Located in Blaine, Washington, BP’s Cherry Point Refinery helps fuel cars, trucks and airplanes throughout the Pacific Northwest, while making major contributions to the global aluminum industry.
Surrounded by forest, wetland, stream, pond and shoreline habitats, the refinery also devotes considerable resources every year to help preserve its local environment.
When Cherry Point first opened in 1971, refining crude oil brought by tanker ships from the North Slope of Alaska was its primary purpose. Since then, the refinery has diversified its capabilities, and today it accepts and refines crude oil from around the world. Its close proximity to rail, shipping and pipeline infrastructure helps the refinery move its products swiftly to market.
On an average day, it processes up to 234,000 barrels of crude oil, roughly 90 percent of which emerges as transportation fuel.
The remaining 10 percent typically gets converted into anode-grade calcined coke, which the refinery sells to aluminum smelters worldwide.
Over the past decade, BP has invested more than $750 million to modernize the refinery. In 2013, for example, Cherry Point began using new technology to produce ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel.
Beyond its business operations, the refinery has a proud history of conserving and improving the rich habitats that surround it.
Employee initiatives include monitoring a colony of great blue herons, documenting amphibians in protected wetlands and conducting an inventory of native wild species. Cherry Point also helped underwrite the BP Heron Center for Environmental Education at Birch Bay State Park, a regional environmental learning center.
“Our employees are the fabric of the community where we live and work,” says Refinery Manager Bob Allendorfer. “On Earth Day 2016, for example, Cherry Point families and neighbors planted more than 600 trees and shrubs adjacent to a salmon bearing stream on rural property owned by BP.
“We also host an annual food drive for local residents in need, and we’ve been the largest contributor to the Whatcom County United Way Foundation for many years now.”