Chevron sees downstream margins up in refining, down in marketing

US-based energy major Chevron said Tuesday that its downstream earnings in the first quarter are expected to be higher, reflecting improved refining and chemicals margins, lower operating expenses, and gains on asset sales.

For the full first quarter, global refining margins improved compared to fourth quarter 2011, while marketing margins decreased over the same period, the company said.

During the first two months of the first quarter, US refinery crude-input volumes increased by 152,000 bpd, largely reflecting completion of a major turnaround at the Richmond, California refinery during the fourth quarter, according to Chevron officials.

International refinery crude-input volumes were up slightly compared to the fourth quarter.

International downstream earnings in the first quarter are also expected to include a gain of approximately $200 million from assets sales primarily in Spain, reflecting continued portfolio rationalization efforts, the company noted.

Further details, including actual refining and marketing margins by region, can be read in Chevron’s interim update for the 2012 first quarter by clicking here.

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