By BEN LEFEBVRE
Valero Energy is taking steps to increase the amount of light, sweet crude its refineries can process, the company's chief executive officer said Tuesday.
Valero and other US refiners have profited by the increase in US oil production. Recent drilling innovations, including hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have helped ExxonMobil and its competitors develop oil fields once thought unprofitable, leading to higher oil supplies and falling prices.
Valero said it was spending about $500 million for new equipment at its refineries in Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas, to increase their light, sweet crude refining capacity by a combined 160,000 bpd.
The company was also planning to ship more crude oil from Texas to its refinery in Quebec City, expecting the refinery to cease importing oil from outside North America by the end of 2013.
Even with the added cost of transporting the oil to Canada, Valero profited by the higher quality fuels it produced, Valero CEO Bill Klesse said during a call with investors.
"When they ran the oil into the plant it cracked very well and had better yields," Mr. Klesse said.
Dow Jones Newswires