Whiting Refinery
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Summary Information

  • Ownership: BP
  • Website: http://www.bp.com/
  • Location: Whiting, Indiana, USA
  • Capacity: 20.0 million tons/annum & 405,000 bbl/day
  • Nelson Complexity:
  • Refining Depth:

Brief Description

  • Whiting Refinery is the largest refinery in the BP refining system, and the 5th largest refinery in the United States. It is a highly complex refinery that processes extra heavy crude oil

Refining Units

  • Atmospheric Distillation - 405,000
  • Vacuum Distillation - 247,000
  • Delayed Coker - 102,000
  • Fluidised Catalytic Cracking - 169,000
  • Catalytic Reformer - 71,500
  • Desulphurisation
    • Naphtha - 71,500
    • Gasoline - 26,000
    • Kersosene - 2,000
    • Diesel - 112,000
    • Heavy Gasoil - 100,000

Terminal Capacity

  • Crude Oil:
  • Refined Products:

Crude Supply

  • The refinery processes ultra heavy and sour crudes from Canada
  • Prior to the upgrade, it was processing light sweet crude

Products Produced

  • Fuel gases: which are used to efficiently heat the refinery’s own processing units.
  • Naphtha: which is further processed to produce propane and butane, and contribute to gasoline blending.
  • Distillate: which is further processed to produce ultra low sulfur diesel and jet fuel.
  • Gas oil: this is subsequently converted into ultra low sulfur diesel fuel and gasoline.
  • Residual: which is then heated, and processed, to produce petroleum coke for power plants and asphalt for road construction.

Ongoing Projects

  • For details see Whiting Refinery Project
  • The refinery is being reconfigured to process heavy crudes to produce clean fuels

Other Information

  • -


  • 1889 - Refinery operations began
  • 1913 - New ‘thermal cracking’ stills begin operation
  • 1923 - Another major breakthrough occurs at Whiting Refinery in 1923, when engineers discover that adding tetraethyl lead to gasoline enhanced the performance of gasoline engines, and removed power-robbing ‘knock’ from automobile engines.
  • 1959 - Construction is completed on the second, and larger, of two crude oil pipe stills at Whiting Refinery. The new unit can distill 140,000 barrels of crude oil per day, which is more than twice the size of the pipe still built only three years earlier.
  • 1972 - Whiting's No. 4 Ultraformer begins operation. Ultraforming is a process whereby the molecules of the gasoline product are ‘reformed’ to produce a high-octane gasoline product that contains no lead.
  • 1977 - In June 1977, Whiting establishes an all-time production record for the refinery by processing 504,000 barrels of crude oil in a 24-hour period.
  • 1987 - Whiting's Total Isomerization Process unit begins operation. The Isomerization Unit upgrades lower octane light naphtha by rearranging its molecular structure. As a result, higher octane products are attained, some by at least 15 octane numbers.
  • 1993 - The Distillate Desulfurizer Unit is built to provide low sulfur diesel fuels. This process removes sulfur down to the 0.05 weight percentage limit required for highway diesel fuels. Whiting Refinery’s older Desulfurization Unit was only capable of removing sulfur down to the 0.3 weight percentage limit for off-highway uses such as agriculture.
  • 1999 - Whiting becomes part of the newly merged BP Amoco Corporation. BP Amoco introduces new cleaner premium gasoline.
  • 2001 - Whiting Refinery becomes the first refinery to introduce low-sulfur diesel fuel to the Chicago-area, well before the EPA mandate.
  • 2006 - Whiting Refinery starts-up its new Distillate Hydrotreating Unit to produce Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel. Jacobs Engineering conducts the detailed engineering, and Regional Contractors Alliance the construction work on the $128 million project.
  • 2008 - After necessary permits were issued, BP began construction on the Whiting Refinery Modernization Project.
  • 2012 - BP Agrees to Add More Than $400 Million in Pollution Controls at Indiana Refinery and Pay $8 Million Clean Air Act Penalty
  • 2013 - New crude unit comes on stream
  • 2013 - All units of new project successfully commissioned

Relevant Links

  1. BP to Invest $130 Million on Clean Fuels Production
  2. BP Refineries in USA
  3. Whiting Products
  4. Jacobs Receives Sulfur Recovery and Hydrotreater Projects from BP
  5. Praxair Starts Up Large Hydrogen Facility in Indiana
  6. BP Agrees to Add More Than $400 Million in Pollution Controls at Indiana Refinery and Pay $8 Million Clean Air Act Penalty
  7. BP Completes Commissioning of Whiting Refinery Units
  8. [http://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/press/press-releases/bp-completes-commissioning-of-whiting-refinery-units.html]

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