An iconic Somerset industry has risen from financial ashes and resumed a viable status as the second crude oil refinery in Kentucky and a significant place of employment at its location off Monticello Street.
Continental Refining Company (CRC), formerly Somerset Refinery, now has 40 employees and is still hiring. Some 1,500 barrels of crude oil are being refined each day, Missy Shorey, spokesperson for the Somerset-based refining company, said Tuesday. Refining capacity is 5,500 barrels a day and Shorey said CRC will move toward full production as “bottlenecks” are moved out of the way.
CRC projections were the refinery at full production would employ between 40 and 45 workers and create as many as 200 ancillary jobs. About 66 employees reportedly were on board when the refinery closed more than three years ago.
Somerset Refinery, one of two crude oil refineries in Kentucky, was a landmark business and one of this community’s most stable employers since the 1930s.
It shut down in February 2010 due to financial difficulties and inability to purchase sufficient amounts of crude oil from regional producers who claimed they were not paid by previous owners of the refinery.
Continental Refining Company (CRC) purchased the refinery in December 2011. It has secured a contract with Sonoco Partners Marketing and Terminals LP that will assure a consistent supply of crude oil, according to Demetrios Haseotes, president and CEO of CRC.
An official local announcement was made February 3 that crude oil was again being refined at the Monticello Street location. The plant’s revival was announced nationally February 4.