Frontier Oil operates a major oil refinery in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The Cheyenne Refinery has a processing capacity of 52,000 barrels of crude oil per day. It also has a coking unit, which means that the refinery can process significant amounts of heavy crude oil (which is cheaper than other direct inputs). The Cheyenne Refinery's crude oil (85 percent or more of which is heavy crude) is mainly supplied via the Express Pipeline from Canada. A variety of local suppliers are also used.
Frontier markets products produced at the Cheyenne, Wyoming, refinery throughout much of eastern Colorado, western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming. Products include diesel fuel, gasoline, asphalt and other refined petroleum products.
About Frontier Oil Corporation
Frontier Oil is an independent energy company that began in 1977. In addition to the Cheyenne, Wyoming, Refinery, Frontier also operates the larger El Dorado Refinery in Kansas. Between the two refineries, total processing capacity stands at approximately 187,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
Frontier, Wyoming in the News
In 2009, Frontier's Cheyenne Refinery became the subject of an environmental investigation and penalty via the US Environmental Protection Agency. The issue at hand was alleged illegal storage of hazardous wastes in an improper pond. Frontier Oil denied the allegations, and the two parties aimed to work out a settlement.
Also in 2009, Frontier's Cheyenne Refinery laid off 28 workers as a result of reduced demand for many of the fuels produced at the facility.
Frontier Oil Cheyenne Refinery and Asbestos
For much of the 1900s, whenever extreme temperature or fire was a risk, the mineral called asbestos was used as an insulator. Materials that contained asbestos, therefore, were commonly used in the building of facilities like Frontier Oil Cheyenne Refinery. One of the other properties of certain types of the fibrous mineral is that they resist reactive chemicals. Floor tiles, insulation, counter tops, even protective uniforms, therefore, frequently contained the fibrous mineral. The ironic thing with asbestos is that while it does superbly guarding against the harm done by heat and combustion - it is one of the most effective insulators known and has been used for the purpose throughout history - at the same time it poses significant risks to people's well being.
Amosite was almost always the kind of asbestos used in these locations. When it is mixed with chrysotile, which is resistant to heat and bases but not as resistant to acids, amosite creates products that are especially good at preventing damage from corrosive chemicals. Although it was banned as a construction material in the 1970s, amosite, in the form of asbestos transite, was utilized for decades in refineries and labs across the United States.
Asbestos transite could be sprayed onto ductwork and pipes, laminated and molded into working surfaces just like cement could. Generally, new items built with transite were innocuous because the asbestos particles were trapped in the transite. However, when this transite aged, it became prone to becoming powdery, which caused the deadly, microscopic particles to float into the air. That is, such asbestos is friable, which means easy to pulverize. Laboratory kilns also frequently were fabricated with friable asbestos in insulation linings.
Why Is Friable Asbestos Bad?
Asbestos particles, when they are friable, can be readily dispersed into the environment. If someone inhales these fibers, they can harm the lungs, resulting in asbestosis. In addition, exposure to asbestos has been shown to be the leading cause of pleural mesothelioma, a rare but often fatal cancer of the mesothelium, which is the tissue that lies between the lungs and the chest cavity. When those airborne particles land on food or in drinks and are subsequently swallowed, pericardial or peritoneal mesothelioma can result, although they are rarer than pleural mesothelioma.
During the past few decades scientists and researchers have uncovered a lot about the risks associated with being exposed to asbestos, and therefore there are strict laws regulating its use. Asbestos use was more common, however, when facilities such as Frontier Oil Cheyenne Refinery were constructed. And even now, asbestos from the past may be the source of danger when it is released during remodeling jobs.
The Lurking Hazard of Asbestos
One of the insidious aspects of exposure to asbestos is that resulting diseases can take many, many years to manifest - frequently long after the worker leaves the employer. When a former employee begins exhibiting symptoms such as a persistent cough and pain in the chest, his or her physician may not immediately recognize asbestos as a cause, leading to delays in diagnosis. It is vital, therefore, that folks who worked in or lived near sites like Frontier Oil Cheyenne Refinery inform their doctors about the chance of asbestos exposure. Experimental methods like mesothelioma radiation are being discovered, and early detection gives patients and their doctors the highest chance of beating the disease despite the notoriously low mesothelioma survival rate.
Frontier Oil Corporation - Corporate Profile
Frontier Oil Corporation - Cheyenne, Wyoming: Frontier Refining, Inc.
Grist - Oil Refineries are full of asbestos, not just carbon
The Street - Frontier Oil Lays Off 28 At Wyoming Refinery
University of Wisconsin - Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) - Laboratories and Shops
University of Wisconsin - Asbestos Disposal
Wyoming Tribune - Frontier Oil plans to fight EPA penalty