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US refining margins strengthen as crude prices fall

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

US regional refining margins rose more than 24% on average for the week ended Friday October 7, as the decline in crude prices more than offset weaker refined product prices, according to a weekly report by Credit Suisse. West Coast margins registered the largest gains, as profits soared across all regions.

Elsewhere in the US:


ConocoPhillips has reported a fire at a storage tank at the 147 000 bpd Wilmington refinery, near Los Angeles. The affected hydrotreater unit has been shut down, and a spokesperson has indicated that there is not expected to be a significant impact seen in production. Yet speculation that the shut down will affect the refinery’s ability to produce gasoline caused the premium for California blend gasoline to surge.


The sole crude distillation unit at Petrobras’ 100 000 bpd Pasadena refinery is expected to be shut for repairs for approximately two to four weeks. The shut down is due to a fire on September 30, which broke out when a pump seal failed on the crude unit.


Calumet Specialty Products Partners has completed the acquisition of the 33 000 bpd Superior refinery from Murphy Oil for approximately US$ 442 million. The refinery produces gasoline, diesel, asphalt, bunker fuel and specialty petroleum products. The price included Superior assets and inventories, valued at approximately US$ 220 million.

The deal follows hot on the heels of Valero Energy Corp’s purchase of another Murphy Oil refinery at Meraux for US$ 325 million, plus crude oil inventories valued at US$ 260 million.

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