A Texas company has selected Cushing as the site to build a $5.56 billion next-generation crude oil refinery that will generate and consume hydrogen as a fuel source with a zero-carbon footprint goal, officials announced Wednesday.
Southern Rock Energy Partners LLC, based in El Campo, Texas, said the refinery would process domestically produced light, sweet shale and light, sweet crudes into low carbon transportation fuels at a rate of 250,000 barrels per day.
“We would like to thank the Cushing Economic Development Foundation, the Cushing Industrial Authority, the City of Cushing and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce for their willingness to work side-by-side with us during this phase of the refinery project,” Steven Ward, Southern Rock Energy Partners managing member, said in a written statement.
“The dedication of the professional economic development organizations of Oklahoma has made and will make our efforts to advance the energy independence of the United States, by processing domestically produced crudes into cleaner transportation fuels, a reality.”
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With Cushing already dubbed the “Pipeline Crossroads of the World,” the refinery will have plenty of product to process, with about 100 million barrels of crude oil storage available in tank farms surrounding the community, according to local officials.
“On behalf of the citizens and commissioners of the city of Cushing, we would like to welcome Mr. Steven Ward and the entire team of Southern Rock Energy Partners to Cushing,” said City Commission Chairman Ricky Lofton. “Since the discovery of the Cushing-Drumright Oil Field in the early 1900s, Cushing has been at the epicenter of North America’s energy markets.
“More than 50 refineries have called Cushing home over our history, and we are looking forward to another successful energy-supplying partnership based upon modern technological advancements.”
Bruce Johnson, director of the Cushing Economic Development Foundation, said the company hopes to settle on a site for the refinery within the next six months.
Johnson said the state is offering about $1.5 billion in economic incentives to Southern Rock, while Cushing is offering about $75 million in incentives.
Cushing saw its last refinery shut down in 1982, Johnson said.
“There hasn’t been a major refinery built in the United States in over 45 years,” he added.
The refinery complex will generate and consume hydrogen as a fuel source, with a goal of a zero-carbon footprint, according to information provided by Cushing officials.
“It should be good, not only for us but the state of Oklahoma and finally for the country, because as of right now you and I wake up every morning and try to figure out what some Middle Eastern guys are going to do with how much they are going to produce or how much they are going to refine,” Johnson said.
The project will produce 423 direct jobs with a payroll of $39.3 million and a total economic impact of $18.2 billion over the next 10 years, Cushing officials project.
“Right now, based upon our analysis, the state of Oklahoma will have an $18 billion impact over the next 10 years, so that is pretty substantial,” Johnson said.
Construction on the refinery is expected to begin next year, with commercial operations beginning in 2027.
The company said the products it refines will be marketed and distributed both domestically and internationally.