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Marathon Oil plans refinery expansion

Marathon Oil plans refinery expansion

HOUSTON (AP) – Integrated oil and gas company Marathon Oil Corp. said Wednesday its approved a $1.9 billion expansion and heavy oil upgrade at its Detroit refinery.

Construction is expected to begin later this year or in early 2008, depending on the speed of the permit process and certain regulatory approvals.

The company said the project with boost the refinery’s heavy oil processing capacity by about 80,000 barrels per day — including bitumen from Canadian oilsands. Total crude refining volume is expected to increase 15 percent to 115,000 barrels per day, Marathon said.

‘The Detroit refinery expansion and upgrade will enable us to link our recently acquired Canadian oil sands production, along with its significant growth potential, with a lower cost, higher value refining option,’ said Clarence P. Cazalot, Jr., president and chief executive of Marathon. ‘The estimated cost of this refinery expansion and upgrade project, at $22,000 per additional barrel of heavy oil capacity and excluding pipeline investments, is less than half the cost of announced bitumen upgrading projects in Alberta.’

Alberta, Canada, and Venezuela have the world’s largest oilsands reserves.

The project will create about 60 new full-time refinery jobs and 75 additional full-time contract employee positions, Marathon said. The refinery currently has about 320 full-time workers and 160 full-time contract workers.

The upgrade is expected to be completed in 2010.

Shares rose 12 cents to $59.25 in aftermarket electronic trading. They closed at $59.13 in the regular session.

Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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