The Davis refinery is a state-of-art crude oil refinery being developed by Meridian Energy in Billings County, North Dakota, US. It will be the first full-conversion greenfield refinery to be built in the US since 1976.

The refinery will have a capacity to produce 49,500 barrels of crude oil per day (bopd).

Ground-breaking for the construction of the Davis refinery took place in July 2018, but construction was halted mid-way after an appeal was filed by the National Parks Conservation Association and two other groups against the air quality permit issued by the North Dakota Department of Health-Air Quality Division.

The appeal was, however, dismissed by the North Dakota Public Service Commission in October 2018 clearing way to resume the construction of the $900m crude-oil refinery by mid-2019. Operations of the refinery are scheduled to be started operations by 2020.

Davis crude oil refinery location

The crude oil refinery is being constructed over an area of 620 acres. It is located 4.8km away from the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The location offers access to the Fryburg rail facility as well as Highway 85 and Interstate 94 junction.

The refinery will be located in the heart of the North Dakota Bakken formation, which has a capacity to produce 1.2 million bopd of crude oil, of which the existing refineries in North Dakota process 94,000bopd and the remaining is shipped to neighboring refineries.

The new refinery will process the crude oil produced by North Dakota Bakken formation as it will be located close to the existing oil and gas pipeline network.

Davis crude oil refinery development details

Development works for the Davis refinery began in January 2015, with the commencement of the detailed engineering and permitting process. Meridian Energy received the site permit from the Billings County Board for the refinery construction in July 2016.

The construction permit for the Davis crude oil refinery project, under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act, was issued by the North Dakota Department of Health in June 2018.

The project involves the construction of a grassroot-type refinery with a maximum refining capacity of 49,500bpd, while the initial stage of the refinery named as Davis Light, which will be a hydro-skimming facility, will have a capacity of 27,500bpd.

The Davis Refinery will feature Octanizing-type continuous catalyst regeneration (CCR) reforming technologies and vacuum gas oil-based (VGO) hydrocracking units to produce high-octane gasoline and ultra-low sulfur diesel.

The refining facility will also include various new-generation technologies to eliminate benzene and sulfur from the gasoline products. The flare stack installed for the refinery will use combustion control technology to minimize the releases of SO2, CO, and NOx.

It will be installed with various leak-detection sensors and optical infrared imaging units to check the volatile organic compound (VOC) releases from the valves, seals, and gaskets of the refinery.

The high-conversion refinery will produce light distillates including gasoline and naphtha as well as middle distillates including diesel fuel, fuel oil, jet fuel, or kerosene and heavy distillates such as asphalt base, motor oil, and lubricants.

Contractors involved in Davis refinery project

Meridian Energy selected McDermott International as the front-end engineering design (FEED) contractor for the Davis crude oil refinery project, in December 2018.

McDermott will also enter an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with Meridian Energy, upon completion of the FEED work.

Axens was contracted by Meridian Energy to deliver Octanizing (CCR reforming) and HyK (VGO hydrocracking) units for the crude oil refinery, in October 2018.

Vepica USA was awarded a contract by Meridian Energy to provide process engineering, detailed design, equipment procurement, construction, and equipment inspection services for the refinery, in August 2018.

Basic Equipment will be responsible for the fabrication of the atmospheric crude tower along with other facilities.

Meridian Energy signed a letter of intent with GATE Energy for the commissioning and start-up services for the refinery, in September 2018.

SEH Design Build, a subsidiary of Short Elliott Hendrickson, was awarded a contract to provide civil design and construction services for the refinery.

The site development works for the refinery project were completed by Martin Construction, an earthwork construction company based in North Dakota.

ABC Fencing is responsible to install erosion control devices and perimeter fencing for the project site.

Meridian Energy signed a letter of intent (LoI) with Target Lodging for the construction of accommodation facilities for the workforce involved in the project development.