Since its creation in 1922, the El Dorado refinery has been an extremely reliable supplier of petroleum products. Acquired by Lion Oil Company (an affiliate of Delek US Holdings, Inc.) in 1985, the refinery has been expanded and enhanced by hundreds of millions of dollars in capital expenditures to deliver increased production capacity, superior performance, and adherence to new environmental standards. With a throughput capacity of approximately 75,000 barrels of sour crude oil and feedstocks per day, it has become the largest independent refiner of high-sulfur crude oil in its primary market areas of Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, and northern Louisiana. Lion Oil continues to develop the facility's production capabilities, and plans to expand capacity to 100,000 barrels per day.
Lion Oil's process units contain special metallurgy that allows higher sulfur crude oils to be utilized. Under Delek's management, Lion Oil processes a combination of crude oils, including foreign high-sulfur crude from the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, domestic offshore crudes from the Gulf of Mexico, and local onshore domestic crudes. Additional diverse crude oils are obtained through the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) and related salt dome storage.
To support expansion of the refinery's crude capacity and to offset declines in production from local Arkansas producers, Saudi crude and the expanded slate of other foreign and offshore domestic crudes have been utilized. Due to the designed flexibility of the refinery, additional crudes are accessed from numerous sources, including Poseidon, Mesa, Mars, Southern Green Canyon, Eugene Island and the new Thunderhorse field. Iraq, Mexico, Kuwait, and other sources have also been utilized. Lion Oil's subsidiary, Lion Oil Trading and Transportation, Inc., (LOTT) handles crude oil purchases. Lion Oil's crude supplies are shipped to the refinery through several pipelines, including ExxonMobil, LOOP, Lion Oil subsidiaries Paline Pipeline Company (Paline) and Magnolia Pipeline Company (Magnolia Pipeline), and Lion Oil's domestic gathering system. The connection with LOOP improves supply logistics and increases Lion Oil's access to crude supply. The capacity of the Magnolia Pipeline has been upgraded to supply up to 100% of the refinery's crude supply.
LOTT's extensive local gathering system in Arkansas and Louisiana saves in transportation costs compared to truck options. With a local gathering system of nearly 1,000 miles of pipeline, LOTT delivers domestic crudes to the refinery from southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana mostly from the prolific Smackover field near El Dorado, Arkansas. Lion Oil subsidiary pipelines are operated and maintained by a sophisticated, highly integrated control system located at the El Dorado facility, which features leak detection and total automatic shutdown in the event of damage.
Lion Oil maintains its own proprietary marketing network, supplemented with a diverse exchange partner program throughout the mid-continent. As the Northernmost refinery on the Enterprise Products Partners LP pipeline, Lion Oil benefits from a response time and transportation cost advantage over Gulf Coast refineries when supplying fuels to its primary market area of the central Midwest and Mississippi River corridor.