November 27, 1974 Lawrenceville Texaco Refinery announced the start of production of lead free gasoline and low sulfur heating oil along with other related petroleum products.
Newspaper people gathered at the Wigwam which adjoins the office at the refinery where they were informed as to what would be seen and what the maze of pipes, gates and tanks might be designed to perform. A complicated array of pipes, stills, tanks, cooling units, heaters and the like were on display in the front of the room. Later the display was described as a proto-type of the facilities needed for the refinement of lead-free gasoline as required by the EPA.
A miniature still bubbled to the entertainment of the laypersons. The still operated on colored water rather than the explosive crude oil with pipes of glass showing various components being recovered from the crude.
Gasoline is the number one product of the Lawrenceville plant. There is a limited production of kerosene, jet fuel, diesel fuel, home heating oil, and liquefied gases from each barrel of crude. Crude oil is secured from Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Utah.
Production of the lead-free gasoline results in no increase in gallons per barrel but an increase in cost production. Production will require an increase of 31% electric power along with 22% increase in the amount of fuel oil needed. The new facilities include a 17,000- barrel a day hydro-treater; a 3600- barrel a day alkylation unit; a 100- gallon a minute sour water stripper; a 270- gallon a minute mine regenerator and a carbon monoxide boiler.
The visiting Texaco officials joined the newspersons in a bus trip to the refinery. As the bus entered the plant a large sign designating a safety record was called to the attention of the visitors. It showed 1,384,000 man–hours of accident-free work preceded by a period of 1,604,660 man–hours of accident free effort.
There are some 3500 service stations flying the Texaco flag but the firm owns only 24 of these. 3 1/2 million gallons of crude oil are processed daily in Lawrenceville amounting to 84,000 barrels. There are 600 employees at the plant.