Valero to run its 14 refineries at 90%-93% of capacity in Q3

(Reuters) - U.S. oil refiner Valero Energy Corp plans to operate its 14 refineries between 90%-93% of their combined total processing capacity in the third quarter, said Homer Bhullar, vice president of investor relations, during a Thursday conference call.

The top end of the company's operational plans are near the 94% the company's refineries operated at in the second quarter when Valero saw billions in profits on increased demand because of the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic amidst reduced global refining capacity.

Gary Simmons, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, said demand for motor fuels continued at a record pace in June.

"There's really no indication of any demand destruction, Simmons during the conference call to discuss second quarter results. "In June, we actually set sales records. We sold 911,000 barrels a day (of motor fuels) in the month of June, which surpassed our previous record in August of '18 where we did 904,000 barrels a day."

Lane Riggs, Valero's chief operating officer, said the company has shifted production to increase diesel output, as have other refiners, to make up for a diesel shortfall.

Third quarter production is planned to between 2.84 million bpd, or 90%, and 2.95 MMbpd, or 93%, of total combined throughput capacity, Bhullar said.

The company's seven U.S. Gulf Coast refineries will operate at between 1.72 MMbpd, or 93%, and 1.77 MMbpd, or 95%, in combined capacity, he said.

Mid-continent refineries in the Texas panhandle, Oklahoma and Tennessee, are planned to run between 420,000 bpd, or 87% and 440,000 bpd, or 91%, in combined throughput.

Two refineries in California will operate up to 90% of combined capacity. Refineries in Quebec and Wales are planned to run up to 92% of combined capacity.

(Reporting by Erwin Seba Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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