Tesoro Corporation has announced that the Martinez refinery in California has begun the restart process. "We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the local union at our Martinez, California refinery and are commencing the restart process today," said Greg Goff, Chairman and CEO, on 27 March. "The facility should be back to normal operating levels over the next two weeks."
The Martinez, California, refinery was in the final stages of major turnaround maintenance activity when the United Steelworkers Union (USW) issued a strike notice on 1 February. The safest option at that time was to safely idle the remaining operating units and transition to operating the facility as a terminal. Tesoro has also reached agreements with the local USW at its Carson, California, and Anacortes, Washington, refineries and employees at those refineries are returning to work. The local unions at the Mandan, North Dakota, and Salt Lake City, Utah, refineries are expected to vote on their respective contracts over the next few days.
For Tesoro, the strike resulted in higher operating costs than our previous guidance and lower capture rates compared to historical averages across its West Coast system. The company currently estimates that the California operating costs will be between US$7.70 and US$7.95/bbl. The Martinez, California, strike and Anacortes, Washington, and Salt Lake City turnarounds will negatively impact system capture rates by approximately US$1.50 to US$2.00/bbl during the first quarter, and the company expects to realise a positive impact to capture rates in the second quarter as it completes the planned turnarounds.
The idling of operations at Martinez resulted in higher crude inventory along with the higher planned inventory ahead of the Anacortes, Washington, and Salt Lake City, Utah, refinery turnarounds, these inventory builds are expected to result in a use of working capital during the first quarter of 2015. The company expects these working capital impacts will reverse in the second quarter, as it restarts and comes out of turnarounds at its refineries.
Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling
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