Bullish on global markets, ExxonMobil is considering a multibillion-dollar plan to double U.S. light crude oil refining capacity along the Gulf Coast.
Tim Mueller

ExxonMobil is bullish on growing global markets, and the Gulf Coast could be the beneficiary.

A top ExxonMobil official confirmed in March a multibillion-dollar plan under consideration to double U.S. light crude oil refining capacity along the Gulf Coast.

The ExxonMobil Beaumont, Texas refinery could become the nation’s largest by capacity when the work is complete in the next decade, Reuters reported. Exxon expects to add a crude distillation unit at its 362,300-barrels-per-day (bpd) Beaumont refinery and boost refining capacity at plants in Baytown, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Senior Vice President Jack Williams said in a presentation to Wall Street analysts.

“It’s really a full Gulf Coast upgrade,” Williams said.

A few days earlier, the company outlined an aggressive growth strategy to more than double earnings and cash flow from operations by 2025 at today’s oil prices. The plan includes the refinery investments, a five-fold increase in upstream production in the Permian Basin, an increase in LNG production, and a 40% hike in the manufacturing capacity of its chemicals business.

And while no site has yet been specified, Exxon announced March 20 it has started detailed engineering work on a potential U.S. Gulf Coast project to expand polypropylene manufacturing capacity by up to 450,000 tons a year.

A final decision on the investment, anticipated to be several hundred million dollars, is expected later this year. The ExxonMobil Baton Rouge complex is considered to be a prime contender for the facility.