Chevron Phillips Changes CEO; Parent Company Posts Favorable Financials

Feb. 14, 2011
Changing of the guard and investments in new ventures highlight energy company.

The Woodlands, Texas-based Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., a 50-50 joint venture between Chevron and ConocoPhillips, has announced a few big moves, including naming Peter L. Cella president and chief executive officer effective Feb. 8, 2011. Cella replaces Greg Garland, who joined ConocoPhillips as senior vice president, exploration and production, Americas.

Before his election to president and CEO, Cella served as senior vice president, petrochemicals for BASF Corp.  Before that he served as CEO of Ineos Nitriles, part of the Ineos Group, a position he was named to in 2005.

Chevron Phillips Chemical also announced plans to build a 1-hexene plant capable of producing in excess of 200,000 metric tons per year at its Cedar Bayou Chemical Complex in Baytown, Texas. Start up is slated for first quarter 2014.

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That plant will be the third one to utilize Chevron Phillips Chemical’s proprietary selective 1-hexene technology, which reportedly produces exceptional purity comonomer grade 1-hexene from ethylene. 1-hexene is a critical component used in the manufacture of polyethylene, a plastic resin commonly converted into film, plastic pipe, milk jugs, detergent bottles, and food and beverage containers.

Qatar Chemical Company Ltd.’s facility in Mesaieed, Qatar, already uses the technology, which also is being utilized at the Saudi Polymers Company plant in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia, scheduled for start-up in 2011. Both of these facilities are joint ventures of wholly owned subsidiaries of Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC.

Meanwhile parent Chevron Corp. has posted good financial news. The San Ramon, Calif.-based company reported earnings of $5.3 billion for the fourth quarter 2010, compared with $3.1 billion in the 2009 fourth quarter. Sales and other operating revenues in the fourth quarter 2010 were $52 billion, up from $48 billion in the year-ago period, mainly due to higher prices for crude oil and refined products.

According to Chairman and CEO John Watson, the company's financial strength enabled it to invest in development projects and acquire several new resource opportunities.

“During the fourth quarter, we announced the acquisition of Atlas Energy, Inc., which will provide Chevron with an attractive natural gas position, primarily located in southwestern Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale," says Watson. Atlas shareholders will vote on the Chevron offer on Feb. 16.

In other news, Chevron Lubricants will commence construction of a lubricants manufacturing facility at the company's Pascagoula, Miss., refinery. The $1.4 billion Pascagoula Base Oil Project is projected to generate approximately 1,000 jobs over the next two years of construction and about 20 permanent positions once the facility is operating.

The facility will manufacture 25,000 barrels per day of premium base oil, the main ingredient in the production of top-tier motor oil.