NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 09/07/12 -- Oil refining stocks have continued to outperform the broader markets by a wide margin in 2012. The S&P Supercomposite Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing Index (S15OILR) has gained nearly 50 percent year-to-date compared to the 12 percent gain by the S&P 500 Index over the same period. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing Industry and provides equity research on Marathon Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: MPC) and Western Refining, Inc. (NYSE: WNR).
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Refiners are slowly coming back online after Hurricane Isaac forced companies to shut down refineries across the Gulf Coast. Valero Energy Corp. and Phillips 66 on Tuesday restarted the last three refineries that had been shut down as a result of the hurricane. According to the U.S. Department of Energy roughly 1.3 million barrels a day of refining capacity had been shut down during the peak of the storm.
The U.S. government has waived some federal anti-smog rules in eight states (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee) to help ease tight gasoline supplies. Refineries in those states will now be allowed to use a special blend of gasoline normally banned in the summer season.
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Marathon Petroleum ranks as the fifth largest petroleum refiner in the United States and the largest in the Midwest. The company operates a six-plant refining network with 1,193,000 barrels-per-calendar-day of crude oil refining capacity. The Energy Department reported that Marathon Petroleum borrowed 1 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help ease shortages caused by Hurricane Isaac.
Western Refining owns and operates two refineries with a total crude oil throughput capacity of approximately 151,000 barrels per day (bpd) producing primarily high-value light products such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. Shares of the company have more than doubled year-to-date.
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