SOURCE: Industrial Info Resources

Industrial Info Resources

May 10, 2011 06:00 ET

Petroleum Refining: Margins Soar, Driving Future Project Spending, an Industrial Info News Alert

SUGAR LAND, TX--(Marketwire - May 10, 2011) - Written by John Egan for Industrial Info Resources (Sugar Land, Texas) -- North American petroleum refiners plan to increase spending on capital and maintenance projects to about $23.3 billion this year, a 3.1% increase from the estimated $22.6 billion they planned to spend in 2010, according to Chris Paschall, Industrial Info's vice president of global research for the Petroleum Refining Industry. During the first quarter of 2011, Gulf Coast refiners reported very strong margins, which will help fund scheduled refinery overhauls and project expansions, he said.

In addition to market risks, U.S. refiners also face increased political risks in the wake of significantly higher profits reported by oil companies. First-quarter profits soared at ExxonMobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) (Irving, Texas) and Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) (San Ramon, California), triggering consumer anger and possibly adding political support to President Obama's effort to eliminate an estimated $4 billion in annual federal tax breaks enjoyed by the oil industry.

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