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ASHLAND OIL TARGETS $222 MILLION AND 125 JOBS FOR NEW PROJECTS AT CATLETTSBURG REFINERY

 ASHLAND OIL TARGETS $222 MILLION AND 125 JOBS
 FOR NEW PROJECTS AT CATLETTSBURG REFINERY
 ASHLAND, Ky., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Ashland Oil, Inc. (NYSE:ASH) today reported that it will start construction on seven new projects at its Catlettsburg, Ky., petroleum refinery in 1992 that will cost approximately $222 million and enable it to produce cleaner diesel fuel and further reduce plant emissions.
 According to John R. Hall, chairman and chief executive officer, the projects will result in the hiring of about 125 regular construction, maintenance and operations workers at the refinery. In addition, up to 1,000 contract workers, most from the Tri-State area, will be involved in the construction projects during the year.
 "Ashland has made the strategic decision to make the necessary investment in the Catlettsburg refinery to enable it to stay competitive and meet more stringent environmental regulations," Hall said. "Not only is this an important decision for Ashland's future, but it illustrates our commitment to economic development and growth in the Tri-State."
 New construction projects, which will begin in 1992, include:
 -- A 40,000-barrel per day Distillate Desulfurizer: $68 million
 -- A 16,500-barrel per day Continuous Catalyst Regenerator (CCR): $66 million
 -- Benzene Reduction Equipment: $40 million
 -- Five Distillate Storage Tanks: $17 million
 -- Landfill Upgrades: $15 million
 -- Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) Electrostatic Precipitators: $13 million
 -- Air Assisted Flare: $3 million
 The CCR, distillate desulfurizer and new storage tanks are being constructed to allow Ashland to produce low-sulfur diesel fuel. Effective October 1993, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will require refiners to produce diesel fuel for trucks that has .05 weight percent sulfur. Currently, diesel fuel is permitted to have .5 weight percent sulfur.
 The remaining projects to be started in 1992 will further reduce refinery emissions and upgrade landfill operations. All of the projects will be completed in 1993.
 Hall also said that Ashland expects to spend about $274 million on new projects at the Catlettsburg refinery from 1993 through 1995, primarily to meet new environmental requirements. Ashland spent about $266 million on new operations, equipment upgrades and environmental projects at the refinery between 1989 and 1991. In addition, Hall said that Ashland expects to spend about $87 million on seven new projects to be started in 1992 at the company's St. Paul Park, Minn., and Canton, Ohio, refineries. The projects primarily involve construction of units to enable the St. Paul Park refinery to produce low-sulfur diesel fuel and equipment to further reduce emissions at both plants.
 "Changing environmental requirements are placing an unprecedented capital burden on the refining industry, a burden that some refiners may be unable to bear," Hall said. "Despite this challenge, we believe the long-term outlook for Ashland's refining operations is good."
 The Catlettsburg refinery is the largest of three petroleum refineries operated by Ashland Petroleum Company, the principal division of Ashland Oil, Inc. The facility has the capacity to process 213,400 barrels of crude oil per day into gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, kerosine, heating oil, lube oil, asphalt, pitch, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and various petrochemicals. The plant, including a research and development center, employs 2,060 Tri-State residents.
 -0- 1/30/92
 /CONTACT: Roger Schrum of Ashland Oil, Inc., 606-329-4061/
 (ASH) CO: Ashland Oil, Inc. ST: Kentucky IN: OIL SU:


CD -- PG012 -- 5337 01/30/92 14:41 EST
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Date:Jan 30, 1992
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