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What oil slump? Refiners live it up with top-performing stocks


Low oil prices haven’t hurt U.S. refiners, which have benefited from access to cheaper crude. On the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, the top four energy performers over the past four years have been downstream companies: Tesoro Corp. (NYSE: TSO), Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO), Marathon Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: MPC) and Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX), according to data from Bloomberg.

Both Marathon Petroleum and Phillips 66 were the downstream arms spun off from their parents in 2011 — Houston-based Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE: MRO) and Houston-based ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP). Both of the downstream companies have surged from the access to the plethora of production coming from U.S. shale plays.

However, a ramp-up in refinery projects in Latin America, where about half of U.S. fuel exports are shipped, might stall exports. That is not stopping some refiners from betting on the Gulf Coast, which hosts five of the largest U.S. refineries. In June, New Jersey-based PBF Energy Inc. said it would buy a Chalmette, Louisiana, refinery for $322 million from Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) and PDV in its Gulf Coast debut.

Texas Gulf Coast rules refining in the U.S.

The Texas Gulf Coast is the largest refining district in the U.S. In 2014, the region accounted for 25 percent of national operable refining capacity and produced 26 percent of the nation’s refined petroleum products, according to the Energy Information Administration. Below are the 14 Houston-area refineries on HBJ’s List, which published July 24 and is available to print and digital subscribers.Click here to subscribe.


Beaumont & Port Arthur

1. Exxon Mobil Beaumont
Other than naphtha, this refinery has a significant downstream charge capacity for kerosene and jet fuel, with 51,000 barrels a day.

2. Total Petrochemicals Port Arthur
This refinery has a nearly equal charge capacity for naphtha, gasoline and heavy oil, with 57,500, 51,600 and 54,400 barrels a day, respectively.

3. Valero Port Arthur
Most of this refinery’s charge capacity is for diesel fuel. At 104,600 barrels a day, it has the fourth-largest diesel fuel capacity of refiners on The List.

4. Motiva Port Arthur
The largest single refinery in the U.S., Motiva’s Port Arthur refinery has the largest charge capacity for naphtha reformer feed at 163,150 barrels a stream day.
Houston Ship Channel

5. Valero Houston
The majority of this refinery’s charge capacity is for gasoline, kerosene and jet fuel.

6. Houston Refining
Run by a subsidiary of LyondellBasell, this facility has the second-highest charge capacity for heavy oil of any refinery on The List, with 114,500 barrels a day.

7. Kinder Morgan Galena Park Facility
The first unit of this condensate processing facility came online in March, and the second is scheduled to come online by the end of the summer. The $360 million project was supported by a fee-based arrangment with BP.

8. Pasadena Refinery
The Pasadena Refinery’s greatest downstream charge capacity is for gasoline, with 34,000 barrels per stream day. Naphtha makes up the refinery’s second-largest category, with 28,000 barrels.

9. Deer Park Refinery
In 2015, the Harris County Appraisal District valued the facility at $21.7 million. The partnership was formed by Royal Dutch Shell and Pemex in 1993.

10. Exxon Mobil Baytown
The second-largest refinery in the U.S. is Exxon Mobil’s Baytown refinery. In 2015, the Harris County Appraisal District valued the facility at $106.5 million.

Texas City

11. Marathon Texas City
Marathon’s Texas City refinery does not have any downstream charge capacity, however it is one of only a handful in Texas that has capacity for high-pressure catalytic reforming.

12. Marathon Galveston bay
As of Jan. 1, Marathon Petroleum’s Galveston Bay Refinery had a downstream charge capacity of 120,000 barrels a day of naphtha and reformer feed, its largest segment. Marathon Petroleum purchased the refinery from BP in 2013.

13. Valero Texas City
This refinery has the largest charge capacity for residual fuel oils of any refinery on The List, with 110,000 barrels a day.


14. Phillips 66 Sweeny
This refinery has the second-largest capacity for diesel fuel of refineries on The List, with over 123,000 barrels a day.


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