BP today announced that it had entered the final planning stage of a $3 billion investment in Canadian heavy crude oil processing at its Whiting Refinery in northwest Indiana.

The intention is to reconfigure the Whiting Refinery so that most of its feedstock can be heavy Canadian oil. The work has the potential to also increase the production of motor fuels by about 15%, which would mean an increase of 1.7 million additional gallons of gasoline and diesel daily.

BP America Inc. Chairman and President Bob Malone, said in a statement BP is pleased to invest in a project important to the economies of both the United States and Canada,

He continued BP's investment increases the diversity and security of oil supplies that can be refined into gasoline, diesel and other petroleum products in demand by consumers in the Midwestern United States. It also provides a significant market for Canada's abundant heavy crude oil resources.

Currently the Whiting Refinery produces about 4.5 billion gallons of transportation fuels in a year: which is enough to fuel five million vehicles. Malone said in the statement that after the investment the refinery would have the potential to supply six million vehicles.