US-based oil refiner Phillips 66 has announced its plans to invest up to $1.5bn for the expansion of its natural gas liquids project in Sweeny, Texas.


Image: A refinery. Photo: courtesy of Gary Scott/

The expansion project involves construction of two natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionators each with a capacity of 150,000 barrel per day (bpd) at the Sweeny Hub, as well as additional NGL storage capacity and associated pipeline infrastructure.

Scheduled to be completed in late 2020, the project is expected to increase Sweeny hub’s natural gas liquids refining capacity to 400,000 bpd.

Phillips 66 chairman and CEO Greg Garland said: “We are pleased to move forward with the Sweeny Hub expansion, a key part of our Midstream growth strategy that further optimizes our integrated NGL value chain.

“The Sweeny Hub is strategically positioned to provide fractionation capacity for rapidly growing Permian Basin NGL production and access to U.S. Gulf Coast petrochemical, fuels and LPG export markets.”

At present, the Sweeny Hub has 100,000bpd of fractionation capacity through Phillips 66 Partners’ Sweeny Fractionator One, 200,000bpd of LPG export capability, and access to 9 million barrels of gross NGL storage capacity at the company’s nearby Clemens Caverns.

Phillips 66 expects the expansion project to create more than 25 new full-time jobs and approximately 2,000 construction-related jobs in Brazoria County.

The firm has also secured supply agreements for Y-grade NGL feedstock, including an agreement with DCP Midstream.

As part of the deal, DCP Midstream also agreed to acquire up to 30% ownership stake in the two NGL fractionators.

DCP said its option is exercisable at the in-service date of the fractionators, with a capital investment of approximately $400m.

DCP Midstream president, chairman, and CEO Wouter van Kempen said: “This strategic growth option represents another important step as we significantly increase DCP’s vertical integration to better meet our customers’ needs, while driving fee-based earnings growth.

Garland added: “The combination of DCP’s gathering, processing and pipeline services with Phillips 66’s fractionation, storage and export capabilities offers Permian producers a full-service wellhead to market solution.”