The Energy Association was proud to lead the first field trip of the semester to the largest integrated refining and petrochemical complex in the United States. Founded in 1919, the ExxonMobil Complex in Baytown, Texas, is located on approximately 3,400 acres along the Houston Ship Channel, about 25 miles east of Houston.
The guided tour gave our members an exciting overview of the main complex covering five square miles, including a refinery, two chemical plants, a regional engineering office and a global technology center. We had the opportunity to experience first hand the highly integrated sites that work together to create an amazing variety of products, and to learn amazing facts about the history and operations at Exxon Mobil.
Although it may not be evident from the expansive operations you see on-site today, one might say that the ExxonMobil Baytown area came from “humble beginnings”. The founders of the Baytown Refinery originally planned for a capacity of 2,500 barrels of crude oil per day, the refinery has been in operation since 1920, and at that time, processed about 10,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Today, they have the capability to process up to 584,000 barrels per day. In 1919, there were 100 employees who worked in the refinery. Today, there are nearly 4000 employees on-site in the ExxonMobil Baytown Area, with the number of contractors ranging daily.
The exceptional magnitude of this operation produces diesel , jet fuel, gasoline, propane, ethane, heating oil, waxes, chemical feedstocks, and a huge variety of lubricants including ethalene, propanelene, and moreberene which are used in industry in all kinds of products, everything from diapers, adhesives, polyester fabrics, tire components, ketchup bottles, surgery coats, mouth guards to even your favorite Hersey’s chocolate! .
The ExxonMobil Complex takes safety and environmental commitment very seriously and is committed to running safe and environmentally responsible operations.
Most materials produced at the refinery are shipped by pipeline (70 percent), tanker (20 percent), barge (7 percent), and tank car and tank truck (3 percent).
The tour ended with a discussion about career paths in ExxonMobil and Q&A with our guides.