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    ConocoPhillips to Launch Lake Charles Sulfur Removal

    S Zorb technology to be rolled out at refinery, 2005 completion planned.

    HOUSTON -- ConocoPhillips Inc. will use its S Zorb Sulfur Removal Technology (SRT) for gasoline desulfurization at its Lake Charles Refinery in Westlake, La. The unit should be completed by fourth quarter 2005 and have a capacity of 35,000 barrels per day (bpd).

    The Lake Charles facility will be the third location within the ConocoPhillips refining system to build an S Zorb unit. Other units are located in Borger, Texas, and Ferndale, Wash. The technology is licensed for use at a total of 42 refineries in the U.S. and abroad.

    "S Zorb Technology is a significant, proven technology that enables refiners to meet or surpass world mandates on lower sulfur content in gasoline and diesel, and improve overall environmental performance," said Brian Evans, Conoco's division manager for fuels technology. "The S Zorb unit will enable our Lake Charles refinery to comply with EPA's Tier II gasoline sulfur regulations in advance of the 2006 deadline, as well as reach any future, lower sulfur standards.

    "Cost efficiency has been continually improved by recent advancements in the S Zorb process design and in the catalyst material."

    An assessment of the Lake Charles installation led engineers to adapt the S Zorb process design to better accommodate the facility's process needs. The new engineering design is expected to reduce capital and operating costs from 10 to 25 percent over previous S Zorb process designs. In addition, the unit's reliability, while consistently high, will be further improved.

    S Zorb SRT was developed to help oil companies comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Tier II and the European Commission's Auto Oil sulfur regulatory levels. Beginning in 2004, gasoline sold in the United States will have sulfur content phased down to a level no higher than 30 parts per million (ppm) on average. Today's average gasoline contains 340 ppm.

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