Cherry Point Refinery

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Cherry Point Refinery
Cherry Point Refinery is located in Washington (state)
Cherry Point Refinery
Location of the Cherry Point Refinery in Washington, United States
Country United States
City Blaine, Washington
Coordinates 48°52′53″N 122°44′15″W / 48.88139°N 122.73750°W / 48.88139; -122.73750Coordinates: 48°52′53″N 122°44′15″W / 48.88139°N 122.73750°W / 48.88139; -122.73750
Refinery details
Owner(s) BP
Commissioned 1971
Capacity 225,000 bbl/d (35,800 m3/d)

The Cherry Point Refinery is the largest oil refinery in Washington. It is located about 7 mi (11 km) south of Blaine and 8 mi (13 km) northwest of Ferndale,[1] a few miles south of the Canadian border, on the Strait of Georgia between Birch Bay and Lummi Bay. The Project was overseen by George W. Glade, President of Parsons Constructors, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ralph M. Parsons Company and a leader in his own right in the oil refinery design and innovation. It is the fourth largest refinery on the West Coast and 28th largest in the U.S.[2] The Cherry Point refinery supplies about 20% of the gasoline in Washington state.[3][4]

The plant was constructed in 1971 with an original capacity of about 100,000 barrels (16,000 m3). It currently processes over 225,000 barrels (35,800 m3) of petroleum (crude oil) per day, with 90% becoming gasoline, diesel or jet fuel.[5] The facility is owned by BP. It covers about 3,300 acres (1,300 ha).[6]

Most of Cherry Point's crude oil is from the Alaska North Slope. It is brought in by petroleum tankers via the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Rosario Strait and delivered directly to the refinery via the facility's tanker pier near a minor headland called Cherry Point, on the Strait of Georgia.[7][8] The remainder of the crude comes from a pipeline connected to reserves in Western Canada. In January 2014 the refinery finished construction of a rail facility to import Bakken crude from North Dakota.[9]

The gasoline and diesel are primarily shipped to filling stations in Washington and Oregon via the Olympic Pipeline and over-the-road fuel trucks. Jet fuel from Cherry Point Refinery accounts for 85% of the fuel used by the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.[10] Significant quantities of calcined coke are also produced and shipped to the nearby ALCOA aluminum smelter.

Originally an Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) facility when it opened in 1971, the refinery became a BP operation in January 2002. BP acquired ARCO in April 2000. [1]

A fire in February, 2012, caused the plant to be shut down for several weeks.[11]


  1. ^ "WA Industrial BP Cherry Point Refinery Page". Washington State Department of Ecology. Retrieved 23 June 2011. 
  2. ^ It is the last major oil refinery built in the United States.Top U.S. Refineries
  3. ^ Zaz Hollander (May 2012). "Following North Slope Crude: From the ground to the gas station". Alaska Business Monthly. Retrieved 21 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "BP Cherry Point refinery back in operation". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  5. ^ BP Fact Sheet
  6. ^ "Cherry Point Refinery, Facility Fact Sheet" (PDF). BP. Retrieved 23 June 2011. 
  7. ^ Scherer, Migael (16 December 2004). A Cruising Guide to Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands: Olympia to Port Angeles. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 202. ISBN 978-0-07-142039-6. Retrieved 23 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "Cherry Point". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  9. ^ John Stark (November 30, 2012). "BP taking next steps on rail project for crude oil". Bellingham Herald. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  10. ^ BP About the refinery [dead link]
  11. ^

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