April 7, 2023 [The News] – Nine years after acquiring it in 2014, local company officials are hosting retirees for a tour/reunion event of the Phillips 66 Beaumont Terminal in Nederland on Wednesday.
“So far, 75 retirees have RSVP’d,” environmental specialist Heather Low recently told Port Arthur Newsmedia. “We’re pretty excited.”
Local dignitaries and current employees will also participate in the invitation-only event that occurs 100 years to the day that Smith Bluff Pure Oil Co. “drove the stakes” April 5, 1923.
“It is an honor to be the operator of the Beaumont Terminal at the 100-year milestone,” said Eunice Bridges, Phillips 66 corporate communications senior advisor. “We are grateful to our employees – present and past – for their continued commitment and dedication to running the Beaumont Terminal safely and efficiently, and to the Beaumont-Port Arthur community for its support over the years.”
Bridges said that the terminal is “incredibly versatile” and allows Phillips 66 to adapt to the needs of the U.S. and the global market.
“We look forward to what the future holds for the Beaumont Terminal and positioning it for continued success,” she said.
This black-and-white picture from the 1960s shows the facility when it was owned by Unocal. (Courtesy photo)
The facility changed ownership from Pure Oil to Unocal in the 1960s, then to Chevron in the 1990s before becoming Phillips 66 in June 2014.
“This acquisition supports our midstream growth strategy,” said Tim Taylor, president of Phillips 66 at that time. “Given our expectations for increasing volumes of North American crude oil movements into the Gulf Coast region and growth in refined product exports, the Beaumont Terminal is well positioned to serve this growing market while providing significant expansion potential.”
Once a refinery, the facility no longer produces any product on site. Instead, it stores and ships product via vessels and pipelines, Low said.
The facility, the largest of the company’s 200 terminals worldwide, sits on 565 acres and employs 85 Phillips 66 employees, along with a number of contractors.
The site has a daily 15 million barrel crude oil storage capacity and a 2.1 million barrel refined product storage capacity.
“The terminal acts as a hub, receiving crude oil from six pipelines originating from
locations around the country and Canada,” Bridges said. “This crude oil at Beaumont supplies the refineries in the Beaumont/Port Arthur region as well as Louisiana.
“Since acquiring the terminal in 2014, Phillips 66 has made significant investments to the facility, including an additional 8 million barrels of storage capacity and 650,000 barrels per day of marine-loading capability. These additions allow the terminal to be flexible and adjust with the market, whether it is exporting light sweet crude oil from North Dakota or heavy sour crude oil from Canada.”
To hear Low describe the workplace environment, she might be a future retiree.
“I will have completed two years in September,” Low said. “This terminal has something special. The people, the company, the connection to the community, all of that makes for a great work environment. I love my job and feel lucky to be here.”
Diana LaBorde, president/CEO of the Nederland Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau, said the positive impact that the facility has made in the last decade is “noteworthy.”
“For 100 years, the facility has provided jobs and security for families in Nederland, Port Neches, Groves, Port Arthur and the entire Golden Triangle,” LaBorde said. “That, matched with their on-going efforts to strengthen the communities where their employees live by identifying social and economic needs within the community and working towards solutions for those needs is a big part of their legacy.
“Couple that with their investment in education and safety along with their efforts towards environmental resilience and sustainability and you have a great community partner. We really appreciate Phillips 66 for their devotion to the vitality of the area, its people and places.”
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