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Exxon Mobil is set to increase gasoline and diesel production at its refinery in Beaumont, Texas, following the completion of a $2bn expansion project, reported Reuters, citing people familiar with the matter.

The firm plans to commission the 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) crude distillation unit (CDU) at the 369,000bpd Beaumont refinery by 31 January 2023.

Exxon spokesperson Chevalier Gray was quoted by the news agency as saying in an emailed statement: “Construction of the new crude unit is completed. We have initiated startup procedures and commissioning is underway.

“The unit will add 250,000 barrels per day of all new supply for the refined products market.”

The new CDU, called the Beaumont Light Atmospheric Distillation Expansion (BLADE) project, was formally approved in 2019.

The unit will be equipped to process Exxon’s crude oil sourced from the Permian shale field in West Texas and New Mexico.

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Refining investment banker Aegis Energy Advisers president Garfield Miller said: “Right now, margins are sensational.

“These margins tell you that as far as the US Gulf Coast is concerned, there is plenty of demand relative to supply.”

With a total investment of $1.2bn, the new CDU is expected to boost the refinery’s capacity by 68%.

Miller added: “Up until Covid, the US added the equivalent of a world scale refining facility to existing capacity every year through expansions, de-bottlenecking, and tweaks.”

In November 2022, Reuters reported that Exxon Mobil was planning to cease oil production in Equatorial Guinea following the expiration of its licence in 2026.