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Public Hearing March 20 – Major oil refinery seeking land in Victoria County, Texas

Prairie Energy Partners, a subsidiary of Southern Rock Energy Partners located in El Campo and managed by Steven Ward, plans to build a crude oil refinery in Bloomington, Texas. This would be the first major refinery built in the U.S. in over 45 years.

The $5.6 billion facility is estimated to produce 250,000 barrels of oil per day, with construction of two 125,000-barrels-per-day trains, 4 million barrels of storage, an 8-bay truck terminal, barge terminal, 200-car rail terminal, bidirectional pipelines, and access to the Victoria Barge Canal. Refinery wastewater may empty into San Antonio Bay where endangered whooping crane habitation and the Intracoastal Waterway connects to Matagorda Bay, affecting fishing, shrimping, and surrounding wildlife.

The company states the refinery will result in 1,250 new construction jobs and 423 permanent jobs, and has succeeded in getting the Bloomington ISD school board to slash the property taxes on the proposed refinery in return for the added tax revenue and jobs the project would bring. On December 12, 2022, Bloomington ISD finalized a 10-year property tax abatement limiting the value of the facility to just $20 million, saving the company $342.395 million in would-be taxes paid to the school district.

The company is also seeking a 100% tax abatement from Victoria County for 10 years. A public meeting on this abatement is set for March 20 at 10am. This facility would also be in the Victoria County Road and Bridge taxing entity.

A final investment decision may be made in the third quarter of 2023. As of January 12, 2023, the company says the refinery could open some time in 2026.

Victoria County residents interested in speaking during the public hearing do not have to fill out any forms prior to March 20. The public hearing will take place at the county courthouse, 101 N Bridge St #102, Victoria, TX 77901.