Frontier Oil operates the El Dorado Refinery in El Dorado, Kansas. The El Dorado Refinery has a capacity of 135,000 barrels of crude oil processing per day, making it one of the largest refineries in the Rocky Mountain and Great Plains region. The refinery is supplied by pipelines that converge on a hub at Cushing, Oklahoma - close enough to provide El Dorado with a wide variety of crude oils to use in its processing activities. Products include gasoline, diesel, asphalt, jet fuel and other refined petroleum products.
In addition to basic oil processing, the El Dorado Refinery has a coking unit, which enables the refinery to process heavy, relatively inexpensive varieties of crude oil.
About Frontier Oil Corporation
In addition to the El Dorado Refinery in Kansas, Frontier Oil operates a refinery in Cheyenne, Wyoming (meaning the company's total processing capacity stands at approximately 187,000 barrels of crude oil per day). Frontier Oil is an independent energy company that began in 1977. It acquired the El Dorado Refinery in 1999.
Frontier Oil also handles marketing for El Dorado's products. Most marketing is done on the eastern half of the Rocky Mountain region (including eastern Colorado and Wyoming) and through the plains. Frontier Oil relies heavily on the El Dorado Refinery to provide a large amount of finished product for sale.
Asbestos and Oil Refineries
For most of the last century, various forms of asbestos were chosen as a building material whenever fire or extreme heat was a risk. Materials that contained asbestos, accordingly, were commonly used in the building of facilities such as the Frontier Oil El Dorado Refinery. Resistance to chemical reactions is perhaps a less well-known property of various forms of amphibole asbestos. Because of the nature of the work that occurs at Oil Refineries, asbestos, therefore, appeared not only in plant structures, but also in coating materials, safety clothing and benches. And though the asbestos did well in safeguarding against fire damage and in protecting people from extreme heat, the mineral also exposed those same people to significant health risks.
Amosite was often the variety of asbestos utilized in such plants. When it is mixed with chrysotile, which is resistant to heat and bases but not as resistant to acidic compounds, the amphibole amosite creates materials that are especially good at preventing damage from corrosive chemicals. This amosite, in the form of asbestos-containing transite, was utilized in chemical plants and labs across the US for many years before being outlawed in building materials in the 1970s.
Asbestos transite was characterized qualities like cement; it could be sprayed onto ductwork and pipes and laminated. As long as asbestos transite remained solid, this form of asbestos offered no immediate hazard. Microscopic particles of asbestos are released into the atmosphere, however, as this transite gets older and becomes prone to crumbling. That is, such asbestos is friable, or able to be crushed by hand pressure alone. Also, industrial kilns often contained friable asbestos in insulation linings.
The Dangers of Friable Asbestos
When friable, asbestos particles are easily dispersed into the environment. Breathing asbestos particles can result in diseases like asbestosis or cancer. In addition, inhaling asbestos is known to be the leading cause of mesothelioma, an unusual and all too often fatal disease affecting the mesothelium, the lining between the lungs and the chest cavity. Ingestion of asbestos fibers, as can occur if those tiny fibers enter the air and fall on food or drinks, may lead to pericardial or peritoneal mesothelioma.
Increased pressure from medical researchers and activist groups forced the creation of laws regulating how to use asbestos. The use of asbestos was much more common, however, when plants such as the Frontier Oil El Dorado Refinery were built. Any asbestos that remains from that period may still pose a health hazard if people are not careful during demolition projects.
The Time Bomb
In contrast to many job-related injuries, which are easily observed and known about immediately following the incident, asbestos-related diseases may take ten, twenty, or even thirty years to appear. The symptoms of asbestosis and mesothelioma - pain in the chest, chronic coughing and shortness of breath - may easily be mistaken for the symptoms of other, less serious conditions. Those who were employed by or spent much time near sites like the Frontier Oil El Dorado Refinery therefore ask tell their health care professionals for mesothelioma information. Such information can enable physicians to make a timely diagnosis; especially with mesothelioma, the sooner it is diagnosed, the higher the chances of surviving or being eligible for treatments like mesothelioma surgery.Sources
Frontier Oil Corporation - Corporate Profile
Frontier Oil Corporation - El Dorado Kansas: Frontier Refining, Inc.
Grist - Oil Refineries are full of asbestos, not just carbon
HighBeam Research - Frontier in Agreement to Acquire El Dorado Refinery
University of Wisconsin - Asbestos Containing Material (ACM) - Laboratories and Shops
University of Wisconsin - Asbestos Disposal