NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 03/16/12 -- Many U.S. refiners posted disappointing results in the final three months of 2011 as benchmark crude climbed more than 10 percent in the fourth quarter as global demand reached a record high. While crude prices soared, gasoline spending was way down in the fourth quarter, The Associated Press reports, pushing retail gasoline prices 7 percent lower from the previous quarter. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing industry and provides equity research on Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: MPC) and Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE: VLO). Access to the full company reports can be found at:
One of the prominent trends in the Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing industry is the number of refinery shutdowns, particularly on the East Coast of the U.S. and in Europe. Fuel production in the East Coast tapered off after Sunoco Inc. shut its Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania refinery, and ConocoPhillips idled its Trainer plant. Sunoco plans to shut its Philadelphia refinery by July if it isn't sold. Together the facilities can process about 45 percent of the region's refining capacity. Meanwhile, Europe's refining industry is coping with aging facilities, government taxation, and the high price of crude.
According to the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, U.S. Northeast refineries are in an "economic and regulatory vise."
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Marathon Petroleum Corp. reported a $75 million loss for the fourth quarter as higher oil prices increased costs at its refineries. The company's fourth-quarter loss amounted to 21 cents per share for the October-December period. That compares with a profit of $233 million, or 64 cents per share, in the same part of 2010. Revenue rose 11.3 percent to $19.4 billion.
Valero Energy Corporation is a North American independent petroleum refiner and marketer. As of December 31, 2010, it owned 14 petroleum refineries, which were located in the United States, Canada and Aruba.
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