UPDATE 1-Alon: No major overhauls planned at Calif refineries
* CEO says company preparing to restart Calif. refineries * Louisiana refinery to run 25,000 WTS crude in Q2 HOUSTON, March 9 (Reuters) - Alon USA Energy does not plan major turnaround work through 2012 at its California refineries after restarting those plants early in the second quarter, company executives said in a conference call with investors on Friday. The three refineries with a combined throughput of 94,000 barrels per day (bpd) are integrated to work as one unit and were shut in December of 2011 due to a collapse in West Coast refining margins. The company elected to perform overhauls on the plants in the first quarter of this year. "We're in the process of preparing to restart those refineries," said Alon President and Chief Executive Paul Eisman. The company cannot restart the California refineries any earlier because of the overhaul work and the time needed to resume crude deliveries to the refineries, which can take up to 45 days. At the company's 80,000 bpd Krotz Springs, Louisiana, refinery, Alon is increasing the amount of West Texas Sweet (WTS) crude oil the refinery utilizes, Eisman said. Currently, the refinery utilizes between 10,000 and 15,000 bpd of the lower priced crude, which moves through Texas by pipeline and then is shipped by barge to the Krotz Springs refinery, located 119 (192 km) miles northwest of New Orleans. Alon plans to boost the amount of WTS it uses to 25,000 bpd in the second quarter, Eisman said. The amount of WTS the company can obtain at Krotz Spring is limited, he said. "It's really limited today by the logistics system," Eisman said. The refinery ran at an average total throughput of 52,000 bpd in the fourth quarter and at 60,000 bpd for the entire year, which included a forced shutdown in May and June due Mississippi River flooding. Alon's 67,000 bpd Big Spring, Texas, refinery ran at an average of 64,000 bpd for the year.