Delta Airlines declines to comment on east coast refinery bid reports

05 April 2012 21:06  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Delta Airlines declined to comment on Thursday following reports that the company is considering a bid on ConocoPhillips’ idled 185,000 bbl/day Trainer refinery in Pennsylvania.

According to business news broadcaster CNBC, the company’s board of directors has met twice to discuss a potential bid to hedge the price for jet fuel.

The majority of jet fuel refined on the east coast has historically supplied the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan airports.

Delta spokesman Eric Torbenson said the company did not comment on rumours or speculation. Delta is the second largest US air carrier.

ConocoPhillips’ Trainer and Sunoco’s 178,000 bbl/day Marcus Hook refineries in Pennsylvania shut down in late 2011, while Sunoco’s 335,000 bbl/day Philadelphia refinery is expected to shut down by June if no-one has purchased the facility.

The shutdown of the refineries would drive up jet fuel prices, said the United Steelworks union, which has been protesting the closures.

There is no precedent of an airline owning an oil refinery. 

ConocoPhillips spokesman Rich Johnson said, “I can tell you that we are continuing efforts to seek a buyer for the Trainer refinery.”

CNBC said Delta could bid as much as $100m (€76m) for the plant, which was idled in September 2011 because of poor margins and weak demand.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Sheena Martin
+1 713 525 2653

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