The changing global oil refining picture has seen several mid-range to large companies spin off their downstream operations in recent years, but the trend has yet to travel up the food chain to the world’s largest oil companies, despite pressure from investors to do so. Examples of companies that divested downstream assets include Hess and… Keep reading →
Ethanol requirements for U.S. gasoline appear to be losing friends and influencing the wrong people, with calls growing to reform or scrap the government mandates altogether. The Environmental Protection Agency in November proposed reducing the amount of renewable fuels, including corn-based ethanol, that oil refiners must blend with gasoline. The rule is a centerpiece of… Keep reading →
Chevron announced earnings of $5.0 billion for the 3rd quarter, down from $5.3 billion in the corresponding reporting period last year. Upstream operations outperformed the company’s refining and marketing business, which was hit by thinner product margins. “Our third quarter earnings were down from a year ago,” said Chairman and CEO John Watson in a… Keep reading →
The US became a net-exporter of oil products like gasoline and diesel fuel in 2011 for the first time since 1949 and oil product exports have steadily increased since that point. US refiners found a new lease on life – after several East Coast refinery closures – by purchasing Bakken crude at a discount to… Keep reading →
Your favorite Exxon station is very likely not owned or operated by Exxon and the same is true for the rest of the major oil companies. The Chevron’s and BP’s of the world largely distanced themselves from the branded retail gasoline business following the mega-mergers of the late 1990′s and early 2000′s due to financial and regulatory factors.
In fact, these businesses – that most people still refer to as gas stations – are now thought of by the industry as convenience stores that sell motor fuels. The downstream segment – refining and marketing – of the oil and gas business has been marginally profitable for decades. But the vertically integrated model first championed by John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil remains attractive to the majors because owning refineries provides a guaranteed market for their often highly-profitable upstream businesses of finding and developing oil and gas. The upstream was often thought of as subsidizing the downstream, as Steve Coll described it in his book about ExxonMobil, “Private Empire.” Keep reading →
Depending on who you ask, the impending closure of a major Philadelphia refinery will either increase U.S. vulnerability to a terrorist attack on its energy supply, or simply shift demand to other suppliers of petroleum products.
Senior officials from federal energy and homeland security departments debated the loss of U.S. refining capacity with industry representatives and politicians at a field hearing of a Congressional committee outside Philadelphia on Monday. Keep reading →
ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson
ExxonMobil, one of the world’s largest energy companies by operational size and market capitalization, is reaching into its wallet in a big way. Exxon sees significant global energy demand growth – even with the considerable efficiency gains that many expect – and is solidifying its position as a major global supplier of the both the raw commodities and finished products that will fuel global consumption. Keep reading →
The planned closure of Sunoco’s Philadelphia refinery, which accounts for a quarter of the US East Coast’s capacity, looks set to constrain supplies of diesel, heating oil, and perhaps gasoline, while pushing prices higher.
The projected shutdown, due to take effect in July if no buyer is found, was highlighted by the Energy Information Administration in a February 27 report saying petroleum product markets in the Northeast could be “significantly impacted” if the closure goes ahead. Keep reading →