Valero Energy reports second quarter 2014 results

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[Editor: This article refers to “Brent crude oil.”   Wikipedia: “Brent Crude is a major trading classification of sweet light crude oil that serves as a major benchmark price for purchases of oil worldwide. Brent Crude is extracted from the North Sea, and comprises Brent Blend, Forties Blend, Oseberg and Ekofisk crudes (also known as the BFOE Quotation)….Brent is the leading global price benchmark for Atlantic basin crude oils. It is used to price two thirds of the world’s internationally traded crude oil supplies.”  – RS]

Valero Energy reports second quarter 2014 results


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Valero Energy Corporation has reported financial results for the second quarter of 2014 (Q2). Net income from continuing operations attributable to Valero stockholders was US$ 651 million, US$ 1.22/share, compared to US$ 463 million, US$ 0.84/share, for the second quarter of last year.

Operating income for Q2 was approximately US$ 1.1 billion compared to US$ 805 million in the second quarter of 2013. The US$ 280 million increase in operating income was due primarily to higher refining throughput volumes and wider discounts relative to Brent crude oil for sour and certain North American light crude oils. These positive drivers were partially offset by weaker gasoline and distillate margins relative to Brent crude oil in most regions and higher natural gas costs in the second quarter of 2014 versus the second quarter of 2013.

Valero CEO and President Joe Gorder commented: “Valero delivered solid financial results for the quarter despite generally weaker product margins relative to Brent crude oil. We continued to execute our strategy to reduce feedstock costs by processing additional volumes of cost advantaged North American crude oil and investing in logistics assets to deliver those feedstocks to our refineries”.

Refining throughput volumes averaged 2.7 million bpd for Q2, an increase of 115 000 bpd from the second quarter of 2013. According to Valero, the increase in volumes was due primarily to less turnaround activity and higher utilisation rates spurred by the availability of discounted North American light crude oil on the US Gulf Coast.

“We increased North American crude oil consumption at our Quebec City refinery to 83% in the second quarter of 2014 from 8% in the second quarter of 2013, so we are progressing well toward our previously stated goal of reaching 100% by year-end. We also began processing Canadian bitumen through our new crude-by-rail unloading facility at our St Charles refinery”, Gorder said.

Ethanol operating income for Q2 was US$ 187 million compared to US$ 95 million in the second quarter of 2013. The US$ 92 million increase in operating income was mainly due to higher gross margin per gallon driven by lower corn costs as a result of abundant corn crop and lower industry ethanol inventories at the start of the quarter.

Gorder said: “Our ethanol investments have continued to be strong performers, delivering a total of US$ 430 million in operating income for the first half of 2014. We expect our eleventh ethanol plant, the Mount Vernon facility acquired in March of this year, to begin operating and contributing to the segment’s earnings in the third quarter”.

Capital expenditures for Q2 were US$ 806 million, of which US$ 240 million was for turnarounds and catalyst. Valero paid US$ 133 million in dividends on its common stock and US$ 228 million to purchase 4.0 million shares of its common stock. The company repaid US$ 200 million of debt that matured in April and ended the quarter with US$ 6.4 billion in total debt and US$ 3.5 billion of cash and temporary cash investments, of which US$ 382 million was held by Valero Energy Partners LP.

Valero expects 2014 capital expenditures, including turnaround and catalyst, to be US$ 3 billion, including approximately US$ 870 million allocated to logistics investments, most of which are expected to be eligible for drop-down into Valero Energy Partners LP in the future.

“Given the strong North American crude oil production growth, we continue to focus the majority of our strategic capital on light crude oil processing capability and logistics”, Gorder said. “We expect our refineries to benefit from access to lower cost crude oil and higher netback product export markets.”

Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.