[Editor: I suppose this is almost good news – although in the manufacture and ultimate burning of these “renewable” fuels, large amounts of CO2 and other pollutants are produced, contributing to our climate emergency in the same way as fossil fuels. (Thanks for the clarification, AZ!) I wonder … could Valero’s Benicia Refinery be converted someday to production of RENEWABLE fuels? Also, I’m curious about San Francisco’s 2015 plan to convert its municipal fleet from petroleum to renewable diesel by the end of the year. Did it happen? – R.S.]Houston Chronicle, by Jordan Blum, September 9, 2019
Valero Energy and Darling Ingredients said Monday they’re planning to build a massive renewable diesel refinery in Port Arthur.
The companies, which have a 50-50 joint venture called Diamond Green Diesel, would build the first-ever renewable diesel plant in Texas. They’re currently in the early engineering and cost review stages, so the project isn’t definitely going forward, but it’s clear they want to make the project happen.
Renewable diesel is a much cleaner product that doesn’t rely on fossil fuels, instead making diesel out of waste animal fats and waste vegetable oils, including used cooking oil and inedible corn oil.
Renewable diesel uses similar ingredients as biofuels, but it is more chemically similar to crude oil-based diesel and can more easily be used in conventional engines without as many blending ingredients.
Valero Chief Executive Joe Gorder said he expected more political mandates for low-carbon fuels across the globe to continue to drive demand growth for renewable diesel fuels.
Darling CEO Randall Stuewe added, “The demand for a low-carbon fuel solution continues to grow, as markets move to reduce their carbon intensity. Leveraging its proven technology, (Diamond Green Diesel) continues to adapt and expand production to address that need for the benefit of our environment, our customers and our shareholders.”
Valero Energy Corporation performed very well in 2018.
Management is committed to rewarding shareholders via buybacks and dividend increases.
Covering the financial and operational performance of Valero Energy’s three main divisions.
Refining giant Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO) just reported its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2018 that won over some love from Wall Street. Both its earnings and revenue generation beat expectations, which is always a good sign. As of this writing, Valero yields 4.2%, as management boosted the firm’s quarterly payout by 13% in January 2019. This is on top of rewarding investors through $1.7 billion in share buybacks and $1.4 billion in dividend payments last year. Let’s dig in.
Strong refining margins carry the firm higher
Valero Energy’s operating income climbed up to $4.7 billion in 2018 from $3.7 billion in 2017. However, due to a $0.9 billion income tax benefit in 2017 versus a $0.9 billion income tax expense in 2018, it appears that the firm’s income generation materially weakened last year, which isn’t really the case. From 2017 to 2018, Valero Energy’s net income attributable to stockholders fell from $4.1 billion to $3.1 billion. A 4% reduction in its outstanding diluted share count helped offset some of the pain as its EPS dropped from $9.16 to $7.29 on a fully-diluted basis.
When comparing the performance of its refining division on a year-over-year basis, it is clear Valero Energy did quite well in 2018. Its average total throughput volumes for the year climbed by 2% to 2,986,000 bpd, which lifted its product yield by 2% to 3,025,000 bpd.
On top of higher throughput volumes, Valero’s refining margin grew by 10% year-over-year to $10.05 per barrel in 2018. Refining margin means the crack spread Valero received, the difference between its feedstock costs and the price received for its petroleum product production. Strong crack spreads ultimately enabled its refining division’s adjusted operating income per barrel of throughput (the amount of income generated per refined barrel after taking crack spreads and operating expenses into account) to grow by 22% year-over-year to $4.58 per barrel in 2018.
Repost from The Motley Fool [Valero’s profits continue at massive levels, although not as high as in 2017 when the Republicans gave corporations unheard-of tax windfalls. I have highlighted the only reference to west coast production. Of special interest: search this long transcript for the 9 references to “exports” and the 18 references to “rail.” – R.S.]
Valero Energy Corp (VLO) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
VLO earnings call for the period ending December 28, 2018.
By Motley Fool Transcribers, Jan 31, 2019 at 4:36PM
Valero Energy Corp (NYSE:VLO) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Jan. 31, 2019, 10:00 a.m. ET
Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Valero Energy Corporation’s Fourth Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, there will be a question-and-answer session, and instructions will follow at that time. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded.
I would now like to turn the conference over to Homer Bhullar, Vice President of Investor Relations. Sir, you may begin.
Homer Bhullar — Vice President, Investor Relations
Good morning, and welcome to Valero Energy Corporation’s fourth quarter 2018 earnings conference call. With me today are Joe Gorder, our Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer; Donna Titzman, our Executive Vice President and CFO; Lane Riggs, our Executive Vice President and COO; Jason Fraser, our Executive Vice President and General Counsel and several other members of Valero Senior Management team.
If you have not received the earnings release and would like a copy, you can find one on our website at valero.com. Also attached to the earnings release are tables that provide additional financial information on our business segments. If you have any questions after reviewing these tables, please feel free to contact our Investor Relations team after the call.
I would like to direct your attention to the forward-looking statement disclaimer contained in the press release. In summary, it says that statements in the press release and on this conference call that state the company’s or management’s expectations or predictions of the future are forward-looking statements intended to be covered by the Safe Harbor provisions under federal securities laws. There are many factors that could cause actual results to differ from our expectations, including those we’ve described in our filings with the SEC.
Now I’ll turn the call over to Joe for opening remarks.
Joseph W. Gorder — Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Thanks, Homer, and good morning, everyone. We are pleased to report that we completed another good quarter where we ran our business well and delivered solid financial results. Throughout the quarter, we maintained our unrelenting focus on operations excellence, which enabled us to operate safely and reliably in an environmentally responsible manner.
We also delivered on our commitment to invest in growth projects and acquisitions that increase Valero’s earnings capability, while maintaining solid returns to our stockholders. In 2018, we matched our 2017 record for process safety performance, and we continued to outperform the industry on our personnel injury rates.
For logistics investments we made over the last several years are contributing significantly to earnings. Our investments in Line 9B, the Diamond Pipeline and the Sunrise Pipeline expansion increased our systems flexibility, allowing us to take advantage of the opportunities available in the fourth quarter of 2018. In fact, we set a record for total light crude runs at 1.5 million barrels per day and a record for North American light crudes process at over 1.3 million barrels per day.
We also continued to maximize product exports into higher netback markets in Latin America. Turning to capital allocation, we continued to execute according to our disciplined framework. Our projects in execution remain on track. Construction is scheduled to finish on the Houston alkylation unit in the second quarter and the Central Texas pipelines and terminals are expected to be completed in mid 2019. Continue reading Listening in: Valero on recent earnings, then Q&A with investors→
Repost from S&P Global Platts [Editor: You can be sure that if Benicia hadn’t succeeded in stopping Valero Crude By Rail in 2016, we would be seeing these monstrous oil trains every day now. Many thanks to all who contributed to our David & Goliath effort! NOTE: “USGC” in this story refers to the US Gulf Coast. – R.S.]
Valero looks north to replace Venezuelan heavy crude
By Janet McGurty and Keiron Greenhalgh, 31 Jan 2019, 22:04 UTC
New York — Valero Energy increased the volume of heavy Canadian crude processed in its refining system in the fourth quarter of 2018, including crude arriving by rail, a trend that is likely to continue as recent sanctions cut into shipments from Venezuela.
Valero CEO Joe Gorder said the company needs to replace Venezuelan crude at two of its US Gulf Coast refineries – the 215,000 b/d St. Charles facility in eastern Louisiana and the 335,000 b/d Port Arthur, Texas, complex.
Valero’s systemwide heavy crude throughput was 445,000 b/d in Q4 out of 3.0 million b/d overall. About 20% of that was from Venezuela, Gorder said on the Q4 results call.
Valero imported about 50,000 b/d of heavy Canadian crude in October for its USGC system, compared with 126,000 b/d of Venezuelan crude, US Energy Information Administration data showed.