Energy services company Wood Group is providing automation engineering services for a major petrochemical expansion project by ExxonMobil Chemical Company in Texas.

Wood Group Mustang's Automation and Control business unit will provide process control systems detailed engineering, procurement and fabrication services for the multi-billion dollar expansion project by ExxonMobil Chemical at its Baytown and Mont Belvieu plants near Houston.

The scope of the project includes procurement, integration and packaging of the distributed control systems, safety instrumented systems, analyzers, information and telecommunications systems, and other associated equipment that will help the expanded plants to run safely, efficiently and within environment regulations, the company said on Thursday.

This project is the largest-ever chemical investment by ExxonMobil in the United States.

When completed, the steam cracker will have a capacity of up to 1.5 million tons per year. It will provide ethylene feedstock for downstream chemical processing, including processing at two new 650,000 tons per year high-performance polyethylene lines at the Mont Belvieu plastics plant.

The expansion will help ExxonMobil Chemical meet the rapidly growing demand for polyethylene products.

"The project is made possible in large part by abundant, affordable supplies of US natural gas for energy and chemical feedstock," explained Steve Pryor, president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company. "Shale development has provided U.S. chemical producers a double benefit as an energy source and as a key raw material to make plastics and other essential products."