The privately-owned company, based in Geneva, Switzerland, has purchased acreage adjacent to the railroad tracks north of the Main Street crossing.
Lance Inwood, Manager of Crude Oil Supply for Mercuria, told the Brownfield News construction at the local site would begin February 18.
The company will erect about a dozen large storage tanks on the site, which will be serviced by between 40 and 50 trucks per day, seven days a week, according to Inwood.
“We’ll be buying crude directly from the leases and trucking it back to our location in Brownfield,” he said. “Once it’s there, it won’t stay in our tanks for long. It will then be transloaded onto railcars and shipped out to varying destinations.”
About a dozen rail cars per day will move the oil out of the facility, Inwood said.
The company, which has a presence in more than 30 countries on five continents, plans significant improvements to the Brownfield site.
“We’re going to clean it up and make it something we all can be proud of,” Inwood said. “Permian Basin (Railway) is very receptive to helping us rehab the track. Our facility will be compliant with all regulations and we pride ourselves that they be aesthetically pleasing as well. We’re a good community partner. We take an active role in every community we’re in.”
Mercuria will spend about 40 days readying the site, with plans to be fully operational by April 1st.
The available land on the rail was a leading factor in choosing Brownfield, Inwood said, as well as the city’s vicinity to the area’s booming oil play.
“It’s very close to the crude supply that we are going to purchase,” he said. “We’re targeting specific qualities of crude and that’s where we want to be.”
The company, within the last year, started its own fleet of trailers to transport its oil supply, rather than outsourcing that task.
Inwood said Mercuria will seek local truck owner-operators to move those trailers around the area, giving them the benefit of being home at the end of every day.
“It’s not long-haul trucking,” he said. “They’ll be able to work good hours and then go home to their families. It’s a good deal.”
The company has several crude oil sale points across the U.S. with the closest in Cushing, Oklahoma, which has a storage capacity of 2.5 million barrels of oil.
North American offices are located in Houston, Chicago, Oklahoma City, Denver, Bridgeport, San Luis Obispo, California; Bridgeport, Wisconsin and Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Inwood added that he understand small communities and he served as mayor of a small town in Kansas.
“I understand that every dollar spent in a town the size of Brownfield goes around five or six times,” he said. “I’m familiar with the economic impact a company like ours can have on a town and I’m thrilled that we’ll get to help Brownfield.”
(Courtesy of the Brownfield News)