Metro Refineria is on Line 7 of the metro, and it’s frequently noted that it’s the deepest of all Metro stations, beneath the ground.
The station logo depicts the three Pemex tanks as they would have appeared on the grounds of the refinery nearby. The refinery was built in 1934 with the task of processing some 11,000 barrels of oil per day. An enormous quantity at the time. By 1945, the original refinery had to be abandoned in favor of a new facility to process 50,000 barrels per day. Just ten years later, new equipment was installed to again double capacity.
Part of the reason the area is so famous is due to its expropriation, by the state. The original refinery had been built by Mexican Eagle Petroleum Company, already a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, in 1933. The complex was established on a 60-hectare site, and this eventually expanded to some 174 hectares.
When the refinery was nationalized along with the rest of the oil industry, by President Lázaro Cárdenas in 1938, it became a property of the federal government. Thereafter called the Refinería 18 de Marzo, the plant began to produce some 7,500 barrels of oil a day for the federal government. It remains a controversial and proud act of government for many Mexicans even today.
The subsoil beneath the refinery was badly contaminated by years of this work. The plant was closed finally in 1991. From 1995 to 2000, a program was implemented to build a park on the under an initiative that demolished the factory and cleaned up after the refinery. The result is the Parque Bicentenario which is far and away the most popular reason for international visitors to visit Metro Refinería.
Ángel Zimbrón, 02099 Mexico City, CDMX