Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Marathon Oil to Expand Refinery in Detroit for Tar Sands

Marathon plans to expand Detroit refinery
$1-billion project would create more than 900 new jobs
August 27, 2007


Officials at Marathon Petroleum Co.’s refinery in Detroit plan to announce a $1-billion expansion proposal that would boost oil production 15,000 barrels a day by 2010 and add more than 900 jobs to the local economy.

Michigan’s only refinery is seeking approval from the board of directors of Marathon Oil Corp. to increase refinery production from 100,000 barrels to 115,000 barrels a day. Marathon Petroleum Co. is a unit of Houston-based Marathon Oil Corp.

The proposed project would also allow for the refinery to process heavy crude oil that comes from Canada’s tar sands, primarily in northern Alberta.

Heavy crude oil has a higher sulfur content and is more difficult to process than lighter sweet crude.

Canada and Venezuela control about 75% of the world’s tar sands reserves.

Canada is also the largest supplier of oil to the United States with 2.3 million barrels a day, representing 17% of U.S. imports and 11% of U.S. consumption.

“If the project is approved the refinery will create about 135 new jobs on top of an average of 800 construction jobs throughout the three-year period,” said Angelia Graves, a spokeswoman for Marathon. “We hope to get approval by the fourth quarter of this year and construction could start by the end of the year or early next year.”

At 3:30 p.m. today, Marathon officials plan to brief the news media about the project. The company also plans to host two open house functions this week for the southwest Detroit residents who live near the refinery.

Marathon will host an open house from 6:30 to 8:30 tonight at Odd Fellows Hall, 8701 West Vernor Highway. The second public meeting will is set for 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at St. Andrew & Benedict Church, 2450 S. Beatrice St.

“The purpose of the open houses is to let the community know what we’re doing and answer any questions they may have about the project,” Graves said.

For more information, residents can call Suzanne Konkle at 313-297-6304 or log onto www.DetroitHOUP.com.

Contact ALEJANDRO BODIPO-MEMBA at 313-222-5008 or abodipo@freepress.com.

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