The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on September 6, 1966 · Page 12
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 12

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, September 6, 1966
Page 12
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I'I, ' GOING PLACES — Conoco is a company on the move and so is its anhydrous ammonia plant at Barfield. From its first production day it has been the world's largest single reactor ammonia plant. It is capable of producing 1,000 tons of anhydrous ammonia per day. The pipline (right) carries the finished product across the levee to barges. The catwalk spans the same distance. Company in a Hurry JL J J The dedication of Continental Oil Company's $25-million anhydrous ammonia plant at Bar- fieJd is proof positive of a recent statement by a chemical trade publication, to wit: "There's no doubt about it. Con- oco is a company in a hurry." In its May, 1966, issue Chemical Week made the statement in an issue devoted to the "mul- ticontinental" industrial giant. The company certainly spans many continents and in industry it unquestionably looms a giant. For example, Agrico Chemical Company, the company that put the Barfield plant into operation, is but a branch of m e worldwide Conoco complex. Conoco spans six continents <ind has interests in such diver- afied fields as chemicals, food plants, plastics, natural gas, phosphates, nuclear exploxives, coal and oil. One of Conoco's largest chemical centers is the complex at Westlake, near Lake Charles, La. A major refinery and several chemical installations produce benzene, methyl chloride, carbon black and ethylene glycol. An Alfol alcohols plant produces more than 100 m i 11 i o n pounds per year of detergent raw materials. Related to the Conoco chemical industry, the plant foods business is-a major producer of fertilizers. In late 1964 the Agrico division of Conoco started production at a new plant in Pierce, Fla. Concentrated super- phosphates, diammonium phosphate, phosphoric acid and sul- furic acid are the products the plant turns out to be used in their high - analysis fertilizers. A major expansion program for the plant foods distribution facilities also was launched in late 1964. There are now, approximately 700 anhydrous ammonia marketing o u 11 e t s to serve plants similar to the Blytheville plant, 400 nitrogen solution outlets, 120 phosphoric acid stations and almost 100 bulk- blending plants. * * * Conoco is still sounding out the Libyan government on t h e possibility of including an ammonia project in addition to the gas and oil holdings in Libya. If the green light is given for the project, Es Sider on the Mediterranean Coast is the site that will probably be selected for the plant. The Libyan plant will be a duplicate of the Blytheville facility. Spanish fertilizer markets would be the prime outlet for the Libyyan plant; however, the Mediterranean basin and northern Europe also are being viewed as possible areas where the fertilizer could be marketd. * * * . Plant nutrients such as potash and phosphate are other products of the Conoco plants. A holder of extensive potash leases in Saskatchewan, Canada, Conoco is presently one of the largest U.S. buyers of potash. Ranking as the third largest producer of Florida phosphate complex at South Fort Pierce has made Conoco a major producer of wet-process phosphoric acid, as 'veil as elemental phosphorus and superphos- phates. In the field of plastics a subsidiary of Conoco, Thompson Chemical Company, is one of the three largest Poly vinyl Chloride producers in the nation. The two largest polyvinyl chloride resin plants are located at Assonet, Mass., and Aberdeen, Miss. Chemicals are not the only field of activities of Conoco, how ever. The latest growth program includes a research program to explore new production processes. Edgerton, Germesh- arsen and Grier, and Reynolds rock, a phosphate chemicals j Electrical and Engineering have joined with Conoco to form CER Geonuclear Corp. Centered in Las Vegas, CER works in conjunction with the Atomic Energy Commission's "plowshare" program. Their aim is to develop methods of using nuclear explosives in mining, ecavation, production of oil and gas and other related fields. * * * Early last fall, Conoco made an expected move in their company expansion program. They announced that negotiations were under way for Conoco to acquire coal properties and related assets of Consolidation Coal Company, one of the two largest coal firms in the country. If this transaction goes through, Conoco stands to pro- fit, not only from the coal holdings, but from the research and pioneering work on the production of gasoline from coal on which Consolidation Coal has been working. Despite this expansion into other fields, crude oil and natural gas production and refining still remain the mainstay of Conoco. The company is now eighth among the top 20 U.S. oil firms. Worldwide crude oil and cbn- densate output is accounted for mostly by operations in Libya. Offshore production of crude oil and natural gas is a field Conoco pioneered. Ranked fifth in the nation, 10 percent of the company's total domestic crude oil production is done off the Louisiana shore. Louisiana, New Mexico, Okla- homa and Texas are sites of Hie company's main natural gas producing properties. Nine refineries, the two largest are located at Ponca City Okla., and Lake Charles, La., produce about 260,000 barrels per calendar day of crude oil. Conoco's sales of gasoline, distillate, asphalt and residual oil have continually exceeded its refinery runs, making it necessary to fill orders with outsidt purchases. Conoco is regarded as a domestic oil company but as tht magazine Chemical Week said, what has been "wrought at Con- oco may not yet have boosted Hie company into the realm ol industrial international giants, but even its competitors do not minimize its chances of one day making it." .

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