LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., March 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Air Products (NYSE: APD), the leading global hydrogen provider, today announced it will increase supply of hydrogen to Marathon Petroleum Company LP, a subsidiary of Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE: MRO), at Marathon's Garyville, La. refinery. The increased supply of hydrogen, required to meet production demands at the refinery, will occur in two increments with the first in 2011, and the second in 2012. In all, Air Products will increase the current level of supply from its Garyville hydrogen facility and its extensive Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline network to Marathon's refinery by approximately 25 million standard cubic feet per day. "We are very pleased to again be expanding our relationship with Marathon at Garyville. Our new facility had been supplying both hydrogen and steam to the refinery operations and we are able to meet the needs of additional hydrogen demand from the on-site facility and its pipeline network connection. We are able to provide product reliability and have flexibility in meeting increased hydrogen needs through the connection to the largest hydrogen pipeline network in Louisiana," said Tom Wendahl, Air Products' Louisiana general manager. Air Products commercialized its Garyville hydrogen plant in late 2009 and has been supplying hydrogen via pipeline to Marathon's refinery since 1993. Air Products is working toward increasing its hydrogen pipeline supply capability in the Gulf Coast. In October 2010, Air Products announced plans to construct a new 180-mile long pipeline. The new pipeline extension, which is in the project execution phase, will connect Air Products' Texas hydrogen system to the Louisiana hydrogen system. Once complete, Air Products' hydrogen pipeline supply network will stretch from the Houston Ship Channel in Texas to New Orleans, creating the world's largest hydrogen plant and pipeline supply network. This integrated pipeline system will unite over 20 hydrogen plants and over 600 miles of pipelines. It will supply the Louisiana and Texas refinery and petrochemical industries with over one billion cubic feet of hydrogen per day. The new Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline network is expected to be operational in 2012. Globally, Air Products' hydrogen pipeline operational expertise is evidenced by the 40 year safe operation of its network of systems. Pipelines offer a safe, robust and reliable supply of hydrogen to the refinery and petrochemical industry around the world. In addition to the Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline system, Air Products also has hydrogen pipeline networks operating around the world in the U.S. in Southern California; in Canada in Sarnia, Ontario, and Edmonton, Alberta; and in The Netherlands in Rotterdam. Hydrogen is widely used in petroleum refining processes to remove impurities found in crude oil such as sulfur, olefins and aromatics. Removing these components allows gasoline and diesel to burn cleaner and makes hydrogen a critical component in the production of cleaner fuels needed by modern, efficient internal combustion engines.