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    Sinclair Oil Plans Major Refinery Expansion

    Construction to begin next year for the project that will cost $1 billion and increase output by 60 percent.

    TULSA, Okla. -- Sinclair Oil Corp., refiner and operator of more than 2,600 Sinclair convenience stores, will spend $1 billion to expand its refinery here, in efforts to increase daily output of diesel and gasoline by 60 percent, The Associated Press reported.

    The expansion of the west Tulsa location, which supplies petroleum products to Midwestern states, would increase crude oil processing capacity to 115,000 barrels per day from 70,000, putting it at the output level of more than 140 refineries operating in the U.S., the AP reported.

    In addition, the expansion will allow the refinery to process a wider range of crude oil from the U.S. and Canada, and provide more gasoline and diesel to the market, Sinclair Tulsa Refining Co. executive vice president, Kevin Brown, told the AP.

    "Not many people know it, but our country not only imports crude oil, we import a significant quantity of gasoline and a significant quantity of diesel," Brown said. "So we're going to try to get rid of imports."

    The expansion has been in the planning stages since 2005, and construction is expected to begin next year, pending project approval, the report stated. The expansion is expected to be finished by late 2010, the AP reported.

    The expansion will also add more than 200 jobs at the facility, according to company estimates, nearly doubling the current workforce of 260, the report stated. It will also improve air quality and reduce emissions, Browne added.

    Sinclair bought the Tulsa refinery in 1983 after it was closed by the previous owners, the AP reported.

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