Commonwealth Journal

April 18, 2013

Revitalization of refinery is going strong

Continental Refining Company growing in employees, supply talks

by Bill Mardis
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —

Continental Refining Comp-any (CRC), the former Somerset Refinery, continues “fully operational” and, as of Monday, has 35 employees on the payroll, according to Missy Shorey, spokesperson for the refinery.
Shorey says CRC is in contract negotiations with regional suppliers for crude oil. This is in addition to an existing contract with Sonoco Partners Marketing and Terminals LP that assures a consistent supply of crude oil, she said.
CRC produces several products including 87 octane (regular) gasoline, kerosene, diesel and No. 4 and No. 6 (residual) heating oils. At this stage full production depends on supply.
“We add capacity as we go along,” Shorey noted.
The local refinery, one of two crude oil refineries in Kentucky, was an industrial backbone of Somerset during its growing years.
Somerset Refinery, beginning in the 1930s, prov-ided an important market for crude oil producers in nearby areas of Kentucky and Tennessee. Its affiliated Somerset Oil service stations, no longer in existence, were once familiar sights in the region.
The refinery in 2006 experienced financial troubles because the price of crude oil went up significantly, owners said in a court document.
The business went through several owners; through allegedly broken promises; through bankruptcy; and through property auctions. It shut down in February 2010.
CRC, a Somerset-based corporation, purchased the refinery in December 2011. It resumed operation at the first of this year.
Demetrios Haseotes, president and CEO of CRC, said 12 of the original Somerset Refinery employees are now back at work at the refinery. CRC is attracting local producers.
Haseotes said. “Everyday we are picking up local crude and adding more,” he assured.