By Dana Morris
KERMIT, TX (KWES) – A $1 billion oil refinery could be coming to Winkler County, and the effects could be far reaching across West Texas. The Meridian Energy Group have secured property just about 4 miles north of Kermit’s city limits where the project is in the environmental assessment stage.
If the company approves the site, construction for the project could begin within the year. Plans for the refinery layout contain an estimated 3 year completion timeline. The refinery aims to produce 58,000 barrels of gasoline per day from crude oil.
In affect, this would require thousands of construction jobs, and establish 150 – 200 permanent operational jobs. This kind of operational influx nearby the Kermit community, containing a population of just over 6,000 people, would mean more local job opportunities and economic prosperity. Kermit Mayor Jerry Phillips believes the community would welcome the addition. “I think the community will be happy to see them come. It’ll be a big boost to the Kermit economy,” said Phillips.
Other residents in the community, like Barry Huddleston, see the refinery as a potential source of growth for Kermit. “You see a lot of companies donating to the community like Apache and Anadarko right here, so I definitely see these companies helping the community to grow,” said Huddleston.