Saint John, New Brunswick – International oil company BP and regional refiner and marketer Irving Oil have agreed to work together on the next phase of engineering, design and feasibility for the proposed Eider Rock refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick. BP will contribute US$40 million for this stage of the study; the two companies will also investigate the possibility of forming a joint venture to build the refinery should they decide to proceed.

Irving Oil conducted the initial feasibility work and informal public consultation in 2006, and has been engaged since January 2007 in consultation and engineering design for the proposed refinery, which would produce 300,000 barrels per day (bbd). The new refinery would be situated close to Irving Oil’s existing 300,000 bbd refinery, and the existing Irving Canaport deep-water crude oil terminal.

“We are excited that a company of BP’s calibre sees the potential in our region and in this project to meet the need for a reliable and secure supply of refined products for the northeast,” said Kenneth Irving. “BP brings international expertise and crude supply, but what really drew us to partner with BP was the cultural fit with our company and our shared belief that the world has changed when it comes to matters that relate to environmental performance and security of supply. Our shared belief on the future of energy will increase the potential of this project.”

A final investment decision is not expected before 2009; the refinery is expected to cost at least US$7 billion. If permitting approval is received and an investment decision is made, site preparation would begin in 2010, with full-scale construction beginning in 2011 and start-up expected in 2015.

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