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Whiting Refinery

bp’s largest refinery, processing about 440,000 barrels of oil per day to supply fuel that powers the Midwest

Two bp team members standing by the 12 Pipestill at the BP Whiting Refinery at sunset
Located in northwest Indiana, about 17 miles from downtown Chicago, the Whiting Refinery is critical for the region’s economy and employment.

Fueling the Midwest

Since opening in 1889 the Whiting Refinery has helped provide the energy and jobs that built the region’s economic growth, and we are committed to continue being a good neighbor for another 100 years and beyond.

Key facts about the Whiting Refinery

  1. The Whiting refinery processes around 440,000 barrels of crude oil every day and produces a wide range of liquid fuels.
  2. The refinery has more than 1,700 bp employees and 1,000 contractors and supports more than 86,000 jobs in the region.
  3. In 2023, the Whiting Refinery spent more than $1 billion with vendors.
  4. bp’s Whiting refinery provides gasoline to states across the Midwest and can produce enough fuel each day to support the average daily travel of more than 7 million cars.1
  5. The refinery produces about 7% of all asphalt in the United States. 

Calculation based on the average amount of gasoline an American passenger car uses each day.

Two Whiting refinery team members wearing protective equipment

Safety and environment

We believe that technology will continue to play an increasingly important role in reducing safety risks. For example we now use drones and robotic technologies for some of our inspections, removing the risks involved when people are tasked with carrying out inspections.

FAQs


What is a flare? 

A flare stack is a tall, narrow structure that can be seen in refineries and other industrial processing plants that burns excess material. During startups, shutdowns or incidents at refineries, flares act as safety valves, releasing pressure and burning excess material.   

 

How many flares does the Whiting refinery have?

The Whiting refinery has 9 flares. Each of the flares supports a specific area or specific units in the refinery.

 

What is happening at the refinery where there is flaring?

Flaring can be seen when units are starting up or shutting down or, in some instances, experiencing an upset. When an upset leads to flaring, operators work to try to find the source of the issue on the impacted unit or units and respond to the flaring as quickly and safely as possible.

 

How does bp monitor air quality?

The refinery monitors the air quality by using a combination of stationary and mobile air monitors.

 

Where can I see the air quality results for my community?

Federal regulations require bp to maintain fence line monitors and to submit the results to regulators. The US EPA manages how that data is made available to the public.

 

Is there any additional data that can be shared?

As part of a recent settlement reached with regulators, bp has also agreed to install additional air monitoring equipment, including one new monitor within the refinery fence line, three new monitors at the refinery fence line, and 10 new monitors outside the refinery fence line in the surrounding community. bp is developing a public website that will be available beginning in summer 2024 to host sampling data from these new community air monitors.

 

What are the air quality impacts of a flare?

If a flare is operating normally, there should be minimal air quality impacts. During a flaring event, air emissions are closely monitored and reported to regulators.

 

What causes the odors I smell from the refinery?

During flaring, material is combusted, and that process can, at times, result in odors. Some of this material can produce odors that humans can perceive at very low concentrations but are well below the concentrations that may affect human health. Additionally, we take steps to try to minimize odors from the refinery that may impact local residents. In a heavily industrialized area like the one in which Whiting sits, the source of any particular odor is not always easily identifiable in the absence of additional data.

Two Whiting refinery team members use a drone for a safety inspection

Community impact

Whiting and its employees invest in and volunteer with a range of organizations that are critical to the vitality of our community. Over the last five years, we invested more than $3 million in community programs benefiting the Northwest Indiana region.

 

We are focused on STEM education, conservation and community events, such as the Process Tech program, Student Conservation Association, and Pierogi Fest.

 

We provide financial support and our employees volunteer as mentors for a STEM education initiative called the Process Tech program at Ivy Tech Community College. The program helps students exploring STEM careers.


Since 2015, we have been partnering with the Student Conservation Association (SCA), which inspires young adults ages 18 to 25 to pursue conservation through urban forestry projects that restore native habitats of trees and vegetation.

Whiting refinery hosts a booth at a middle school career fair
Whiting refinery hosts a booth a pierogi fest
Whiting refinery team members plant trees in the community
A booth is set up by Whiting Refinery for a career fair
Whiting refinery hosts a booth at a middle school career fair
Whiting refinery hosts a booth a pierogi fest
Whiting refinery team members plant trees in the community
A booth is set up by Whiting Refinery for a career fair
Two Whiting refinery team members wearing protective equipment give each other a fist bump

Looking to the future

bp recognizes the need to continue providing the world with the fuel it needs today, while at the same time investing in lower carbon energy solutions for the future. We are committed to helping deliver secure, affordable and lower carbon energy.

 

That is why we are evaluating plans at the Whiting Refinery for lower-carbon products like biofuels, hydrogen and Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

 

In October 2023, bp and the Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen – the MachH2 coalition – announced their selection by the US Department of Energy for regional clean hydrogen hub funding. bp is looking to develop blue hydrogen production at or near our Whiting Refinery.

Contact us

General information
For questions and more information about Whiting refinery, please contact whitingrefineryexternalaffairs@bp.com.

 

Media inquiries

For questions from the media, please contact uspress@bp.com.

 

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