Navajo Refinery to be expanded, oil and gas landfills going in across the Permian Basin

Adrian Hedden
Carlsbad Current-Argus
The Navajo Refinery located in Artesia process 100,000 barrels of crude oil per day from around the Permian Basin.

The only crude oil refinery in southeast New Mexico, where production is booming in the Permian Basin, is expanding as its owner applied for a permit modification through the New Mexico Environment Department.

The Navajo Refinery, owned and operated by Holly Frontier has a crude oil capacity of about 100,000 barrels per day, processing heavy, sour, light and sweet crudes gathered throughout the region and marketed across the southwest.

Holly Frontier announced its plans to apply on May 31 to modify its permit to the Air Quality Bureau - an arm of the New Mexico Environment Department to expand the facility located in Artesia, read a May 23 public notice.

The proposed modification would include installing a renewable diesel unit, including a new boiler and heater.

The company would also add six new storage tanks, a new railcar loading and unloading rack, along with a new cooling tower and other piping components, the notice read.

The facility operates seven days a week and 52 weeks per year.

Navajo Refinery in Artesia

How to comment

Anyone interested in submitting comments related to the construction or operation of the facility should send them in writing to the NMED’s Air Quality Bureau at 525 Camino de los Marquez, Suite 1 in Santa Fe.

Comments can also be made on NMED’s website and should include the original notice.

Comments will then be published in the legal section of newspapers near the facility.

How much pollution would it add?

The application also included the level of pollution expected to be emitted after the expansion.

Greenhouse gases, reported as total carbon dioxide equivalent, would be emitted at a rate of about 2.8 million tons per year.

About 1,700 pounds per hour of sulfur dioxide (SO2) would be emitted, at 377 tons per year.

Nitrogen oxides would be emitted at a rate of 574 pound per hour, or 737 tons per year.

There would be about 2,700 pounds per hour and 1,200 tons per year of carbon monoxide released by the facility and 2,100 pounds per hour of volatile inorganic compounds at an annual rate of 1,500 tons per year.

Oil and gas landfill built in Orla

An 80-acre landfill began construction in Reeves County, Texas, after it was permitted in March by the Railroad Commission of Texas.

The facility, when complete, will have a capacity of 6 million cubic yards and was scheduled to open by the end of the year.

The landfill will accept oilfield waste streams such as cuttings, contaminated soil and water- and oil-based muds.

It will later add solids disposal capacity and will serve clients throughout the Delaware Basin – the western portion of the Permian, mostly in southeast New Mexico.

Milestone intends to develop several more sites throughout the Permian during the next two years, read a milestone news release, including both landfill and slurry disposal facilities.

“Breaking ground on our first landfill facility is a significant and exciting step for Milestone. Having the ability to handle all oilfield waste streams, much less in a single location, allows us to offer customers a comprehensive service with much greater efficiency,” said Milestone President and Chief Executive Officer Gabriel Rio.

“Milestone has committed to building the infrastructure necessary to enable our customers to operate in a sustainable way and beginning construction on this landfill illustrates our promise to do just that.

“Having best-in-class E&P (exploration and production) landfill and slurry injection capabilities offers the best environmental and operational solution to our customers.”

Adrian Hedden can be reached at 575-628-5516, or @AdrianHedden on Twitter.