By BEN LEFEBVRE
Phillips 66 will decide by this summer whether to sell its
refinery in Belle Chasse, La., CEO
Greg Garland said late Tuesday.
Phillips 66 and other refiners are rearranging their geographic
footprint to take advantage of a boom in US oil and natural gas
production that has scrambled the refining map.
Refineries with access to new, discounted oil in the US
midcontinent have prospered, while coastal refineries have seen
profit margins decline.
Phillips 66 agreed in April to sell its refinery in Trainer, Pa., to Delta
Air Lines, while Sunoco shuttered its refinery in Marcus Hook
Both plants depended on coastal crude, prices of which were
as much as $20 more than their inland alternatives.
Phillips 66 has considered a sale of its Alliance refinery
in Belle Chasse since December 2011, but is now rethinking
the prospect amid falling prices for Light Louisiana Sweet
crude oil, Garland said.
LLS, as the crude is known, is the benchmark crude oil in
the Gulf of Mexico.
"Our view of that refinery has increased," Garland said
during an investors conference. "We think LLS will become an
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Editor's note: The Alliance refinery has 247,000 bpd of
capacity, making it the 19th largest in the US, according to
the Energy Information Administration (EIA).