Proposed south TX shale oil refinery earns crucial air permit

By Luke Geiver | April 04, 2019

A proposed south Texas shale oil refinery is one step closer to construction. Raven Petroleum LLC announced this week the company has received an air permit from the Texas commission on Environmental Quality for its planned 30,000 barrel per day crude fractionation facility near Laredo, Texas, in Duval County.

Raven has pitched the south Texas energy complex as a prime location to use shale oil supplied by producers in the Eagle Ford and Permian plays. Crude-based products would then be exported to Mexico.

“The newly deregulated Mexican energy market and the surplus of Texas crude oil unlocked by the shale revolution are what make this the perfect opportunity,” Raven explained in a fact sheet on the proposed refinery. According to the company, building a refinery in Mexico could be easier or cheaper, but the founders of the company want to create jobs in the U.S. The company will serve Mexico-based clients because the barrier to entry in the U.S. requires Raven to compete against major refiners ExxonMobil and Shell.

“We have been working with local stakeholders and state regulators to achieve this approval, and we are excited to move forward,” said Chris Moore, managing director. “A project of this size and scope requires engagement of local and state officials and the community.”

If completed, the facility would produce ultra-low Sulphur diesel, fuel gasoline and naphtha.

In the Permian, Meridian Energy Group Inc. is also working to build a shale oil refinery of similar size near Wink, Texas. Earlier this year, Chevron U.S.A. Inc. acquired a light oil refinery for $350 million to bolster its ability to take in and process Permian shale oil.

MMEX Resources, another Permian refinery developer has already signed a deal with Pilot Thomas Logistics to sell nearly all of its diesel produced at the facility to trucking unit of Pilot Thomas.