultra-low sulphur diesel, the FT reported.