Chevron sees weaker US, global refining margins

Chevron experienced a sharp decline in downstream refining margins during the 2012 fourth quarter, the US-based energy major said on Thursday.

In an interim earnings update, the company said that for the full fourth quarter, US and international refining margins decreased significantly compared with the third quarter.

"Downstream earnings in the fourth quarter are also expected to be higher, largely reflecting a positive swing in timing effects, despite a sharp decline in industry refining margins," Chevron wrote in the update.

During the first two months of the fourth quarter, Chevron reported that US refinery crude-input volumes decreased by 77,000 bpd compared with the third quarter, driven primarily by the continued shutdown of the fire-stricken refinery crude unit in Richmond, California.

A return to normal operations at the Pascagoula, Mississippi refinery post Hurricane Isaac partly offset the decrease, according to the company.

Meanwhile, international refinery crude-input volumes increased 9,000 bpd compared with the third quarter.

For specific margin figures, the full update for both downstream and upstream can be read in the news release at Chevron's website.

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