Refining Business Segment at Phillips 66

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Conoco and Phillips 66 announced on November 18, 2001 that their boards of directors had unanimously approved a definitive agreement for a "merger of equals". The merged company, ConocoPhillips, became the third-largest integrated U.S. energy company based on market capitalization and oil and gas reserves and production. On November 11, 2011 ConocoPhillips announced that Phillips 66 would be the name of a new independent oil and gasoline refining and marketing firm, created as ConocoPhillips split into two companies. ConocoPhillips kept the current name of the company and concentrated on oil exploration and production side while Phillips 66 included refining, marketing, midstream, and chemical portions of the company. Photo: Hugh Pickens all rights reserved.

by Hugh Pickens, Ponca City Oklahoma


The purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive overview of Phillips 66 that documents and explains the company's business strategy and execution of that strategy.

Major Sections of this report on Phillips 66 include:

Safety, Environment, Legal


Corporate


Strategic and Financial


Business Segments


Stock Market


Reference

Refining Business Segment


Increasing Profitability in Refining Business Segment


Detailed Look at Ponca City Refinery


Other Phillips Refineries


Other Locations


Contents

Master Index of Articles about Phillips 66

The 587 foot tall Mammoet PTC 140 crane, seen here from North First Street, towers over the Refinery Complex in Ponca City. The supercrane was used to move two new 232 ton coker reactor units within the refinery on September 29, 2013. Phillips was willing to invest $70 million in the two new coker reactor units because the Ponca City Refinery is one of the best run, safest, and most profitable of Phillips' fifteen worldwide refineries and Garland wants the refinery in Ponca City to continue to run smoothly and profitably. This photograph of the supercrane in Ponca City was taken from almost two miles away from the crane. Photo: Hugh Pickens All Rights Reserved.
Hugh Pickens, an analyst who closely follows Phillips 66, speaks with Phillips CEO Greg Garland (right) about the disposition of the North Tower, South Tower, and Research West at Phillips' Ponca City Refinery after Garland's speech to the Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce on August 13, 2014.

by Hugh Pickens, Ponca City Oklahoma


The purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive overview of Phillips 66 that documents and explains the company's business strategy and execution of that strategy.

Major Sections of this report on Phillips 66 include:

Safety, Environment, Legal


Corporate


Strategic and Financial


Business Segments


Stock Market


Reference

Refining Business Segment


Increasing Profitability in Refining Business Segment


Detailed Look at Ponca City Refinery


Other Phillips Refineries


Other Locations


Refining Business Segment

The return on capital for the Refinery and Marketing Business Segment at Phillips 66 has increased dramatically in recent years. However Christopher Helman writes in Forbes magazine that Phillips 66′s most profitable refineries of the past couple years are in Mid-Continent because of the the glut of crude oil pouring into the region from newly tapped shale oil plays like North Dakota’s Bakken. "Because there was a lot of new oil and not enough pipeline capacity to get it down to the Gulf Coast mega-refineries, the crude got bottled up in the storage tanks at Cushing, Oklahoma", writes Helman adding that over the next three to five years those wide differentials will collapse to the transportation differential. “So more like $3 to $5 a barrel. It’s not going to be $20 forever.”[1]Derivative Photo: Hugh Pickens
Phillips 66′s most profitable refineries of the past couple years are in what’s called the Mid-Continent — from Texas north to Montana including the Borger refinery, Ponca City, Wood River and Billings. The reason for their high profitability has been the glut of crude oil pouring into the region from newly tapped shale oil plays like North Dakota’s Bakken. "Because there was a lot of new oil and not enough pipeline capacity to get it down to the Gulf Coast mega-refineries, the crude got bottled up in the storage tanks at Cushing," writes Helman. "The bottleneck that kept oil from getting out of Cushing also kept its price at a record-wide discount relative to its rival European benchmark Brent crude. At one point last year you could buy a barrel of WTI for $27 less than a barrel of Brent. Historically WTI has been slightly more expensive." Photo: National Energy Board of Canada Click graphic to enlarge.
James Hamilton reports on Econobrowwer that on July 19, 2013 West Texas Intermediate sold for the same price as Brent for the first time in almost three years.[2] Graph: James Hamilton

Garland said during his analyst call on April 9, 2012 that the refining and marketing segment has one of the broadest geographic bases of our peers. Phillips 66 has 15 refineries and 2.2 million barrels a day of capacity and is the sixth largest non-governmental controlled refiner in the world, the second largest US refiner. Phillips 66 is the only independent downstream to have significant ownership and interest in gas gathering and processing in the global petrochemicals business.[3][4][5]

Annual Capital Plan for Refining Business Segment

December 5, 2014: Phillips to Invest $1.1 Billion in 2015 in Refining and Marketing Business Segment

Phillips 66 announced on December 5, 2014 that Phillips 66 plans $1.1 billion of capital expenditures in Refining, approximately 75 percent of which will be sustaining capital. These investments are related to reliability and maintenance, safety and environmental projects, including compliance with the new EPA Tier 3 gasoline specifications. Discretionary Refining capital investments will be directed toward small, high-return, quick pay-out projects, primarily to enhance use of advantaged crudes and improve product yields.[6]

Geographic Diversity of Refineries

September 5, 2012: Philips Geographic Footprint is a Very Competitive Advantage

Greg Garland told investors and securities analysts at the 2012 Barclays CEO Energy-Power Conference in New York on September 5, 2012 that Phillips has the broadest geographic segment within our peer group. "We think this geographic footprint gives us a very competitive advantage. It's a great platform for capturing advantaged feedstock and optimizing the product placement that comes out of the refineries. You can see 15 refineries, 11 in the US. We have substantial infrastructure that supports the refineries in terms of 15,000 miles of pipe, 50 some odd terminals, barges, railcars, etc."[7]

Cyclical Nature of Refining

February 14, 2014: Garland Says Refining is Always Going to be a Volatile Business for Phillips

Greg Garland told security analysts at the Credit Suisse Global Energy Summit on February 12, 2014 that the Refining Business Segment is always is going to be a very volatile business for Phillips. "We don't see that changing in the future. I think small changes in operating rates in infrastructure are going to create dislocations. I think having a large system like we have, having a very sophisticated and large commercial organization like we have, we're going to be able to take advantage of those opportunities that come our way."[8]

Refining and Marketing Earnings

Greg Garland told analysts at the 4th quarter earnings conference on January 30, 2013 that he expects a 15% ROCE in the R&M Business Segment going forward. "My view is that, refining historically has been kind of a 10% to 12% business," said Garland. "We think we have plans in place to advantage crude capture, yields, cost reduction, that we can move it 400 basis points. So it’s a 15% business going forward for us versus a 30% return business in Chemicals. And probably Midstream business 15% to 17% returns is kind of what we’re looking in fact."[9]Derivative Photo: Hugh Pickens

July 31, 2015: Phillips Refining Business Segment Posts Earnings of $605 million for Second Quarter

Businesswire reported on July 31, 2015 that Phillips announced second-quarter earnings of $1,012 million, compared with earnings of $987 million in the first quarter of 2015. Adjusted earnings were $1,002 million, an increase of $168 million from the last quarter. “Our Refining, Chemicals, and M&S businesses delivered a strong quarter, providing solid earnings and cash flow,” said Greg Garland, chairman and CEO of Phillips 66. "We operated well, executed major turnaround activity and progressed our capital projects. We also returned more than $600 million to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases."

Refining adjusted earnings were $604 million in the second quarter, compared with $495 million in the first quarter of 2015. The increase in earnings was largely driven by improved realized gasoline margins, partially offset by reduced distillate and secondary product margins. Distillate margins declined primarily due to a seasonal reduction in demand, while secondary product margins were down mainly due to higher crude costs. Market capture for the second quarter was 62 percent, reflecting the company's refining configuration that is more heavily weighted toward distillate production than the market indicator. Earnings were also improved by a positive change in foreign currency impacts. Phillips 66’s worldwide refining crude utilization was 90 percent and clean product yield was 84 percent in the second quarter of 2015. A major turnaround was recently completed at our Humber Refinery in the U.K.[10]

April 30, 2015: Phillips Refining Business Segment Posts Earnings of $495 million for First Quarter

Businesswire reported on April 30, 2015 that Phillips announced first-quarter earnings of $987 million, compared with earnings of $1.1 billion during the fourth quarter of 2014. Adjusted earnings were $834 million, a decrease of $79 million from the fourth quarter of 2014. Refining adjusted earnings were $495 million in the first quarter, compared with $322 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. The improvement was primarily due to higher realized refining margins, partially offset by lower volumes. The increase in margins was largely driven by improved secondary product margins as well as higher gasoline market crack spreads. Secondary product margins improved mainly due to lower crude costs. Crack spreads improved mainly as a result of significantly higher gasoline market cracks in the Western/Pacific. First-quarter gasoline market cracks for that region were $20.21 per barrel, compared with $7.46 per barrel during the fourth quarter of 2014. “Refining market conditions helped us realize the best margins we’ve had over the last two years,” said Greg Garland, chairman and CEO of Phillips 66. “Refining utilization rates were impacted by a heavy turnaround schedule, and were further reduced by the extended turnaround at the Alliance Refinery."[11]

January 30, 2013: Garland Says Phillips Expects 15% ROCE in R&M Business Segment Going Forward

In answer to a question from Blake Fernandez of Howard Weil Incorporated, Greg Garland told analysts at the 4th quarter earnings conference on January 30, 2013 that he expects a 15% ROCE in the R&M Business Segment going forward. "My view is that, refining historically has been kind of a 10% to 12% business," said Garland. "We think we have plans in place to advantage crude capture, yields, cost reduction, that we can move it 400 basis points. So it’s a 15% business going forward for us versus a 30% return business in Chemicals. And probably Midstream business 15% to 17% returns is kind of what we’re looking in fact. So, to the extent that we have 30% and 40% return projects in refining, we’re going to do those. I think, I mean we do get challenged by people all the time or we under investing in refining. At this point, we don’t think so. I don’t think there’s any opportunities out there, we feel that we’ve missed in terms of an investment opportunity in the refining space. Our focus is going to be very disciplined. We’re going to restrict capital in this space. We’re going to improve returns in this space. And so we don’t see a change required in our strategy at this point in time."[12]

January 30, 2013: Garland Announces 22% ROCE in R&M Business Segment for 2012

Greg Garland told analysts at the 4th quarter earnings conference on January 30, 2013 that Phillips return on capital employed for the R&M segment, which includes over $3 billion in goodwill improved to 22% for 2012, up from a 12% return for 2011. "The earnings of all four of our refining regions increased primarily due to improved refining margins," said Garland. "The improvements in refining margins, reflects not only higher market crack spreads, but also an improved feedstock advantage especially in the Gulf Coast, in the Central Corridor regions. The improvements in feedstock advantage increased earnings in the Gulf Coast by over $200 million and by over $100 million in the Central Corridor. Finally, other refining was up this quarter compared to last year, primarily due to movements of Canadian crude supply to several of our refineries."[13]

August 1, 2012: Phillips announces Annualized R&M Adjusted Net Profit of 17% for Second-Quarter, 2012

Reuters reported on August 2, 2012 that Phillips 66 posted an annualized 17 percent adjusted profit for the R&M Business Segment for the 2nd quarter of 2012. "The adjusted net profit for 2011 was 12%. Refining and Marketing generated $1.2 billion in adjusted earnings," said Phillips Chief Financial Officer Greg Maxwell. "The $437 million improvement was primarily driven by much stronger refining margins particularly in the US Midcontinent and Europe."[14][15]

May 24, 2012: Phillips 66 Expects Global Refining Margins to Drop in 2012 and 2013

NASDAQ reported on May 24, 2012 that Clayton Reasor, Phillips 66's senior vice president of strategy and corporate affairs, said that Phillips 66 expects global refining margins to drop in 2012 and 2013 and that US gasoline demand growth in the U.S. and Europe is expected to continue to fall, while demand for distillate fuels, such as heating oil and diesel, is expected to jump, driven by growth in developing countries. "What we need to do as a refining company is ship out our yield away from gasoline to distillate to the extent we can," said Reasor. "As gasoline demand continues to fall in the U.S. we need to find markets for our products." Part of Phillips 66's strategy to become more profitable is boosting its fuels exports to more than 200,000 barrels per day by the middle of the decade, up from 100,000 barrels a day last year.[16]

April 23, 2012: ConocoPhillips Reports 2012 Q1 Earnings

ConocoPhillips announced on April 23, 2012 that for Q1 2012, R&M’s worldwide crude oil capacity utilization rate was 91 percent, reflecting minimal unplanned downtime. The U.S. refining capacity utilization rate was 89 percent and the international rate was 97 percent. In addition, the worldwide clean product yield remained at 84 percent. R&M earnings were $452 million, compared with $482 million a year ago. The slight decrease was primarily due to lower refining margins, partially offset by higher marketing margins. Refining margins decreased as the impact of less favorable crude differentials more than offset improved market crack spreads. Pre-tax turnaround expenses for the quarter were $176 million, in line with expectations.[17]

Phillips 66 Worldwide Refineries

Phillips 66 has 15 refineries globally and 2.2 million barrels a day of capacity. "When we think about our refining business we like to think about it in four segments. One is the Mid-Continent, about 21% of our capacity is there. Margins have been very strong in this area, as you know. Our largest region is the Gulf Coast, about 33% of our capacity is there.We have large economy of scale here. We have very complex refineries on the Gulf Coast. The Western US and Pacific region is about 20%, includes our interests in the Melaka refinery.The West Coast has typically had high margins historically, but the last couple years has been challenged in part due to the economic slowdown in California." Derivative Photo: Hugh Pickens

Phillips 66 has 15 refineries globally and 2.2 million barrels a day of capacity. "When we think about our refining business we like to think about it in four segments. One is the Mid-Continent, about 21% of our capacity is there. Margins have been very strong in this area, as you know. Our largest region is the Gulf Coast, about 33% of our capacity is there.We have large economy of scale here. We have very complex refineries on the Gulf Coast. The Western US and Pacific region is about 20%, includes our interests in the Melaka refinery.The West Coast has typically had high margins historically, but the last couple years has been challenged in part due to the economic slowdown in California."[18][19][20]

Characteristics of Phillips 66 Worldwide Refineries

Phillips has the following worldwide refineries:[21]

Country Name Location Capacity (KBD) Nelson Complexity Factor Clean Product Yield
Gulf Coast US Alliance Refinery (AL) Belle Chasse, LA 247 12.5 86%
Eastern US and Europe Bayway Refinery (BW) Linden, NJ 238 8.4 90%
Central US Billings Refinery (BI) Billings, MT 118 14.4 89%
Central US Borger Refinery (BG) Borger, TX 146 12.3 89%
Western US and Asia Ferndale Refinery (FN) Ferndale, WA 105 7.0 75%
Eastern US and Europe Humber Refinery (HU) North Linconshire 265 11.6 81%
Gulf Coast US Lake Charles Refinery (LC) Westlake, LA 239 11.2 69%
Western US and Asia Los Angeles Refinery (LA) Carson, CA/Wilmington, CA 139 14.1 87%
Western US and Asia Melaka Refinery in Malaysia (ME) Melaka 58 9.3 83%
Eastern US and Europe MIRO Refinery in Germany* (MI) Karlsruhe 56 7.9 85%
Central US Ponca City Refinery (PC) Ponca City, OK 187 9.8 91%
Western US and Asia San Francisco Refinery (SF) Rodeo, CA and Santa Maria, CA 120 13.5 83%
Gulf Coast US Sweeny Refinery (SW) Old Ocean, TX 247 13.2 87%
Eastern US and Europe Whitegate Refinery in Ireland (WG) Cork 71 3.8 65%
Central US Wood River Refinery (WR) Roxana, IL 306 12.5 85%
  • Denotes joint ventures. Crude capacity reflects that proportion.

Nelson Complexity Number

What differentiates one refinery from another are their capacities and the types of processing units used to produce these petroleum products. Refineries have a distillation column and then can have any combination of secondary processing units depending on the type of crude oil they process and the products they want to produce. A distillation column separates crude oil into different petroleum products based on differences in boiling points. Each secondary processing unit after the distillation column has a specific purpose, whether it is increasing separation; upgrading low-value products, like residual fuel oil, to high value products, like distillate; increasing octane; or enhancing environmental compliance by removing sulfur and other pollutants. A refinery's level of complexity is often based on how much secondary conversion capacity it has.[22]

The Nelson Complexity Index is one measure of refinery complexity. Developed in the 1960s by W.L. Nelson, the index measures the complexity and cost of each major type of refinery equipment.[23] The Nelson complexity index assigns a complexity factor to each major piece of refinery equipment based on its complexity and cost in comparison to crude distillation, which is assigned a complexity factor of 1.0. The complexity of each piece of refinery equipment is then calculated by multiplying its complexity factor by its throughput ratio as a percentage of crude distillation capacity. Adding up the complexity values assigned to each piece of equipment, including crude distillation, determines a refinery’s complexity on the Nelson Complexity Index. The Nelson complexity index indicates not only the investment intensity or cost index of the refinery but also its potential value addition. Thus, the higher the index number, the greater the cost of the refinery and the higher the value of its products.[24]

For example, the Phillips 66 refinery at Ferndale refinery in Washington has a Nelson Complexity Number of 7.0 and includes a fluid catalytic cracker, alkylation, and hydrotreating units. The Wilmington Refinery has a Nelson Complexity Number of 14.1 and includes a fluid catalytic cracker, alkylation, hydrocracking, reforming, and coking units.[25]

References

  1. Forbes Magazine. "As ConocoPhillips Spins Off Refining Assets, Think Twice Before Buying The New Phillips 66" by Christopher Helman. April 30, 2012.
  2. Econobrowser. "Brent-WTI spread disappears-- for now" by James Hamilton. July 21, 2013.
  3. ConocoPhillips. "Slide Presentation for Phillips 66 Investor Update" April 9, 2012
  4. ConocoPhillips. "Phillips 66 Analyst Update Transcript of Phillips 66 Analyst Update" April 9, 2012
  5. Seeking Alpha. "ConocoPhillips' CEO Hosts Phillips 66 Analyst Update Conference Call" April 9, 2012
  6. Phillips 66 Press Release. "Phillips Announces 2015 Capital Program" December 5, 2014.
  7. Phillips 66. "2012 Barclays CEO Energy-Power Conference" presented by Phillips CEO Greg Garland. September 5, 2012.
  8. Credit Suisse Global Energy Summit. "Transcript of Phillips 66 Presentation" by Greg Garland. February 12, 2014
  9. Seeking Alpha. "Phillips 66's CEO Discusses Q4 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript" January 30, 2013.
  10. Businesswire. "Phillips 66 Reports Second-Quarter Earnings of $1.0 Billion or $1.84 Per Share" July 31, 2015.
  11. Businesswire. "Phillips 66 Reports First-Quarter Earnings of $987 Million or $1.79 Per Share" April 30, 2015.
  12. Seeking Alpha. "Phillips 66's CEO Discusses Q4 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript" January 30, 2013.
  13. Seeking Alpha. "Phillips 66's CEO Discusses Q4 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript" January 30, 2013.
  14. Reuters. "Phillips 66 profit jumps 14 pct, shares up" by Kristin Hays. August 2, 2012
  15. Phillips 66. "Transcript of Q2 2012 Phillips 66 Earnings Conference Call" August 1,2012.
  16. NASDAQ. "Phillips 66 Executive: WTI-Brent Spread To Narrow Sharply By 2013" May 24, 2013.
  17. Businesswire. "ConocoPhillips Reports First-Quarter Earnings of $2.9 Billion or $2.27 Per Share" April 23, 2012
  18. ConocoPhillips. "Slide Presentation for Phillips 66 Investor Update" April 9, 2012
  19. ConocoPhillips. "Phillips 66 Analyst Update Transcript of Phillips 66 Analyst Update" April 9, 2012
  20. Seeking Alpha. "ConocoPhillips' CEO Hosts Phillips 66 Analyst Update Conference Call" April 9, 2012
  21. New World Encyclopedia. "ConocoPhillips" retrieved May 6, 2012.
  22. Finance. "Petroleum refineries vary by level of complexity" October 12, 2012.
  23. Finance. "Petroleum refineries vary by level of complexity" October 12, 2012.
  24. Wikipedia. "Nelson Complexity Number" Retrieved October 16, 2012.
  25. Finance. "Petroleum refineries vary by level of complexity" October 12, 2012.



Master Index of Articles about Phillips 66

The North Tower and the South Tower, part of Phillips 66's Refinery Complex in Ponca City, contain over 250,000 square feet of Class A office space that is essentially unused. Research West contains another 230,000 square feet of unused Class A office space. Photo: Hugh Pickens
Ponca: A Core Asset. Phillips CEO Greg Garland told members of the Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce on August 27, 2013 that the refinery at Ponca is a 'core asset' of Phillips 66. The refinery in Ponca City "is making very good money for us," Garland told his Bartlesville audience. Garland added that he expects gas demands in the U.S. to decline by 20 percent in the next 10 years, but that demand for refined products in South America and Africa will more than offset that decline.

by Hugh Pickens, Ponca City Oklahoma


The purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive overview of Phillips 66 that documents and explains the company's business strategy and execution of that strategy.

Major Sections of this report on Phillips 66 include:

Safety, Environment, Legal


Corporate


Strategic and Financial


Business Segments


Stock Market


Reference

Refining Business Segment


Increasing Profitability in Refining Business Segment


Detailed Look at Ponca City Refinery


Other Phillips Refineries


Other Locations

Personal tools