HOVENSA, formerly known as the Hess Oil Refinery, the Hess Oil Virgin Islands Corporation (HOVIC), or the St. Croix Refinery is a petroleum refinery located on the island of St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands. After the owner, Leon Hess died, the refinery became a joint venture between Hess Corporation and Petroleos de Venezuela, hence the name HOVENSA.
For most of its operating life as HOVENSA it supplied heating oil and gasoline to the U.S. Gulf Coast and the eastern seaboard with the crude mainly sourced from Venezuela. Previously it had sourced its crude feedstock from a number of other countries including Libya. At a capacity of about 500,000 barrels per day as of 2010 it was in the top 10 largest refineries in the world.
Hess Oil Virgin Islands Corporation started refinery construction in January 1966 having purchased the property from Annie de Chabert, and in October of the same year, the refinery started operating.
In 1974, the capacity of refinery was expanded up to its peak at 650,000 barrels per day. HOVENSA LLC, which took over the refinery operatorship, was established in 1998.
In January 2011, HOVENSA paid a $5.3 million penalty for Clean Air Act violations. On January 18, 2012 the company announced that it would close the refinery by mid-February 2012. The refinery will then serve as a storage terminal.
The HOVENSA Chronicles attempts to document theimpact of the closing of the oil refinery on the United StatesVirgin Islands, primarily St. Croix.