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Local fuel patent hopes to move refining industry forward

As seen in 7KPLC News.

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – Changes could be coming to our local oil industry.

The U.S. currently imports 7.24 million barrels of crude oil a day. Polaris EPC in Lake Charles has recently been awarded a patent that might bring those numbers down in the future.

“Twenty-five years ago Gerry and I established Polaris Engineering here in Lake Charles because we wanted to be in this part of the country. Our company works all over the world in the oil and gas industry. What we’re doing in this country today is we’re exporting millions of barrels a day of clean fuel,” CEO and co-founder of Polaris EPC, Mike Nodier said.

An opportunity came up to develop a patent to move the refining industry forward. The reason why we as a nation export clean fuel that we extract domestically is because our refineries here at home aren’t made to process the clean oil, but rather the impure oil that is imported from elsewhere around the globe.

“We’ve developed a process where we can refine this ideal crude efficiently and at the same time apply new technology to reducing the carbon footprint of the refining process. By doing that, we believe that we can reduce the carbon footprint by over 95 percent, for an oil refinery compared to standard typical refineries here in the U.S.,” Gerry Obluda, co-founder of Polaris EPC said.

Currently the patent protection is only for two units permitted in west Texas, however there are big opportunities for the Lake Area.

“We’re excited that the engineering and fabrication for this project will happen in Southwest Louisiana. We do all the fabrication over at our shops in Sulphur, Louisiana, and all the engineering is done right here in Lake Charles,” Nodier said.

And not only is Polaris trying to change the refining industry, they are also helping their community during Lent. Every Friday from 4 to 6:30 p.m. there is a fish fry benefiting the charitable works of the Knights of Columbus of Immaculate Conception Cathedral. It takes place on Bilbo Street in downtown Lake Charles.