Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Where the Profits Are in the Oil Refinery Biz (MPC; TSO; SUN)

From Deal Journal:

From Oil to Soda, Refiners Diversify Into Retail
 Lately, the most-reliable way for some refiners to make money involves selling Slim Jims and soda.

Fourth-quarter results for refiners Marathon Petroleum Corp., Tesoro Corp. and Sunoco Inc. revealed significant profits in retail units and nine-figure losses tied to refining and fuel marketing.

It’s not the first time this has happened. These companies have been bulking up their retail businesses while some shed refineries. Most notably Sunoco plans to exit the refining business all together this year and become essentially a retail chain and pipeline owner.

The latest example of the push toward retailing comes at Marathon, which said late Thursday that it has agreed to buy GasAmerica Services Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed....MORE